SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) –- The new owner of Pet Haven Cemetery wants the community to know the property will stay a pet cemetery.

Many people have begun digging up their pet's graves on the site in Shepherdsville, but new owner Joni Blake says no one has to exhume their animals.

Blake purchased the cemetery last Friday and is working with an attorney to get the property established as a permanent pet cemetery.

“I can assure everyone that this thing will be a pet cemetery forever,” said Blake’s attorney, Matthew Owen. “And I want to make sure that everyone understands that so that they're not worried about their pets that are currently there.”

Last week, pet owners started digging up graves not knowing what would happen to the troubled property after it was sold. 

“It's devastating, because these animals were my children," Barbara Sumner told WDRB News last week. "I never had any children."

“Anyone who has removed their pet's remains is welcome to return them to the cemetery, and they will be provided a place for them with a marker,” Owen said.  

Blake, a local realtor, initially wanted to find a buyer for the property, but the problem is that it's commercially zoned and could have been turned into almost anything. That's when she decided to buy it herself so she could be positive it would stay a final resting place for pets.

“She's a very kind person," Owen said. "That's part of what makes her effective is that she really cares about people."

And she now has a lot of work ahead of her. The cemetery hasn't been properly maintained since 2013, according to Owen.

“A lot of the grass is grown up. It's at least knee high, if not higher,” he said. “There are, presumably, graves everywhere.”

A clean-up to restore the cemetery will be held Saturday and Sunday starting at 9 a.m. and will last all day.  Blake is looking for volunteers to donate manpower, weed eaters, shovels, rakes, wheelbarrows, gravel, bales of hay, grave markers and a shed to store equipment.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for the cost of the cleanup. You can donate by visiting the cemetery's new website.

It’s new name is also Pet Haven Cemetery 40165, so as not to be confused with the old Facebook page or website of the previous owner.

If you have any questions regarding your pet at the cemetery you can reach Blake at (502) 912-0027 or Owen at (502) 648-9392.

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