PETS across Somerset will be able to die with dignity thanks to a new funeral directors' which has opened in Burnham-on-Sea.

Rainbow Pastures opened an end-of-life pets service in Victoria Street earlier this month which aims to give 'compassionate care' to pet owners and their pets during a 'difficult time.'

The new businesses has opened alongside an AJ Lock Caring Funerals, both being run by franchise owner Glen Hayer. 

Tony Lock opened the original AJ Lock Caring Funerals in Mead Vale in Weston-super-Mare in November 2018 and Rainbow Pastures in Worle in May.

Rainbow Pastures offers individual pet cremations, home burials and can arrange chapel visits, body preparation, a hearse ride, bespoke pet funeral and memorial services, while next door AJ Lock Caring Funerals caters for human funerals. 

Tony said he was inspired to open the business after his own experiences when his pet passed away.

He said: "In Weston we have done 31 funerals since we opened last year which is amazing for our first year in business.

"Everyone who we have had through our doors has given us glowing reports.

"I had my own pet for 13 years who died about five years ago and we took her to a vets and she was just taken away from me.

"I knew I wanted to make it easier for families as pets are part of the family and so I wanted to give people a different option.

"We will pick up the pets within the hour and unlike other directors out there we will not freeze them.

"Instead we will prepare the pet, including grooming and return the ashes to customers within 36 hours.

"We offer a 24 hour call out service and want to make sure families can have the opportunity to say goodbye to their pets."

Tony said the Burnham store will be run by experienced funeral manager Sonia Royce and Glenn Hayer and will also offer pet owners the chance to create urns and artistic tributes for their pets.

He said he has hopes to expand and open another store in the future and is looking forward to serving customers in Burnham-on-Sea.

"We obviously want to have a good business in Burnham but we also have plans to expand and branch out again," Tony said.

"We would like to get another place in Weston and maybe at another location in Somerset but we are still looking in to this.

"We are excited for the future."