Thursday, November 21, 2013

Aspin Pet Cemetery, MD

A group of us went up to Maryland on Saturday to look at Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery. It was a dull damp day which lent a sad ambiance to the small gravestones with little animal figurines poking up from the long unkempt grass.
There used to be a schnauzer breeders kennel here that had a line of champions with the Aspin name. Some of the dogs were buried here as well as some of the neighbors' pets. The cemetery passed through many owners and is now run by Montgomery County Humane Society. Because of the recession and the lack of foundations, the land is badly neglected and needs volunteers to help maintain the grounds. Sadly there are quite a few beer cans littering the ground and towards the back of the grounds where the older graves are is quite difficult to access because it is so overgrown.
It seemed such a forlorn place as we wandered amongst the graves but obviously there have been many loved and revered family members laid to rest here. Some of the owners even chose to rest here with their pets, most of which we found to be dogs, with a lot of cats too. We came across a bird grave, a monkey, brave heroic animals and there's also supposedly a horse, but we didn't find that.
The majority of the graves, from the 20's and 30's were once adorned with these beautiful porcelain portraits. Many were missing, a lot suffering from the elements but probably from vandalism also.
This poodle statue was placed in what I could only think was supposed to represent a boat.
A mausoleum for what must have been a very pampered pooch, who now rests here with his owners.
The late newspaper correspondent Bascom N. Timmons, buried 129 stray animals at Aspin Hill, including 80 cats.
We marveled at this talented feline. I've never seen a cat in a dress before, especially standing upright.
A much loved monkey rests here..
...and who calls their favorite pooch this?
Beautiful sentiments from an adoring human struggling with his loss.
Someone had a sense of humor using this as a marker.
I absolutely adored this statue, a Lewis Caroll style cat.
A memorial for some incredibly brave dogs.
And this one speaks for itself, it was quite a shock coming across this, but really we should have expected some kind of memorial for all those poor animals killed for humans' vanity.
All below are iPhone photos.
I found out later that Aspin Hill is believed to be the second-oldest pet cemetery in the nation, so it's surprising that it's in such neglect. There are a lot of photos on the internet that reveal how badly this cemetery has deteriorated, many showing it in better times with the grass tended and weeds kept back. There are also a lot of comments from others who have photographed it recently, describing it as scary or creepy. I never thought this at all as I wandered about, I just felt sad that it had been abandoned. I also read that the graves won't be disturbed, unless by vandals, as building is not allowed here, so maybe soon funds will become available to restore the cemetery back to its former condition.. A great article is here, explaining some of the graves.

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