Pets are family. And when they pass away, we memorialize them for the same reason we do our human family members.
Whether their ashes are kept on the mantle, scattered in the garden, or buried in a pet cemetery, laying your pet’s remains to rest is a tribute to them and the lasting bond you share. A permanent memorial or resting place gives you something to visit after they’re gone, and it’s a visible expression of the love and care you feel for them.
Many human cemeteries have space where animals can be buried, and some humans choose to be buried with the ashes of their beloved pets. There are also dedicated pet cemeteries, from small private ossuaries attached to crematoriums to large and elaborate parks with memorial statues. Below are a few of the many famous pet cemeteries around the world that honor the beautiful bond between humans and their four-legged companions.
One of the world’s oldest pet cemeteries is in Berenike, Egypt. Discovered in 2011, it’s estimated to be nearly two thousand years old. It is the permanent resting place of 536 cats, 32 dogs, and several monkeys.
Each animal was buried with care, wrapped in fabric shrouds and buried with mementos like decorated collars and even ancient cat toys. It’s a beautiful reminder that even in ancient times, humans still treated their animal companions like family.
America’s first pet cemetery, Hartsdale Pet Cemetery was built in 1896 when a veterinarian began allowing clients to bury their pets in his apple orchard. Since then, more than 100,000 pets have been laid to rest there, from dogs and cats to birds, gerbils, turtles, and even a lion.
Hartsdale is the only pet cemetery to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors are welcome to stroll its lush gardens and see the tributes to beloved pets or plan a pet funeral of their own.
Established by a veterinarian in 1928, Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park in Calabasas, California, is where many celebrities have chosen to bury their pets. Alfred Hitchcock, Bing Crosby, Charlie Chaplin, Humphrey Bogart, and Rudolf Valentino are just a few famous people whose pets are memorialized in the park.
Some of the animals buried here are celebrities in their own right, like Tawny, the MGM lion. Despite its glamorous residents, all Ventura County pet owners are welcome to lay their pets to rest here and have them memorialized forever.
The National War Dog Cemetery is on a U.S. naval base in Guam’s Apra Harbor. It was established in 1944 to honor the 25 military dogs who lost their lives in service of the Second Battle of Guam.
These heroic canines delivered medical supplies, sniffed out enemy forces, and served as guards for the human forces, helping to save hundreds of lives during the battle. A monument erected in their honor in 1994 became the first official war dog monument in the United States.
Hyde Park was never planned as a cemetery, but it became a popular place for Victorian Londoners to lay their pets to rest in the 1880s. The first pet to be buried there was Cherry, a Maltese terrier, who belonged to a friend of the park’s caretaker.
Soon the trend caught on, and 300 pets were buried there before the cemetery closed to new residents. For a fee, visitors can still arrange a private visit to the cemetery to pay respects to the animals memorialized there.
Jindaiji Pet Cemetery in Chofu City is located in one of the oldest temples near Tokyo, dating back to the 7th century. Pet memorials are a newer feature, introduced within the last fifty years. Still, it says a lot about how much regard the people of Japan have for their pets that they would memorialize them inside a centuries-old holy place.
Inside the temple are corridors of floor-to-ceiling shelves adorned with urns, photographs, flowers, and even offerings of canned pet food for the afterlife. There are also more traditional grave sites outside on the temple grounds.
Pet cemeteries are a beautiful testament to the power of the human-animal bond. But you don’t need an elaborate memorial to memorialize your pet. Whether you bury their ashes in a grave, scatter them in nature, or keep them close with memorial jewelry or a personalized urn, what’s important is that you honor your pet’s life in a way that feels right to you.
Best Friends Pet Passings and Cremations helps Albuquerque pet parents with every aspect of pet memorialization, from handling the cremation to helping you choose an urn and memorial keepsakes. Call us at 505-345-5615 to learn more, or begin planning your pet’s cremation online.
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