Dayton Daily News, "Cemetery offers services for grieving pet owners"

By Justin McClelland

Staff Writer


CLEARCREEK TWP. — As the owner of Pines Pet Cemetery, Shannon Wood deals with death and grief on a daily basis, but she said her job is one of the most joyous she knows.

“It’s not depressing,” Wood said. “You know you’re helping people and getting to comfort them in a time of grief. It’s very satisfying.”

For 44 years, Pines Pet Cemetery has provided a place to memorialize the furry companions who bring joy to their owners. Wood is not alone when she argues that pets are members of a family and deserve proper respect in their death.

In April, Pines finished a new office and meeting area, complete with private consultation and viewing rooms.

“Our new facility offers more privacy for our clients and is just a way to make them more comfortable during an obviously painful experience,” Wood said.

Pines Pet Cemetery was opened in 1966 by Henry Biederman, who operated a strawberry farm on the site and would bury his pets and the pets of family and friends on the grounds. In 1978, Wood’s aunt and uncle, Jean and Tom Lawton, purchased the business, which by that point had been deeded as a cemetery, meaning it could never revert to anything else.

Wood purchased the cemetery from her relatives in 1997.

The 35-acre cemetery is a resting place for more than 18,000 pets, from cats and dogs to horses, Wood said. Approximately 50 people are also buried next to their pets in the cemetery, too.

“We’re on call 24/7, always ready to help,” Wood said.

A walk-through the peaceful grounds show the love many owners still feel for their cherished companions. Ornate gravestones carry pictures and loving message of pets who have passed on.

“People like to come here as a park because it’s very relaxing,” Wood said


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