In a Better Place: Inside a Pet Cemetery

The Memorial Pet Cemetery is the oldest pet cemetery in Minnesota. Established in 1924, Memorial Pet Cemetery is the final resting place for an estimated 8,000 cats, dogs, guinea pigs, turtles, tortoises, two brown rats and a parrot. James Wesby has been the caretaker since 1986 and says at 80-years-old that he has “lots of years ahead” of him.

“My dad lived to a hundred-years-old and I intend on catching up to him,” Wesby remarked. “If I’m able I will be caretaker until I’m 100.”

A final resting place for four-legged family

There are at least 600 pet cemeteries in the U.S. and there are even larger pet cemeteries around the world that can be worth a visit to reflect on the universality of pets.

Pet Cemetery pbs rewirePets are often witness to the highest highs and lowest lows of our lives and so it probably comes as no surprise that the American Pet Products Association estimates that in 2017 pet owners will shell out a combined $69 billion dollars on their beloveds. From adorable puppyhood to endearing feline senior years, pet ownership is a right we take seriously.

If you’re a pet owner, you’re well acquainted with the kind of unconditional love that only a furry friend can provide. Even if they’re only with us for a short period of time, they take up permanent residence in our hearts.

In loving memory

You might think that spending all that time helping people say goodbye to their cherished companions would take its toll, but the grounds are remarkably peaceful and there are moments of levity.

“One time I was burying a dog, and the family brought their other dog along to say goodbye,” Wesby explained to the Animal Humane Society. “The ground was covered up and the grass put back on top, and the lady says to the dog, ‘go say goodbye to your brother.’ The dog goes over, lifts his leg up, and pees on it! We all had a good laugh.”

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