BLACKFOOTâ€”Blackfoot city leaders came close to amending the city's current cemetery ordinance to "allow dogs on leashes" on the grounds of Grove City Cemetery at Tuesday night's city council meeting. However, testimony from a few city residents swayed them back again. The amendment will stick: "No dogs allowed."
"I would like to see people be able to walk through the cemetery with their pets on a leash, as long as they clean up their messes," said city councilwoman Jan Simpson. "Many people enjoy taking walks through the cemetery with their dogs; my daughter is one of them. She walks there almost everyday."
"I'm fine with allowing 'pets on a leash;' pet waste has been the main issue," said cemetery sexton Philip Meline.
An emotional Lorna Moffat who has served on the cemetery board addressed the council saying, "People don't clean up after their dogs. My father is out there and it's disgusting to me to find that an animal has defecated on my father. You may clean up after your dog, but most people don't. I don't believe it [the cemetery ordinance] should be changed."
Blackfoot resident Vickie Clough agreed, saying, "People will still let their dog 'poo.' I've seen it too many times and stepped in it more than that. I love dogs, I pick it up, but most don't."
Councilman Bart Brown remarked, "I agree with Lorna [Moffat]. Cemeteries are a 'sacred place.' "
Ashlee Howell of Blackfoot, concured that cemeteries are 'sacred,' adding, "The city does a wonderful job with its walking paths. The cemetery is not a designated walking path."