HARTSDALE, N.Y. — Hartsdale Pet Cemetery has been named the first animal burial ground ever listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Services.
A ceremony at the cemetery, 75 North Central Ave., will be held Saturday at 1 p.m. to celebrate the recognition. Speakers will include former Hartsdale Pet Cemetery Director Pat Grosso, Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner and New York State Assembly member Tom Abinanti, who has a pet of his own in the cemetery, according to its website.
"The addition of Hartsdale Pet Cemetery to the Register is a fitting way to recognize the long-standing and significant role animal companions have played in our nation's history and culture," Carol Shull, interim keeper of the National Register of Historic Places, said in a news release.
The designation recognizes the five-acre cemetery's landscape, monuments and works of art. More than a century old, the cemetery is home to 70,000 pets, including a lion that lived at the Plaza Hotel. Famous pet-owners of the cemetery also include Mariah Carey and Stephen "Steve-O" Glover.
Hartsdale Cemetery Director Edward Martin Jr. said the cemetery's national listing reflects the nature of caring people in the area.
"The story of Hartsdale is about the lives of pets and the people who loved them, people from every station of life," Martin said in a news release. "They simply are caring people who think this is the right thing to do."
The cemetery is also known for its War Dog Memorial, dedicated after WWI as a public tribute to honor military working dogs.
In 2008, Hartsdale Pet Cemetery was listed as one of the top 10 cemeteries in the world — a list that also included the Taj Mahal in India and Egypt's Pyramids of Giza.
"This is the most important event in the cemetery's 115 years of continual operation," Martin added. "I am pleased that Hartsdale Pet Cemetery will now be counted among America's most treasured historical places, ensuring that it is protected and able to serve future generations."