Controversy Over Pet’s Name On Tombstone

TombstoneJudy Hagan lost her beloved rat terrier eight years ago. After he passed away, she bought two plots at a local cemetery: one for her and one for her dedicated dog. Now, eight years later, Hagan has created a memorial and tombstone for her dog to demonstrate how much she loved him.

In the middle of the cemetery, Hagan inscribed a tombstone for her furry friend. It says: “In Memory Of Sh**head”.

Some local residents in Uniontown, Kentucky are calling it disrespectful to the families in this cemetery. Also some other families complain that they don’t want to be buried next to an animal.

One man, Ed Burnett, has a grandmother that does not want to be in the same cemetery as Hagan’s rat terrier. Burnett said that he doesn’t think that his grandmother is aware of the name, but if she was aware, she would end up in the hospital. He thinks that Hagan can find a better name for her dog.

Except Hagan doesn’t want to rename her dead dog. She takes care of the grave and speaks about her special dog as if he were her child.

Hagan simply says that Sh**head was her dog’s name, and she’s proud of it. She doesn’t care who gets mad about it. She only wanted the tombstone to remember her faithful dog and didn’t want to cause a controversy.

The mayor and city attorneys are looking into the matter. They say while the cemetery is public, the plot is owned by Hagan. The City Attorney also said that he has found no law prohibiting an animal from being buried in a public cemetery.

In regards to the name, they are still researching into the legality of it.

Hagan said she’s ready to fight the city, if it “hits the fan”. She will fight them to the end if they ask her to remove the tombstone of her beloved pet.

Source: WEHT

24 Responses to “Controversy Over Pet’s Name On Tombstone”

  1. wescott20 says:

    She paid for the plot…there’s no law against burying a pet in that cemetery (which even the city officials admitted)… she has the right to have her dog buried there. Period.

  2. Jan says:

    She named her dog with a label that many would find profane and disrespectful for either a human or a companion animal. While she has a right to bury her dog, I do not believe she has the right to publicly display a potentially offensive headstone.

  3. 3FURS says:

    Perhaps she could have the stone altered. It could read ‘S***head’. Then there could be some doubt in the public’s mind, as to the real name–but she would know. That way, she is not changing her pet’s name. Obviously she dearly loved her dog. The name has a special meaning to her, for some reason.

  4. Mindy's Mom says:

    How silly that some do not want to be buried in the same location as a pet! Like being buried next to humans, worms, moles, spiders is much better!

    I do agree that the stone name is a bit disrespectful to others, but there should be some compromise. But to say that a pet cannot be buried there is a bit over the top. Who cares! You’re DEAD!

  5. elizabeth says:

    I think the fact of the unfortunate name of the dog needs to be separated from the legality of the location of the burial itself. Somehow I doubt this issue would be receiving media attention if the dog’s name was Sandy or Ranger. The name itself is coarse and disrespectful to both the dog and the families of the people buried nearby. Surely she could have a lovely gravestone with the dog’s image and date of death engraved as a memorial to her beloved pet. The fact that so many people are “me me me” with little concession anymore to polite society and common decency is troubling.

  6. wescott20 says:

    Still, technically under the law she is in the right. It is an unfortunate name though. I know no law exists that really addresses this situation but that is because it is assumed no one would give their dog that name. As for the people who complain about being buried near a dog….that dog was probably a better “person” than the lot of them!

  7. Beth says:

    I’m still laughing over this. some people will bitch about everything and anything. It’s just a tombstone….
    They need to “GET A LIFE” before they too are pushing up dasies!

  8. Furbabies says:

    For the most part, people suck. How completely stupid to waste your life trying to control what other people do, say, think and how they should live their lives. Worry about your own life while you are still alive. As far as this poor woman goes, if they make her change it she should sue them. America, Land of the Free, not hardly. Stuffy people.

  9. Sky Eyes Woman says:

    Oh man, people need to get over themselves. If anything, that dog’s name probably made people laugh when he was alive and will continue to do so even after his death.

    I honestly find this headstone a lot more offensive, but it’s more because I know the guy in this grave probably would have been angry about it than I feel offended at the words used on it:

    http://www.snopes.com/photos/signs/headstone.asp

  10. mittens says:

    my grandfather made us promise we’d get blind drunk and piss on his grave when he was gone. i’m sure he’s proudly occupy a space next to S$$$head particularly since his own nickname given to him by his mother was S$$$poke.

    perhaps if people concentrated more on their own misdeeds and cruelties and ‘unchristian’ thoughts towards other humans they’d spend less time focused on other’s use of socially suspect language. if bad words were the only problem in society i’d say we’d almost be in heaven. it’s a pity that pettiness follows some into their damn graves- where nothing on this earth matters whatsoever. words mean f’naught when youre taking up real estate in the bone orchard.

  11. 2CatMom says:

    A funny related story - I don’t believe that animals are allowed to be buried in a human cemetary where I live.

    One of my friends called a local funeral home and asked if she could be buried with her pets’ ashes (when the time came, of course). They told her that they couldn’t because it was against the law. However, they told her that if she wanted to be buried with a handbag - they weren’t going to look inside. Considering how many pets she’s had over the years, that’s going to be one big handbag!!

  12. Lis says:

    There’s no good reason her beloved dog shouldn’t share the grave plot and be memorialized.

    However, if she had loved and respected the dog, she wouldn’t have given it that name. Words have both dictionary meanings and emotional context, and in this case both are disrespectful in the extreme.

    That name wasn’t an expression of love. And the offense that other people are taking at it is so completely predictable that I believe it was intended. If she wants to atone somewhat for her attitude towards her dog while it was alive, she can give it a more respectful name so that its tombstone won’t provoke outrage. More likely, though, she’s already getting exactly what she wants.

  13. B says:

    Does nobody remember Steve Martin’s movie “The Jerk”?

    That was the name of his dog.

  14. HighNote says:

    Since this lady paid for the grave I see nothing wrong with it. Too bad more cemetaries will not let animals to be buried beside their masters, but they don’t. There would be a lot less cats and dogs that would be put into dog food from the vets office. We would have a place to put them when their time came. With us like it should be. They were our friends in life. Why shouldn’t they share our place of death?
    I don’t care for the name myself but I have seen some pretty wild names on tombstones and I certainly would not complain about the dead. A grave yard is a place for our loved ones to go to rest and a name should have nothing to do with it. As far as people not liking being buried by pets. WEll Really how stupid is that! So what next people are going to complain about who they are buried next to? Complain about a dog first, what next? race? I don’t care who is buried next to me. I’ll be dead. It could be a man that beat his wife or killed someone or heaven knows what. When I am dead I sure won’t care.

  15. Dennis says:

    There are so many other important things to focus on, and for those local folks to fuss with this grieving lady over her pooch, they should give her a break and they should MYOB. There will be next to no one who sees that stone or cares.

  16. Gindy says:

    Lis, dogs do not care what you name them. Sheesh.
    We had a dog named Dammit. Best mutt ever and people loved his name.
    Kids actually got to say a “cuss” word and not get in trouble for it.
    Really, with all the stuff going on today people are getting upset over a dead dog’s name.
    We are doomed as a species if this is what makes people get upset.

  17. wescott20 says:

    In Florida I believe it is now the law that a person may be buried with their pet. I hope this trend spreads to other states.

  18. Jan says:

    Lis…you said it even better than I did. Thanks.

  19. Lis says:

    Gindy, dogs don’t know English, but they do know what feeling a person is expressing when they speak to them. And words have meaning and emotional content for people; the emotion that goes with “s***head” isn’t a positive emotion. If she loved the dog, that’s not what she would have called it.

    And how we treat animals is a major indicator of how we treat people. And in turn, that has a HUGE impact on our prospects as a species.

  20. Don Earl says:

    If the dog has been there for 8 years, with no complaints, and the “memorial” has been added recently, with lots of complaints, what is at issue isn’t too hard to figure out.

    The memorial could just as easily been to “S”, which would be unlikely to offend anyone.

    The work arounds used on Internet message boards to avoid webmaster oversight aren’t something parents should have to explain to their children when visiting the final resting place of a loved one.

    Like Will Rogers said, “Your right to swing your fist stops where my nose begins.”.

  21. Kahla says:

    I think it’s ridiculous that people could have any say in it. If you don’t like it, don’t look at it. Simple as that. Maybe she grew attached to the name. Even if she regretted it later, it would confuse the dog. Oh, and I saw a comment that said that name meant that she didn’t truly love the dog.

    Well, if that were true, this argument wouldn’t be happening now, would it?

  22. Most Popular Dog And Cat Names | Itchmo: News For Dogs & Cats says:

    […] name? Is it Lucky, Princess, or Potato? (I actually have met a dog named Potato.) I think this one name is probably one of the most controversial pet names I have ever […]

  23. Lawsuit Against Owner Who Buried Dog In Cemetery | Itchmo: News For Dogs & Cats says:

    […] Itchmo comes to you when called.Sign up for our daily email digest or subscribe in a RSS reader.Last month, we brought you the story of Judy Hagan. Her beloved rat terrier died eight years ago, and she buried him in her local cemetery in 1999 with the city’s permission. Initially, there was controversy over this because of her dog’s name: Sh**head. […]

  24. Kristy says:

    Judging by the video, the woman got exactely what she wanted - attention. I agree with Lis 100%

    You wouldn’t name your child “Sh**head” (and probably are not allowed to legally) and I think it is a shame that someone thinks it is entertaining to name a pet that. Obviously there would be more problems to that with kids (they realize their name when they group up,) but it still reeks. Her video makes her look ignorant (comparing it to names that have double meanings) and red-necky. And I am from the south!

    While I whole-heartedly support her right to bury a dog there, she should not have the right to display profanity in a public place. There are public decency laws/ordinance for a reason. Do I occasionally curse? Yes, but that doesn’t make it okay to permenately publish it in a public place. I don’t want someone’s headstone to be in the shape of a dildo because their name is “Peter” either.

    If she wants to bury the dog in a plot she bought - she absolutely should be allowed. If she wants to call her dog a curse word, as much as I hate it and think she’s a jerk for doing so, she has every right to do so. But she shouldn’t have the right to force her profanity on me in a public place. Anyone with kids and that gives a darn, knows that. Too many kids these days are foul-mouthed exactely because of people like her. Any person that walks in that cemetary (including children) may accidently look at that headstone in a time of brievement.

    I’m a pretty open-minded gal, but for the life of me I don’t know when showing a little decency became so “out of vogue”. There is a time and place for everything. If she looovvveeeddd her dog so much, then I doubt she would have waited 8 years to get a headstone that has profanity on it (much less call her dog that.) More than likely, she originally bought the plots for her and her husband, and keeps finding new ways to piss him off.


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