A UNIQUE business has been set up enabling families to store the ashes of their much-loved pets.

Pet Sanctuary, based in Margaretting, allows ashes to be stored for as long as is needed so that humans can one day be laid to rest with their animals.

The business, and its sister company, Secure Haven - a storage scheme for human ashes - are the ventures of Essex couple Cheryl and Paul Yarwood.

Cheryl said: “The idea of making that final trip to the vet to collect a pet’s ashes is likely to be an emotionally overwhelming prospect. Therefore, Pets Sanctuary will make that final journey for owners and provide their pets ashes with dignified storage until they are able to decide on a final resting place.”

Paul added: “We have designed our service particularly for people wanting to slow down the process of finding a permanent resting place for their loved one’s ashes.”

The Pet Sanctuary, based at The Essex Barn, Writtle Road, in Margaretting, has been specifically adapted into a storage facility, lined with quiet rooms full of custom-built oak cabinets.

The Yarwoods say initial responses to the business have been positive and they are hoping to expand further afield within the UK and work in closer co-operation with vets and funeral directors.

For more information go to securehaven.co.uk or call 01277 353776 and pets-sanctuary.co.uk or call 01277 356776.