Plaque from Humane Society director is first at Faithful Friends Memorial Garden

       Close to 50 people, several of them with dogs on leashes, attended the opening ceremony of the new Faithful Friends Memorial Garden at the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region facility Oct. 27. The first plaque is unveiled for the Humane Society’s
Memorial Garden Oct. 27 by agency director (far right) Wes
Metzler and his wife Sharol, commemorating their dog Teal, who recently died of cancer. Looking on are (from left) Randy Harrelson, the Humane Society’s director 
of development; and Bill Johannsen, its board president.
Westside Pioneer photo
       Society Director Dr. Wes Metzler and his wife Sharol became the first to use the ashes-only pet cemetery, by interring the ashes of their dog Teal (who had recently died of cancer at age 8) and erecting a plaque for her in the roughly one-acre landscaped area. The plaque gives the dog's name, followed by “faithful friend and companion,” the month and year of birth and death and the Metzlers' names.
       “It's a way to honor and remember a pet,” Metzler said in a short speech. “And it's a very special way to do it.”
       There are three basic ways to commemorate deceased pets in the garden (which is just east of the Humane Society's headquarters at 610 Abbot Lane). People can simply scatter their ashes (no charge), or scatter them and have the pet's name engraved on a monument ($350), or have the ashes interred - the facility is now licensed as a columbarium - and the name engraved ($600), according to Ann Davenport of the Humane Society.
       “We are so thrilled that we are able to offer this,” she said, adding that some orders have already started coming in.
       The non-profit business also provides euthanasia and cremation services.
       A free service that the Humane Society offers to people whose pets have died is a pet-loss support group that meets monthly. It can be helpful because when a pet dies, the owner feels bad but is often told “it's just a pet, get over it,” Davenport pointed out.

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