Stoke & Staffordshire

Wrong ashes given to Staffordshire pet owners

A pet crematorium owner has been ordered to pay hundreds of pounds in compensation after owners were given ashes not of their pets.

Inspectors who went to Swan Pit Crematorium in Gnosall, Staffordshire found pets remains stored in large chest freezers.

The owner, 52-year-old Allan McMasters, admitted five charges of fraud by false representation.

He was ordered to pay compensation and costs of £7,000.

Each victim will get £500. He was also given a 12-month community order with 200 hours of unpaid work.

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Staffordshire County Council said one cat owner had discovered the ashes she was given were actually those of a dead horse.

Some owners received no ashes at all, the court heard.

Inspectors managed to trace the owners of some of the pet remains found as they were micro-chipped.

Dogs, cats and an iguana were discovered in the freezers while the bodies of horses were lying in the crematorium grounds.

District Judge Jack McGarva at Cannock Magistrates' Court said conditions at the cemetery were "a hazard to those who worked there or had to go there".

McMasters, of Audmore Road, also pleaded guilty four animal by-product offences, relating to failing to dispose of horse carcasses properly.

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