San Francisco’s Pet Cemetery
San Francisco is famous for being one of the most pet friendly places in the world, with pet dogs outnumbering children. Having exhumed and relocated all but two human cemeteries to make way for construction and urban development, San Francisco’s beloved Pet Cemetery is lucky to still exist today. Tucked away in SF’s quiet Presidio neighborhood, behind a small white picket fence, overshadowed by a large, recently built freeway lies a testament to San Franciscans’ love and respect for their pets, the Presidio’s Pet Cemetery.
The Presidio is an area with much history, once operating as a U.S. Army fort. At one point in time it housed many military families who developed the need for a place to bury their treasured pets. The exact origins of the San Francisco Pet Cemetery are unknown. There are rumors it started off as a burial place for cavalry horses or maybe World War II guard dogs. Regardless of its beginnings it is clear that the area served as a sanctuary for families and their lost pets, with graves tracing back to the 1950s.
This spooky little spot is still accessible today. While few paranormal stories are linked to the site there are some who believe that the area may be haunted by lost pets. Animal companions are fiercely loyal and rumors of pets guarding their tombstone territory while waiting for the return of their owners exist. Although this is not as creepy as it is heartbreaking.
The Presidio is in itself a paranormal hot spot, which only adds to the atmosphere of the Pet Cemetery. Sightings of soldiers dressed in WWII era uniforms performing drills right past the cemetery have also been noted.
Visiting San Francisco’s Pet Cemetery
Housing 424 graves for pets of various varieties, including markers for dogs, cats, birds, fish, hamsters and even lizards, the pet cemetery is an interesting place to visit. Look out for pets that have travelled far and wide with birth places like China, England, Germany and Australia marked on their gravestones.
Today, the Pet Cemetery is a protected landmark and an important link back to San Francisco’s past. It is closed to new interments, but visitors are welcomed.
The Pet Cemetery is located at 667 McDowell Ave, San Francisco. There is no parking in the area, so it is best to park elsewhere and walk to the cemetery. Watch your step while exploring. Many of the markers are either already in disrepair, fragile looking or well hidden under plant growth on the floor.
If you’d like to know more about spooky San Francisco, you can check out my blog on it’s top three most haunted houses here.
Thanks for reading!