Tuesday, May 22, 2018
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Cemetery hopes to fill pet owners' needs

Reflections Garden dedicates burial space for animals


Jeff Clegg, president/CEO of Toledo Memorial Park, talks about the pet cemetery that will be dedicated from existing cemetery space. The 380-acre cemetery will dedicate 6½ acres for pet burials.

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Today Toledo Memorial Park officially opens a pet cemetery on its sprawling green grounds.

The pet cemetery called Reflections Garden at Toledo Memorial Park Especially for Pets is 6½ acres in the northwest corner of the 380-acre cemetery. It is dedicated to the burial of all animals, including plots big enough for a horse, officials said.

“We have so much land and we were looking for something … we thought the area needed this,” Toledo Memorial Park President/​CEO Jeff Clegg said.

Mr. Clegg said the cemetery has enough space for human graves to last at least 200 years. Toledo Memorial Park, 6382 Monroe St. is hallowed grounds where thousands of veterans are laid to rest.

He said customers have asked about burying pets in graves. The pet cemetery operates as a separate corporation.

The company has spent about $75,000 preparing the grounds for pet burials.

Pets buried at Toledo Memorial Park will be cremated. Plots range in size from 24 square inches to 40 square inches.

The price for the smallest plot is about $625, which includes the grave, a granite marker inscribed with the pet’s name and photo, a flower vase, a burial vault, the burial, and maintenance, said sales manager Jim Mocek.

The company also will sell plots for families to bury pets side by side. Mr. Clegg said the company wants to make the cemetery accommodating for dog-walking. He said the site will eventually have water stations and waste bags for dogs.

He said the cemetery is working with Turner Vault Co. of Toledo, a crematory that operates Paws and Remember, in operating the burial site. According to its market research, Toledo-area veterinarians euthanize and cremate about 450 pets a month.

Dr. Robert Esplin, owner of SylvaniaVet, said his six-doctor practice euthanizes about one pet per day.

He said about 90 percent of his patients opt to cremate their pets. In about half of these cases, people request the crematory dispose of the remains. The other half keep their pets’ ashes with them or scatter the ashes at a memorable spot. Another 10 percent have an at-home full-body burial for the animal companion.

His facility partners with Paws and Remember for crematory service. He said a private cremation, where ashes are returned to the family, has a starting cost of $125 for an animal 15 pounds and under. That includes the euthanasia costs.

Sylvania City and Township officials said its codes do not prohibit a family from burying a family pet in their backyard.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or ntrusso@theblade.com, or on Twitter @natalietrusso.

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