What a GREAT WEEKEND!
We have worked so hard and we are finally at a place to be extremely proud of! We see the results every day and the miles we have come. Although I do not have a lot of time to post on a regular basis, I try to update monthly at a minimum. We have cleaned the whole cemetery were you can actually park and walk around and read the markers of all of the loved pets that have been laid to rest at Pet Haven. Although we have not found all of the markers from some of the graves, we have found a huge majority. All we can do is move forward and make sure the problems from the past do not repeat themselves and Pet Haven Cemetery is known for a peaceful place that a family can say good bye to that fur baby that has been a family member for years.
I strive on protecting and growing Pet Haven Cemetery 40165. I have plans that I am in the process of making happen now and future plans that WILL happen with a lot of hard work. With that being said, I am an individual and always welcome help. I want this to be about the community and not me. I did this for you, not me!
Please follow us on Facebook where pictures are always being posted. I look forward to formalizing this project in the near future when everything is flowing and maintaining itself. God Bless everyone who has stepped up and donated their precious time and those who has given us a few dollars to help with expenses. I do not have the words to show my gratitude.
Hello all Pet Haven Cemetery 40165 supporters and family! Today we conquered such an amazing task. 1st and foremost, clean up was #1 which is a daily job. It is getting easier! #2 was get the property organized so we could bring in mowers to get everything where it needed to be so we could start identifying owners and their beloved fur babies. There were so many lost that we have located. We have began the new grave stones which are 2ft x 2ft and receive 6" x 8" identifying gorgeous brass and black plates that have not only the pets information but the identity of the owners. That way we have no crisis in the future. BUT most important thing I personally needed to accomplish....A DRIVEWAY! There are so many families that come visit and so many elderly folks who cant make it to their babies so I got 1/2 of the drive way in until we can raise some more money. There is now a driveway halfway up the 3.5acres. This will help a lot pf people more than I have the words to explain. The entrance will shortly be getting a face lift. I am looking to get help building a 4ft fence all the way across the from corner to corner so I can get signs made to go across them. So excited about that. Future plans include...rest of the driveway, visitor center in first circle, finishing up the 2 large circles in last two turn arounds so we can have huge flower beds with flowers and statues (2 dif girl scout groups are helping us with these 2 projects) and we are almost open in our new section so we are able to accept new fur babies as we need to. When all f the grounds is accomplished and organized, I will be forming committees for each section of the cemetery. There will be one head person. They will be in charge of their specific section and keeping it maintained. When Pet Haven if flowing properly and operating accordingly, we should be able to obtain a non profit status and hopefully get recognized in the Historical Society for the state since we have been around for so many years. LOTS of plans and my goal for completion to have a GRAND RE OPENING ins the week before Halloween where we will have a TRUNK OR TREAT for the kids of Bullitt County! These are my long term goals....with a few hidden ideas as well :) Feel free to stop by anytime and take a look or even grab a mower or weedeater. We love our community and we will achieve our goals!!
It has been an extremely tough two months. We have made so much progress. The elements of the weather...especially the rain....hold us back and also puts us back to where we started. For those who feel it necessary to be negative and judge the way we are doing business: I really wish you would take the time to be apart of the solution instead part of the problem. There are workers and volunteers there on a regular basis. We are still moving a bit slow because we are still trying to find markers. We get a section cleaned and get it in order then rain comes and we get a second section in order and the first one needs us again. I can't express the dedication enough that I have for Pet Haven to get it where it needs to be. I am doing my best. I am doing things and shows to raise money which is a slow process. I am trying to get the driveway put back in which is a slow process. I am trying to keep the grass mowed which is a 7 day a week process right now because of the dilapidated state it was in. It is unfair to judge me or my ability at this point. I have not advertised any part of burying pets at Pet Haven since my ownership. I have been approached to bury pets. I will formally advertise when I am confident I have it functioning properly. I am always loving volunteers. We are not far from being able to bring in riding lawn mowers which will be fantastic. I first had to get organized. I have to make it safe for everyone to be there working. We are still cutting down trees and burning several times a week. We are still getting our land organized so it is functional. We are making progress. We are doing our best. My goal for a formal opening is the week prior to Halloween so we are able to have a TRUNK OR TREAT for the children. For anyone who wants to bury a loved pet, we have a section open for this. The cost is $350 which includes a 2ft x 3ft plot for your use. It also comes with a 2ft x 2ft ground stone for on top of the grave with a gorgeous gold and black plate. Because of the cost needing to be paid to another source, there is a $50 dig fee and a $25 pick up fee. We can pick up at home or a vet. If you want to purchase your casket or urn we have those at additional cost. The boxes are designed around the size of your pet so you are able to place toys, blankets, photos etc...again, these are extra. If you just want them wrapped in a blanket and put into the earth, no other cost will be added. If you have an ill or elderly pet and want to make payments, you can start that process now. These fees are lower than previous owners and you get a service you wont have to maintain for years to come and you will receive a numbered certificate so you know where your pets are at all times.. We will post pics soon of our first few families.
Today started out really chilly. Rare for April. Looking gloomy and grey, I almost cancelled the day. Yesterday (which was Thunder Over Louisville and RAIN ALL DAY) we lost completely so again, we are more behind schedule. I was so exhausted from a long work week but I knew people were counting on me to be there and my friend Mike who has been along side of this project since day one, had been working 10hr days all week so I needed to be there too!! To our surprise Little Flock Baptist Church begins to show up a van at a time with trucks behind those. I had the experience of watching the youth group and their leaders take control of the situation and hit Pet Haven like a tornado. We got so much accomplished. I had prayed for help and guidance. Trying to figure out how I was going to catch back up. And along came my answer! I have posted pictures of the transformation of Pet Haven on here so you can walk beside us during our journey. I have such huge plans for Pet Haven. People are going to want to come stop by just to take a walk through the property and look at markers just like most of us do at human cemeteries. We will be on the map one day and we will get recognized! Every day I wonder how I can pay all of these awesome folks back for all they have done for me...for our community. But remember, they do not need anything but a pat on the back and gratitude. This is how we should raise our children. Between the girl scout troops, the few pet owners, my friends, the few donations we have received and the gang for Little Flock Baptist Church, I was able to stand on the back side today in the rain and look toward Hwy 44 and see grave markers all the way to the road. What A Great Day!!
My journey began on Friday March 31, 2017. The previous day I was glued to the internet reading horrific comments about a lady who owned a pet cemetery in Shepherdsville Ky. I was reading and watching videos of her unfortunate experience with the law, elderly people in the unattended cemetery digging up their pets by the demand of the previous owner, personal information being blasted for the world to see about things in the previous owner’s past that were just heartbreaking and unnecessarily plastered on social media. The property, according to the news and over 1000 comments on social media, was dilapidated from mismanagement. The previous owner claims due to her health situation she isn’t able to maintain nor take care of the cemetery. She sent texts and emails telling these pet owners, that were able to be found since the cemetery had been open since 1960, to move their pets she was closing the cemetery. Moving pets meaning they would need to be dug up and relocated. In 2013 she was given the cemetery by the gentleman who needed to move on to take care of his ill wife. Everyone I have met said he was a great guy who loved Pet Haven. From that day of transfer, Shepherdsville started losing a well-known thumbprint of the community. Over grown grass, hundreds of missing grave markers (my understanding is they were stolen because they were made of aluminum so easy to recycle), trash all over the lot, falling over existing head stones, the only storage shed was removed, sign to property cut down and hauled away, standing water, only lawn equipment was an unattended to riding lawn more with a seat that was worn down to the sponge of the seat that will not even start. Because there were so many people who didn’t see the numerous news interviews or didn’t have access to the internet, they went through the most horrible experience and found a way to dig up, remove, and disturb the remains of the pet that they considered to be their children. There were signs posted at grave sites begging for someone to contact them so they could hire them to help dig up the pets.
I remember the day, which was April 1st when I went to see Pet Haven for the first time. I didn’t view the property before I bought it because I felt it was my mission to fix this problem for the community because I was able to. I had the capability and experience in getting the community to stand together as one and make a difference from raising money to getting donations, to getting people to come volunteer for physical labor to get this amazing place back up and running to its max potential so we had a place that people in our community could find peace during a difficult time in their lives.
I started out wanting to help the previous owner as I am an experienced successful Realtor and I have many investors that I had in my phone that would have stepped up and secured the property to make sure it remained a Pet Cemetery. When the time came to make the decision to purchase the property, there were so many signs from God that this was my journey. I needed to do this not just for the community but for myself.
I have spent my first couple weeks making a plan, raising money, getting things and getting donations, hitting brick walls on a daily basis from hidden liens to collapsed driveway to unusable utility poles due to excessive rust to trying to dig around praying that we find that marker that belongs to a 15 year old cat as the elderly mother is standing over me crying so hard because she feels she has lost her pet all over again to the lady who is telling me that when she was a child her dog passed away and her parents brought her here to bury him and through the years of growing up ended up with 5 graves of all of her childhood pets and the 3 graves next to that was her children’s pets that they have lost over the years. It was so heartbreaking to hear these stories as a group of us were working only using a weed eaters to cut 3.5 acres to make sure we didn’t miss one grave marker that belonged to someone’s family. These were part of history of someone’s life. Many gone. Many damaged. No order or paperwork for me to help locate them. I have shed more tears in the last 2 weeks than I have a life time.
During community clean up weekend a lady approached me and as her voice trembled introduced herself to me. Her eyes were swollen from the tears she was shedding and begged me to come over to her graves. She had 9 plots. All were accounted for accept one. The 9th plot was dug up and empty full of water because someone else had dug her pet up believing it was theirs when the previous owner had everyone removing their deceased animals. That grave had been there since 1980. This was her first rescue animal. It was a yorkie named Sassy. He passed away from cancer. How do you handle this? How do you tell a momma that her baby has been dug up by another family? All I could do is wrap my arms around her and let her cry. These are the stories I am dealing with on a daily basis because someone decided this place was too much to handle and just stopped handling things.
Just yesterday in the pouring rain a good friend of mine came out and we dug our first grave since I took over the property. Boomer, a 10 year old poodle. He had 2 sisters and a brother buried here and he was the last of this family. Passed away in his sleep on his momma’s pillow that night. Although we were still trying to get things in order before actually commencing as a cemetery, I could not turn her away. She didn’t seem to have many years left of her life and Boomer was probably her last pet so we made it work. She was about 5’ tall, could barely walk through the grass with her cane but she made it. She wanted me to assure her that Boomer was going to rest easy. I wanted to assure her he was going to be just fine when in fact I am screaming in my head trying to keep composure because of the mismanagement before me I was not certain that the specific spot chosen by Boomers momma wasn’t already going to have another pet that belonged to someone else that once had a grave marker buried in that very spot. Thank heaven that wasn’t the case here. We were able to make sure Boomer was in the spot that momma thought was perfect for his final resting place.
I am determined! Pet Haven Cemetery 40165 will be amazing! It will be a place that people in Kentucky will want to drive to so they can bury their beloved pets as they pass away. It will be a place where locals will want to drive on a sunny Saturday afternoon and get out of their cars and just park and walk around and read the stones. It will be a place as people travel through the state that they will want to come see such an oasis that has changed so many people’s lives.
We will always be accepting donations. We will always accept help around the property from volunteers. We will always do fundraisers. With that, your help is always needed. My challenge now is strictly financially. I have 100’s of graves from 1960 to present that I can’t find owners or heirs and I have to clean their sites up or fix their broken stones. I have over grown trees to cut, 3.5 acres of yard to get back in shape. Storage and lawn equipment to purchase. $5000 worth of gravel needed and driveway repair. Not to mention the odds and ends that pop up that I don’t expect. Your help is ALWAYS needed and very much appreciated.
We will survive and we will succeed. I do not know how to fail. With your help, it will just be a bit easier.