A peaceful resting place

Many people consider their furry companions family. Oftentimes individuals request to be buried with their canine or feline friends. This normally means pets getting cremated so they can rest with their owners for eternity.

Graceland Cemetery recently dedicated a 50-foot by 70-foot plot of land specifically for pets. The pet cemetery is located in Graceland Cemetery next to the southern most border overlooking the prairie. The pet portion of the property is enclosed by a border of lilac bushes recently planted.

“I’ve been thinking about this for many years. I did some research and there’s really nothing in this general area that has a pet cemetery,” said Craig Biggs, Graceland Cemetery manager.

Biggs spent the past two years researching, looking at pricing, and consulting with the cemetery board.

“There’s a lot of pets that walk through the cemetery on a daily basis. I see so many on a daily basis,” said Biggs. “I just got the wild idea that I have some land that I wasn’t going to use for anything else. It was just going to be set aside, so I figured we might as well utilize it.”

Biggs explained that there is no pet cemetery within a 45-mile radius of Webster City and he felt this would benefit the whole community.

After approval from the cemetery board, Biggs plotted out and prepared the space.

“It’s original land of the cemetery,” said Biggs. “We had a section for the city burials that was a lot larger than it needs to be. We’re using that now for the pet cemetery.”

The pet cemetery is plotted for 80 burial spaces. Each burial space is four-feet by four-feet. Pets of all varieties can be buried at the cemetery. However, pets must be able to fit in the designated plot size. Owners also have the option of buying multiple plots for larger pets.

Biggs said that cremation is a good option for larger animals that would not normally fit in the four-foot by four -foot space.

Extra space is available if the first 80 plots get taken up according to Biggs.

“I thought 80 burial spaces would suffice for now,” said Biggs. “I think it will be a nice tool for the town to enjoy.”

One plot costs $150. The fee for cremation or regular burial is $100. If the owner wishes to have a monument placed, it will cost $25.

“I think it’s going to be a unique opportunity for Webster City being that the main reason I got this going is because no other place within a 45-mile radius has anything like this,” said Biggs. “I’ve noticed so many people in this town have pets, whether it’s cats or dogs or whatever.”

“If I can create an area in this town to set aside an area for a final resting place that they can come out and visit, especially since I have the land,” said Biggs, ” then it’s filling the need and not costing the city anything.”

According to Biggs the pet cemetery is open to everyone, not just Webster City residents.

“We are ready to go,” said Biggs. “Once this gets going and word gets out, I think it’s going to take off.”

To learn more about the Graceland Pet Cemetery, contact Biggs at (515) 832-9125 or email cbiggs@webstercity.com.