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Presidio Pets and the Pearly Gates

The beloved Presidio Pet Cemetery will be cleaned and refreshed in an SPCA volunteer event


Presidio Pet Cemetery, with a path and gravestones visible.

Presidio of San Francisco (June 19, 2003) — The tranquil, 450 square-foot Presidio Pet Cemetery, the final resting place for beloved pets of military families once stationed here, will receive a summer treat Saturday, June 21, at 11 am when volunteers from the SPCA and the Presidio Trust clean the burial grounds.

The white picket fenced Presidio Pet Cemetery is located at McDowell Avenue intersecting with Crissy Field Avenue on the Presidio. Volunteers will spruce the area up, removing debris fallen branches and trash that has accumulated in the cemetery.

The quaint cemetery is full. But from time to time new headstones have been discovered as unauthorized burials, most likely taking place at night, have added to the dozens of headstones that dot the pet cemetery where critters including parrots, lizards and goldfish have been buried.

The burial grounds are near the abandoned K9 Corps building at the Presidio, just a short distance from the cavalry stables. Military and special police units once used dogs during the heyday of the military presence at the Presidio.

But the pets, beloved by their military family owners, offer a reminder of the significance of our pets. The inscriptions — written with care and affection — have made visitors to the site through the years cry and smile almost at the same time.

A rickety white picket fence marks the boundary of the cemetery, which may have been first used just after World War II.

The right hand corner of the cemetery was apparently the section of the cemetery reserved for birds. “Roc” the Macaw rests there, as does “Our Knuckle Head — Parakeet to Paradise.”

Media Contacts

Lisa Petrie

Presidio Trust

(415) 264-7787