What started as a dream for a small group of St. Peter’s United Church of Christ parishioners has come to fruition at the church’s cemetery in Washington.

Thanks to the work of St. Peter’s parishioners and volunteers Dorothy Brinker and Dennis Borgman and several others, the cemetery is now accepting the remains of pets and other animals.

The cemetery only recently began accepting animals weighing under 25 pounds, or animals’ cremated remains, into its new pet memorial area.

Brinker and Borgman helped brainstorm and create the memorial cemetery that they believe will give area pet owners a place to bury their pet with “dignity.”

“There are a lot of times that the companion pets are the only family people have,” Brinker said. “Sometimes they don’t want them buried in their backyard. They want something more dignified and we think this is an answer to that.”

Brinker, who works as a veterinarian in the area, said the cemetery is an option for families or individuals who do not own a home or land where their pet can be buried as well. She said this cemetery is one of the only options for cemetery pet burial in the area.

Area veterinarians recently were given pamphlets with information on the pet cemetery.

“This is something vets can keep at their office that they can offer to a family who has had to euthanize or had a pet die recently,” Brinker said. “We have had half a dozen calls from people wondering about the plot.”

The animal memorial site sits on the east side of the cemetery and is decorated with a small garden and other decorations.

Brinker said there are further plans to decorate the space and added that pets can be memorialized with engraved name tags or on a headstone.

While there has been interest in the pet cemetery, there have been no burials as of yet. Brinker said other area veterinarians are giving out information about the cemetery to families who have recently said goodbye to their pet.

“If they have a family that is considering euthanization or has a pet that has died, they can offer this to them” she said.

For more information on burials and pricing for the animal memorial, call 636-359-2302.