Pet lovers devastated over cemetery's uncertain future

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by REBECCA LOPEZ

Bio | Email | Follow: @rlopezwfaa

WFAA

Posted on October 11, 2011 at 11:02 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 11 at 11:14 PM

Pet Memorial Park

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CEDAR HILL - Janis Fisher's pets are like her family.

"These are better pictures of my angels," she said as she sorted through a coffee cake tin filled with photos.

Fisher was paralyzed in a car wreck when she was 16. Her sister died a couple of years ago. She has no close family.

Her pets are her life.

"I gave [my pets] the best life that I could give them," Fisher said. "And I wanted them to have a respectful burial."

So she paid hundreds of dollars to have them buried at the Pet Memorial Park in Cedar Hill, only to learn the owners  owe thousands of dollars in back taxes since 2004.

Now the land will be auctioned off by the county.

"This is very dear to me," Fisher said, through tears. "It's like my heart is there, y'know? And it's just not fair."

Theresa Brandon also has her pets buried at the park.

What disturbs her the most is that there is no law in Texas to protect pet cemeteries. It means the remains can be removed and even destroyed, and the land sold.

"This would be a prime piece of property," Brandon said. "But you can't put a price on this promise that people made to their own families."

Some buried their pets at the Pet Memorial Park thinking that they would be there forever. Some headstones date back to 1945.

Many people still own plots that they've already paid for at the park, but they can't bury their pets there now.

They feel cheated... like they're losing their pets for a second time.

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com
 

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