The Weirdly Fascinating World Of Pet Cemeteries

Pet cemeteries are a unique aspect of our society, providing a final resting place for our beloved furry companions. These burial grounds have a long history, dating back to ancient civilizations. Today, pet cemeteries can be found in many countries around the world, and their popularity continues to grow. This is because they offer pet owners a sense of closure and provide a way to honor the memory of their friends. We’ll explore the fascinating world of pet cemeteries, their history along with some interesting facts.

The origins of pet cemeteries

pet cemeteries origins
Photo: Marta Osypińska via livescience.com

The idea of pet cemeteries is believed to have originated in ancient Egypt, where cats were often mummified and buried with their owners.

The world’s oldest pet cemetery

Cemetery of Dogs and Other Domestic Animals in France
Photo: parisadele.com

If we’re talking about a cemetery that is still open today, then the Cimetière des Chiens et Autres Animaux Domestiques (Cemetery of Dogs and Other Domestic Animals), located in Paris, France, takes first prize. Established in 1899, it was recognized as a national monument in 1987.

Otherwise, the Ashkelon dog cemetery located in Israel and thought to have been used between fifth to third centuries BC is the oldest pet cemetery. Host to thousands of dogs, this is more a burial ground for gods rather than a pet cemetery despite some sources claiming so.

Famous pets found in Cimetière des Chiens et Autres Animaux Domestiques

pet cemetery france rin tin tin scaled
Photo: parisadele.com

The Parisian pet cemetery contains the graves of many famous animals, from dogs to lions.
– Rin Tin Tin, the canine movie star
– Alexandre Dumas’ dog
– Michel Houellebecq’s dog
– a monument to Barry, the St. Bernard from Great St Bernard Hospice in Switzerland that saved around 40 lives during his lifetime is on display at the Natural History Museum of Bern.

The pet cemetery that started with a loving veterinarian

Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park
Photo: Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG

Dr. Eugene Jones, a veterinarian known for serving Hollywood’s elite, founded the Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park in 1928. Jones firmly believed that pets deserved the same level of dignity and ceremony in death as humans do, and he was determined to make this a reality. So he purchased 15 acres of land in the picturesque hills of Calabasas and established the pet cemetery. After Jones’ own dog was laid to rest in the cemetery, his celebrity clients soon followed suit.

Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park and famous pets

pet cemetery ancient kabar
– Rudolph Valentino’s dog, Kabar
– Mae West’s monkey, Boogie
– actor Humphrey Bogart and actress Lauren Bacall’s pet dog Droopy
– Cheeta from the Tarzan films
– Hopalong Cassidy’s horse
– the MGM lion, Tawny

How many pets are buried in pet cemeteries?

The American Pet Association estimates that over 100,000 pets are buried in pet cemeteries every year.

Which is the biggest pet cemetery in the US?

Hartsdale Pet Cemetery in New York
Photo: roadtrippers.com

The largest pet cemetery in the United States is the Hartsdale Pet Cemetery in New York. It spans over 3.71 acres and has over 80,000 pets buried there.

How many pet cemeteries are there in the US?

pet cemetery buried next to your pet e1681922714180
There are 700 pet cemeteries in the entire country, which is an insane number when you compare it to the 20k human cemeteries already existing.

Are pet morticians a thing?

pet cemetery pet morticians
Photo: Jake Maynard via slate.com

Well, in the early 20th century there were pet morticians who would prepare animals for burial in pet cemeteries. Now this is a huge thing in China and several other countries, the US not so much.

Cemeteries for heroes

pet cemetery Michigan War Dog Memorial
Photo: Sam Michigan

Some pet cemeteries have special areas reserved for military working dogs who served in the armed forces. The Michigan War Dog Memorial first started as a pet cemetery only to end up abandoned for years until it was transformed into the resting place for more than 20 retired military working dogs.

Pet cemeteries in literature

pet cemetery stephen king

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The term “pet cemetery” was popularized by the Stephen King novel “Pet Sematary” which was later adapted into a horror movie, a not so great one.

Together even in death

In some pet cemeteries, you can buy a plot for yourself to be buried alongside your beloved pet. New York passed a law in 2015 that allows pets to be buried with their owners.

Grief counseling

pet cemetery grief support scaled e1681922881765Saying goodbye to your companion of many years is never easy. Being a dog, a cat, a horse or rat, knowing it will never be a part of your life again is tough. This is why some pet cemeteries offer grief counseling and support services for pet owners who are dealing with the loss of their beloved animals. Many people are using this type of support service and finding it easier to deal with their recent loss.

Pet cemeteries are more than just a final resting place for beloved animals. Whether you opt for a traditional burial, cremation, or just a memorial service, a pet cemetery can provide a peaceful and comforting final resting place for your furry friend. Visiting a pet cemetery can offer a sense of closure and solace during the grieving process. With the growing popularity of pet ownership, the demand for pet cemeteries has only increased. As a result, there are now numerous options available to pet owners seeking to lay their pets to rest in a dignified and meaningful way.

If you’d like to learn about other weird things we recommend you take a look at the weird facts about the human body. We bet there are a lot of things you don’t know about the wonders found within our bodies.

FAQ

How deep is a pet burial site?

The general rule here is to have a minimum of 3 feet of dirt covering the top of the body. For larger breeds of dogs, for example, a 4 foot deep hole should suffice. It’s recommended to follow these guidelines as a shallow grave allows for wild animals to easily dig up the grave.

Is it illegal to bury pets in your garden in the UK?

No. It is perfectly legal to bury your dog or cat or other domestic pet in your back yard or garden.

How deep to bury a pet?

3 to 5 feet would be a good depth for burying a pet. Also, you should add around 1-2 cups of lime powder in the hole (at the bottom) and another cup up top just to make sure it doesn’t smell and to discourage other animals from digging there.

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