More than 150 people are expected to attend the Hartsdale Pet Cemetery’s celebration of National Pet Memorial Day on Sunday, Sept. 14, in Westchester County, N.Y. Highlights of the annual event include a blessing of the animals ceremony and pet adoptions.
All pets who are present will be individually blessed by the Rev. David James and receive a personalized certificate. This year, Hartsdale Pet Cemetery will expand the event by joining with its neighbor, St. Andrews Church.
The program will take place at 1 p.m. at the church next to the cemetery at 101 N. Central Ave., Hartsdale, N.Y. The cemetery grounds will remain open for visitors as well.
Bruce Fabricant, event spokesman, said the blessing of the pets is one of three major events that the cemetery hosts every year, drawing people from all around the metropolitan area. A tree-lighting ceremony is held in December and a war dog memorial takes place in June.
“People look at their pets in many respects as an integral part of their family,” he said. “There’s a tremendous love for pets and it’s truly amazing when you come to an event like this how moved people are by a memorial, by the events that take place, and to be able to walk through a beautiful oasis.”
National Pet Memorial Day was established by the International Association of Pet Cemeteries. Nearly 70,000 animals since 1896 are interred at Hartsdale Pet Cemetery.