Sutton dog owners drawn to local cemetery, triggers public outcry

Sutton dog owners drawn to local cemetery, triggers public outcry
(Photo : Aiden Wilson)

By Michael Boriero
Local Journalism Initiative

The Grace Anglican Church Cemetery in Sutton has recently become a hotspot for dog owners, and residents are starting to voice their concerns about damage to the burial ground.
Sutton’s Director General Pascal Smith told The Record that the town is aware of the complaints appearing on social media. There is a file open to address the situation, he explained, sharing this isn’t something that the town permitted, it just sort of happened.
“Well, basically some citizens seem to have adopted the cemetery to go play with their dogs. It’s not something that we allowed. It’s not something that we’re in agreement with. It’s just something that’s happening,” said Smith in a phone interview on Thursday.
The Record reached out to Grace Anglican Church Reverend Tim Smart, but he denied an interview at this time. The cemetery has become a popular location for the Facebook group called Pattes en l’air Sutton, which acts as a platform for dog owners to meet and socialize.
However, the group also had no interest in providing an interview with The Record. According to Smith, the church is privately owned, so there isn’t much the town can do in terms of restricting dog owners from frequenting the cemetery. But they’re trying to raise awareness.
“It’s not a public park,” said Smith. “We’ve asked the S.P.A. des Cantons, who are the ones enforcing our regulations on dogs, to go and see people in the cemetery to talk to them and educate them on why they shouldn’t be there and make sure the town bylaws are respected.”
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