Report: Animal remains found on property of pet crematory accused of failing to return ashes

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Off South Tryon Street in Charlotte, there's a field between Tyvola Road and Interstate 485 filled with gravesite markers, and what appears to be a kind of barn-looking shack with its door window busted out.

It may not be much, but it's not your usual graveyard.  It's a pet cemetery, and one of the only physical signs FOX 46 came across of what is the Charlotte Pet Cemetery and Crematory.

Despite its name, the business is run out of Huntersville, and has so for decades.

In the last few weeks, multiple people have reported issues with the crematory, and the amount of time it has taken to get their pet's remains.  Clients of the business say the issues have gone back years.

"Five to seven days," said Kelley Sheehan, when she was asked how many days she was told it would take for cremation of her pet chihuahua, Ariel.  The pet died in October, and when she spoke with FOX 46 at the end of January, she had yet to receive those remains.

RELATED: Pet owners say local crematorium failed to deliver ashes on time 

Another client noted they had to wait six months for the return of their dog's remains.

FOX 46 reached out multiple times to get a hold of the Charlotte Pet Cemetery and Crematory.  While they answered our first call, and declining comment until, they said, they were able to speak with the customer, subsequent calls and messages went unreturned for an on-the-record comment.

The initial stories we did in January, though, were enough for an anonymous person to come forward, with video and pictures of the property.

"There were times I could see fires, things burning on the property, which seemed kind of odd to me," said the anonymous person. 

This person said they considered using the business for pet cremation at one point, which prompted interest and visits to the listed business address for  the crematory.

"I made numerous trips over there," said the anonymous person.

Those trips were chronicled over the course of a couple of years in pictures and video and were given by the anonymous person to FOX 46.

FOX 46 was able to confirm the authenticity of the source and the video.

Images showed piles of bones laying in the grass and buckets that the anonymous person said appeared to be animal remains.

"Things were not in place," they said. "I couldn't see any type of creamtory on the property."

FOX 46 reviewed business and property records for the address, off Cashion Road in Huntersville, which listed the business address, though the property itself is not owned by the owner of the business, Terry Davis.

Someone who worked for Davis, and who did not want go on the record, spoke glowingly of their former boss, and explained that remains on the property could be from those animal owners who did not want their pet's remains back after cremation.

In the state of North Carolina, there are few laws regarding the disposal of pet remains, so the presence of the remains on the property is not itself illegal, though several pet crematories out of the area that FOX 46 reached out to questioned the ethical practices of the Charlotte Pet Cemetery and Crematory.

Sheehan did eventually something back from the crematory.  Monday afternoon, after over four months of waiting, along with unreturned calls, she said her dogs remains were returned to her, along with a refund.

"I don't believe this is my dog," Sheehan said of what she got back.

As for the Charlotte Pet Cemetery and Crematory, a family member of the owner did get back to FOX46 with another possible explanation, saying that the owner was in his 80s and prone to forgetfulness.

The family member also said the crematory does not allow people to visit them, though other crematories do that as standard practice, and highlighted the decades of service to helping grieving pet owners.  The family member also said the business is no longer located at the listed address, and hasn't been for some time.  Property records with Mecklenburg County confirm this.

The conversation with the family member happened before the anonymous person came forward with video and pictures of the property.

FOX 46 has not heard back from that family member since that initial phone call, and a series of questions sent to their attorney have so far gone unanswered.