Those of you who have been paying attention know that both the famous Pere Lachaise Cemetery and the Montparnasse Cemetery have been covered here at the Paris Logue in the past. But for something a little different – for those of you who are either cemetery lovers or animal lovers, or both – today I bring you Paris’ pet cemetery: the Cimetiere des Chiens.
There are several pet cemeteries around the world now, some of which are tourist attractions, but the Paris dog cemetery is thought to be the first one. Opened in 1899, the cemetery was a reaction to a law which had recently passed in Paris saying that pets which had died could no longer just be thrown out with the household garbage or dumped in the Seine.
Although it’s technically called a Cimetiere des Chiens, or “cemetery of dogs,” it’s not limited to canine burials. In fact, in addition to the dogs buried here you’ll also find graves for cats, hamsters, a lion, sheep, rabbits, birds, a horse, a monkey, chickens, mice, and even fish. There’s also an entire section reserved for police dogs. In total, more than 40,000 pets have been buried at the cemetery since it was opened.
Like the other cemeteries that have been mentioned on the Paris Logue, the Paris dog cemetery also has some famous gravestones. Perhaps the most famous grave at the Paris pet cemetery is that of Rin Tin Tin, who starred in several Hollywood films of the 1920s. Although he spent most of his life in the U.S. and died in Hollywood, he had been found in France originally, so was returned to Paris to be laid to rest.
It’s not just buried animals you’ll find at the Paris pet cemetery, however – the cemetery is home to a large number of stray cats, and there’s even a little cat house at the very back of the cemetery that they can call their own.
Although the Paris pet cemetery has long had opening hours and welcomed visitors, its owners are reportedly thinking of closing it due to a lack of money. So if you do decide to pay your respects to the thousands of furry (and fishy) friends that lit up the lives of their humans, and you enjoy your visit to the cemetery, consider leaving a donation so that others can do the same in the future.
Location: The pet cemetery is actually located just outside Paris in a suburb called Asnières-sur-Seine, and it’s right on the lovely river. It’s next to the Pont de Clichy bridge, just across the river from Clichy and Paris.
How to Get There: You can actually take the Paris Metro there; get on line #13 headed for Gabriel Péri Asnières-Gennevilliers and get off at Marie de Clichy. It’s a 15-minute walk from the Metro stop. There’s a map with pointers & directions on this page.
Hours: March 16 through October 15, 10:00am-6:00pm; October 16 through March 15, 10:00am-4:30pm
Admission: €3 for adults, €1 for kids aged 6-11 (under 6 are free)
Good to Know: Feel free to bring your own pooch with you to the dog cemetery, just make sure they’re on a leash.