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Mystery of Surrey’s pet cemetery deepens with some saying there are human remains

A volunteer who takes care of a pet cemetery in a Surrey, B.C., neighbourhood said there are also cremated human remains on the property.

“When I found out about this cemetery being left to be grown over with blackberry (bushes) and stuff, I just made it my little self-appointed project,” David Corrin, an ordinary member of the Royal Canadian Legion, told Global News.

“Somebody must take care of this. So I took up taking care of the property.”

Corrin said there are three people buried on the property.

According to the website findagrave.com, one of the headstones represents the Wilson family — the created remains of a husband, a wife and their pets.

The website states a man named Stanley Gray also chose to have his cremains buried in the pet cemetery along with his three pets, Bonnie, Sport and Cappy.

The plot of land in Newton, at 147 A and 78 Ave., has been used since at least the early ’50s to bury family pets.

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There are believed to be about 700 animals buried on the property along with suspected cremated human remains.

However, a development proposal sign has now been placed on the property to subdivide the lane for three single-family homes.

Corrin said he thinks the land should be protected.

“It’s sacred ground,” he said.

“I think it should be preserved as a memorial, sacred ground. Especially since there’s some old-growth original cedar trees that have been here for at least 200 to 300 years.”

Surrey Coun. Linda Annis told Global News the development application will go before the council, but it won’t be part of a public hearing as it is part of the neighbourhood concept plan.

Turnberry Developments, which owned the property for 30 years, told Global News it “has investigated if there are human remains on this property.”

“None were discovered, nor did we find any urns containing ashes.”

The company also said it “searched vital statistics and contacted crematoriums and funeral homes to find the next of kin and ask for their guidance in the matter.”

Darrian Pollard rents in the neighbourhood and told Global News that she would like to see a park for nearby families, rather than more development.

“I don’t agree with them redeveloping something that humans are buried on,” she said.

Residents John Barichello and his wife Valerie told Global News they thought about burying their pets on this land when they died.

“But as I say at the time, there was discussions about selling this and we didn’t even know who owned it,” John said.

“If it’s going to be gone, I want to remember it. I mean, 25 years ago we moved down here from Vancouver and our pets were old and we thought, ‘Well, we’ll put them in here’. And then, the talk was they’re going to tear this thing up. And that was 25 years ago.”

For now, Corrin said he will keep coming to the site and cleaning it up.

“It’s a labour of love,” he said.

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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