Pet memorials evolve, but the love for our pets is forever
For centuries humans have been honouring their faithful pets after death. Pet memorials have evolved a lot over the years, ranging from basic to extreme, people have created memorials for their loved pets in a huge variety of ways.
Pet memorials through the ages
Pets have been buried on a grand scale for thousands of years in many civilisations around the world. All types of pets, from personal companions to working animals, have been remembered with everything from a pet headstone to statues and plaques, to war memorials for service animals.
Dog burials have been uncovered by archaeologists dating back 14,000 years, showing the strong bond between man and dog which still exists today.
Such is the bond between humans and their pets that some ancient traditions involved pets being buried with their owners or sacrificed and mummified to accompany humans to the grave.
The oldest pet cemetery in Europe opened in 1899 and houses the who’s who of European pet stars including Rin Tin Tin, a famous German Shepard movie star and many others.
In Australia pet cemeteries have been around since the 1970s with some, like the Corrigin Dog Cemetery in near sleepy Corrigin in the Western Australian wheat belt, becoming tourist attractions, bringing many visitors to the area each year.
Pet Memorial Day
The International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories celebrate Pet Memorial Day on the second Sunday of September, which this year will be the 8th. The day creates a time to remember loved pets and celebrate their companionship and service.
Types of memorials
There are dozens of ways we can memorialise our pets, many modern traditions include:
- Planting a tree or shrub
- Making a contribution to the RSPCA or another animal welfare or support organisation
- Placing a pet stone or plaque in the garden or a favourite location.
- Burying and creating a memorial in a pet cemetery
- Placing cremation ashes in a pet urn or vase which is placed around your house or garden.
Pet cemeteries are not as common in Australia as they are in many countries as many people choose to bury their pet on their own property.
Pet cemeteries near Brisbane
- Pets Eternal - Greenbank, Brisbane - Pet funerals or memorial services, cremations, burials
- Gympie Cooloola Pet Resort and Cemetery - burials
- Midtown Pet Center - Tallebudgera Valley, Gold Coast - burials