Lake Wales wants dog's grave moved from city park

-  A family dog's final resting place must be dug up and moved, after the owners buried the dog in a public park.
The gravesite was spotted by workers with the city of Lake Wales while cleaning up Lake Wailes Park on Monday.

The touching tribute included a tiny tombstone that read, "R.I.P. Jessie Girl," fresh mulch, solar lights and confetti sprinkled with care.

"They cared a lot about the dog, obviously. That's a lot of work," said Brendon Brown, who sat at a picnic table with friends next to the grave.

"I thought it was a baby at first," said Lake Wales resident Angel Lopez.

According to the tomb stone, "Jessie" lived from February of 2012 to July of 2017.

"I don't think I would bury in a public park," said Randy Lollar, who was taken aback when he spotted the grave.
Lake Wales city officials took to Facebook on Monday to share their condolences with the dog's owners, as well as issue a warning to them.

City officials wrote, "We need to find the owner of this dog buried at Lake Wailes Park. While we are sorry for your loss..this was not appropriate. This will have to be removed within 48 hours or we will remove it."
Dog owner John Smith said he feels the owners' hearts were in the right place when they dug the plot. He too has lost a furry companion in the past.

"I buried my dog last year. He was with me for 17 years. It's just like a family member, and when you can't afford to find a nice spot and you want it close, this is your optimum spot for a dog, I guess," said Smith.
Smith agreed, however, that a public park is not a graveyard, and allowing one dog owner to bury their pet could lead to multiple people digging up the park for gravesites as well.

"There's a place for everything. Everything in its place," said Smith.

According to websites like Angie's List, pet burials can be very costly. A dog grave can cost $400 to $600. If the cemetery requires the pet be buried in a casket, the burial can cost an additional $50 to $500, depending on the size of the dog and the type of casket.

As of Monday evening, no one came back to take down the dog grave.

 

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