A MEMORIAL space will be established on the site of a disused pet cemetery at Smithfield to provide owners with place to remember 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.
Cairns Regional Council has now developed a plan to restore it to a usable space featuring memorial elements in honour of the furry family members that have been laid to rest.
Division 8 Councillor Jessie Richardson said it was sad that the cemetery had fallen into a state of disrepair in recent years.
“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.”
Many of the markers and plaques that had been on the site have deteriorated over time through exposure to the elements, and there has been significant ground subsidence.
“Unfortunately, no records were kept of the burials and many of the markers are damaged beyond recognition,” Cr Richardson said. “But we will be collecting them up and inviting owners to identify and claim their markers, if they wish to do so.”
The markers and plaques will be removed from the site and taken to a central location and Council will advise when they are ready for identification.
“In the meantime, we’ll be taking steps to remediate the site to make it safe for visitors and to transform it into a space that it suitable for reflection.”
Work has started today to level the currently uneven and unsafe site. Vegetation will be tidied and new plantings, bench seating and interpretive signage recognising the space as a pet cemetery will be added.
Council will advise when the markers are available for identification and collection.