Want to take a walk at the city’s Seymour Masonic Cemetery?
No problem. It’s allowed and even encouraged.
Want to take your pet along for that walk?
It’s not allowed.
In fact, doing so now is illegal, per an amendment to a city ordinance approved last Thursday evening by the Seymour Board of Aldermen.
Per the ordinance, an addition to Section 140.030 of city cemetery rules and regulations, “Pets are not allowed on cemetery grounds.”
That law went into effect at midnight Friday after unanimous approval of the aldermen.
“Although I know this change won’t be popular with a lot of people, it’s a simple matter of respect,” explained Dan Wehmer, South Ward aldermen and the city’s acting mayor.
“Over the past several months, we’ve had a lot of complaints about animals, specifically dogs, urinating on the headstones at the cemetery, as well as pooping on the grounds.
“I’m sorry, but that’s disrespectful to those who are buried there and to their families. First and foremost, our cemetery is a cemetery. This doesn’t limit people who want to walk there. It’s still allowed. They just can’t walk there with pets in tow, even if they’re on a leash.”
In previous discussions on the issue, which lasted over the course of two meetings, the other three aldermen were in total agreement with Wehmer about eliminating pet traffic at the city’s cemetery.
That agreement showed in Thursday’s unanimous vote.
“We just can’t allow this to continue,” North Ward Alderman Jim Ashley said of dogs defecating and urinating in the cemetery. “It’s just wrong. Since it was brought to the attention of this board, action was necessary.”
Wehmer told the group he didn’t feel there would be a lot of opposition.
“I do know there are a lot of people who do walk there with their dogs,” he said of the cemetery. “However, due to the issue we’re facing, I can’t see anyone arguing with our decision on this. It’s common sense.”