Memorial markers offered for collection by pet owners

Published: 13 Mar 2019

Owners of pets buried at a Smithfield pet cemetery are invited to collect the memorial plaques and markers laid in honour of their lost pets.

The former YAPS pet cemetery ceased operating more than 15 years ago and the site was handed back to Council in 2015.

A project to transform the site into a usable memorial space is nearing completion.

Council has retained 160 markers from the site, with about 120 able to be identified. The remainder are badly damaged due to exposure over many years.

A database has been established listing the pets that could be identified from the markers. The owners of those pets are now invited to contact Council in order to collect and keep the markers.

“Unfortunately, no records were kept of the burials and some of the markers are damaged beyond recognition,” Division 8 Councillor Jessie Richardson said.

“But we have collected them up and invite owners to claim their markers, if they wish to do so.”

Works are under way to level and tidy the cemetery site, with landscaping, bench seating and interpretive signage recognising the space as a pet cemetery to be added.

“Many local families took their beloved pets to be buried there, so it’s a special place for a lot of people,” Cr Richardson said. “We intend to create a small memorial park where people can sit and reflect and feel they are close to their pets.”

Anyone wishing to check if their marker or plaque has been identified can contact Cairns Regional Council on 1300 692 247. If the marker is on the database, the owner can arrange to collect it from one of several locations.

Last updated: 13 March 2019