Questions & Answers
The Oakville & Milton Humane Society is working to build a new facility for our animals. It is long overdue, and we have currently outgrown our current facility at 445 Cornwall Road. With major redevelopment happening in midtown Oakville, we are looking to relocate our operations to a new location.
Before we sell and vacate our property, we need to excavate the existing pet cemetery to ensure all remains are safely stored before they are relocated to our new location.
OMHS recognizes the importance and responsibility attached to a project of this magnitude and nature and we are dedicated to managing it with the utmost care. To ensure the meticulous execution of this project, we have enlisted the expertise of Dr. Tracy Rogers, Associate Professor and Program Director of the Forensic Science Program, Anthropology, at the University of Toronto, along with her colleagues and students.
All other questions can be sent to email@example.com or by calling 905-845-1551
Why are we excavating the pet cemetery?
OMHS has been at this location since 1951 and has grown considerably. We want to ensure that we can continue providing needed services for domestic animals and wildlife. Due to space and facility constraints, we are looking at options for the shelter that would allow us to expand our services and improve our facilities. We will continue operating as normal at our current location while we explore these options.
We want to reassure the community that pet remains will be treated with the utmost care and respect. We are working with families who have pets at the cemetery to keep them informed of the project.
We will properly store all remains until a new location is designated for the placement and memorialization of these beloved pets.
Who will be excavating the animals' remains?
Dr. Tracy Rogers, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Forensic Science Program UTM will oversee a team of students from the University of Toronto’s Anthropology program. Tracy Rogers is a Forensic Anthropologist who has been actively involved in case work since 1998 and is currently a consultant to the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service. Dr. Rogers has been nominated for a TVOntario’s Best Lecturer Award and was awarded the University of Toronto Mississauga Teaching Excellence Award for Faculty.
To learn more about Dr. Rogers and her team, please visit utm.utoronto.ca/forensic/people/tracy-rogers
When will this project begin?
University of Toronto scientists and students are scheduled to begin their work in mid-August of 2023. Their work is expected to take 12 to 18 months.
What is the process for excavating the animal remains?
There will be a site evaluation completed by Dr. Rogers and her team
The students from the University of Toronto will follow standard techniques and methods employed by archaeologists to ensure the excavation of each plot is done in a humane manner. Each plot will be hand dug and the remains identified, recorded, catalogued and stored in a secure location.
What are the plot owners' options for their animal(s) remains and headstones/plaques?
Each memorial plaque marker and associated remains will be catalogued and stored in a secure location. Plot owners may leave their animal’s remains and associated plaques at OMHS to be memorialized once a new, proper location has been found. Plot owners are also welcome to pick up their pet’s remains and/or plaques. To arrange for pickup of your animals’ remains, ashes and/or plaques, please contact the shelter directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
How long will the remains be in storage?
All remains will be properly stored until a new location is designated for the placement and memorialization of these beloved pets. We are actively working towards finding a new location and will continue to provide updates.
Can I visit my pet during the excavation?
Access to the cemetery will remain available during the project, however care should be taken around the areas where the ground has been disturbed during the excavation.
If your pet’s remains are in storage, you can contact us at email@example.com to arrange a private visitation or pickup.
What will happen to my pet in the Columbarium?
The columbarium will not be disturbed during this phase of the project. If your pet’s remains are in OMHS’ columbarium, please send us your updated contact information so we can keep you abreast of any future changes to firstname.lastname@example.org