Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

It's a Living: Oklahoma-Based Pet Cemetery Owner

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

It's a Living: Oklahoma-Based Pet Cemetery Owner

Article excerpt

Linda McCullough sees a major difference in attitude between most family members who visit grave sites and people who spend time with their loved ones at her cemeteries.

It's partly generational - children tend to outlive their parents, so younger visitors don't have the same years of wisdom and perspective for dealing with grief and responsibilities, McCullough said.

But the larger difference involves how people feel about their pets, she said. Dogs and cats and birds and horses are adopted family members outside the human species.

"Pet cemeteries are almost always decorated more than human cemeteries," she said. "The owners have assumed a greater sense of responsibility for their deaths. And people are always so polite about how their pet plots are being taken care of, whereas in a human cemetery people always seem so angry when things aren't just perfect."

McCullough owns and operates Precious Pets Cemetery in Spencer and Pet Memorial Gardens in Norman. Precious Pets has existed for about 25 years. Pet Memorial Gardens has been in place since 1972; McCullough purchased the latter eight years ago. The business is a member of the International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories.

The occupied part of the Precious Pets property is about three- and-a-half acres, with an additional 10 acres that can be annexed as needed. Pet Memorial Gardens is about six acres. The Spencer property has about 2,200 pets buried; Norman has 4,000, McCullough said.

The company handles animal services, complete with a wide range of caskets and urns, depending on the owner's preference. McCullough provides formal burials and a small chapel for other ceremonies, about 250 to 300 per month. Most owners choose cremation.

Services and plots are not restricted to dogs and cats. The business also operates the only horse crematorium in the state. …

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