Brown Pet Cemetery

by Kaylah Stroup
Columbus, OH, headstone, graveyard

While I was looking for things to check out on my little day trip to Columbus I stumbled across Brown Pet Cemetery. I have been to countless cemeteries over the years, like a lot a lot a lot. I blog about them so often that they’ve even earned their own tag here on the blog. I’ve never been to one that was the final resting place for people’s pets though. I wasn’t sure what to expect (yes, I did. I knew that I’d cry!) but felt compelled to check it out! What can I say, I was curious…

Brown Pet Cemetery is located in Columbus, Ohio, right across the street from the airport. Certainly not the most peaceful of resting places but an absolute beauty! Some of the oldest headstones I spotted date back to the 1920’s. Some are handmade, and others are more elaborate than some I’ve seen for humans. A surprising number of the headstones even had photos! The front of the cemetery seems to be fairly well maintained. The back half of the cemetery is nestled in the woods so it was understandable to see that a handful of headstones that have been damaged by fallen trees. It also appeared that some were slowly falling down the hill little by little each year.

The majority of the deceased seemed to be dogs, followed by cats but I also saw a headstone for a bird! Online, while researching this cemetery, I found a photo of a headstone for two ducks but I somehow missed that while I was there. Probably because my eyes were all blurry from crying!

columbus, ohio, pet cemetery, graveyard

So what was it like? Oh, I just sobbed… the whole time. Like red faced, snot nosed, runny make up SOBBING. Every time I’d start to regain my composure I’d find a headstone with an inscription that got me going all over again. Jeff texted me while I was there to say something like “Hope you’re having a nice day!” When I told him where I was his response was “What are you doing there?! Why!? That’s so sad!” While it was incredibly sad, it was overwhelmingly beautiful. Obviously I wept for their owner’s loss but half the tears came from a place of great appreciation for the friendships we form with animals. It makes my heart swell to think about those bonds. Seriously, I sometimes get teary eyed when I see strangers sharing a special moment with their pet. Basically, when it comes to animals, I’m a huge blubbering fool.

It’s so lovely to think what an impact these animals made on their owners lives that they decided to get them such beautiful headstones when they passed. Some of the headstones with photos were so old! It’s crazy to think about a time when photography wasn’t even a fraction as popular or accessible that someone was like “Yeah, I really love this cat. I’m going to need to get some glamour shots done of her.”

My absolute favorite photo found on a headstone at the pet cemetery.

I hesitated to share this post because it is sad and that’s not really the type of content I share on The Dainty Squid. Jeff even said “I’m not going to read that post, it’ll be too sad!” As much as I cried seeing this in person, and even though I got choked up a few times wiring it, like I said above, it really does warm my heart that people loved these animals so much! I hope you guys out there reading can see the beauty in it too.

You may also like


Chelsea Woodring May 19, 2016 - 12:59 pm

I can't believe how old these are. I'm glad these people loved their pets as much as I've loved mine

Kaylah May 19, 2016 - 3:16 pm

Right!? I wanted to find the oldest one but I ended up wearing myself out crying! 😛

Marine May 19, 2016 - 1:58 pm

This is sad, but beautiful too. (Cat glamour shots!!!) Nothing makes me sob quite like animal stories/videos do. I always think there's a softer spot in my heart for animals than there is for people (is that awful????!) My family has lost a lot of pets, but we've never buried them in a cemetery before… (more like in our backyard, which is illegal, I'm pretty sure, but eh!) This bond we form with other species is pretty amazing and special though – I really can't remember what everyday life was like before Lloyd and Sylvester, but I can't imagine it was as awesome as it is now! Those buggers, they have a huge chunk of my heart.

Kaylah May 19, 2016 - 3:17 pm

Oh, no, I feel the same way! (both about the softer spot for animals + not really remembering life without my animals!)

Alexandra May 19, 2016 - 2:12 pm

OMG. I love this post SO much. Incredible photos, and I totally get the crying – I've been to one pet cemetery (Hartsdale) and I sobbed the entire time! I can walk through human cemeteries forever without feeling much of anything, but just thinking of pet headstones and the sweet epitaphs immediately makes me tear up. Cannot handle that one cat photo – is she wearing a turban??

Kaylah May 19, 2016 - 3:20 pm

Same. Seriously, I'm pretty sure the only time I have ever cried in a human cemetery was when there was a mention of a pet on the headstone.

YES. The real question is why is she wearing a turban?! Her headstone read…
"Corrina Shively
She was a sissy girl
Out adored pet.
Our love for her
Her devotion to us.
We shall never forget.
June 5 1948
July 11 1953"

Ughhhh. All the feels!

Nicole Hokenstad May 19, 2016 - 2:15 pm

That is so sweet!! We have two great cemetaries here but a pet one would be amazing. It's mostly farmland here so I'm guessing people bury on their owm land. I love seeing how much people adored their pets!!! There really hasn't been a time when headstones were cheap, it's sweet to see people shell out money on a little furry someone they only got to spend a few years with. And yes, I cried. Hahahaha Thanks!

Kaylah May 19, 2016 - 3:21 pm

Right!? That was definitely one of my first thoughts – this can't be cheap! Headstone costs aside I'm sure it costs money to have them buries there.

Jasilyn Albert May 19, 2016 - 3:01 pm

I'd be a mess too! I knew a guy in high school who had a guinea pig. The guinea pig needed surgery and was accidentally killed during it. The animal clinic offered to pay for him to be buried in a pet cemetery. The kick, though, was that you weren't allowed to visit this cemetery. Sounded like a scam, but that's the only time I've ever heard of a pet cemetery. It's really cool that you got to visit one!

Kaylah May 19, 2016 - 3:22 pm

What!? That's super weird… and totally does sound like a scam! Although there are lots of cemeteries that are locked up all the time that you can't visit. Still weird though!

Marissa May 19, 2016 - 5:04 pm

Just a thought on the locked pet cemeteries. I know in hoodoo and voodoo magic, dirt from animal graves and animal bones are used frequently. Maybe in wicca and pagan magic too, but I don't know as much the latter. I wouldn't think it would be a big problem, because how many hoodoo practitioners are there really?? But something to think about.

Kaylah May 20, 2016 - 11:48 am

Ehhh, I'm not sure that would be such a big problem that it would require pet cemeteries to stay locked up. Interesting though.

Courtney Church May 19, 2016 - 8:57 pm

Gosh, I love this post. My cat died a couple of months ago- she was seventeen and I got her when I was ten! It was SO HARD. We buried her under a beautiful apple tree in the yard. Not only did it feel fitting for her personality but it was so therapeutic for me and just felt like the perfect resting spot. No headstone or anything elaborate, but I guess I just totally understand why someone would want to do that. I'd FOR SURE be sobbing too at that cemetery- those photos are amazing. And you're right- there's such a special bond between people and their pets which just makes it that much sadder!

Kaylah May 20, 2016 - 11:48 am

Aw! I'm so sorry for your loss! <3333

The Evil Banana May 19, 2016 - 9:23 pm

ha i cried, thanks for not going too much into depth, it doesn't take much to make me cry with animals. The photos were just lovely. Our puppy is our baby and i try not to think about it, but i'm sure a urn or something will be a reality when that day comes a lonnnngggg time from now.

Kaylah May 20, 2016 - 11:49 am

Yeah, I can't even think about my babies dying without crying. They're gonna live foreverrrrr!

Cherry May 20, 2016 - 2:37 am

Omg! This is so beautiful! I cried while reading too! I love animals and I have lost many pets. That's kind of why I don't currently own any pet.. And that makes me sad.. I can totally see the beauty on this post! Thanks for sharing!

Kaylah May 20, 2016 - 11:52 am

Aw. I kind of get that. I was actually reading recently someone saying something along the same lines. It breaks my heart that I'm going to outlive my pets but I guess I feel the quote it's better to have loved and lost than never loved at all fits perfectly in this scenario. My life is definitely better with these furry lil guys!

Orchid Grey May 21, 2016 - 2:34 pm

I once read that 'pets/animals are walking heartbreak'.

All over the place May 20, 2016 - 11:28 am

Beautiful and sad, just like you say – and I'm right there with you: Animals can make me cry anytime.

Kaylah May 20, 2016 - 11:52 am

Heh! Glad to hear I'm not the only one who cries about animals often. 😛

Orchid Grey May 20, 2016 - 1:42 pm

Oh jeeze – crying at my desk. But yes, so beautiful. I also love how dignified some of the names are… 'Celestine', for one.

Kaylah May 23, 2016 - 1:41 pm

There were also some really weird ones. "Gay Bit of Copper Penny" for example. 😛

Wendy, R.N. May 20, 2016 - 9:12 pm

OMG! Those photos brought me to tears. Thank you for sharing them.

Kaylah May 23, 2016 - 1:41 pm


Jennifer May 20, 2016 - 9:39 pm

These shots are beautiful! I wasn't expecting so many unique headstones for a pet cemetery. I understand why you would get extra upset here though. I guess since we don't speak the same language as our pets, or other animals their pain is more intense. They can't speak for themselves, so I think we as humans feel guilty about it. A week ago a little baby bird fell out of a nest and died and ran past it and tried to remember to go back. Then I passed it again while taking out the trash and got really sad. Was no one going to move this poor bird? I eventually got back to my apartment and got gardening gloves and buried him. I just hope I won't forget and freak myself out when gardening in the future.

Kaylah May 23, 2016 - 1:42 pm

So sweet of you to do that for him. 🙂

gabbi bump May 21, 2016 - 3:41 am

So I started reading and I was all "I can do this, it's not *my* pets," and then the first photo was of a Jack Russell that looks a lot like mine and that was that. Damn you, Kaylah!! 🙁

I guess, growing up in the country, we always just buried our animals on our property – we made them all little crosses and marked them with rocks with their names painted on. My parents are planning on moving next year after they retire, after living there for 22 years, and I'm sad thinking about my pets living (well, not living, but you know what I mean) on someone else's land after it sells. I suppose that's why people bury them in cemeteries so that they can visit them at any time and it's not tied to any property. But for some reason, pet cemeteries seem so much more impersonal than human ones to me.

Kaylah May 23, 2016 - 1:44 pm

Awww, I'm sorry!

Yeah, same, my parents bury all animals on their land. Pretty sure they'll never move (the house has been paid off for like ever) but I definitely know I'd have some strange feelings about never being able to see those graves again.

Lela Bungard May 22, 2016 - 2:49 am

Oh this post gave me such mixed feelings of awe and sadness. I just realized the other day that I've had my eldest cat for almost half my entire life. He's getting up there in years and just thought of him passing gets me misty eyed. (Like literally welling up just typing this T^T) What a lovely place though. I love all the photos on the tombstones! Isn't neat to see what people name their pets? I find it so fascinating.

Kaylah May 23, 2016 - 1:46 pm

Oh! Same! I can't think about any of my three passing without getting misty eyed.

Yeah, for sure. I mentioned it in a comment above, there was a headstone in this cemetery for "Gay Bit of Copper Penny". Like, where in the world did that come from?!!

Nancy Wilde May 22, 2016 - 10:21 pm

This nearly brought tears to my eyes! Eerie, haunting but so beautiful. Animals are everything, i.e. true love.

Kaylah May 23, 2016 - 1:46 pm

They sure are! <3

Lyn Vicknair May 24, 2016 - 8:43 pm

I just read this post about Victorian Era cat funerals. No matter the times, people love their furry companions.

Lyn Vicknair May 24, 2016 - 8:44 pm

Oh, duh, here's a link to that article, in case you want to check it out:

Kaylah May 26, 2016 - 11:50 am

Wowowow. Thank you for sharing! 😀

Craig June 20, 2017 - 7:57 pm

OK, Sit down for this. I was a junior and senior at Eastmoor High School in Columbus in 1964-65 when I worked for a Veterinarian, Walter Brown, DVM. He owned that cemetery then. I dug many of those graves during those two years. The cemetery was created by his father also a Veterianarian. That is why some date back into the 1920’s.

Comments are closed.