Volunteers help clean up burial site of Tommie the pit bull

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) — Tommie the pitbull’s legacy continues to move people across Virginia.

On Saturday, 51 people pulled weeds and re-laid fallen headstones, among other tasks, at the Richmond Pet Memorial Parks in Tommie’s honor.

Many said the effort was more than just a way to help clean up the cemetery for Tommie, but also a way to show care for all other animals that have passed.

“[A] large number of volunteers showed up today to help clear this. We’re trying to unearth several tombstones back in this area,” volunteer Carol Gardener described her day.

Most of the volunteers said they are pet owners who wanted to pay forward the care to these former pets, even in the afterlife.

“A lot of these stones are from the 50s and 60s, so we have to think maybe their owners have gone on, so now we’re trying to be there for them,” Mark Paniccia said while taking a break from re-setting headstones.

The main reason that brought everyone together was Tommie the pit bull.

“He’s doing a lot for other animals, that’s his legacy," volunteer Elaine Jacobson said.

Tommie’s grave site stands out among the field of grey stones and green grass; it is adorned with flowers and plaques commemorating the dog that moved the hearts of an entire city.

And now the final piece, his headstone, was put in place as volunteers shed tears and shared thoughts.

“Godspeed, Tommie,” said one sobbing woman, “I feel like you brought the city together.”

The owners of the cemetery say that there's still much more work to be done in order to truly restore the cemetery to its former glory.

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