Where LA’s famous & not so famous beloved pets go to rest in peace.
Originally called the Los Angeles Pet Cemetery, the park was founded and dedicated on September 4, 1928. It is one of the oldest facilities of its kind on the West Coast.
So many choices. Caskets range anywhere from $120 to $300, while plots are $400 to $1,000, depending on size.
Kabar was Rudolph Valentino’s Doberman Pinscher. After Valentino’s death, it was said that Kabar travelled the country looking for his master, only to return to Valentino’s Falcon Crest estate, where he died of a broken heart.
A selection of single or multiple in-ground lots, burial locations, caskets, urns, and memorial markers are also available…even for Satan.
Tailored to suit the personal preferences and financial considerations of the pet owner, a variety of headstone options are available. It’s really all about the eyes. Doesn’t the St. Bernard look a little startled to you? Perhaps heaven wasn’t what he expected.
One of my favorite things to do while visiting a pet cemetery is reading all the interesting names that we humans attach to them when they come into our lives. When I originally published this post, I had mistakenly identified Rustle Bernay as a canine (don’t ask me why). Well, I was wrong. Rustle’s owner reached out to me to let me know that he was actually a feline whose full name was Whispering Rustle from Detroit in the long line of Gangster Cats. You can’t get anymore interesting than that. RIP Whispering Rustle…you Gangsta.
Shorty Shopneck was the best little girl in the world.
Oh look, it’s Tarzan…
…they even have a stripper buried here…
…and a non-famous Zsa Zsa, who unlike that other more famous Zsa Zsa, knew when to take her final bow.
Bridget Jones had nothing on Bumpy.
In 1968, the cemetery welcomed one of its most beloved tenants.
“Room 8” was the unofficial mascot of Elysian Heights Elemetary School. He entered classroom no. 8 in 1952 through an open window and became a fixture over the next 16 years. He always disappeared during the summer breaks but the minute school started back up again, he would always return to room #8. This waiting game grew into such a thing that newspaper and television camera’s began to report on his annual return.
He ended up becoming the most famous alley cat in America, posed for countless pictures, and was emblazoned on all sorts of apparel. He was also the subject of a TV documentary called “Big Cats, Little Cats”, and in 1966 an illustrated children’s book was published. A story in “My Weekly Reader” brought Room Eight 10,000 fan letters from children everywhere, some of which included money to pay for his food. He died at the Lockhart Pet Hospital in Hollywood, California in 1968. RIP R8
Pooh Bear’s here.
Not sure if this dearly loved and sadly missed girl has any ties to the Jersey Shore, but if she did, she came way before that other famous orange midget.
Tawny, the lion – one of three – to portray Leo in the MGM lead ins.
Tawny adored his tomcat pal who would travel along with Tawny on his movie shoots. Tragically they both died together in a fire in 1940 at the sanctuary where they lived.
Gett’n Jiggy with it!
…and not just the dead ones.
Tufu loves to play dress up.
Horses are usually buried around the perimeter, upside down, without a casket [hay is often used instead].
Mo Monet, Mo Problems
In 1924, Dr. Eugene C. Jones set up a veterinary practice in West Hollywood. His practice attracted an upper class clientele, which included many in the film community. Heeding laws that stated no animals could be buried within city limits, he purchased 10 acres outside of rural Calabasas and created the Los Angeles Pet Park. It is said that the first burial, in 1928, was the Jones family dog.
In 1973 the Jones family donated the cemetery to the LA SPCA, but after running it for ten years at a loss, they put the cemetery up for sale. Developers, eager to snap up acreage in booming Calabasas, were opposed by a group of plot owners called SOPHIE (Save Our Pets’ History in Eternity).
Four long years of negotiations, lawsuits and fundraising followed. The tight knit community of animal lovers succeeded in raising $100,000 to buy the cemetery and also established a perpetual care endowment to satisfy surrounding developers’ concern that the property would eventually fall into disrepair.
In fact, after 500 of its members lobbied the State Legislature to enact the first-ever state law to protect pet cemeteries, SOPHIE officially dedicated the Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park in perpetuity on September 12, 1986,
By 1992, the relationships within SOPHIE began to fall apart. A splinter group called SOS (short for Save Our SOPHIE) was formed, calling for reform of the cemetery’s management. Eventually cooler heads prevailed and today SOPHIE still owns and runs the cemetery.
Private cremations are done here at the on-site crematorium. “Private” means that they ONLY cremate ONE pet at a time.
A River Runs Through It
Blinky was a frozen chicken purchased by artist Jeffrey Vallance in 1978 and given a burial ceremony at the Los Angeles Pet Cemetery. Blinky’s gravesite and the book published by Vallance documenting the burial have developed a cultish following.
Thanks Mrs. Metcalfe!