If you are a pet owner, you may be surprised to hear there isn’t a nook in the desert where you can lay your pet to rest, but that’s about to change. The Palm Springs Cemetery District will be the first to have a joint pet and human cemetery. Which means, a pet can be buried across the way from their owner(s).
At the Desert Memorial Park Cemetery, Kathleen Jurasky is not only the cemetery district manager, she’s also a pet lover. She has two dogs and speaks very fondly of both of them.
“They’re my babies…they’re my babies, they’re like my children.”
Unfortunately, cemeteries and pets don’t always mix well.
Kathleen told us that public cemeteries are not allowed to bury animals with humans and in order to do that some laws would have to be changed.
And, that’s exactly what she did, but this wasn’t easy.
“Every time someone told me you can’t do that i said don’t tell me what i can’t do. I’m getting a pet cemetery. We’re gonna get a pet cemetery here.”
The pet cemetery will be on a 5 acre plot, adjacent to the main people cemetery where restrictions may still frustrate some pet owners. Kathleen says she’s lost track of the number of people who want to be buried with their pets. However, the law states that pet can;t be buried in the human cemetery but human’s can be buried in a pet cemetery.
Kathleen has received many awards over the years including state Cemeterian of the year, but she says it’s nothing in comparison to what she is doing now.
“This has been a dream that I’ve had for a very long time. To actually see it happening and stand out here and know that eventually we are going to have a pet cemetery where it’s going to be your pet’s forever playground and my pet’s forever playground…it’s amazing that’s all I have to say."
They hope to break ground in October and, if all goes well, the pet cemetery will be open next year.