Community Service Opportunity: Pet Heaven Cemetery in Reynoldsburg/Etna

Read on if your 4-H Club is looking for a community service opportunity!

From Joe Downs, Cemetery Director at Pet Heaven Cemetery:

A brief explanation of who we are; Pet Heaven was purchased by The Basement Doctor in 2018, and is now one of their many sister companies. In the years prior to the purchase of the cemetery, it has been pretty neglected and overgrown. Since purchasing the cemetery in 2018, the employees at The Basement Doctor have been volunteering their time to mow, meet with families, dig graves, and even set monuments. Finally this year, they realized the cemetery has too much business to keep running on volunteer capacity, so they hired me. I am a former dog groomer and humane agent, as well as a current funeral director and crematory operator. I am now THE only person responsible for everything related to the cemetery.

Over the past few months I have contracted with casket suppliers, monument artists, and a lawncare team.

My final big task before re-opening the cemetery and accepting new burials; is landscaping!

Pet Heaven dates back to the 1950’s, and is home to hundreds of companions final resting places. Being that we have headstones from the 50’s and up, many families don’t make it out to care for the graves anymore, and I really want the grounds to be clean and welcoming before reopening.

Some of the biggest tasks I have include:

  • Washing off headstones with soap and water
  • Pulling weeds around headstones – we do not use a weed-eater around the headstones because the string contains metal reinforcement, and can damage the stone ☹
  • Leveling stones – Many of the headstones have settled into the ground over the years and shifted. Since our headstones are sized for pets, they are fairly small and lightweight. Most of the stones just need to be re-centered on their slabs, so the rows are in nice straight lines.
  • Gardening and landscaping – I have been reaching out to local nurseries and garden centers for donations of mulch and stone. Right now, the cemetery is just lawn and trees. I want to have a nice eye-catching entrance with bright flowers and dark mulch. We also have a large empty area in the center of the cemetery where I would like to add a “Pick-your-own flower garden” – growing a variety of flowers and greenery, offering a unique experience for visitors to pick their own arrangement of flowers to place on their loved ones grave.

I am reaching out to see if your 4H community would be interested in helping us complete any of these tasks. We are eager to open our doors again and start accepting burials for at-need families!

Everything necessary will be provided for our volunteers; gloves, sunscreen, glasses, brushes and cleaners etc…

I will also be installing a community board with local veterinary office info, coupons for pet supplies etc, and would be more than happy to add a big banner thanking the Ohio 4-H volunteers for making our cemetery beautiful!

***Pet Heaven as well as all of our sister companies have been completely covid free during the entire pandemic. While our employees are getting vaccinated, we are still enforcing a strict mask policy in our offices, vehicles, and common areas. Outdoor activities are mask optional as long as a 6-foot distance is still enforced, or members are from the same household.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this email, and I look forward to hearing back from you! 😊

JOE DOWNS 

CEMETERY DIRECTOR

PET HEAVEN CEMETERY

ADDRESS: 13701 NATIONAL RD. SW, ETNA OH, 43068

SITESwww.PetHeavenOhio.com / Facebook/PetHeavenCemetery

PHONE: 740.927.3582

JDowns@PetHeavenOhio.com ~

Skillathon Requirement Info for 4-H/FFA Junior Fair Exhibitors (Alpacas/Llamas, Beef, Dairy Cattle, Dogs, Goats, Horses, Poultry, Rabbits, Sheep, Swine)

Continuing from 2020, the Fairfield County Junior Fair will require the completion of at least one Skillathon per 4-H/FFA exhibitor in order to show at 2021 Fairfield County Junior Fair for all beef, dairy, goat, poultry, rabbit (except Pet Rabbits), sheep, swine, dog, horse, alpaca/llama projects. This requirement is included on page 14 of the 2021 4-H Member Handbook. Fairfield County Skillathons may include (but are not limited to) animal anatomy/body parts, breeding and reproduction, feeds and nutrition, current events, diseases and animal health, equipment ID, feed ID, Quality Assurance, breeds, marketing, meats, and recordkeeping.

Here are options to meet this county requirement:

1. Participate in the Fairfield County Skillathon event to be held September 11th and 12th at the Fairfield County Fairgrounds. Details will be forthcoming…but save the dates now.
  • Fairfield County youth interested in competing for any Fairfield County Premier Exhibitor Award must complete the Skillathon in each respective specie they play to compete in.
  • Example: Exhibitor wishes to compete for Swine Premier Exhibitor Award and Poultry Premier Exhibitor Award must complete both the swine and poultry Fairfield County Skillathons on either September 11th or 12th.
2. Participate in the Ohio State Fair Virtual Skillathon.
  • Youth do not have to be exhibitors in the OSF to participate.
  • Registration is due June 14th by visiting: www.go.osu.edu/skillathonregistration
  • Youth do not have to be exhibitors at the OSF to participate.
  • OSF Youth participating in the Outstanding Breeding Exhibitor must register and complete the OSF Virtual Skillathon to be eligible for this award.
  • Exhibitors must have their own unique email address to create a log-in to access the online skillathon.
3. Participate in the Ohio State Fair In-Person Skillathon.
4. None of these options work? Exhibitors can schedule to take a written test with the Fairfield County Senior Fair Office.
 
Details including dates for both virtual/in-person options on the two options from the Ohio State Fair can be found here: https://ohio4h.org/animalsciences/ohio-youth-skillathons
please let Leslie Cooksey (cooksey.25@osu.edu) know if you have additional questions.

Ohio Youth Skillathons (Virtual and In-Person Sessions)

Ohio Youth Skillathon information for VIRTUAL and IN-PERSON sessions is now online at: https://ohio4h.org/animalsciences/ohio-youth-skillathons

VIRTUAL Skillathon Registration is due by JUNE 14th, 2021!

A few important notes:

  • Those exhibiting at OSF and want to be eligible for Outstanding Market Exhibitor (OME) awards MUST participate at the IN-PERSON skillathons at the state fair
  • Those exhibiting at OSF and want to be eligible for Outstanding Breeding Exhibitor (OBE) awards MUST participate in the VIRTUAL skillathons online

Ohio State Fair – Junior Division Dogs (info posted)

Competition information has been posted on the Ohio State Fair website for the Junior Division of Dogs. Find it here: https://ohiostatefair.com/agriculture-livestock/livestock/

Exhibitors: Join the Ohio State Fair Livestock and Animal Exhibitors Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/osflivestock for ongoing updates about competitions, move-in dates, weigh-ins, and more.

2021 Ohio State Fair Livestock and Animal Exhibitor Schedule Announced

Hot off the press on May 12th, 2021: The 2021 OSF Livestock Schedule is now posted at: https://ohiostatefair.com/agriculture…/livestock-schedule/
Soon there will also be:
  • Rules
  • Entry info
  • Skillathon info
Ohio 4-H is also planning on having other state youth contests including:
  • Poultry Judging (July 17th)
  • Avian Bowl (July 17th)
  • Livestock Judging (July 30th)
More info on rules and entry will be coming soon.
For those exhibiting or planning to exhibit livestock at the 2021 Ohio State Fair, this page is where updates and info will be posted 🙂

PBS Animal Health – 2021 4-H/FFA Discount Program

Please see the link to the form below to participate in a 5% discount on all items purchased for exhibitor livestock projects at PBS Animal Health. There will be a gift certificate shared to a winning club/participant at the end of the year!

For information, contact Chris Johnson at PBS Animal Health in Circleville 740-474-7394 or cjohnson@pbsanimalhealth.com.

Link to form: PBS Discount Program

2020 Junior Fair Updates (by specie) are posted!

2020 Junior Fair Updates by specie have been organized and posted by specie on the OSU Extension/4-H website. Please note that this information is current as of 10/8/2020 and is subject to change. Updated documents will be reposted to this site with the updated date noted next to the specie should that need to happen. http://go.osu.edu/2020fairinfo

Items that have been updated since they were originally posted on 9/23/2020:

  • Map of parking area
  • Modified Junior Fair Schedule (updated 10/6/2020)
  • Beef Cattle (updated 9/25/2020)
  • Rabbits (updated 10/7/2020)

Please take the time to read all updates as it pertains to your family and Junior Fair participation this year. Please review the 2020 General Rules and Modified Junior Fair Schedule listed at the top of this page. Additionally, since no updated rule book was printed for 2020, it is important to read the 2019 Junior Fair Book rules as well for your respective specie. All of this information is listed on this page of the website.

Please reach out if you have any questions at all!

Here is a screenshot of our OSU Extension/4-H website where the updates are posted. Below the 2020 updates, you will find links to the 2019 Junior Fair Rule Book.

Missing the Junior Fair Livestock Contests at the 2020 County Fair? Find all the details to watch the shows online here!

All of the details regarding the live streaming of the Fairfield County Junior Fair Livestock shows is here. There will be 2 live streams: One from the Ed Sands/Farm Bureau Show Arena and one from the Feeder Creek Show Arena. Please note: all shows in the Round Dairy Barn and the Horse arena will be recorded in their entirety and be ready for viewing following the completion of the live stream in the Feeder Creek Show Arena. Thumb drives will be available for purchase for each of the daily show activities. Contact the Senior Fair Board office to pre-order at 740-653-3041.

2020 Junior Fair Updates (by specie) as of 9/23/2020 are posted!

2020 Junior Fair Updates by specie have been organized and posted by specie on the OSU Extension/4-H website. Please note that this information is current as of 9/23/2020 and is subject to change. Updated documents will be reposted to this site with the updated date noted next to the specie should that need to happen. http://go.osu.edu/2020fairinfo

Please take the time to read all updates as it pertains to your family and Junior Fair participation this year. Please review the 2020 General Rules and Modified Junior Fair Schedule listed at the top of this page. Additionally, since no updated rule book was printed for 2020, it is important to read the 2019 Junior Fair Book rules as well for your respective specie. All of this information is listed on this page of the website.

Please reach out if you have any questions at all!

Here is a screenshot of our OSU Extension/4-H website where the updates are posted. Below the 2020 updates, you will find links to the 2019 Junior Fair Rule Book.