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Ridgeleigh Residents To Strategize on Pet Cemetery's Fate

The Ridgeleigh Community Association will host a general membership meeting Tuesday to talk about the decaying Oakleigh Pet Cemetery.

A Tuesday night meeting at Johnny Dee's Lounge in Parkville will focus on an ailing local landmark.

Oakleigh Pet Cemetery, located in the Ridgeleigh neighborhood, contains the graves of pets dating back to the 1920's, according to an email from the Ridgeleigh Community Association.

The cemetery site, located at 8408 Oakleigh Road, has become a concern for the neighbors since falling into disrepair.

"The grounds have become overgrown with weeds and brush, the headstones have been vandalized, debris and litter covers the graves, and the cemetery is fast becoming a refuge for juvenile delinquents and rodents," according to the email. "The current state of the cemetery has earned its current owner tens of thousands of dollars in fines and the ire of many local residents. The cemetery is now in danger of development due to foreclosure as a result of fines and back taxes."

At 7 p.m. Feb. 19, the group will hear from Bigg Jim Jones of the Paranormal Research and Investigative Society of Maryland about the current condition of the cemetery and strategies for its restoration.

During the recent Comprehensive Zoning Map Process, Fifth District Councilman David Marks decreased the residential zoning density on the property to protect it from future development.

Read Marks' blog about the cemetery on Patch.

Marks also introduced legislation back in October to protect those who had purchased plots at the cemetery.

The Ridgeleigh Community Association, though, is hoping that neither the zoning change nor the new law come into play. They'd like to see the space, where it's rumored a pet monkey that belonged to actress Shirley Temple is buried, restored and preserved.

"We are hoping to generate interest in preserving the cemetery and protecting it from any future development. We are also interested in possibly partnering with others in the area in order to organize clean up and restoration efforts," an email from the group said. "Hopefully, together we can save this local landmark from destruction before it is too late."

Do you think the Oakleigh Pet Cemetery should be preserved? Do you know someone who has a pet buried there? Tell us in the comments.

John L. February 14, 2013 at 02:23 PM
If there is truly an interest in folks to maintain & keep the place neat, then sure why not perserve the cemetary. Sounds like a good idea.
Mike February 14, 2013 at 03:25 PM
It's TUESDAY at 7 p.m. Feb. 19, not Monday night. And as for Bigg Jim Jones, he is there to help us with ideas on how we can go about clean up and restoration. He has been involved in projects like this in the past. This has nothing to do with paranormal activity, that's just his website. So please don't let that distract you. And if you have any interest on helping out please come out to the meeting and sign up to volunteer. This is going to be a large project, and we will need many volunteers. Hope to see a lot of faces at the meeting! Thanks! Mike Kaspar Compliant Committee Chair Ridgeleigh Community Association http://www.ridgeleigh.net/
Mike February 14, 2013 at 03:28 PM
Hello Ronda, Thanks for your post. And I will bring this to the RCA board and let them know about the GSA and possibly BSA being interested in helping out.
leonard brazezicki February 14, 2013 at 06:00 PM
I think it shoud be restored len of parkville
Patricia Bentz February 14, 2013 at 07:55 PM
If there is anything that the Preservation Alliance of Baltimore County can do to help, please let me know. We have some grant money available to help off set some of the expenses, if applicable. Contact me at trishbentz@bcht.org.
Mike February 14, 2013 at 08:40 PM
Hello Patricia, This great news! I forwarded your contact info to Bill Deysher. He is the president of Ridgeleigh CA, and is lead on this project. He will be in touch. Thanks for your response! Mike Kaspar Compliant Committee Chair Ridgeleigh Community Association http://www.ridgeleigh.net/
Beth Robinson February 14, 2013 at 08:53 PM
This makes me SICK!!! Our family has two wonderful dogs buried there. How can the word "development" even be uttered. Isn't it against the law to desecrate those graves? I always heard it was illegal to bury pets in the yard, so we buried ours where we thought they would be safe for eternity. This is a travesty. Beth
Mike February 14, 2013 at 09:02 PM
Hello Linda, Ridgeleigh Community Association is in contact and working with the owner for the clean up efforts and/or restoration. We are in the beginning phase of this project. As for you parent's markers, I am not sure what the laws are, but I do know it is considered private property, so I do not recommend trespassing or removing anything from the property. I suggest coming to the meeting and giving us your contact information so we can keep you updated with our progress. Or if you have questions someone from the meetings might be able to answer them. Kind regards, Mike Kaspar Compliant Committee Chair Ridgeleigh Community Association http://www.ridgeleigh.net/
Linda Kelly February 15, 2013 at 12:23 AM
Thank you Mike. I will try to attend the meeting on Feb. 19th. Where will the meeting be held? Thank you! Linda Kelly
Pamela Young February 15, 2013 at 03:06 AM
I agree with all that is being said. It is such a shame that it has come to this.
Mike February 15, 2013 at 01:25 PM
Hey Linda, Johnny Dee's Lounge in the banquet room. 1706 Joan Ave Parkville, MD 21234 Thanks, Mike
Michael Zang February 15, 2013 at 03:50 PM
Just think, back in the 1980s, the historic Hiss family cemetery in Parkville on Acton Road was dug up and two houses were placed on top of the grave site. The site is located close to the Hiss Mansion. The graves still had many headstones. Some were from the 17th century and back. My fellow teenage friends kept the cemetery clean and cut, but that didn't stop the developers with the backhoes. There are still human remains there.
michael mooney February 18, 2013 at 05:38 PM
This is a great idea! Not only does the cemetery get the work the scout troops get community credit and the the individual scouts should be able to count the work towards their community service requirements for school graduation! I don't, at this time, have a personal tie to the place but as a pet lover can't stand the thought of it being desecrated! I probably can't make the meeting but would like to keep tabs on the progress and would consider coming out on a cleanup day if my schedule allows.
michael mooney February 18, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Makes me think of an old move where they did that - the results were NOT good as the departed spirits were NOT happy!
Geoffrey Atkinson February 18, 2013 at 09:04 PM
Sounds like someone wants to cash in.
Marge February 19, 2013 at 01:29 PM
This is really the last straw. The investors/developers seem to get whatever they want.Two of my grandparents dogs are buried there & have been for many years. Seems to me the owners should be held responsible for maintaining the grounds. Why are these people allowed to just discard whatever is already there for their benefit. Another thing is this, the cemetery has been there ever since i can remember. Is this something that the Historical Society is not interested in as maintaining or are they just going to let this go & have done to whatever others want. If they do this they are just as bad as the ones who abuse & discard animals as they want.
John L. February 19, 2013 at 02:11 PM
When was the last time YOU went there and helped by pulling weeds, etc. Haven't you heard, the owners are in arrears and cannot keep up with any maintainance for whatever reason. Now YOU want everyone else to take care of that which you value! Get real -silly liberal...........No wonder our taxes are so high......
Paul February 19, 2013 at 08:44 PM
I have a few questions. Why are the owners in arrears? How much are plots? What was done with the money? How are they going to sustain the property moving forward? Is there a plan in place to make everything right financially, or is it not feasible for whatever reason? I think these questions need to be asked and answered before "bailing out" the property owner who obviously doesn't know how to or isn't able to take care of the place anymore. Would love to hear details on how this all came about, why the property is in the current state it is, and how it got there. I am all for saving the place but I would hate to see all these good people donate their time and energy into something that was eventually going to collapse down the road. I own a local landscape company and would CONSIDER some type of donation if I was satisfied all of these concerns were addressed. I won't be able to attend the meeting due to a prior commitment, but keep the story updated.
Needaname February 20, 2013 at 12:06 AM
I know several people who have had their deceased pets cremated. I do not know of anyone who has had their pets interred in a pet cemetary. I suppose that is the way to go now.
Pamela Young February 20, 2013 at 02:35 AM
I have two dogs buried there. The last 5 I had private cremations and kept the ashes.
Linda Kelly February 20, 2013 at 02:43 AM
Thanks Ridgely Community Association for holding this very informative meeting about the pet cemetery at Oakleigh tonight. Jim Jones research and presentation was very helpful in providing a window into the possibilities to restore it. I would suggest a small task force to establish a plan for the project and then move forward. I liked Jim's ideas about soliciting support from businesses like Home Depot or Lowe's - fencing! Has anyone met with the Captain of the Parkville precinct to solicit his support? Also, the police community relations council (PCRC) is another avenue to keep law enforcement in the loop.
Tonya February 21, 2013 at 08:45 PM
leave the pet cemetary alone. It is sacred ground. Have you no morals?
Tonya February 21, 2013 at 08:47 PM
Get together a list of volunteers who will regularly keep the grounds maintained. We all live nearby, we should all have mowers, trimers, rakes, what have you, to keep this place alive. I will be the first to volunteer and I don't have pets there, I just think that if everyone pitches in, it can be saved.
Linda Kelly February 22, 2013 at 01:30 AM
Perhaps you should have read the article and become familiar with the condition of the cemetery before you wrote your comment? Take a stroll through the cemetery and see if you think used condoms hanging on gravestones, drug paraphernalia and prostitution activity contributes to what you call sacred.
Tonya February 23, 2013 at 12:04 AM
Boo hoo Linda Kelly. Let's desecrate one of your loved ones graves and tell me how you'd feel.
Bill February 26, 2013 at 01:48 AM
Thanks so much to all who joined us at the February 19th meeting in Ridgeleigh. We haven't finalized any plans for a clean up yet, however serious discussions are underway. If you haven't already left your contact info here, please send a message to the email address president@ridgeleigh.net. We'll be contacting volunteers and partners with updates as soon as they become available.
Bill February 26, 2013 at 01:52 AM
Paul, I agree that the considerations that you mention here must be addressed before we proceed. If you are truly interested in possibly helping out, then send me a message at president@ridgeleigh.net. I will do the best I can to give you the answers that we have so far.
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Katherine Marsh May 20, 2013 at 03:46 AM
My first dog Philmore is buried in this cemetary. I love my dog and my mom paid to have my dog buried there. How can they get away with doing away with this sacred ground? What will they do with our dogs?
Katherine Marsh May 20, 2013 at 03:50 AM
I also asked what will ahppen to Philmore's remains, he was my first dog. Thank you for offering the GS to help clean it up.

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