Last September the Board of Trustees reversed its rule banning pets from our grounds. Well behaved pets, primarily dogs, and their well-behaved human partners were invited to stroll through the memorial park provided they were…behaving. The reasons for a reconsideration of a long-standing pet ban were varied but essentially there was a recognition that times have changed and we are now living in the midst of a widely accepted pet culture. It’s not hard to understand: pets serve as companions for millions of Americans and even possess therapeutic value for many. But it’s also more than that: people just love their pets.
Over the past year we have received numerous supporting calls, messages and other forms of feedback from Arlington owners, patrons and visitors expressing their appreciation for the revised policy. Not once had an incident been reported that would cast doubt on the decision to become pet friendly. That is, until this past weekend.
Unfortunately we received a call from a lot owner who had witnessed a human partner failing to practice good dog walking etiquette by “picking up after their dog.” While conveying our deepest apologies, we promised to remind all of those who do visit our grounds with their pet that they have a higher responsibility to practice etiquette given that Arlington is a memorial park. Our disgruntled caller even suggested that dogs should be kept on leashes not exceeding six feet to ensure better control. It’s a suggestion that makes sense and one that we endorse. Failure to comply with the rules control could result in resorting to a pet ban. Below is our policy in its entirety regulating dogs on Arlington’s grounds. Please review it and help us maintain a pet friendly but respectful setting.
“Dogs on leashes are allowed on the cemetery grounds, provided that their owners comply with all prevailing Ohio law and maintain reasonable control of their dogs at all times. Owners are also responsible for cleaning up their dog’s waste and disposing of it in the trash receptacles located throughout the park. The cemetery shall have absolute discretion to escort anyone off of the cemetery grounds immediately for failing to comply with either of the foregoing requirements. Additionally, the cemetery shall have absolute discretion in determining such matters and may consider excessive barking or aggressive behavior toward another dog, visitor or staff as constituting a failure to control their dog. The cemetery may institute a future temporary or permanent ban against any owner or their dog for failure to immediately comply with any such directives. Notwithstanding any of the foregoing, the cemetery shall not be responsible for the safety of the owner or his or her dog. In that regard, the cemetery shall endeavor to remove owners and their dogs for rules violations, the cemetery shall not be deemed to have guaranteed compliance by all visitors and, as such, all owners shall consider the cemetery as not having afforded them or their dogs any protections beyond that of any other public space.”