Final resting place, the gardens celebrate an ‘incredibly special’ bond

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OSPCA Opens ‘Exceptional Space to Celebrate Life and Think About Our Amazing Pets’ at Midland Animal Center

For many, the loss of a beloved four-legged friend can be one of life’s most difficult experiences.

With that in mind, the Ontario SPCA unveiled a memorial garden at its Midland & District Animal Center on Tuesday afternoon to coincide with World Pet Remembrance Day.

The garden, which was made possible through the support of donors, dedicated volunteers and the expertise and contributions of the Midland Garden Club, is located on the property of the Midland & District Animal Center and marks the site of a cemetery where members of the public have laid their beloved pets to rest.

One of those buried at this scenic spot is Yukon, a golden horse that once belonged to former Midland resident Nancy Hull.

Hull, who also has a number of other pets buried in the grassy gazebo, says she has been a volunteer and donor with the OSPCA since she was eight or nine years old.

“From an early age, I learned to respect animals. I used to get angry that people could mistreat them,” says Hull, who now resides in Barrie and stresses that the site fills an important need.

“Some people live in apartments and don’t have a place to bury their pets. And others move to a new place. This allows them to always have a place to visit their pets.

A walk in the park fully illustrates the love and the very special bond that exists between the residents of the region and their pets.

There are memorial markers for ‘Trixie Cipollone Our Sunshine’, ‘Cleo Our Baby’ and ‘Our Loveable Boomer’ as well as graves commemorating dozens of other pets including Lucky, Toba, Pepper, Little Ba and Skipper .

“The bond people have with their pets is so special, which makes it so incredibly painful when they’re gone,” says Robin Elliott, Community Development Coordinator at Midland & District Animal Centre.

Caytlynn Croisier, Midland Shelter Manager, adds, “Our goal was to create a beautiful, welcoming place where someone can come and reflect on the happy times they spent with their furry friends.

Elliott says the gardens are the result of a lot of hard work by volunteers and donors, including advice and significant contributions from members of the Midland Garden Club.

“It’s an exceptional space to celebrate lives and think about our amazing pets,” says Elliott.

Garden Club President Kay Hawkins said about six volunteers helped restore the garden.

“The (garden) bed was a disaster,” says Hawkins. “There was so much crabgrass growing everywhere because it hadn’t been tended for a long time.”

Kate Hicks is the OSPCA’s Planned Giving Manager.

“It’s a small place that’s important to a lot of people,” Hicks says, noting that the peaceful setting attracts all animal lovers as a place to reflect and reminisce about the good times they’ve shared with their pets. “I’m very happy that we have this.”

To help those grieving the loss of a pet, the Ontario SPCA and the Humane Society have partnered with the Robbie Dean Counseling Center to present a free online pet loss support group. pet.

The group meets virtually the second Tuesday of every month from 6:30-8 p.m. Sessions are free and are led by a certified grief counsellor.

Beloved companions can also be honored by making a tribute donation to the Ontario SPCA in their honor. These tribute gifts can bring comfort to someone who is grieving by giving them the knowledge that an animal in need is being helped in honor of their four-legged friend.

For more information on the support group and how to make a tribute donation, click here.

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