After several of citizen complaints in recent months, the board moved to place a moratorium on allowing pets in city-owned cemeteries at its Nov. 4 meeting. The moratorium, in immediate effect, will disallow pets in cemeteries while staff works to amend the city's animal control ordinance.
A public hearing will be held at the next two board meetings allowing citizens to express their support or concerns about the amendment. After these hearings, the board will officially vote on the amendment. This motion stems from a recommendation provided by the Starkville Cemetery Association, originating from grievances connected to the Odd Fellows Cemetery adjacent to the University Dr. and Jarnigan St. intersection.
Charlotte Coker, president of the SCA, said many of the problems can be attributed to the dense student population in the Cotton District.
"Some of those visiting the cemetery with pets are not showing respect for visiting family members or the memories of the deceased," she said. "This can affect people at their most vulnerable times."
The City of Starkville also owns an Odd Fellows Cemetery near Henderson Ward Stewart Elementary on Hwy 182.
This amendment does not pertain to ADA service animals.