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Owners exhume pets as cemetery closes

MILWAUKEE, July 2 (UPI) -- The sale of a Milwaukee-area pet cemetery has prompted owners of long-dead pets to flock to the graveyard to exhume their beloved dogs' and cats' remains.

The Thistlerose Pet Cemetery in Greendale, Wis., was closed two years ago, and now the property is changing hands, forcing the survivors of deceased Chihuahuas and Persians to disinter their pets, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported Wednesday.

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The pet cemetery is probably best known as the final resting place for actress Jayne Mansfield's Chihuahua named Gallina, but hundreds of other ordinary Milwaukeeans also shared a deep emotional bond with Thistlerose.

One of them, Gail Barker, told the Journal-Sentinel she regularly visited the grave of Miss Kitty, a calico cat who died in 2000, bringing plastic flowers and trimming the grass. She had hired a landscaping firm to remove the cat's casket.

Relatives of Eleanor Jolly, who managed Thistlerose for 50 years until her death at age 92 this year, said they're selling the property because no one in the family wants to run it.

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