When I moved to Pensacola, Florida from Oregon in 2008 my mother told me about a pet cemetery located at the other end of our road, about five miles from here. She wanted to go down there to see the graves with me, although she had been there before. We had always shared our love of animals. and she thought I’d like to read the headstones and see some of the statues.
But for over a decade I have put off driving ten minutes south to the cemetery and felt guilty every time I’d pass the sign on the way to my vet’s office. Recently there was a notice online about the possibility of the burial ground being sold for development. But many citizens were upset and very vocal about digging up and removing the resting place of so many pets. Regardless of the overgrown and neglected grounds, it is still a cemetery, every bit as sacred as that of humans. We were all assured that the place would not be sold. But in my mind, the fact that the subject came up tells me it is only a matter of time until it is sold and turned under for yet another Dollar General or housing. The last time I drove by I saw that the woods next to the grounds were gone and replaced by piles of dirt. It was time for me to visit the cemetery and take pictures. But as expected, it was a terribly emotional visit for me and I lost it at the point where I saw the ECSO (Escambia County Sheriff’s Office) canine’s graves. It was like I felt every animal’s story and their spirits called out to me. I know, wacky, and I really made a fool of myself crying.
UPDATE: I’ve been advised that the Pensacola Humane Society owns this property. This is the link to a report from WEAR TV on February 2019, Rumor Patrol, on the false rumor of the site being sold. Maybe someone offered to buy the land from the PHS, hence someone overheard a conversation and started a rumor, which started a gossip fire. Who knows. Regardless, I’m glad I visited the site today and from now on I’ll be more cognizant of the cemetery’s existence and the need for continual upkeep. My dream is that the Pensacola Pet Cemetery will remain into the next century as a testament to the love we have for our pets.
I’m including most of the pictures, regardless of quality as a tiny bit of a memorial to these pets who gave so much love to their owners. RIP.
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
‘Till its gone.
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot.
Big Yellow Taxi-Joni MItchell