MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) A Knoxville woman says she has witnessed dogs urinate and defecate on graves where her family is buried, and she wants the dog and cemetery owners to bring it to an end.
Grandview Cemetery in Maryville is the resting place for several of Brittney Post's family members, including her father. It was the cemetery the family chose because of its beauty and location. But what Post has witnessed on several occasions, has left her almost speechless.
"I've cried several times leaving the cemetery, wondering what it's going to take to get people to realize that this is so disrespectful," Post says.
She's referring to the numerous occasions where her visits have left her disgusted with people who are walking their dogs through the cemetery because they let the dogs use grave sites and headstones as their toilet.
"It's appalling to me. It's disgusting that I come here to visit my dad's grave and pay my respects, and I have to bear witness to somebody else's grave getting urinated on or defecated on."
Jason Chambers, one of the owners of the cemetery, said he had heard that this has been happening. He's hoping that people will self-police and do what they know is the right thing to do and clean up after their pet.
"If you choose to bring your pet, please be prepared to pick up after your pet and make sure that your pet is on a leash," Chambers said.
Chambers also said they are looking into options to let people know that pets are allowed on the property, but they must be leashed and cleaned up after.
"We will probably go ahead with the purchase of some signage to be at both entrances of our cemetery, as well as the back exit," Chambers explained.
Grandview Cemetery doesn't have any regulations against people walking their dogs through the cemetery. However, they are required to adhere to state guidelines to keep the grounds free weeds, trash, junk or filth. If that isn't done, people can then ask the state to investigate.
But before it gets to that, Post wants those who are responsible to remember one thing.
"This is a cemetery. It is sacred and it deserves all of the respect."
To get information on cemetery regulations, or to file a complaint about a cemetery you can call the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance at 615-741-5062 or log onto www.tn.gov/regboards/funeral.