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Letter: Cemeteries are not dog parks

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

I recently went to visit my father who has been gone a year this last May at Fairview Cemetery in DeKalb. 

As my daughter and I were visiting him, I witnessed a man walking along the paved road as his dog walked unleashed. The dog was urinating on multiple headstones and flowers that were left for others’ loved ones. 

I watched in amazement as the owner snaked his way around the cemetery allowing his pooch to continue doing his business as he went. I immediately contacted Fairview Cemetery to report him, and was told that there was nothing that they could do about it and that I should have confronted the man. 

I was then prompted to call the DeKalb police, who informed me that either Fairview would have to call them because it was private property, or I would have to call when I saw a person their animal in the act and they would try to get someone there in a timely manner to catch them. 

Sadly, this isn’t the first time this has happened.  My mother has exchanged words with people over the same issue and in return they simply ignored her.  She has found piles of dog doo close to family headstones as well.

My letter is simply a plea for people to stop using Fairview Cemetery as a dog park.  The families of all of the loved ones laid to rest have spent a lot of consideration and time for the final resting place for those close to their hearts. 

I question whether these people have loved ones there? Has our society removed itself so far from common courtesy and respect that these thoughts no longer cross peoples’ minds? 

My father is loved and missed every single day, and I pray this letter gives a voice to all of the families who are not there to see such a horrible degradation of their loved ones. 

To those of you who do not adhere to the rules of the cemetery that strictly state that dogs are to be leashed and kept on the paved roads, please consider the feelings of devastation and loss that families including mine are dealing with. 

Please show some compassion and respect. To you and your dog it’s grass and stone, but to me and my family it’s my dad.

Carmen Siragusa


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