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'We're looking out for them': Neenah's pet cemetery weighs options in wake of adjacent shelter's relocation

pet cemetery bench Neenah
Posted at 6:22 PM, Nov 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-20 19:49:45-05
  • The Neenah Animal Shelter is getting a new location for a much-needed facility upgrade, but that has left many with questions about a pet cemetery currently on its property.
  • The shelter's Board Treasurer Craig Fisher talks about an option to move the pets to an acre of land at a pet cemetery in Sherwood that would be donated by Pat Fahrenkrug, who also owns a funeral home in Neenah.
  • Barb Lamb has a cat named Buffy who was buried at the cemetery in 1982, and she explains why her preference is also relocation, even though she knows there is no one-size-fits-all solution for all affected pet owners.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

There are thousands of loved ones buried here, but the future of this pet cemetery is still up in the air.

I'm your Neenah Neighborhood Reporter Darby McCarthy, and I spoke to several people who are glad that the Neenah Animal Shelter is getting a new facility, but they are very concerned about what to do about pets left behind.

"There's a lot of little loved ones out here that are very special to a lot of people."

Barb Lamb has a cat named Buffy who was buried at the pet cemetery in 1982.

"He was our first, and we loved him dearly."

Now, she and many others want to know what will happen now that the shelter is getting an upgrade.

Neenah Animal Shelter's Treasurer of the Board Craig Fisher says it comes down to two basic options, and then specifics will be decided from there.

Does the shelter leave the buried animals in the same place, or do they move them?

If the animals stay, the shelter may not have as much control over their futures.

In Sherwood, Pat Fahrenkrug owns a pet cemetery that was built in 1984 called Forrest Run. And he is offering to donate an acre of land to the Neenah Animal Shelter.

“It will never be anything else. This will always be just a pet cemetery here. It's set up exactly like a human cemetery, in that there's a perpetual care fund.”

Fisher says that he likes the offer from Forrest Run, but whatever is chosen, he says everyone affected should know it was handled with care.

“I know that the animals that are buried here are around us. And it makes me very content that they know that we're looking out for them."

Barb says she also favors the option that involves relocation of the animals.

"I wouldn't want him to stay here. Really, because after that, after the shelter sells, I don't know what's going to happen to this land and then they have no control over it.

The animal shelter is still trying to figure out the best option. But the shelter says anyone who wants to remove their loved ones and relocate them to more personal spaces like their own backyards [is] welcome to do so.