A COLCHESTER family say they have been left devastated after an error saw their beloved dog sent for a communal cremation instead of a private one. 

Georgina Cross said the family had to take the difficult decision to have Bella put down after visiting the Vets4Pets clinic in Colchester. 

The family decided on having a private cremation for their 15-year-old companion. 

“She wasn’t well, and it was the right thing to do for our Bella, so obviously, I paid for the vets to put her to sleep, and I paid for her to have a single cremation,” said Mrs Cross. 

“I picked out the box and paid for absolutely everything to be done for a proper service.” 


The Cross family were preparing for the arrival of the ashes of their pet but after two weeks the ashes had not arrived. 

The concerned family contacted the vets and say they were told Bella had likely ended up in a group cremation due to an error. 

Georgina added: “It’s been three weeks now and I’ve been phoning up the vets for the last week to find out where my Bella is, and nobody has got any recognition. 

“I phoned up the crematorium, there’s no name “Bella” in that crematorium at all.” 


A spokesman for the Essex Pet Crematorium, where the cremation took place, said the organisation relies on vets to let them know which pets require an individual cremation. 


The family has been compensated by Vets4Pets for the additional costs of the private cremation.

A spokesman from Vets for Pets said: “We understand how incredibly difficult it is to lose a beloved pet and know how upsetting this situation has been for Miss Cross.

"Whilst this is an isolated incident, we are reviewing our practice procedures to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

"We have shared our sincere apologies with Miss Cross and would like to provide a plaque or donation to a pet charity in Bella’s memory. Our deepest condolences are with Bella’s family at this difficult time.”