Crematorium Owner Pockets Cash for Dumping Animals
The owner of an upscale pet crematorium has been jailed for only a mere 8 months for pocketing cash while dumping beloved animals in ditches in Derbyshire.
Peak Pet Cremations located in Heage, Derbyshire, promised animal owners a beautiful send-off for their recently deceased pets. However, instead of cremating them, Emma Bent just left their pets’ boddies rotting in sheds and fields. Despite this, she was only jailed for 8 months for a crimed described by the Judge as “sinister and despicable fraud”.
Bent’s fraudulent deception came to light after a recreational walker happened to stumble across the decomposing carcasses of 4 dogs. The RSPCA used the microchips imbedded in the dogs and traced all of them back to Ms. Bent.
It is thought that potentially thousands of grieving pet owners were exploited by Ms. Bent. The charge for the crematorium service was £140, and this price included caskets which contained the pets’ ashes as well as for the service. Peak Pet Cremations have carried out 3,500 pet cremations to date, mostly of cats and dogs.
According to Peak Pet Cremations’ website, it said that this small business offered an understanding and caring service during a sad time of losing a beloved pet. In reality, this mother of 3 had just stuffed the remains of many guinea pigs, dogs, and cats into plastic bags and then dumped them in outbuildings and ditches or simply just burned them on pyres.
As a result, over 20 pet owners have sought expert opinions to find out whether the ashes that they received from Ms. Bent were actually authentic. Unfortunately, they have been told they did not come from their pet. In fact, one couple were actually advised that their casket contained bonfire ash.
The Derby Crown Court heard that Bent who only admitted to 7 counts of fraud plus trading standards and environmental offences, had a deal with the Ambivet Veterinary Group. This group has 4 practices in Derbyshire. Bent agreed to carry out the animal creations on Ambivet Veterinary Group’s behalf. She also agreed to dispose of clinical waste (e.g. syringes) but she was not actually licensed to do either job.
Throughout the length of the contract, Bent charged this veterinary group £91,000. Out of this, she charged around £39,000 for the pet cremations. Prosecuting on behalf of the Envionrment Agency, Barry Berlin said that the advantage of this scam was that Bent saved a huge sum in costs as she failed to properly incinerate the animals.
As Bent wer jailed for her offences, many victims were there to see her sob in court. Judge Pugsley said, “This was a violation of people’s emotional resilience.”
The body of Sam, a Labrador owned by Angela Moore, was discovered at a field in Lower Hartshay only 2 weeks after he had been put down. Outside of court, Mrs Moore described Bent as an evil and calculative woman as they were grieving for Sam but this whole incident has left them even more upset. This is because Bent could have owned up to her guilty actions instead of having to wait for about 18 months for the court case to be heard.
The Environment Agency had only discovered 6 pets, but it was ‘impossible’ to discern how many other pet owners had been affected by Bent’s actions unless she fully revealed her actions.