A heartbroken family has not been able to say a final farewell to their beloved dog after a mix-up with her ashes.
Jack Russell Holly, (14), was recently put to sleep following a kidney infection.
She belonged to Alsager couple Matt and Rebecca Hicks and their two young boys, Arthur, (7), and Edward, (2).
On the recommendation of County Vets in Sandbach, Holly was cremated at Whitley Brook pet crematorium near Runcorn.
That was more than two weeks ago and the family is still waiting for her ashes to be returned.
Mr Hicks told the Chronicle: “It was time to say goodbye to Holly and County Vets in Sandbach recommended Whitley Brook pet crematorium in Runcorn – we trusted our vet’s recommendation.”
The Hicks paid for a solo cremation and were told that Holly’s ashes would be returned in 10 days.
“Over two weeks went by and we had not received them so I started chasing the vets, who told me to contact the crematorium. The crematorium then rang me to say they had lost the ashes,” said Mr Hicks.
“I was chasing them for more than two weeks but they knew before then what had happened.
Mr Hicks said he had since learnt that Holly’s ashes were returned to County Vets last Friday but have still not been handed back to the grieving family.
“The crematorium took them back to the vet that day, but no-one was there to check the ashes in,” he said.
He said he had spoken to the head nurse and practice manager, who confirmed the practice did not have someone there all the time to check in deliveries of ashes.
Added Mr Hicks: “There has been finger pointing between the vet’s and the crematorium. The crematorium said this has never happened before, while the vet’s is saying this is not the only time this has happened. My wife was absolutely in bits.”
Mrs Hicks had a strong bond with Holly after raising her as a pup 14 and half years ago.
“Now we’ve been left in limbo. It’s something we don’t want to happen to anyone else,” Mr Hicks said.
“It’s the stress and uncertainty of not knowing what’s happened to Holly and not being able to have closure on her life. The whole family is upset.”
Mr Hicks said that Arthur had been asking about Holly, and Edward had been pointing at her photograph.
“We’d paid for a nice casket for Holly’s ashes. Just having her back with us would have brought closure,” he added.
CVS admitted that Holly’s ashes had been lost.
A spokesperson said: “Unfortunately after checks, we cannot locate the ashes of this pet.
We are in contact with our client and we are very sorry that we’ve not been able to return their pet to them. We are ensuring they have a fitting memorial. We take the integrity of this process very seriously and we will be looking carefully at how this unusual mistake has happened.”
(Photo: Matt Hicks).