The owner of a pet crematorium is being investigated for the improper disposal of family pets.
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) was called in to investigate in September, after complaints that a number of dead animals were found in trenches on a property on Grouse Ridge Road in Morgan County. Some of the animals were buried, others were not. Elliot Pet Services, owned by Cameo Farr, is located on the property.
The Department of Agriculture says several complaints led to the investigation at the property, where dozens of dead cats and dogs were found.
A TDEC spokesperson tells 10News that Farr told investigators that the incinerator broke and they started burying the remains on the property, which is a violation of state codes. In addition, Farr was told she needed to apply for a special waste application to properly dispose of incinerator ash.
Farr agreed to remove the visible animal remains and dispose of them properly somewhere else, and TDEC found no issues when the inspected the property again on November 12.
Fegan Kenny lives next door to the property. He and his wife filed the formal complaint with the state.
"Everybody asks -- 'what does it smell like?' Well, it smells like dead animals, 100 times worse," he said.
TDEC has been working with Farr to remove the buried remains from the property and expect to have it done by this week.
Kenny is ready to see the end of it.
"It took a long time for it to finally come to this," he said. "I'm hoping that this is the end of it."
The district attorney's office is monitoring the situation for any criminal activity.
"I found them in the phone book," remembers life-long pet owner, Jody Stone. She turned to cremation as a way to remember the pets she lost.
When her dog, Smokey, died two years ago, Stone says she chose Elliot Pet Services to handle the process. She had her pet's remains returned within about a week, and was pleased with the service. When her pet rabbit, Velvet, died a few weeks ago, she hired the company again.
This time, she says it was different.
"I kept pursuing, kept calling and texting," she said. Jones said she was unable to reach the company by phone, and her pet's ashes were delivered to the wrong house.
Then she saw the news reports.
"I was like, please don't be them," she remembered. "And it was."
Stone wanted to preserve a part of her family. Now, she's left wondering if what's left is really them.
"I want to know. I want to know."