Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Pet Cemetery - Part 2

Last month I wrote about the Pine Knoll Pet Cemetery. In a melancholy way and for especially sentimental reasons, I have taken an active interest in it. A little bit of research discovered that the cemetery was founded in 1938 by Charles Edward Graves who also founded the original Santa Cruz SPCA the same year. He was one of the first veterinary surgeons in the area and he must have really loved animals. One article I found indicated that Dr. Graves, who was born in 1882 and died in 1965, hand-carved at least some of the cemetery’s grave markers.

Lisa Carter, the current (and fabulous) director of the SPCA, has given her blessing to spruce up the acre-and-a-half piece of overgrown property; so my friend Kallee and I went over to survey the work ahead. Kallee is also a bigtime pet lover with several animals of her own including these two cuties:

The oldest graves we found date back to the 1940’s, but there are many unmarked graves. It is believed that at least 350 graves exist at this charming spot, most belonging to dogs and cats, but there are reportedly also parrots and monkeys buried here.

Dukie Boy (1946-1960), Sheba (1966-1977), Rebel (1968-1986) and Tice (1971-1975) are but a few of the residents at Pine Knoll.

Kallee and I figure that trimming a few trees, pulling weeds, raking leaves and cleaning up some of the present grave markers is what’s in store. However, I have since put on my investigator hat and learned that cleaning up the cemetery property might involve a permit. As it turns out, the Mount Herman June Beetle and the Ben Lomond Spineflower, both endangered species, were found on site during a 2002 biotic survey. Paying hands-on attention to the grounds could be the subject of debate if not followed by possible legal ramifications.

Having uncovered this latest information, it seems that a real investigation is needed now and I’m up for it. I see no reason, as long as the property remains a ghost cemetery – unprotected from gophers and other unwanted trespassers – that regular visits to perform the most basic of maintenance should be problematic.

Stay tuned! You can bet that April will bring The Pet Cemetery – Part 3.


  1. sounds like you have found a lot out. Mght wanted check the dates of the Surgon as you have it 1982-1965. I'll be looking for part 3

  2. My beloved dogs are buried here, and since I know live too far to visit (and tidy up) their graves as often as I'd like, I love the idea that you would be doing some basic maintenance.
    Laura L.