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The plot of the future pet cemetery, Source: City of Leuven

Leuven plans construction of an animal cemetery

Leuven plans construction of an animal cemetery

It will be a natural-looking place with a lot of greenery

The city of Leuven announced on Wednesday its plans to construct a cemetery for pets. The plan is to use a green site next to an existing cemetery, while the objective is to make the grieving process to local residents a little less painful.

For many children, the loss of a pet is the first encounter with death

As a city, we have been paying a lot of attention to mourning and loss in our society for some time,” says Bieke Verlinden, alderman for care and cemeteries, quoted on the municipal website. “The loss of a pet is also part of this, because saying goodbye always brings grief. For many children, the death of a pet is often the first encounter with death. Own rituals and mourning are then very important to deal with loss and find comfort”.

To offer Leuven residents the opportunity to give their pets a final resting place in a beautiful way, we will create a cemetery and a meadow for pets. In our search for a suitable terrain, various locations were reviewed. In the end we fell in love with a green and quiet area next to the Diestseveld cemetery in Kessel-Lo,” added the alderman for animal welfare Thomas Van Oppens.

He further explained that the site – a 0,75 hectares plot owned by the Flemish city - is the former orchard of a Marist Monastery, which was closed to the public until now. Its location near the Diestseveld cemetery offers many advantages, such as the possibility to use a funeral home, parking space, tools and water.

There are no concrete plans about what the pet cemetery will look like, but it will surely be a modest space, respecting the natural character of the place, with small memorials placed in a green environment. Only part of the plot will be used for the cemetery, and most of it will remain a green space, with an abundance of flourishing plants. Works of art will also be part of the landscape.

Finally, the timing of the construction of the cemetery will depend on the permits, but the plan is to start planting additional plants and trees next winter.

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