Lawsuit Against Owner Who Buried Dog In Cemetery

TombstoneLast 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.

On the tombstone, she had inscribed: In Memory of Sh**head.

Some residents in this Kentucky town were offended by the name on the tombstone and thought Hagan should change the name on the tombstone. Hagan refused and said her dog’s name wasn’t Poophead; her dog’s name was Sh**head.

But now, there are others who are more upset about the fact that a dog is buried in a human cemetery.

A priest from a neighboring town, Father Gerald Baker, has filed a lawsuit against the city of Uniontown, Kentucky (the city that Sh**head is buried in) and Hagan for allowing a dog to be buried near a veteran’s memorial. He said this is a complete nuisance.

Father Gerald Baker asked: “What are we saluting? A flagpole with a monument to the dog? It’s offensive. Any Christian, any American should understand why this is offensive.”

He demanded that the dog’s body and headstone be removed. He said other states have laws banning pets in human cemeteries and he hopes that Kentucky will enact similar legislation.

Hagan said she has every right for her dog to be buried there.

“What right does he have to come to this town and put somebody else down for something they have done that he knows nothing about. It’s not a disgrace. I didn’t do it for a disgrace. If that’s the way people wanna take it, then that’s their problem,” Hagan responded.

The city of Uniontown will now have to defend a previous administration’s decision to allow Sh**head to be buried in the cemetery in court and to the public.

The mayor of the city said: “It’s a terrible thing, and I understand and respect everybody’s feelings on that, but the way we have to react to it is legally. To go out there and move something if she has true rights, we’re doing wrong.”

Source: First Coast News

21 Responses to “Lawsuit Against Owner Who Buried Dog In Cemetery”

  1. Lynne says:

    With all that needs fixing in this country, THIS is what the religious people are worried about?
    This is why I have NO USE for organized religion. Screw them.

  2. nora says:

    The priest has now exposed what a non christian he really is and a hater of noble animals. (no matter what the name). Yes, it would be nice for the lady to remove the offensive name on the headstone. The fact she buried the little terrier with a nice headstone speaks volumes of her love for the dog. But the Priest is an awful human being to file a lawsuit for an animal buried in the cemetery. I think that whoever pays for the plot has the right to bury their beloved animal companions. They deserve every honor that the owners bestow upon them. The law that keeps companion animals from being buried with their owners is ridiculous.

  3. Takami826 says:

    Those people are dead. I doubt they care or are offended that a dog is next to them with the name shithead. Who cares? Do we have that little to care about? Are there no crackwhores in KY this priest should be helping? How pathetic these people are with determining what’s important and what, while offensive to some, is just better left alone.

  4. menusux says:

    Father Baker needs to keep up with the Church’s teachings:

    “An important affirmation of John Paul II has raised a great
    clamour all round the world.


    “During a public audience the Holy Father affirmed that the
    animals, like men, were given the ‘breath of life’ by God. The
    Vatican squarely confronted this concept for the first time. At
    the Pope’s statement, Monsignor Canciani, who welcome dogs and
    cats into his Church in Rome, said he had “experienced a great
    joy. Now I sincerely hope that other priests will follow my

    “Many years after Cardinal Wojtyla had his dream, and had become Pope John Paul II, he made a pilgrimage to Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis. In the Message of Reconciliation he delivered there, the Pontiff spoke of the Saint’s love for animal, as well as human, beings. And he likened that inclusive love to an anticipation of the Peaceable Kingdom, envisioned by the Prophet Isaiah; a world in which all God’s creatures will live in peace with each other. ”

    The man at the link above has been buried in a Chicago-area Catholic cemetery since his death in 1947. I don’t think anyone’s about to call him an outstanding human being; no one’s done anything about getting him moved from the cemetery…..

  5. kaefamily says:

    “… Any Christian, any American should understand why this is offensive.”

    If one doesn’t understand why the fuss over a name then s/he is not a Christian and/or American?

  6. Bridgett says:

    I agree the name is offensive.

    However, loving our dogs is as American as apple pie. This priest should worry about cleaning out all the pedofiles in the Catholic church rather than wasting his time with a woman who just loved her dog.

  7. Karen Goodhart says:

    I agree the name is a problem. I have small children and would not want them to read it while they were visiting a loved ones grave. It may be a private plot, but it has full public access. It would be nice if she would compromise.

    However, my father, age 82, has already made arrangements to have his dog cremated (by a human funeral home) and buried on his plot. I can give you many reasons why this should be allowed, but the only one that seems to matter is that she owns the plot and can put whoever she wants there.

    Good luck to her.

    Karen Goodhart
    PW, GA

  8. shibadiva says:

    In “The Cat Who Went to Heaven”, award-winning children’s author Elizabeth Coatsworth wrote about Buddha’s compassion.

    A poor Japanese painter, who has fallen on hard times, sends his housekeeper out to buy food. Instead, she brings home a white cat from the dock, stating that the house is “lonely”. He names the cat Good Fortune soon after he notes the good behaviour of the cat. At breakfast, the painter notes the cat praying to the image of Buddha. The painter comments on his own lack of attention to prayer, as a result of the hard times he has lived through.

    The painter is commissioned to paint a picture of the death of Buddha, accompanied by animals. The cat, who is seen by the artist as a great figure cannot be glorified in the painting, due to the supposedly unlucky nature of cats that prevents them from entering Nirvana. This is because, according to classic Buddhist beliefs, the cat in Buddha’s time rebelled against him, did not receive his blessing and so cannot enter heaven.

    When the picture is completed, Good Fortune protests the lack of the cat in the painting. Deeply touched by her sadness, the artist finally paints a small cat together with the rest of the animals, knowing that it will displease the monks. The mural is finally delivered and praised by the monks until they notice the presence of the cat, and reject it. Nevertheless, the evening brings the news of a miracle: people gather around the mural, and the painter arrives to find the image of the Lord Buddha extending his hand as a blessing over a small white cat.

  9. CGP says:

    People - including holy men - have too much time on their hands if they need to file a lawsuit about this poor creature. Just goes to show that “men of God” are not necessarily true men of God. My view of Christianity is totally out of step with people like this. Last I heard the good Lord loved ALL his creatures - including dogs.

  10. Furbabies says:

    Isn’t it funny that Christians, who are supposed to love all things and be patient and peaceful, are among the loudest, nastiest people around? Whenever there is a conflict of ideas the Christians come off as bigoted, ignorant fools. Why can’t they just leave people alone? Not everyone believes as they do. Freedom of religion, or no religion. That is what America is all about. Sh**head, rest in peace!

  11. Roxanne says:

    Dogs have played an integral part in the military which gave Father Baker his ability to put forth his views. I don’t think veterans would be offended by the dog being with them, or anyone else for that matter. Maybe Father Baker should put as much thought and effort into fighting some of the real social issues confronting people in this country today. Maybe he should think about protecting some of the innocent children abused by his peers or those needing some food and education. Maybe he would like to comfort those dying of illness without being able to get adequate medical care in our very rich, and bountiful country. I guess if he can’t get publicity for being a humanitarian and good samaritan, being as a–hole is just as good!

  12. Cheryl says:

    Get over it and let the dog lie in peace. Humans should learn to choose their battles more wisely - what a waste of time to worry about this being offensive.

  13. kb says:

    Ignoring the issue of the name, it seems that what people like this Father need to realize is that pets (especially cats and dogs) are now viewed more as a part of the family than a possession. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case in most legal battles (where pets are only worth their monetary value). But, since people who have animals in their home tend to view them as family, they should have every right to bury their beloved pet in the same cemetery they will be laid to rest in.
    I’m assuming that this is not a veterans’ cemetery (since the dog wouldn’t have been allowed to be buried there). So, as far as the dog being buried near a veterans’ memorial, does this Father feel as though the dog is unworthy of such an honor? If so, has he verified that people with unoffensive names near the memorial “worthy” of the honor?(not that any of them aren’t, just a point)
    Again, as others have said, aren’t there better things to be doing in ANY legal system than arguing over names on tombstones and whether or not to dig up a body that has been buried for 8 years (dog or person)?

  14. menusux says:

    Think it’s time to let Father Baker’s boss know how you feel:

    “(Frankfort - March 8, 2001) Auditor of Public Accounts Ed Hatchett has appointed The Rev. Gerald H. Baker of Hopkinsville, Christian County, to the Charitable Asset Administration Board. Baker will serve for the remainder of Hatchett’s term as State Auditor. The Kentucky Senate confirmed Baker’s appointment today.
    Father Baker is a Catholic priest serving Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Hopkinsville. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sinai Pius X Seminary and a Master of Divinity degree from Mount Saint Mary Seminary.

    “”Father Baker has devoted much of his life’s energies to serving charitable purposes. He is a wonderful addition to this board. ,” said Hatchett. ” I am honored to have the opportunity to appoint him.”

    “The Charitable Asset Administration Board is a nine member board charged with the responsibility of administering charitable assets recovered on behalf of the Commonwealth as a result of legal actions.”

    Father Baker is no longer at Sts. Peter and Paul, but he is in the Diocese of Owensboro.

    Contact information (emails, phone numbers and addresses) for the Diocese and its head, Bishop John McRaith.

  15. Lynn says:

    I would suggest the Catholic religious groups worry about where their nuns are going to live, now that they have to sell the nuns’ homes in order to pay restitution to those people who were sexually abused by priests. THAT’s what they should be worrying about.

    The points:
    1. The dog is NOT in a VA cemetery.
    2. The owner had permission to bury the pet there.
    3. The priest should be concerned with other issues.
    4. If a human with the surname S**THEAD was buried there, no one would bat an eye. They’d probably laugh.

  16. janet says:

    I’m a Christian and an American and I am not offended in the least by a dog being buried in a cemetery. But I am offended by that damn priest’s attitude. After all, a cemetery is for the dead, animal or human.

  17. MaineMom says:

    History and current events prove how hypocritrical the Catholic church is and has always been. Sorry to offend current Catholics, but history can’t be rewritten.

    t’s about time our animals are being given their rightful place in society and law.

  18. Sylvia says:

    Oh good grief some people need to get a life - dogs are better people than the idiots who are making such an insane fuss over a name and a dog buried in a human cemetary. The dog gives these people some needed class.

  19. zenelvis says:

    Uh-oh, they may have to sue Steve Martin, too - after all, Sh*thead was the name of his dog in The Jerk…

  20. Kristie says:

    Wow, that’s such a mature reply from the only person to agree with that idiot Priest. I think that priest is a horrible excuse for a human being. Cemeteries are not places of the dead but places for the living. We put our loved ones there to give us a sense that they are somewhere we can still be with them and we place monuments to make sure they are remembered. It speaks volumes about the man who didn’t have the slightlest respect for the woman who buried her dog there because she loved him. I don’t know what kind of sick bastard “Good Catholic” is but human beings should have enough love and tolerance for all living things and we don’t have to “marry” everythig to do it.

  21. diana cartwright says:

    I live on a family inherited farm, and some relatives who live here had a dog. Their father,who is one one of the of the the main inheritors refused to be refused to be buried in the family cemetery on this property. His daughter and son-in-law buried a dog where her own father refused to be buried. I agree with other people about dogs being good-but-they don’t belong in a graveyard with people-especially when the people wouldn’t be buried their themselves.

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