A pet cemetery is a cemetery which offers burial services to animals. The services at a pet cemetery vary, with some comparing to facilities designed for humans, while others are a bit less elaborate and diverse. One of the most famous pet cemeteries in the world is the Bubbling Well Pet Memorial Park in Napa, California, which inspired Errol Morris' famous film Gates of Heaven.
Like a human cemetery, a pet cemetery is a designated location for the burial of animals, often with a focus on cats and dogs, although services may extend to other animals as well. Many people feel like their pets are members of the family, and they wish to treat their pets with the same respect they would offer to deceased human loved ones, providing them with burial services, graves, and headstones to memorialize them.
A typical pet cemetery offers burial in a variety of plots, and often contracts with a firm to make grave markers ranging from plaques to headstones. Many pet cemeteries also offer cremation, with cremains being scattered or buried in the cemetery, or given back to the pet's owner. Technologies like tissue digestion are available to pet cemeteries as well, and some offer options like group burial or natural burial.
In many regions, strict laws prevent pets and humans from being buried together. A pet cemetery is one way to get around this problem for pet owners who are concerned about how their animals will be handled after death. In some cases, a pet cemetery adjoins a designated human cemetery, for owners who would like to be buried close to their pets, and the same company may administer to both facilities.
The pricing of services at a pet cemetery varies. Many facilities provide detailed brochures to members of the public, and veterinary offices also tend to have information about regional pet cemeteries. Some veterinarians offer to hold bodies for pickup, for pet owners who do not want to handle their animals after death.
As a general rule, a range of services are available for cats and dogs, at an array of prices from modest to extravagant. For larger animals like livestock, a personal discussion with the administrator of the pet cemetery may be necessary, as pet horses and cattle present some challenging logistics to cemetery personnel.