LA (CA, USA): Pet Memorial

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There are pet cemeteries and pet cemeteries… Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park in Calabasas is definitely the Hollywood Forever Cemetery among the LA pet burial grounds: abundant flower arrangements, crispy green lawns, and interesting gravestones that commemorate beloved dogs, cats, bunnies, and an occasional horse, a cheetah and a chimpanzee. In use since 1928, it’s now the last resting place of more than 40,000 animals, including film stars like a Cheetah from the Tarzan films and the MGM lion and pets owned by Diana Ross, Rudolph Valentino, Steven Spielberg, Humphrey Bogart and Mae West to name just a few. Cats and dogs make up about 90% of the burials.
I was intrigued by the way the pets were addressed on the gravestones and how many of them are clearly members of the family who leave behind a very sad ‘mom & dad’ and carry the family name. Also the many religious and after-life references (‘See you in Heaven’) were interesting: a wide variety of religious symbols (like a cross, a star of David and Bible citations, Mary statues). In this way we could distinguish quite some Jewish and Catholic pets as well as Chinese, Armenian, German cats and dogs.   

The abundance of the pet memorial stands in striking contrast to the almost low key appearance of the LA Forest Lawn Cemeteries  


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