Hounding Dogs Out of Cemeteries

A cemetery is no place for a dog.  At least that’s what some people in Connecticut feel. 

The issue at hand is not the dog’s presence per se, but the mess the pets leave behind. 

Jody Winslow, 44, visits to his wife Patricia's grave in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Meriden and is repulsed by dog owners neglecting to clean up after their pets, he told the Meriden Record Journal

"It's so disrespectful to the families and to those people who are buried there," Winslow told the newspaper. "Nobody wants their brother or mother or father to be lying underneath a site covered in excrement. I couldn't sit back and watch any longer."
Winslow recently sent a letter to the editor of the paper about the issue.
"The very idea of a person allowing their dog to do their business on blessed ground repulses me. I also witnessed a moped rider racing over the graves, weaving in between headstones, leaving tire marks on the grass in his wake. I called the police (who responded quite quickly), but to no avail as the offender had already left the area. These people apparently lack any measure of respect," Winslow wrote. ... "I love dogs and have given hundreds of dollars to our local shelter and have owned dogs all my life. But our loved ones’ final resting places are not city parks, dog parks, skateboard parks, bike trails and certainly not our pets’ toilets."
Winslow, who just so happens to be the vice president of the Eastside Neighborhood Association, started a petition requesting an ordinance to ban dogs from cemeteries and charge a $50 fine for people who ignore the cemetery ban and a $100 fine for anyone caught allowing dogs near the graves.
Hundreds of people have signed -- 558 so far and police are looking into the matter. 
Staff at Sacred Heart and Walnut Grove cemeteries told the newspaper that a policy like that would be touch to enforce and would punish those who are respectful.
Craig S. Neal, executive director of the Catholic Cemeteries Association of the Hartford Archdiocese, which oversees management of Sacred Heart, told the newspaper that the cemetery's policy is to allow dogs that are leashes and keep off the grass. Violators, he said, are addressed on an individual basis when caught.

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