Canadian Pet Cemetery Shut Down Due To Horrible Violations

CemeteryWarning: This story may disturb some readers.

Misty Gardens Pet Cemetery and Domestic Animal Cremation in Winnipeg, Canada went through scrutiny because of what two pet owners stumbled upon.

After hearing that the Misty Gardens Pet Cemetery was ordered to clean up dog carcasses, Adele Yan, a dog owner, had to investigate the situation. Her family’s yellow Labrador, Otis, had died six months ago and he was supposed to have been buried at the cemetery during the springtime. But she was still waiting from the cemetery in regards to when he would be buried.

She went to the pet cemetery and found her dog’s remains in a torn garbage bag on the cemetery property. The bag was on a table inside the crematorium building which was owned by Domestic Animal Cremations.

Yan found several freezers filled with garbage bags of animal carcasses. She recognized her dog’s body by his brown nose and his paw which had blue ink applied to it to take a keepsake print.

Another pet owner, Sandra McLeod, went with Yan to find out what happened to her dog also. She became suspicious after she had her dog cremated and received her dog’s ashes. She didn’t think that the ashes were from her dog. She took the remains to the University of Manitoba and was told that the ashes were most likely from a cat and not her dog.

The woman who has operated Domestic Animal Cremation for the past 22 years, Gail Harrison, initially said that these reports were ugly rumors. The business was shut down two weeks prior by the Public Health Department. They discovered bags of rotting animal bodies at Harrison’s home, and

There could be criminal charges brought against Harrison.

The Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association said pet crematoriums are private businesses that are not regulated by provincial licensing standards.

Pet owners in the area are pushing for stricter regulations on pet crematoriums. Meanwhile, many pet owners who sent their pets to Misty Gardens wonder if the ashes they have are really those of their pets or just even where their pet’s ashes are.

Source: Winnipeg Free Press

(Thanks Claudia)

16 Responses to “Canadian Pet Cemetery Shut Down Due To Horrible Violations”

  1. Amanda says:

    This is sick and shameful!!! Who did the cat ashes belong too? What pet parent doesn’t have their baby :(

  2. Lynne says:

    This reminds me of that crematory in Georgia several years back. They found human bodies everywhere. What people won’t do for a buck.

  3. catmom5 says:

    This never should have happened. I hope there is a way to shut this business down and to respectfully deal with the remains found. How very sad . . .

  4. Claudia says:

    I sent the story in to warn anyone in the Itchmo readership to check out the business that would be handling their pet’s cremation or burial (thanks Itchmo for carrying the story). Most individuals leave it up to their veterinarian for this service, so who really knows what’s happening to their pet, unless they actually visit the business. Fortunately, my vet had chosen another company for this service, one that cares enough to have designed it exactly like a human cremation setting, complete with a lovely grieving room and window to the crematorium. THIS is what our furry family members deserve — no less. I’m so heartbroken for all those who don’t know what happened to their loved ones and I’ll be following this story very closely.

  5. HighNote says:

    This is just terrible! I have no words any more to express anything. We can’t even bury or cremate our pets any more without someone trying to cheat us. Is the big buck all that is important in America any more? What has this Nation become? What happened to caring about our fellow man and the animals too! What kind of future will our children have and our pets too? Companies and businesses are turning America into a cold hearted country that does not care about honesty or who it hurts or kills.

  6. Radcliff, Allie, Luna, & Ozzie says:

    First off, HighNote, ‘America’ is technically correct, but this happened in Canada, not the USA.

    Second, we doubt this is really about the money. The gas is typically a minuscule part of the cost of a cremation — a buck or two. This company was probably spending more keeping these poor babies in the freezer than it would have cost to cremate them.

  7. Rose says:

    My Dearest Pet Teako passed away July 2,2007. The Vet assured me that they would take care of the cremation. I had no clue then, but the Vet industry knew as alot of them were already pulling their business away from there. On my Birthday, August 17,2007 I found a news paper with the news of this horrible crime against animals and their families. I had a sick feeling in my stomach and rushed home to check the bag that the Urn of my Dog had come in. I could never describe the shock to you when I saw Misty Gardens on the bag. I called my Vet and asked them about it. They admitted to knowing about it and had pulled their business away weeks early. That was too close to the time my dog was sent there. I don’t know if my dog’s body is in a freezer, mass grave, or rotting under old trees as others are. I don’t know if what I have in the Urn is my beloved pet. I specifically ordered a separate cremation for my dog but now I feel sick thinking all I may have is gravel of some sort. I feel I let Teako down and My feelings of comfort that he is with me in this Urn will be forever altered by these horrible people.

  8. Claudia says:

    From the sounds of the comments coming from the owner of the company (she was also featured on local TV), it seems to be a case of someone who just doesn’t care about what they’re doing anymore and are in over their heads. Money does have something to do with it, but some of their staff have spoken up about what had gone on in the past and it just seemed like no one really cared to treat these animals with the respect they deserved — being someone’s family member. Kind of sad that this woman (business owner) has her own pets. I’d hate to see how she treats them.

  9. Claudia says:


    I’m so sorry for what you are going through. You did not let Teako down as he knows you did the best you could for him and you took good care of him through his life. Many people affected by the pet food recalls feel the same way. I was one of those feeding my cats tainted food, but was lucky enough not to be affected (I guess I didn’t feed them enough of it — thank God). These are circumstances that we would never dream of and I know our pets would not blame us. I gave a cat to the Humane Society, who subsequently had to be put down because he was ill and not getting better with treatment. He would have gone there, too and I feel really bad about that. It was November 2006. I can only hope he was cremated and treated with respect because everyone would have let him down — in life and death.

  10. Deborah says:

    WOW. I’m shaking here. In the past 24 months, I’ve parted with three dogs (age related) and three cats. All of the cats were in the 18+ year old time frame and the dogs . . . illness, old age and a weird inherited neuological condition. What I’d like to believe is that their ashes that rest on the shelf to the second floor of my house (alongside those of my Grandmother) really belong to them. The thought of any crematorium charging for a pre-paid private cremation and then tampering with the final remains make me sick to my stomach. The pain of losing a family member of 18 years is hard enough without the taint of wondering if they just filled up the urn with Kitty Litter.

  11. Laurie says:

    There is now a LiveJournal community for those concerned about the events at Misty Gardens; you can find it through the link in my name. It provides a place for the public to join together and talk about their reactions as well as to keep up with the latest news.

    Our cat was cremated at Misty Gardens back in 2004. Fortunately it looks like the ashes we got were probably his, but still, the thought that they might not be is very distressing indeed.

  12. Sindy says:

    The Manitoba Veterinary Association said they couldn’t have done anything about it and basically it’s the government’s problem due to lax regulations. No, you took the money and some of you stopped using Misty Gardens so you did suspect something. When will people stand up and say something when they see this going on? I just don’t get it sometimes. Passing the buck leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
    My condolences to anyone who lost a pet in Manitoba and had used that disgusting Misty Gardens. If it was due to the pet food recall, then they have been doubly tormented. You just didn’t know and would never, ever have let this happen if you did.

  13. L H says:

    My beloved Thunder was a victim of Gail Harrison and Misty Gardens
    please view this video
    there are also CBC news reports on my you tube account

  14. JL says:

    My dog Chelsea is age 13 and reading this news does not help at all! I might as well just bury her in my own backyard but I do want to get her cremated. Does anyone know where else in Winnipeg that has these services for your pet that you can trust?

    Also, if anyone of you ever need to take your cats or dogs to see a VET, never bring your pet to see Dr. Zheng from Animal Hospital of Manitoba in Winnpeg located on Main st. All he does is take more money out of you, he told me that my dog have cancer from all those test that he ran $540 and need treatment, when I refuses he suggested to put her down ASAP. either way to get more money out of me. Then I left and got a second opinion the next day only to find out that my dog doesn’t have cancer, that she have geriatric vestibular disease, no treatment and does not recommend to put my dog down. Dr. Zheng said my dog have cancer b/c she have these enlarge lumps on her body. So when my dog felt better, I got her lumps tested and they were not cancerous, just consist of lipids.

    He is a scammer do not bring your pets to see him! When i was waiting for my dog’s test results while I was there, there was another owner that was yelling at Dr. Zheng for over charging her cat flee treatment. She said that over the phone he told her the total was $150 and when she showed up, it doubled! She said that was not the first time he did that to her!!!

  15. G says:


  16. Linda Tomaso says:

    I lost my beloved Mr. Max (Fat to the max cat) last May. Here it is November and I am still grieving for him. I have his ashes, I hope, so when I move he can go with me.

    My heart breaks for you. Your beloved Teako knew you loved him with all your heart and did your very best for him. He knows that now. As I said, I have Mr. Max’s ashes but he is not really there, only his earthly remains are. The same is true for Teako. They are in a better place, healthy and whole. Now I know Max has ENDLESS days to romp and play, as does Teako. When we are reunited we will never have to part again.

    He will always be in your heart but someday you will be able to have that purrrfect love with yet another cat. He will not take the place of Teako but he will fill a space. About a month after Max’s passing, a beautiful long haired cat, Max was longed haired, appeared at my door. I still cry for my big boy but this little girl has been a true blessing. I like to think my Max sent her my way. His parting gift.

    I hope you too will also be as blessed.

E-mail It