Love for pets goes beyond the grave at Pet Haven Memorial Gardens

ROANOKE CO., Va. (WDBJ7) “I don’t have any children of my own and I love them like I would my own children.”

Kim Brown buried her two kitties, Hunter and Tabitha, at Pet Haven Memorial Gardens. It’s one of few pet-only cemeteries in the state. And thanks to Larry Owen and his wife, Danna, this place has been given new life.

“Weed-eating all the headstones, edging all along the fences, sometimes the driveway when I have time, and then right on to the mower, and start cutting grass. We just need some help maintaining,” Owen said.

Right now, Larry Owen does the bulk of the maintenance work. He donates his time and resources to the Roanoke Valley SPCA.

“It makes it more affordable for the SPCA they don’t have to shell out the money for a lawn, grounds keeper or full-time employee out here,” Owen said.

These animal lovers are providing a service for other animal lovers, whose animals are no longer with them.

Thousands of pets have been buried here, including a bear and monkey, even a horse, and Kim Brown’s cats.

“I wanted someplace where I could come visit them, decorate their graves, I was able to pick out their headstones, and what writing I wanted on it. So that was important to me, and to be able to come visit them anytime I want,” Brown said.

And she can do that without worrying because this final resting place for pets is well cared for, thanks to volunteers like Larry Owen.

And now Larry and Danna Owen are asking for some help. They’re holding a community clean-up day this Saturday, April 1st, starting at 9 a.m.