The RSPCA has been forced to issue an apology to some pet owners in Victoria.
They were told their animals’ remains would be removed to make way for a bigger facility on the Mornington Peninsula.
Melisa Quigley had her beloved Jack Russell, JR, buried at the pet cemetery at the RSPCA’s Pearcedale site 18 years ago.
But a few weeks ago, the organisation wrote to her to tell her his remains, and that of about 800 pets buried there, would be moved to make way for a bigger facility.
The remains would be shifted to a new memorial or monument on the site, she was told.
But the pain is still raw and she doesn’t want JR’s remains moved.
“If it happened to humans in a cemetery something would be done,” she said.
“If you’re a true animal lover you wouldn’t want that to happen to your pet either.”
Quigley said she was blindsided by the letter she received about the plan and hadn’t been able to get a proper response.
Dr Liz Walker from the RSCPA said the organisation had done its best to contact everybody and was happy to talk to pet owners.
“We know it’s hard, a number of people are upset, but the vast majority understanding,” she said.
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The RSPCA says work won’t begin until at least mid next year, and not before every owner affected by the decision is properly spoken to.