Many pet owners treat their pets as full family members. Therefore, when the four-legged friends leave, it is necessary to say goodbye to them. Near Warsaw, there are two cemeteries in Konik Nowy, where about 30,000 animals are already buried.
Psi Los Animal Cemetery
The first animal cemetery in Poland was established in 1991 in Konik Nowy, Halinow commune. Witold Wojda set it up after reading a painful article in a newspaper about a woman who had no place to bury her beloved dog.
– There was no one to help the hero of this text in this case. He asked MPO staff to bury him. Apparently, he paid a lot of money for it, and they were right in front of him, because he was looking out the window they threw the dog into the garbage truck. His heart was broken. So he wrote in the newspaper and my father read it – David Wojda, the son of the founder of the cemetery, remembers in an interview with Justyna Piąsta from Dziendobry.tvn.pl.
– Then he said that the time has come to create in Poland a place where you can say goodbye to your pet. It took a long time, because at that time there was no proper legal basis, it was not known how to organize it. Interestingly, our first, old cemetery was established on the basis of the 1921 law on the graves of military horses. These rules were adapted to the idea of establishing a cemetery for animals, and he began to do so, – explains the man.
About 20,000 animals were buried in the first cemetery, and about 9,000 in the second. – We have a permit and license to keep small pets. There are most dogs and cats, but there are canaries, pigeons, parrots, rabbits, chinchillas, rabbits, and even snakes or salmon – Wojda lists.
Colored windmills in animal cemeteries
The Animal Cemetery has a unique aura. There are colorful windmills everywhereand on memorial plaques, pet owners leave their favorite toys, mascots, collars and trailers.
– The custom of installing colored windmills probably originated in the United States. Someone started with us and now everyone is asking about it. They caught them and people eagerly put them in the graves of pets, so there were a lot of them. We wanted to make our second cemetery in the American style, where all the monuments are the same, lying on the grass. Such places are easier to care for and mow. However, there is a mentality in Poland that everyone wants to do in their own way. We have to fence our monument, put up a fence, put some tiles, hang ornaments and mark that this is the place for our pets. So we agreed that it should just be so, says the cemetery guard.
On November 1 and 2, a crowd of people gathered in cemeteries to commemorate their dead relatives. The so-called animal remembrance daybut on another date.
– Once a year we have a “holiday”. There is always cemetery number 2 the last Sunday of September. See you at Cemetery # 1 the first Sunday in October. Then the pet owners come to us, and this habit has taken over ours – admits Mr. David.
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Difficult separation from animals
It is important for people to bury their favorite pet in a special cemetery.
– This is the meaning of the existence of this place. Dogs, cats, etc. the owners treat them as members of their own family. They are very excited to be separated from them and want to be sure that they will be buried with dignity. They show them great love and respect. It’s easier to come to terms with a painful loss when you know your pet has a grave, a sign that you can come there and light a candle. This is very important for people, they feel they are doing the right thing – emphasizes David Wojda.
It can be very difficult to accept the death of a pet. The owner of the cemetery has heard about this several times.
– We had at least two serious questions about whether a human could be buried here because people want to rest with an animal friend. These are very difficult conversations for us. People think that this cemetery is different, it is not as big as traditional cemeteries, where there are black and gray monuments and everything looks very sad and serious. Of course, we say this every time it is impossible, to bury a man with us for legal reasons. There are times when people are too close and attached to their dogs and we have a hard time burying them because they don’t want to give them back to us, says David Wojda.
Animal burial prices
What does an animal burial look like and how much does it cost? – The price depends on the weight: 400 PLN up to 10 kg, 500 PLN over 10 kg, 600 and 700 PLN over 40 kg. In addition, there are costs to the monument, but this is a very individual matter. Prices vary From 150 PLN to even a few thousand. In turn, the annual cost of maintaining the funeral, the so-called maintenance fee is 100 PLN – the owner explains to us.
Stone memorial plaques are usually placed in animal graves. Gravestones cannot be built on the ground, but can be placed on them. These are the rules. – Also, animals are not kept in coffins. They are usually wrapped in a kind of blanket or biodegradable material. It is very important to carry out this burial in an ecological way, so that the soil does not contain plastic, artificial, biodegradable things, – said Vojda.
Pet owners eagerly light candles or leave flowers in graves. – You can do many things, but we have a basic principle that we follow. No religious symbols may be used – Mr. David notes.
The caretaker of the cemetery does not hide the fact that when this place was created, people were not positive about this idea. Critical voices came. – At first, many people looked at the animal cemetery like that fırfirlar. They said that only people should be buried in the cemetery, because animals are unworthy. Years later it changed, our consciousness increased, no one is angry anymore – ensure.
Main photo source: mat. private