These 6 Pet Cemeteries Are Not Scary, and Are Worth a Visit

The Presidio Pet Cemetery in San FranciscoThe Presidio Pet Cemetery in San Francisco(Mostly) anything but creepy, pet burial grounds are peaceful, benevolent places of eternal rest for much-beloved animal companions. While many are decidedly small and rudimentary in design like the fictional one depicted in Stephen King's "Pet Sematary," others are expansive, lushly landscaped properties and, from an operations standpoint, not all that different from full-service human burial grounds, including options for cremation, mausoleums and beyond. We've rounded up six pet cemeteries of note including the historic, the large and the infamous. Many are home to celebrity-owned pets or animals that are celebrities in their own right, making them establishments that attract not just "relatives" of the deceased but curious visitors as well.


1. Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park, Calabasas, Calif.
While L.A. has its fair share of iconic human burial ground, the City of Angels' four-legged luminaries are frequently interred at the Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park in Calabasas, the second-largest pet cemetery in the country.

Offering burial and cremation, this hillside 10-acre establishment that recently celebrated its 85th year is the final home of a wide array of celebrity-owned pets. Steven Spielberg, Tori Spelling, William Shatner and Lauren Bacall have all buried their beloved here. Rudolph Valentino's Great Dane, Kabar, is even rumored to haunt the place (he's probably chasing the ghost of Charlie Chaplin's cat). Famous animal performers interred here include Petey the pit bull from "Our Gang/Little Rascals" and Topper, Hopalong Cassidy's faithful steed. Tawny the lion, an early mascot for MGM, also was laid to rest at Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park. The Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park is also apparently an offbeat spot to take in some intense holiday decorating.

Also see: How to deal with the grief of losing a pet

2. Presidio Pet Cemetery, San Francisco
The Presidio Pet Cemetery in San Francisco is the only place of pet interment that we know of under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. Its precise history is unclear due to a lack of documentation, but the 420 homespun grave markers there date back to the 1950s when the vast complex - now a mixed-use mega-park and part of the Golden Gate Recreation Area - was an active military base and home to around 2,000 Army families, many of which had pets. And although the cemetery has been closed for interment for decades and officials discourage anyone from thinking otherwise, that hasn't stopped locals from taking advantage of this little spot within a beautiful big park. Clay Harrell, a representative of the Presidio Trust, which oversees historic preservation within the park, told the San Francisco Chronicle: "We don't patrol. If you want to go bury your cat at night, nobody is going to arrest you," said Harrell.

3. Hartsdale Pet Cemetery, Hartsdale, N.Y.

Hartsdale Pet Cemetery, aka "The Peaceable Kingdom," is by far the oldest and largest in the United States. It was established in 1896 by a veterinarian and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2012. More than 80,000 critters are interred on the grounds of this one-time apple orchard just north of New York City in Westchester County. It pretty much functions like a humancemetery, with cremation services, above-ground burials and sensible payment plans. Visitors can see the final resting places of pets that belonged to celebrities like Mariah Carey, chef Rocco DiSpirito, cosmetics queen Elizabeth Arden and diva Diana Ross. And then there's Goldfleck, a lion cub that resided at the Plaza Hotel with an eccentric Hungarian princess until he passed in 1912. Hartsdale also has a War Dog Memorial, dedicated in 1923 to pooches that perished serving the United States during wartime. Finally, hundreds of humans are buried here as well: While it's verboten for animals to be interred within human burial grounds, pet owners can spend eternity in pet cemeteries so long as the remains are cremated.

4. Cemetery of Dogs and Other Domestic Animals, Paris
Way less trafficked than Paris' famous Père Lachaise Cemetery, Cimetière des Chiens et Autres Animaux Domestiques ("The Cemetery of Dogs and Other Domestic Animals") claims to be the oldest formal, non-ancient pet burial ground in the world (although it would seem that Hartsdale in New York was established a couple of years prior). Located in the northwest Paris commune of Asnières-dur-Seine, the cemetery was established in 1899 by a journalist and a lawyer in reaction to a new law that forbade Parisians from dumping their dearly departed pets in the trash or the river or burying them wherever they saw fit. The cemetery's main draw is the final resting place of Rin Tin Tin, a German shepherd rescued from a World War I battlefield in France and put to work in show biz. This hardworking pooch appeared in nearly 30 pictures and caused quite the stir in 1929 when he won the very first Best Actor Oscar. However, it ultimately went to his human runner-up.

Also see: Meet 8 iconic animal actors

5. Clara-Glenn Pet Cemetery, Linwood, N.J.
While New York's Hartsdale Pet Cemetery may get most of the attention due to its size and age, there's another animal burial ground just a couple hours south of New York City boasting some serious star power. C'mon, we're talking about the Diving Horse of Steel Pier (allegedly) and Rex the water-skiing wonder dog here. Founded in 1918 by animal loving couple Clara and Glenn White, the two-acre Clara-Glenn Pet Cemetery near Atlantic City is home to over 3,000 household pets and the aforementioned boardwalk performers. And on that note, human boardwalk performers, many Atlantic City staples of yore, chose to bury their beloved pets at Clara-Glenn. Irving Berlin, Billie Burke and Eddie Cantor are just a few of the names that often come up. Somewhat hidden away in a residential neighborhood, Clara Glenn Pet Cemetery has been closed for interment for around 20 years, and after a period of being maintained by the Linwood Historical Society, the heavily vandalized property is now owned by the city.

6. Aspin Hill Memorial Park, Silver Hill, Md.
Ever want to know where J. Edgar Hoover buried all seven of his dogs? Well, now you do.

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