Pigs Digging Up a Boonsboro Cemetery

Pigs Digging Up a Boonsboro Cemetery

"This past august, the neighbors’ pigs have been getting loose and into the graveyard. As you look around you can see, it's pretty evident the damage that's been done. And they owners don't appear to be stepping up to take care of this damage," said Mark Smith of the Salem Lutheran Church in Boonsboro.
BOONSBORO, Md. - Officials at a local cemetery said vandals are causing a lot of damage. The big problem, however, is those causing the damage are farm animals that are getting under the fence and digging up the graveyard.

If you take a look around this cemetery, it might look pretty ordinary. There are some tombstones here that date back to pre-civil wars times, and a lot of the people buried here were veterans.

But if you take a closer look you might see something a little off.

"This past august, the neighbors’ pigs have been getting loose and into the graveyard. As you look around you can see, it's pretty evident the damage that's been done. And they owners don't appear to be stepping up to take care of this damage," said Mark Smith of the Salem Lutheran Church in Boonsboro.

Mark Smith is the church council vice president, and he's been trying to get this situation smoothed over for months. He's been asking the Washington County Humane Society to help.

And officials from the Humane Society said they suspect it’s something about the smell in the ground that's attracting the pigs and causing them to dig. And they’ve been digging, all around the grave site and even around tombstones, even knocking some completely out of the ground.

"Although we are contracted through the county to provide animal control, it doesn't specifically involve farm animals," said Officer Andrew Smith of the Humane Society.

But they have issued two citations to the property owners, worth several thousand dollars.

The next step is to charge them criminally.

"Our goal is to have the owners of the animals make restitution to the church here for the destruction of property at the cemetery. And if that requires criminal charges to be applied for it then that's the direction we're going to go," said Andrew Smith.

The church community agrees, they just want this taken care of and for the cemetery to be restored.

“You know, being a church, we don't want to really ruffle a lot of feathers, we want to get along with our neighbors, but at the same time we have a responsibility to the families that have loved ones buried here,” Mark Smith said.

We contact the owners of the farm for this story, but they have yet to return our calls.

We also reached out to the Washington County Sheriff's Department, they said this is a civil matter, and if they need to respond to this situation, they will have to handle it as such.
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