Feature Stories

Top Dogs In Pet Cemeteries

Three women huddled against the biting January cold and wept as the gravedigger lowered the tiny coffin into the snow-covered earth. They whispered prayers and tossed some dirt into the grave. "I got her a pine casket because she's Jewish," Sandra Richner said of the deceased her beloved Siamese cat. Tassie, who shared her Manhattan home for 18

War Dog Given Hero’s Funeral

'Save Robby' campaign allowed retired war dogs to be adopted Robby, an 8-year old Belgian Malinois, will be laid to rest tomorrow at the Hartsdale Pet Cemetery during a funeral service befitting a military hero. Major John Probst, commander of the United States Air Force 341st Training Squadron, will escort Robby's remains from Lackland Air Force Base in Texas to his final resting place in the nation's

Saying Goodbye with Dignity at the Hartsdale Pet Cemetery

In 1896, a prominent New York City veterinarian, Dr. Samuel Johnson, offered his apple orchard in then-rural Hartsdale, N.Y. to serve as a burial plot for a bereaved friend's dog. That single compassionate act served as a cornerstone for what was to become America's first and most prestigious pet cemetery.

Pricey Farewell for Furry Friends

Deciding if it's worth the cost Daily News, January 4, 2007 When Rhona Levy lost her beloved pal in 2001, she spent more than $2,500 to lay him to rest in a satin-lined casket following an intimate wake. The Bronx office worker didn't invite friends to the ceremony, fearing they wouldn't understand - her departed loved one was her pet poodle, Snow. "My dog was a family member, not just something I wanted...

All K-9s on the Western Front

In recognition of Armistice Day, we salute the dogs who served in World War I. By Mara Bovsun 1918. The 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month. It was the moment millions of people had been praying for, for more than four horrifying years. All along the front, the pounding, shelling, and shooting stopped. First came an odd silence, then, one man recalled "a curious rippling sound, which observers far behind the front likened to the noise of a light wind. It was the sound of men cheering from the Vosges to the sea."

Angels of Mercy

As important as the messengers, were the Red Cross dogs, who were equipped with first aid in saddlebags and wore vests bearing a red cross.They saved thousands, on both sides. One dog named Prusco was said to have located more than 100 wounded men after a single battle.

Wolf and Prince

Wolf and Prince, two Airedales (Richardson’s preferred breed, along with Collies, for military work), learned how to make two-mile message runs. They would prove their worth at the Battle of Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917. "All the telephones were broken and visual signaling was impossible," noted a military report. "The dogs were the first to bring through the news."

Departed Dogs

Spend Halloween at the first pet cemetery, New York Post, October 28, 2007, by Julia Szabo ANY Tim Burton fan knows there’s more to Halloween than candy and costumes. In search of the holiday’s deeper meaning, I recently paid a long-overdue visit to New York landmark: Hartsdale Canine Cemetery (petcem.com). It’s the country’s oldest pet cemetery, founded in 1896 when a vet named Dr. Samuel Johnson generously offered his apple orchard to serve as a burial plot for a bereaved friend’s dog.

Hell for Humans

AKC Gazette, November 2007. Hell for humans. Heaven for a terrier. CHAMPION RAT DOG OF WESTERN FRONT, was the headline on a story about Norah, an Irish Terrier who accompanied her owner, Private Thomas Radford of the Canadian Veterinary Corps, to the front when she was a tiny pup. Norah was born at Richardson's kennels and trained by Radford to wage war on rats. Radford boasted that Norah dispatched nearly 100,000 of her rodent foes in less than three years.

After One Heavy Snowfall

After one heavy snowfall, 150 dogs carried more than 50 tons of food from the valley below to the snow bunkers and trenches hacked into the frozen peaks of northern France. At least 1,000 sled dogs worked in the mountains throughout the war.

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What kind of records does the facility keep?

Hartsdale records are maintained on a network of eight computers. All burials and cremations are entered on a daily basis. All burial plots indicate the owner’s name and address, the pet’s name, type of care (perpetual or annual) type of flower care (perpetual or annual), plot size, monument information, etc. With respect to cremations all individual cremations include the cremation number, owner’s name and address, pet’s name, attending veterinarian or clinic, date of cremation, date pet’s remains returned, etc. In addition the cemetery maintains copies of burial right certificates, cremation certificates and pet records.

How can I be sure that I am getting my own pet's remains back?

As indicated above the pet holder can always make arrangements to be at Hartsdale for the cremation. However if the owner cannot be present they can be assured that the staff at Hartsdale takes great care in assuring that the pet owner gets the correct ashes back. They accomplish this by verifying/checking the paperwork that is generated from the specific description, case number if applicable, owners name and pets name. This is done at a minimum of three times and the cremation itself is then witnessed by two of our staff.

Can I witness the commencement of the cremation process?

Yes. Hartsdale has what is termed a witnessed cremation. What this entails is that the pet holder makes an appointment to be at Hartsdale at a specific time and date. Upon arriving, for their appointment the pet is placed into a temporary casket and the pet holder is able to spend time with the pet in our viewing room. When the pet owner is ready they may then follow the pet to the crematory and witness the pet going into the unit. Then when the cremation process is complete, normally between 1½ to 3 hours depending on the size of the pet, the pet holder leaves with the cremains.