Many pet owners treat their pets as full-fledged family members. Therefore, when the four-legged friends leave, it is necessary to say goodbye to them. There are two cemeteries in the Warsaw suburb of Konik Nowy, where nearly 30,000 animals have already been buried.
Animal Cemetery Psi Los
In 1991, the first animal cemetery in Poland was established in Konik Nowy, in the municipality of Halinów. Witold Wojda founded it after reading a poignant newspaper article about a woman who had nowhere to bury her beloved dog.
– The heroine of this text had no one to help her with this. So she asked MPO workers to bury him. Apparently she paid a lot of money for it, and they were right in front of her, because she looked out the window, this one they threw the dog in the garbage truck† Her heart broke. So she wrote to the newspaper and my father read it – recalls Dawid Wojda, son of the founder of the cemetery, in an interview with Justyna Piąsta from Dziendobry.tvn.pl.
– Then he declared that it was high time 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 good legal basis, it was not known how to organize it. Interestingly, our first, older cemetery was established under the 1921 Act of Military Horse Cemeteries. These regulations were adapted to the idea of organizing an animal cemetery and that’s how it started to function – explains the man.
Nearly 20,000 animals were buried in the first cemetery and about 9,000 in the second. – We are licensed and licensed to keep small pets. The most numerous group are dogs, cats, but there are also canaries, pigeons, parrots, rabbits, chinchillas, weasels and even a snake or a goldfish – Wojda lists.
Colorful windmills in animal cemeteries
The animal cemetery has its own unique look. Colorful windmills are everywhereand at the memorial plaques, pet owners leave their favorite toys, mascots, collars and leashes.
– This custom of hanging colored windmills probably originated in the United States. Someone started it with us and now everyone is asking about it. They caught on and people eagerly place them at pet graves, which is why there are so many. We wanted to make our second American style cemetery, where all the monument plaques are identical, they are on the grass. It is easier to care for and mow such places. However, in Poland there is such a mentality that everyone wants to do it in their own way. We need to fence in our monument, put up a fence, put up tiles, put up decorations and mark that this is our pet’s place. So we’ve adapted to the fact that it just has to be that way, says the cemetery manager.
On November 1 and 2, crowds of people appear in human cemeteries to commemorate their deceased loved ones. The so-called animal memorial daybut on a different date.
– We have our “holiday” once a year. There is always cemetery no. 2 on the last Sunday of September. We meet at cemetery No. 1 on the first Sunday of October. Then the pet owners come to us, this habit has taken over ours – admits Mr. Dawid.
Watch the video: Bouquets for the graves of our loved ones
Difficult to say goodbye to animals
Burying a beloved pet in a designated cemetery is of great importance to people.
– This is the meaning of the existence of this place. Owners of dogs, cats, etc. treat them as members of their own family. They are very excited about saying goodbye to them and want to make sure they will be buried with dignity. They show them a lot of love and respect† It’s easier to deal with a painful loss when you know your pet has a grave, your sign that you can get there and light a candle. It is very important for people, they feel they have done the right thing – emphasizes Dawid Wojda.
The death of a pet can be very difficult to accept. The owner of the cemetery found out several times.
† We had at least two serious questions about whether a man can be buried here, because people want to rest next to their animal friend. These are very difficult conversations for us. People find this cemetery different, not as overwhelming as the traditional ones where there are black, gray monuments and everything looks so sad, serious. Of course we say that every time It is not possible, to bury a man with us, if only for legal reasons. There are also situations where people are very close and attached to their dog, for example, and we have a problem burying him because they don’t want to give him back to us – says Dawid Wojda.
Burying animals prizes
What does an animal funeral look like and what are the costs? † The price depends on the weight: up to 10 kg is 400 PLN, more than 10 kg is 500 PLN and over 40 kg is 600 and 700 PLN. In addition, there is the cost of the monument, but this is a very individual matter. Prices fluctuate from 150 PLN to even several thousand† In turn, the annual costs for the maintenance of the funeral, the so-called the care allowance is PLN 100 – the owner explains to us.
Stone memorial plaques are usually placed at animal graves. Tombstones cannot be built into the ground, only placed on top. These are the rules. † Also, animals are not kept in coffins. They are usually just wrapped in some sort of blanket or biodegradable material. It is very important that this burial is done in an ecological way, so as not to put plastic, artificial things, which are not biodegradable, into the soil – Wojda emphasizes.
Pet owners like to light candles at the graves or leave flowers. – You can do a lot, but we have one basic principle that we stick to. No religious symbols may be used – points to Mr. Dawid.
The cemetery manager does not hide that when this place was created, people were not positive about this idea. Critical voices were heard. – In the beginning, many people treated the animal cemetery as fringe. They said only people should be buried in the cemetery because animals are unworthy. Years later it changed, our consciousness grew, no one is outraged anymore – to ensure.
Main photo source: mat. private