“For some people he was a dog, to me he was my baby – he was everything to me and always will be.”

A dog owner in the UK has given her pet an extravagant funeral costing over €4,500.

Sasha Smajic splashed out on a horse-drawn hearse, a dove release and flowers for her Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Captain.

The 11 year old passed away on Christmas Day after suffering a cardiac arrest following surgery.

Sasha and Captain. Image Source: metro.co.uk

Sasha, who’s from London, told the Metro that Captain deserved a “special send off”:

“I don’t think we should differentiate (between animals and humans). If you decide to have a pet then you have decided to have a kid in your family and they should have the same respect as humans.”

Captain was taken from the vets in a white horse-drawn carriage while 11 doves – one for each year of his life – were released at his graveside.

Sasha revealed all of those details were important to her:

“I wanted Captain to be taken away from the vets with animals, with his friends, and that’s why I decided on the horses.

“I wanted everything to be white as he was like an angel and demanded white flowers on everything, including the dog statue.”

In total, the 37 year old spent £4,249 on the funeral – including £1,860 on the service,  £1,400 on the burial, £620 on flowers, and £225 on the dove release.

She said she’s still heartbroken:

“When he died I couldn’t talk to anyone and locked myself in my room for seven days, I couldn’t eat. I still have this physical pain in my heart, it’s like someone has ripped something out of me and it’s empty in there.

“I don’t think I’ll ever celebrate another Christmas. I don’t think I would ever have the strength to do that – a piece of me has gone.”