|Hundreds of animals are buried in a pet cemetery behind the Stanton Delaware SPCA. Pet owners were notified through Facebook that they could claim the bodies and head stones of their beloved animals before the land is sold.|
But what’s buried three feet under threatens to derail the deal.
Behind the newly renovated shelter building at 455 Stanton Christiana Road is a weedy, overgrown lot that contains the bagged remains of more than 1,000 animals — in what was meant to be their final resting place. The inhabitants include "Captain," the country's first police dog; Igloo, the Brandywine Zoo bear; Minnie Pearl, a goat; and mother-daughter poodles Brigitte and Babette.
But with potential commercial development banging on the door of the cash-strapped nonprofit organization, irate pet owners are being told that they have until the end of the month to remove their pets' headstones, along with exhuming and relocating what's left of the animals' bodies, if they so choose.
"That is going to be a heartbreaking nightmare," said Kurt Gingher, who spent a recent steamy weekend using a scraper to clear off several hundred stones until he found the two marked with his pets' names. An Internet company owner who lives in Thailand, Gingher happened to be in town visiting his family in Elsmere when he heard about the shelter closure.