Joyce Wiswell

Contributing Writer

When Jill Lepler Daly’s two beloved dogs died more than 15 years apart, she purchased each a coffin and headstone and tucked special notes and pictures in with them when they were buried at Heavenly Acres Pet Cemetery in Genoa Township.

“We want to know where they will always be buried permanently so that we can visit and they can rest in peace,” the Commerce Township resident said.

Over the past 18 years, Kim Goldstein of West Bloomfield did the same for her four dogs, burying each in a casket with their pillows, blankets, toys, pictures “and love all around them.”

“It wasn’t like you just threw them in the ground,” Goldstein said. “These are your babies.”

The two women were shocked to learn last fall that the 12-acre pet cemetery has lost its lease and may be sold. “No Trespassing” signs are keeping them off the property, and they may have to exhume their pets or lose their remains to a bulldozer.

They and several other pet owners have joined forces to take legal action, establishing a GoFundMe page in hopes of raising $30,000. The goal is to have the site deeded as a pet cemetery.

The fate of the cemetery and as many as 74,000 animal remains is up in the air. On Jan. 9, a Livingston County Circuit Court judge issued a temporary restraining order to prevent a sale or any changes to the property. But a final resolution is far from certain.

To contribute to the fundraiser, visit