Archive for Thursday, November 16, 2017

City finds some residents letting dogs run free, ‘degrade’ gravesites at Lawrence cemetery

A man walks through Lawrence's Oak Hill Cemetery with a dog on a leash, Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. The city parks and recreation department recently has received complaints about people allowing their dogs to run off leash in the cemetery.

A man walks through Lawrence's Oak Hill Cemetery with a dog on a leash, Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. The city parks and recreation department recently has received complaints about people allowing their dogs to run off leash in the cemetery.

November 16, 2017


It seems some residents have been visiting Lawrence’s Oak Hill Cemetery not to honor the dead, but to let their dogs run off leash.

Parks and Recreation Director Derek Rogers said the department received two complaints this week from residents who had seen people letting their dogs — sometimes multiple at once — run around the cemetery. Rogers said letting a dog off leash in the cemetery is prohibited as well as disrespectful.

“People need to be respectful of those buried there and the people that come to visit,” Rogers said.

Oak Hill was recently named to the National Register of Historic Places. The 60-acre cemetery is located on the eastern edge of Lawrence and continues to be used for burials. The cemetery is the resting place of some of the victims of Quantrill’s Raid, veterans from as far back as the Civil War, as well as several historic local figures.

Rogers said both the people who complained this week about dogs being allowed to run off leash were upset and saw it as a lack of respect. He said he agrees it is poor etiquette, and that the department is trying to address the complaints.

“If a dog raises its leg on a headstone, that’s degrading the headstones and that’s a problem,” Rogers said. “If they have them on a leash they can be more respectful.”

The cemetery is one of three owned by the city and maintained by the Parks and Recreation Department. Rogers said cemetery maintenance workers have found bagged dog poop left on the ground in the cemetery even though there are trash cans. He said he wants to remind people that all trash, including dog waste, needs to be placed in the trash cans provided.

Rogers said the department is working on posting signs to remind cemetery visitors that dogs must be leashed at all times and that visitors should clean up after themselves and their pets. For those who want to let their dogs run off leash, Rogers said there are two designated areas within the city to do so.

“If you want to run your dog off leash we have a really big dog park out at Clinton Lake and we also have a dog park in North Lawrence,” Rogers said.

It is against city ordinance to allow dogs, cats or other animals to run free. Animals must be leashed and under the owner's physical control at all times, according to the ordinance.

Mutt Run dog park, 1330 East 902 Road, is more than 30 acres and is located on property leased from the U.S. Corps of Engineers below the Clinton Lake Dam. There is a second dog park at the Riverfront Park, located at the intersection of North Second Street and Highways 24 and 40. Rules for use of the dog parks are located on the city's website,


David Holroyd 5 months ago

And the CITY OF LAWRENCE has let the Mausoleum become degraded.. Short of five months to memorial day...what can the five commissoners put in action to make the Mausoleum a place of pride for Lawrence and the final resting place of those left in it.

All talk they are and no action.

David Barrett 5 months ago

I am in awe that in addition to the issue of the dogs running loose, you managed to find something else to blame the city for. You are certainly devoted to your craft!

Bob Summers 5 months ago

Why do people in government not care about citizens dead loved ones?

Citizens that pay for the people in government livelihoods?

Mike Gant 5 months ago

I’ve seen several dogs running off leash at the cemetery while jogging. Fortunately most have been friendly though one did snap at me once. It is annoying, but I would say if you are looking for disrespect in the cemetery all you have to do is go to the little cul-de-sac next to the mausoleum. On any given morning you’ll find blunt wrappers, beer cans, emptied ashtray contents, and the like.

RJ Johnson 5 months ago

Easy fix, no dogs in the Cemetery. If caught $500.00 fine!

Louis Kannen 5 months ago

Perhaps Mr Barrett should take a moment to consider running for a seat on your City's 'Vaunted' Council. Irrespective of his chosen career path, it would certainly appear he's well aligned with the current Council members' modus operandi. That would be the very same Council that has BLATANTLY REFUSED to respond to numerous requests from Mr. Holroyd, myself and numerous, rightfully concerned others as to WHY ABSOLUTELY NOTHING has apparently been done to address the previously agreed upon repairs to LAWRENCE'S NATIONAL REGISTER of HISTORIC PLACES' hallowed MAUSOLEUM. Then again, that may be unfair, as he may simply be to busy with other things to find the time to trouble himself with such a 'triviality'...

Louis Kannen 5 months ago

( 'too busy' ), and for the love of all things Societal and Sacred, will SOMEONE with your City and/or your Newspaper PLEASE EXPLAIN WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THE MAUSOLEUM...!!!

Isaias Shannon 5 months ago

I am a founding member of the group Friends of Oak Hill Cemetery, we have been organized since about the first of the year with the goal of improving conditions at Oak Hill and working together with city leaders and citizens to prioritize the care and maintenance of Oak Hill. The national historic designation is important to the future of the cemetery in that being listed opens the door to many opportunities for grant money and other funding. The city is aware of the needs of Oak Hill and has been very receptive to working with our group to make necessary changes and plans to improve the care and maintenance of the cemetery. Restoration of the mausoleum and other needs at Oak Hill are complex and require time, commitment and of course, funding. If you would like to learn more about how you can be involved and proactive in working with us to benefit Oak Hill , we would LOVE to hear from you! We are actively seeking citizen and volunteer involvement. Please contact: Thank you!

Louis Kannen 5 months ago

Isaias, sincere thanks for the detailed Mausoleum information and your important and greatly appreciated involvement ! To your knowledge, has your City's Commission or your local Newspaper ever shared same?? Again, THANK YOU !!

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