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Legislation Requires Notice for Pet Cemetery Plot Owners

Cemetery owners would have to pay for unused plots or reimburse burial costs if the properties are developed.

Operators of pet cemeteries in Baltimore County will have to notify plot owners, and in some cases offer reimbursement, if those burial grounds are sold for development purposes.

The law, sponsored by Councilman David Marks, requires that operators of pet cemeteries to provide public 90-days notice of an intent to develop the burial grounds. The notice must be published in a newspaper of general circulation.

Owners of unused plots would be eligible for full reimbursement. Those with pets already buried would be eligible for reimbursement of burial costs.

Marks amended out a portion of the bill that would require pet cemetery operators to pay the costs to re-bury the animals.

Marks introduced the bill out of concerns that the Oakleigh Cemetery in Parkville might be developed. Last month, the Perry Hall Republican, downzoned the property in an attempt to control possible future development.

During public testimony last week, some neighbors of the cemetery called it a quirky but welcome part of the community. Others complained that the property is poorly maintained and has become a home for vermin with some sites being desecrated and pillaged, used as open-air toilets or areas for drug and alcohol use.

The bill takes effect 45 days pending the signature of County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

Jeanne October 02, 2012 at 02:37 PM
My cat is buried at Oakliegh Pet Cemetary and it has not been kept up for several years. The county tried to do something to force the owner to take care of the property but the person doing all the work got transfered then the subject was dropped. I don't get a newspaper so if they choose to move my cat how would I know?
D. S. October 03, 2012 at 12:06 AM
I suppose it's better than nothing. From what I understand, the State of Maryland doesn't oversee Pet Cemeteries like they do Human Cemeteries. I think that should change, after all plot owners of Pet Cemeteries pay for the plots and the burial of their loved ones just the same as Human Cemetery plot owners do. Shouldn't there be equal rights?
Jeanne October 03, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Yes there should be equal rights Debbie. In the early 2000's when our cat was buried we were led to believe, from that owner, that the pet cemetary was exactly the same as a human cemetary even though it wasn't part of a human cemetary. (We originally called Dulaney Memorial Gardens in Cockeysville but couldn't afford their cost) Two years later the property started going downhill and I had several conversations with the owner until he started ignoring me. The lady that was behind the county going in starting to clean, at the owners expense, and had a hearing held against him was wonderful but she got "transferred" and no one was allowd to talk to her and the county dropped doing anything more. Our cat was part of our family as so many of the pets were part of a family that are buried there, why aren't they being taken care of?
Priscilla Russo October 03, 2012 at 04:47 PM
My husband and I were walking through Oakleigh Pet cemetery one day not too long ago. It was a rainy day and we happened to see all the records of all the animals and people's addresses written on index cards just lying in the middle of the cemetery. And of course these records were wet now because it had sat in the rain. It is very sad! I am sorry to all of you who have pets buried there. I thought it was a wonderful place to go and just see all the different animal stories and walk around. I fully support that the owner should be fined or punished in some way! It is wrong, what they are doing.
number9dream October 03, 2012 at 04:53 PM
This is distressing to read. The dog my family had while I was growing up is buried there.
Jeanne October 04, 2012 at 03:27 AM
In 2008 records were thrown out as well as the computers left outside. We forwarded the pictures my husband and I took of everything left outside and forwarded them to WJZ and Councilman Marks office to show long term neglect. Does anybody know how to get a law started so Pet Cemetarys are kept up so people can visit their pets? I talked to a woman in Coucilman Marks office today and she told me "if you cared about your pet as much as you say you would go back to the cemetary" She told me this after I told her I was injured while walking through the cemetary and a doctor told me if I fall again I would end up in a wheelchair. I was very sorry I didn't get her name.
Barry Friedman November 01, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Anything new? They should have to help us relocate out pets!

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