The Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park isn’t the largest pet cemetery—or, as the pros say, zoological necropolis—in the United States. That honor goes to Hartsdale, New York, a town that contains 5,200 live humans and more than 80,000 dead pets.
It is, however, the country’s most star-studded. Founded in 1928, the Los Angeles Memorial Park is home to silent film legend Rudolph Valentino’s beloved Doberman Pinscher, Kabar; one of the iconic MGM lions, buried alongside its best friend, a cat; and Hopalong Cassidy’s horse. The cemetery boasts a 90-year-old mausoleum and a stand-alone crematorium. It also contains a “viewing room,” for those who would like to gather loved ones together to bid a final farewell to their groomed, open-casketed pet.
The list of celebrities whose pets have been cremated or otherwise after-cared for here reads like a who’s-who of old Hollywood, including William Randolph Hearst, Alfred Hitchcock, and Lauren Bacall, and a few newer names, like Bob Barker and Diana Ross. Contemporary stars bury their pets here too, but now every arrangement comes with an NDA to protect the owner’s privacy.
From a distance, Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park looks just like a human cemetery; up close, you see the grave markers are tinier, the plots closer together, the names—Juicy Couture, Wee Wee, Big Dick—unorthodox. In the older section, the graves are small and unadorned. In the newer section, colorful bouquets of fake flowers, pet-shaped pinwheels, and windchimes sway in the breeze. You may be surprised to find such a peaceful place tucked next to the 101 Freeway, nestled among industrial lots and car dealerships.
Know Before You Go
The Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park isn’t actually in Los Angeles; it’s in Calabasas, a neighboring city in the San Fernando Valley. The park office is closed on Sundays and Wednesdays and the park itself is closed on Wednesdays.