A lack of available city-owned land, restrictive provincial regulations and virtually no public appetite all played into Coquitlam council's decision not to pursue what would have been the first publicly-run pet cemetery in B.C.
Council in committee quickly vetoed the plan Monday, after many councillors wondered why the city had waded into the issue in the first place.
Two elements of the discussion made council's decision a foregone conclusion: members of the public had not requested the service and provincial laws prohibit the interment of remains other than those belonging to humans at cemeteries.
"If there's no demand, I don't know that we should be acting on this," said Coun. Selina Robinson.
Council had originally asked staff to look at the issue last year, when a broader discussion around cemetery services in the city was taking place.
Parks, recreation and culture manger Lori MacKay noted Monday the city does provide alternatives to the pet cemetery service, in the form of dedicated trees, plaques or benches.
However, staff limit the number of memorials in the city.
"We limit the kinds of memorials that we have on public lands, and that is more being sensitive to the broader public that uses our parklands and some resistance that the public has . as they're enjoying their morning constitutional to be faced with a lot of memorial plaques," MacKay said. "There is some resistance to that by the general public, so we manage that carefully and in a balanced way."
There were some suggestions that a columbarium - a structure used to store urns - be used at a local cemetery to store the remains of pets, though the province's Cremation, Interment and Funeral Services Act does not permit that.
Coun. Terry O'Neill also suggested locating pet remains in close proximity to human remains could offend various religious and cultural groups in the city.
"There are many people who find that quite offensive, actually," he said.
"I would say that one should keep it far away from a human cemetery."