Award-winning business Dignity Pet Crematorium has got the seal of approval from Hampshire trading standards.

The business, based in Odiham Road, Winchfield, near Hook, is the only pet crematorium in the county to gain approval from trading standards and has been accepted into its Buy With Confidence scheme.

Launched in 1999, the scheme provides consumers with a list of local businesses which have given their commitment to trading fairly.

Every business listed has undergone a series of detailed checks before being approved as a member of the scheme.

Kevin Spurgeon, a partner at the family-run firm, said “We hope that being accepted on to the Buy With Confidence scheme will help reassure pet owners that we offer a genuine, respectful and more personal alternative to the weekly collection companies offered by most veterinary practices.

“Many owners don’t realise that even though we are their nearest pet crematorium, unless they specifically request Dignity’s service their pet will be sent elsewhere.”

The family-run business, which won The Rural Business of the Year Award at the INSPIRE10 Business Awards, has also been ranked in first place out of 791 pet service providers throughout the UK after receiving a string of glowing reviews from its customers on the Freeindex website.

“We are the only pet crematorium to have live, independent reviews displayed on our website,” said Kevin, who is also a director of the Association of Private Pet Cemeteries and Crematoria.

He added: “Our average rating is currently five out of five, and we have been truly humbled by the kind things people have said about us in their reviews.

“It spurs us on to do our best to help owners give their pet the send-off it deserves.”

Dignity provides individual cremations, treating family pets with care and respect. It also provides gardens of remembrance and a woodland area where loved pets can be interred.

The business was started by Barry and Carole Spurgeon in 1992 after they were distressed by a documentary showing the way pets were treated like waste after their death.

Barry, a fashion agent for 30 years, wanted their dog Brutus to have a more respectful end and so came up with the idea of using the grade II Victorian brick kiln in their garden to provide individual pet cremation services.

Barry said: “Worryingly, nothing has changed much and the way pets are treated varies considerably, so it’s important owners do their own research before the day so they can make an informed decision as to who looks after their pet when the time comes.”