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Pet Cemeteries: A practical guide to burying a dog

Losing a pet is hard. For many of us, they are an important part of our lives. So, when it’s time to take care of your dog’s remains you may not know what to do with them.  As it turns out you have a few options; you can choose to cremate your dog or you can bury them.  If you may want to choose cremation, you can learn more about the process in our post; Pet Cremation Guide: A resource for when it’s time. If you would prefer to bury your dog, you can either bury them in one of the many pet cemeteries or if allowed in your area, you can bury them in your yard.    If you choose to use a pet cemetery, keep on reading.

In addition to finding answers to common questions, we have included a list of over 200 active pet cemeteries in the US.

Pet Cemeteries: A practical guide to burying a dog

Pet Cemeteries: Your Questions Answered

Can you be buried with your pet?

Yes, you can be buried with your pet, but it might not be the way you think. We have found that only two states allow side by side human and pet burials in a human cemetery. Those states are Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Pennsylvania

In 2006 Pennsylvania passed a law that allowed cemeteries to set up three sections; one for humans, one for pets and one that is combined.

Virginia

In 2014 Virginia also passed a law allowing cemeteries to have a combined human and pets section. The law goes further to say that the pet must be a companion animal based on Virginia law. They also need to be buried in a casket of their own.

Both states require that the area is clearly marked as a combined burial space.

New York

In all three states, the laws allow eligible cemeteries to include combined burials based on each states requirement, but cemeteries are not required to do so.

Other Options

One option is to be buried in a state that allow cemeteries to set up a separate pet only section near or in a human cemetery. Florida is one of those states. At the Fairway Memorial Gardens in South Florida you can chose a family plot in the human burial section and bury your pets in the pet section. This allows you to be close to your pet but not right next to them.

Another option is that some states including New York allow human cremains to be buried in a pet cemetery. But unlike human cemeteries, pet cemeteries are not always deeded for perpetuity. This means, if you choose this option, there is a chance that your final resting place is not truly final.

Another option is to go green. That is as in a Whole Family Green Burial.

What is a green burial?

The green burial movement is still new, but it’s growing in popularity. Particularly with people who want to be environmentally friendly. Currently, you can only find green cemeteries in a few states.

Green burials differ from a traditional burial in that it follows the natural way people used to be buried. That is returning the body back to the earth without harmful chemicals and expensive caskets. Green Cemeteries are kept in their natural state. You will not find manicured lawns or large monuments there. Only small grave markers are allowed.

Another advantage of a green burial is that whole family green cemeteries allow pets and humans to be buried together.

You can learn more about green pet burials at the Green Pet-Burial Society

How much does it cost to bury a pet in a Pet Cemetery?

The average cost to bury a small pet in a traditional pet cemetery in the U.S. is approximately $400. This cost includes a basic casket, small burial plot and the cost to open and close the grave site. Additional costs can include the cost of a memorial stone, annual grave maintenance and ceremony.

The cost to bury a large dog starts around $600 and goes up from there. Depending on what you choose the greatest expenses in a pet burial can be the casket and grave marker.

Green burials are much less expensive due to the fact that there is no casket or expensive grave marker.

What are pet burial services?

As you are looking for a pet cemetery you may come across places that offer “Pet Burial Services”. These services are offered by pet funeral homes to assist people with the burial arrangements.  Services can include but are not limited to:

  • Selling caskets, vaults, and urns
  • Assisting with grave markers or memorial stones
  • Some will have a place to hold a funeral for your pet. 
  • Assist with the burial arrangements, including:
    • Working with a local pet cemetery
    • Arranging transportation
    • Digging a grave on private property

Pet funeral homes that offer pet burial services may not have a pet cemetery of their own.

Why should I bury my pet in a pet cemetery?

Some of the reasons people choose to bury their pet in a pet cemetery are:

  • They don’t have a yard to bury their pet in
  • It’s illegal to bury their pet in the yard
  • Don’t want to cremate their pet
  • Want to bury their pet in a place that they can visit
  • They want to be buried near or with their pet

10 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Pet Cemetery

Note: This list of questions was created based research for my own benefit. I am sharing it to help other people who might be considering using a pet cemetery. Please do your own research in addition to reading this post.

1. How is the pet cemetery land protected from other uses?

Unlike cemeteries for humans, pet cemeteries are not required to be deeded in perpetuity.  This means that the pet cemetery land can be sold or closed and used for another purpose.  This happened in New Jersey. The owner of the cemetery claimed that people stopped paying the annual maintenance fees. Without the annual payments they were unable to pay the taxes so the land was to be sold.

In a more recent case in Michigan, a pet cemetery that had been in operation for more than 40 years and had as many as 74,000 animals buried on the 12-acre property was closed. This time it was because the cemetery was on leased land. The land had been sold to a new investor who decided not to renew the lease when it expired.

There are still other cases where the owners were not able to continue the business for one reason or another. Often the owners are heartbroken for causing pain to the people who trusted them to care for their pet’s remains. But this does nothing to ease the pain and sorrow of the families who trusted them.

When selecting a final resting place for your beloved pet find out if they have a restricted deed in perpetuity. Although a restricted deed does not guarantee that the cemetery will always be open for business, it does restrict the land from being used for other purpose

Find out who owns the land. It should be the people or corporation who run the cemetery.  Also check to see if there liens against the land that could jeopardize the future of the cemetery. 

2. What fees are required to bury a pet in the cemetery?

Pet cemetery fees vary by location and services. Here are some of the fees you may encounter:

  • Cost of burial plot
  • Cost to open and close a grave site
  • Casket or Urn
  • Maintenance Fees – These fees may be required as a:
    • Lump sum
    • Paid annually
  • Grave marker
  • To hold the pet until they are buried
  • Cost to transport your pet
  • Funeral cost
  • Flowers

Some of the fees listed are optional, but some like the plot cost and maintenance fees are not. When asking about the fees also find out if they offer a package for a reduced price.

Also don’t forget to ask about any pet memorial options they may have.

3. Will the maintenance fees change over time?

Remember to ask if the annual maintenance fee is guaranteed to stay the same. It’s important to not only know what the upfront costs are but also any future costs involved with care for your pet’s grave.

4. What options does the cemetery offer?

Options will vary by cemetery but may include:

  • Private or communal burial services
  • Green burial – this means no costly caskets or big grave markers
  • Whole body burial or pet ashes– some pet cemeteries only allow for ashes

5. What is the succession plan for the pet cemetery?

If the pet cemetery is owned by an individual or family, what are the plans for the cemetery when the family is gone?

6. How will the pet cemetery be maintained?

Are there guarantees in place on how the pet cemetery will be properly cared for? Is there money set aside for care and maintenance of the graves for eternity?

7. What is the visitation policy for the cemetery?

It’s important to understand how and when you can visit your pet’s grave. In some cases the cemetery can only be accessed through a keyed gate. The last thing you want to do is bury your pet in a place that does not allow you to freely go and visit.

8. Are you allowed to decorate the grave?

You may want to plant flowers or leave behind a favorite toy. Make sure this is allowed. Some cemeteries have strict policies on what the grave site can look like.

9. Are they a member of the International Association Of Pet Cemeteries & Crematories?

The International Association of Pet Cemeteries & Crematories (IAOPCC) is a not-for-profit organization for pet aftercare professionals. Their mission is to advance the standards, and ethics of pet cemeteries and crematories.  Members of IAOPCC have to pledge to follow a code of ethics and standards of business practice. 

10. How far are you willing to drive to visit the pet cemetery?

This last question is for you as the pet owner and not the cemetery, but it is something you should really think about. For many people, the main reason to bury their pets in a cemetery, is so they can visit them after they are gone. If the pet cemetery is too far away are you really going to make the drive to visit them?

Active Pet Cemeteries in the USA

Pet Cemeteries

Active Pet Cemeteries in the USA

This list was intended to help people who are looking for a place to bury their pets. Although there are many pet cemeteries in the USA, not all of them are open or taking new clients. We have tried to only list ones that are active. However things change and so can this information. Please do your own research before deciding on a pet cemetery.

Also if you find that a listed pet cemetery is closed or no longer taking new interments please let us know in the comments so we can update our list. Thank you!

Disclaimer: We do not endorse any of the pet cemeteries listed here. It is important that you do your own due diligence before contracting with any pet burial services. Check reviews, ask around, and look them up in the Better Business Bureau before signing a contract.

Alabama

NameLocation Contact
Coon Dog CemeteryCherokee, AL(256) 383-0783
Coondogs only
Decatur Pet Cemetery & Crematorium Decatur, AL(256) 355-4333
Mobile Pet Cemetery/
Spring Hill Memorial Gardens 
Mobile, ALWeb-link
Pet Haven CemeteryHuntsville, AL(256) 603-0682
Tranquil Grove Pet CemeteryMontgomery, AL(334) 244-6517

Alaska

None

Arizona

NameLocation Contact
The Bridge Pet CemeteryScottsdale, AZWeb link
The Pet Cemetery of TucsonTucson, AZWeb link

Arkansas

NameLocationContact
Pet Land Memorial ParkLittle Rock AR(501) 565-1619
Rest Haven Pet CemeteryBentonville, AR(479) 636-2412

California

NameLocation Contact
Franklyn Pet CemeteryMerced, CAWeb-link
Fresno Pet CemeteryFresno, CAWeb-link
Gateway Pet Cemetery San Berardino, CAWeb-link
Monterey Bay Loved Pet CemeteryPrunedale, CAWeb-link
My Pet’s CemeteryPetaluma, CAWeb-link
Pet Haven CemeteryGardena, CAWeb-link
Pet’s Rest CemeteryColma, CAWeb-link
Sacramento Pet Cemetery Sacramento, CAWeb-link
Sea Breeze Pet CemeteryHunington Beach, CAWeb-link
Sorrento Valley Pet CemeterySan Diego, CAWeb-link
West Coast Pet Cemetery San Diego, CAWeb-link

Colorado

NameLocationContact
Evergreen Memorial Park, Inc.Evergreen, COWeb-link
Pet Rest Memorial ParkColorado Springs, CO(719) 576-0496
Precious Memories Pet Cemetery Fort Collins, COWeblink

Connecticut

Forest-Rest Memorial ParkGlastonburyNone
Riverside Cemetery AssociationNorwalk, CTWeb-link

Delaware

None – See nearby cemeteries in NJ. PA and Maryland

Florida

NameLocationContact
Broward Pet CemeteryPlantation, FLWeb-link
Curlew Hills Memory Gardens
Pet Cemetery
Palm Harbor, FLWeb-link
Fairway Memorial GardensDeerfield Beach, FLWeb-link
Foster’s Pinellas Pet Memorial GardensPinellas Park, FLWeb-link
Garden of Love Memorial ParkAlachua County, FLNone
Glendale Memorial Nature Preserve
– Green Cemetery
Glendale, FLWeb-link
Honor Thy Pet Tampa, FLWeb-link
Jacksonville Pet Cemetery Jacksonville, FLWeb-link
Lohman Pet CemeteryDaytona Beach, FL(386) 226-1100
Oaklawn Pet CemeteryWest Little River, FLWeb-link
Pet Angel Memorial Center
@ Miami Cemetery
Miami, FLWeb-link
Pet Haven Cemetery & CrematoryPunta Gorda, FLWeb-link
Pet Memorial Gardens CemeteryJacksonville, FLWeb-link
Pet Passings by Kays-Ponger & UseltonEnglewood, FLWeb-link
Tri-county Animal Rescue Cenetery Boca Raton, FLWeb-link
Twin Oaks Pet CemeteryOkeechobee, FLWeb-link
Venice Memorial GardensVenice, FLWeb-link

Georgia

NameLocation Contact
Bi City Pet Crematory & Cemetery Midland, GAWeb-Link
Loving Care Pet CemeteryAtlanta, GAWeb-Link
Oak Rest Pet Garden & CrematoryAtlanta, GAWeb-Link
Paradise Pet Crematory and CemeteryAugusta, GAWeb-Link
Pet Heaven Memorial ParkAtlanta, GAWeb-link
Savannah Pet CemeterySavannah, GAFacebook

Hawaii

NameLocation Contact
Valley of the Temples Pet Cemetery Kaneohe, HIWeb-link

Idaho

NameLocationContact
Celebration ForestBonners Ferry, ID(208) 267-4306
Mountain View Green CemeteryLemhi, IDWeb-link
Pet CemeteryNez Perce County, IDNone

Illinois

NameLocationContact
Arlington Memorial Park
and Pet Cemetery
Rockford, ILWeb-link
Elm Lawn Pet CemeteryElmhurst, ILWeb-link
Faithful Friends Pet ServicesDecatur, IL(217) 429-5439
Forever Home CemeteryLincoln, ILWeb-link
Garden of Saint Francis @ St LukeChicago, ILWeb-link
Hinsdale Animal CemeteryWillowbrook, ILWeb-link
Homeward Bound Pet Cemetery
@Rose Lawn Memory Gardens
 Bethalto, ILWeb-link
Homeward Bound Pet Cemetery
@Valhalla Memorial Park 
Godfrey, ILWeb-link
Illinois Pet CemeteryHanover Park, IL(773) 549-1154
Kozy Acres Pet CemeteryJoliet, ILWeb-link
Whispering Winds Pet
Memorial Service
Chebanse, ILWeb-link
Willow Lawn Memorial Park/
Aarrowood Pet Cemetery
Vernon Township, ILWeb-link

Indiana

NameLocationContact
Cherished Companions in
Sunset Memorial Park
Danville, INWeb-link
Forever Friends Pet CemeteryIndianapolis, INWeb-link
Ohio Valley Pet CemeterySellersburg, INWeb-link
Palmers Pet CemeterySouth Bend, INWeb-link
Pet Rest IncOssian, INWeblink

Iowa

NameLocationContact
Ankeny Memorial Pet CemeteryAnkeny, IAWeb-link
Best Friends Pet CemeteryBoone, IAWeb-link
Cedar Bend Humane Society
Pet Cemetery
Cedar Bend, IAWeb-link
Garden of Faithfull Friends CemeteryWaterloo, IAWeb-link
Love of Animals Petland in
Oakdale Memorial Gardens
Davenport, IAWeb-link
Loving Rest Pet Cemetery
– Green Burial option
Central Iowa, IAWeb-link

Kansas

NameLocationContact
Valley View Memorial Park &
Valley View Pet Haven
Manhattan, KSWeb-link

Kentucky

NameLocationContact
Highland Pet CemeteryFort Mitchell, KYWeb-link
Pet Haven CemeteryShepherdsville, KYWeb-link
Sheabel Pet CemeteryLexington, KY(859) 221-2222

Louisiana

NameLocationContact
Black Bayou CemeteryLake Charles, LA(337) 433-8372
Heavenly Acres For PetsElm Grove, LAWeb-link
Pet Memorial GardensPrairieville, LA(225) 673-8991

Maine

NameLocationContact
Gracelawn Memorial Park – Pet CemeteryAuburn, MEWeb-link

Maryland

NameLocationContact
Baltimore Humane Society
Memorial Park
Reisterstown, MDWeb-link
Dulaney Valley Pet Loss CenterTimonium, MDWeb-link
Oakleigh Pet CemeteryParkville, MD(410) 665-8855
Pet Cemetery of Montgomery CoRockville, MD(301) 770-0468
Resthaven Memorial Gardens
and Petland garden
Frederick County, MDWeb-link
Sugarloaf Pet GardensDickerson, MDWeb-link

Massachusetts

NameLocationContact
Hillcrest Park CemeterySpringfield, MA(413) 782-2311
Hillside Acre Pet Cemetery
at Nevins Farm
Methuen, MAWeb-link
Pleasant Mountain Pet Rest
& Crematory
Plymouth, MA(508) 746-5550

Michigan

NameLocationContact
AAA Pet Services Taylor, MIWeb-link
Acacia Park CemeteryBeverly Hills, MIWeb-link
Country Meadows Pet CemeteryDimondale, MI(517) 646-8043
Key-Lore Pet Rest GardensFlushing, MIWeb-link
Noah’s Pet Cemetery Grand Rapids, MIWeb-link
Partridge Lane Pet CemeteryTipton, MIWeb-link
Whispering Pines Pet CemeteryYpsilanti Township, MIWeb-link

Minnesota

NameLocationContact
Bennett’s Pet Haven CemeteryOwatonna, MNWeb-link
Pet Haven CemeteryEast Grand Forks, MNWeb-link
Pet Memorial Garden @
Oakwood East Cemetery
Rochester, MNWeb-link

Mississippi

NameLocationContact
Memorial Park Animal CemeteryPontotoc County, MSNone

Missouri

NameLocationContact
Cedar Hills Pet CemeteryAltenburg, MOWeb-link
Forest Lawn Pet CemeteryHigh Ridge, MO(636) 677-3417
Friends of Imperial Crown Pet CemeteryFlorissant, MOWeb-link
Lakeland Pet CemeterySpringfield, MO(417) 887-1929
Memory Park Pet CemeteryTwin Oaks, MOWeb-link
Rolling Acres Memorial Gardens for PetsKansas City, MOWeb-link

Montana

NameLocationContact
At Home On The Range Pet Cemetery Manhattan, MTWeb-link

Nebraska

NameLocationContact
Beatrice Humane SocietyBeatrice, NEWeb-link
Hilltop Pet CemeteryKearney, NEWeb-link
Rolling Acres ComplexLincoln, NEWeb-link

Nevada

NameLocationContact
Craig Road Pet CemeteryLas Vegas, NVWeb-link

New Hampshire

NameLocationContact
McGuire Pet CemeteryLondonderry, NH(603) 529-8232
Proctor Animal CemeteryNashua, NHWeb-link
Rolling Meadows Pet CemeteryStratham, NHWeb-link

New Jersey

NameLocationContact
Abbey Glen Pet Memorial ParkLafayette, NJWeb-link
Blairstown Pet CemeteryBlairstown, NJ(908) 362-6006
Hamilton Pet Meadow Memorial ParkCarlstadt, NJWeb-link
Snow Mountain Pet Memorial Park Mahwah, NJWeb-link
St. Francis Pet CemeteryNew Providence, NJWeb-link

New Mexico

NameLocationContact
La Puerta Natural Burial New Mexico – Green Belen, NMWeb-link

New York

NameLocationContact
Breezy Pines Pet CemeteryCato, NY(315) 626-2410
Hartsdale Pet CemeteryHartsdale, NYWeb-link
Hornell Area Humane SocietyHornell, NYWeb-link
Pine Rest Pet CemeteryWest Seneca, NYWeb-link
Regency Forest Pet Memorial ParkMiddle Island, NYWeb-link
Rush Inter Pet CemeteryRush, NYWeb-link
The Church of St. Andrew’s
Cemetery for All God’s Creatures 
Staten Island, NYWeb-link
Whispering Pines Pet CemeteryBinghamton, NYWeb-link
Bideawee Pet Memorial ParkWantagh, NYWeb-link
Forest Lawn CemeteryBuffalo, NYWeb-link
Pet Haven CemeterySyracuse, NYWeb-link
Pet Memorial Park for
Stevens Swan Humane Society
Marcy, NYWeb-link
Vale Cemetery – Pet cremates onlySchenectady, NYWeb-link

North Carolina

NameLocationContact
Best Friends Pet CemeteryAsheville, NCWeb-link
Carolina Memorial Santuary Mills river, NCWeb-link
Good Shepherd Pet Crematory & CemeteryWest End, NCWeb-link
Pet Heaven Cemetery and Crematory, IncCherryville, NCWeb-link

North Dakota

NameLocationContact
Summer Field Pet Memorial ParkBismarck, NDWeb-link

Ohio

NameLocationContact
Angel Refuge Pet Cemetery IncOntario, OHWeb-link
Butterbridge Farms Pet CemeteryCanal Fulton, OHWeb-link
Paws Awhile Pet Memorial ParkRichfield, OHWeb-link
Pines Pet CemeteryLebanon, OHWeb-link
Reith Pet Cemetery LLCToledo, OHWeb-link
Rome Pet CemeteryProctorville, OHWeb-link
Toledo Memorial Park Reflections
Garden Cremation burial only
Sylvania, OHWeb-link
Western Farm Pet Crematory & CemeteryGrafton, OHWeb-link
Woodside Pet CemeteryNavarre, OHWeb-link

Oklahoma

NameLocationContact
Precious Pets CemeterySpencer, OKWeb-link

Oregon

NameLocationContact
Family Pet CemeteryClackamas, ORWeb-link
Forest Pet Cemetery – GreenAshland, ORWeb-link
Green Acres Pet CemeteryMedford, ORWeb-link
Oregon Humane SocietyPortland, ORWeb-link

Pennsylvania

NameLocationContact
Aspen Hill Pet CemeteryHermitage, PAWeb-link
Blairsville Pet CemeteryBlairsville, PAWeb-link
Cloud Nine Pet Services
@ Kimberly Memorial Park
Breinigsville, PAWeb-link
Dear Pet Memorial ParkBensalem, PAWeb-link
Faithful Companions
Pet Cemetery
East SmithField, PAWeb-link
Forever Friends Pet
Memorial Park
Sadsbury Township, PAWeb-link
Hillcrest Pet GardenHermitage, PAWeb-link
Jefferson Memorial CemeteryGreater Pittsburgh, PAWeb-link
Keystone Pet CemeteryMertztown, PAWeb-link
Peaceful Pastures Pet CemeteryCanonsburg, PAWeb-link
Resting Acres Pet Cemetery Bradford, PAWeb-link
Rolling Green Pet Cemetery
– SPCA of Luzerne County
Wilkes Barre, PAWeb-link
Sky-View Memorial ParkTamaqua, PAWeb-link
West Laurel Hill CemeteryBala Cynwyd, PAWeb-link

Rhode Island

Name
None

South Carolina

NameLocationContact
Dust to Dust Green Burial Cemetery
Whole Family Green
Swansea, SCWeb-link
Greenhaven Preseerve
Whole family Green
Eastover, SCWeb-link
Hillcrest CemeteryConway, SCWeb-link
Midlands Pet CareCayce, SCWeb-link
Pet Rest CemeteryGoose Creek, SCWeb-link

South Dakota

NameLocationContact
Forever Friends Pet Cemetery
& Memorial Park
Worthing, SDWeb-link

Tennessee

NameLocationContact
Cedar Hills Pet CemeteryColumbia, TNWeb-link
Dixie Memorial Pet CemeteryMillington, TNWeb-link
Pinecrest Pet CemeteryMemphis, TN(901) 754-1100
Resthaven Pet CemeterySeymour, TNWeb-link

Texas

NameLocationContact
Bit of Heaven Pet CemeteryHarris County, TXWeb-link
Bluebonnet Pet CemeteryMansfield, TXWeb-link
Cedar Hill Pet Memorial ProjectCedar Hill, TXWeb-link
Cimarron Pet CemeteryLubbock, TXWeb-link
Hale’s Half Acre Pet CemeteryHouston, TXWeb-link
Heavens Rainbow BridgeAmarillo, TXWeb-link
Pet Rest Memorial ParkSachse, TXWeb-link
Pets at Peace Pet CemeteryEast Odessa, TXFacebook
Pine Hill Pet & Horse CemeteryBowie, TXWeb-link
Smoke Rise Farm Pet CemeteryAzle, TXWeb-link
Toothacres Pet Care CenterCarrollton, TXWeb-link

Utah

NameLocationContact
Angels Rest Kane County, UTWeb-link
Cottonwood Canyons
Pet Memorial Garden 
Cottonwood Heights, UTWeb-link
Tiffany Mack Memorial
Pet Cemetery
Ogden City, UTWeb-link

Vermont

Name
None

Virginia

NameLocationContact
Garden of the Pines Pet CemeteryVirginia Beach, VAWeb-link

Washington

NameLocationContact
Chambers Creek Pet Memorial Park University Place, WAWeb-link
Seattle Pet CemeteryKent, WAWeb-link

Washington DC

NameLocationContact
Congressional Cemetery –
Kingdom of Animals
Washington DCWeb-link

West Virginia

NameLocationContact
Heaven’s Gateway Memorial GardensWinfield, WV(304) 757-9860

Wisconsin

NameLocationContact
Forrest Run Pet CemeterySherwood, WIWeb-link
Lorraine’s Garden Pet CemeteryMilwaukee, WIWeb-link
Peaceful Pines Pet Memorial ParkMosinee, WIWeb-link
Pet Lawn Cemetery​Milwaukee, WIWeb-link

Wyoming

NameLocationContact
Angel Companions Pet CemeteryCasper, WY (307) 797-2080

Pet Cemetery Resources:

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