Bridgette Perks holding the Pet Cards she helped create

Bridgette Perks, a funeral arranger in Armthorpe, is passionate about animals (she’s got three dogs and a cat). So when her idea to introduce Pet Cards launched nationally across Funeralcare, she was, in her words, “elated”.

A Pet Card is an identity card you can put in your purse or wallet which raises awareness that a pet could be home alone if anything happened to you.

Image of Pet Card

“I was elated because it’s such a positive thing for people, and the business,” says Bridgette. “What it tells me is that Funeralcare listens to colleagues and their ideas.”

The idea came from a funeral Bridgette arranged in Doncaster for a lady who used to adopt cats. By the time she passed away she had 20 in her care.

“Her niece came in and hadn’t a clue what to do with them,” explains Bridgette. “I just thought she’d done this fabulous thing in her life, feeding all these cats, but then she had no control over what happened to them.

“When someone passes away not all families want to take on their pets. Also someone might collapse in the street and that individual is looked after in hospital but their budgie is sat in a cage at home. Who’s going to look after them?

“The amount of pet ashes we bury with the deceased shows how important they are to people. The other good thing is the Pet Cards also let the next of kin know that something’s happened to that person.”

So how did Bridgette’s idea go from homemade cards to national launch?

At first Bridgette made the cards herself with the help of a colleague, printing them to give out to the local community.

“They became really popular,” she says. “I took them into a local rescue place, Mayflower, and they said it was a great idea.

“We also had them in the local branches and lots of clients were picking them up. I use social media for a lot for community stuff and through that the RSPCA asked for some. I even sent some to Northern Ireland and France.”

Colleagues from across the business also showed support for her idea. “I put them on Facebook and a colleague from our Insurance business got in touch and said it was an amazing idea and asked if I’d thought about linking them in with pet insurance. Food colleagues were also really supportive and said we should have them in store for customers to take away.”

Buoyed by everyone’s enthusiasm she decided to email Lorinda Robinson, Head of Marketing in Funeralcare.

“I just thought, what have I got to lose? Within about an hour I got an email from Lorinda saying she loved the idea. 

“I was sent a proof of the design before they went to print to check that I was happy with them. They’re fabulous. Ours served a purpose but the new ones are a lot more professional. It’s brilliant that within six months my idea is now a reality nationally.”

Join the conversation! 27 Comments

  1. Well done Bridgette. A great idea rolled out that truly demonstrates “Show you care”.
    I’ll be recommending all of my team order these to distribute to clients with pets.

  2. The obvious next step is Pet Funerals…

    • Hi Sarah.
      Can you imagine the new small hearses we’d need 🙂 ?
      Seriously though it has been suggested before, but its not something we’re pursuing. You’d need to consider separate facilities as some people may not want to think of their loved ones being handled alongside other pets. I think there are some local family firms who may offer this locally, but there’s nothing from a national provider.
      And as to the question of what happens to a living pet if the owner dies and wants to be buried with it…

      Hopefully pet owners will make their wishes clear in a will, and this card is a great idea to at least highlight that there is a pet that needs looking after in case of a sudden death.

      ^Kevin

      • Did I see that we are automatically getting the Pet cards to branches, or do we add to order form?

  3. I saw this in my local Funeralcare whilst arranging a family funeral and commented on what a great idea it was. Well done!!!

  4. What a fantastic idea, great to see it has been implemented. Well done Bridgette.

  5. Brilliant idea Bridgette, but maybe the Co-op could go one better and work in partnership with Dogs Trust. I have 2 x dogs and I carry in my purse a “Canine Care Card”. The Canine Care Card is a special free service that will guarantee me peace of mind, knowing that my dogs future will be a safe and happy one after my lifetime. Having a Canine Care Card, Dogs Trust will take my dogs into their care, they will give them a full medical & behavioural assessment, they will endeavour to find a new loving home for my pets, and in the unlikely event that they cant, they will look after them for the rest of their natural life.

  6. Would be a good idea to have these in food stores with the funeralcare leaflets we now have on display – especially with the Pet Care ambient change coming up! an we order them into Food stores as well?

    • Hi Ross

      I’m trying to find out the answer to your question. I’ll get back to you. Thanks ^Rachel

    • Hi Ross

      I’ve asked the question and found out that it’s not something we’re doing at the moment but we could look into. Maybe if you have a good relationship with your local funeral home, you could get some through them for now? Thanks ^Rachel

      • Hi Rachel

        I think it would be a good idea – just if nothing else it advertises the Funeralcare area of the Group in the Food stores! Thanks, I will do that 🙂

  7. I noticed these when I was up in Tranent doing some user research for the digital project and though they were a great idea!

  8. Thanks everyone, I really appreciate all the positive feedback… if we all share the cards, then it truly is a success. Bridge 🙂

    • Hi Bridgette what a great Idea. I’m in a new branch in Suffolk and just wondering can we all order these and where do we order them? Well done again.

      • Hi Suzanne and Christine

        The info on how to order appeared on Funeralcare’s weekly bulletin this week but here it is for reference: Thanks ^Rachel

        Pet home alone cards

        Some of you may have seen on Facebook that our colleague Bridgette Perks, from Armthorpe Funeralcare created some wallet sized cards. The cards include details of persons pet(s) and who to contact if the they become ill, get injured or in the event of their death. Due to popular demand, we’ve recreated these cards and you will receive:
        · 100 Pet home alone cards (GEN_0553)
        If you need more of these cards then you can order them in the usual way using the above code.

        A few examples of how you can be using the cards:
        · Offering them to clients – either when they enquire about or buy a funeral plan
        · Local community activities – at local fairs/events/coffee mornings
        · Giving some to veterinary practices or local animal shelters for them to hand to their clients/those who adopt a pet, or for them to have on display for people to take as they wish.

        If you have any questions, or you’ve not received one of the items mentioned above them please email us at literaturerequests@coop.co.uk and a member of the team will be in touch.

        Alison Keane, Marketing Campaign Manager

  9. What a great idea – can we order these on usual order form for our funeralhomes across the UK?
    Can we maybe place them in with Funeral Plans brochures as general practice possibly?
    So nice to see that Bridgette was considered and the idea has been seriously. With morale at times being somewhat low it is nice to see some positivity.
    Keep on being Co-op!

  10. We definitely need to get these sent out the customers with their Pet Insurance documents. Great idea.

  11. Amazing! definitely a great idea. 🙂

  12. What a fab idea Bridgette and great to see the Co-op jumping on the idea and implementing it nationally.

  13. Well done Bridgette! Having 3 cats and 1 dog myself, I know how important our pets are to us!

  14. Really great idea! Good work making this reality!

  15. I’d like one.
    Where can I get one please?

  16. Great idea this Bridgette. You should give yourself a “Pet” on the back.

  17. Well done Bridgette! It’s a great idea and fantastic to see that your idea has now been implemented nationally.

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Colleague support, Community, Funeralcare and Legal Services, Show you care