'Heartbreaking Nightmare' Lies Ahead at Pet Cemetery

SPCA gives pet owners 2 weeks to move them
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2016 3:56 AM CDT
'Heartbreaking Nightmare' Lies Ahead at Pet Cemetery
Pet cemeteries aren't regulated under state law.    (Shutterstock)

More than 1,000 dead animals at a pet cemetery in Delaware will not be resting in peace. The Delaware SPCA is trying to sell a 21-acre facility in Stanton and plans to clear the onsite pet cemetery. The organization has told pet owners they have until the end of this month to get rid of any headstones, along with any remains they can unearth, the News Journal reports. "That is going to be a heartbreaking nightmare," says Kurt Gingher, who went to the cemetery after hearing about the impending closure and had to use a scraper on hundreds of headstones until he found the two bearing the names of beloved family pets.

The cemetery is around 50 years old and its demise is the "most visible reminder of an organization that has struggled for years amid dwindling grant dollars, lost contracts, and escalating expenses," according to the News Journal, which notes that while dead animals are legally classed as "solid waste" in Delaware, another burial may cause some complications: According to minutes from a board meeting and a former SPCA board member, the ashes of sculptor Maurine Ligon were interred at the pet cemetery alongside her collie after Ligon died in a car accident in 1980. (State officials in Oklahoma showed a lot of respect when a highway expansion had to wipe out a pet cemetery.)

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