Abandoned Pet Cemetery
Pet Haven Pet Cemetery was established in Desert Hot Springs in 1964.
The 2.5-acre site for Pet Haven was chosen as it was next door to the long gone, adorably named “Dog Town” animal shelter, which operated during the 1950’a. Dog Town made a name for itself grooming celebrities' pets, owned by Palm Springs luminaries from Liberace to Louella Parsons. They also provided air-conditioned kennels for boarding celebrity pets.
The Pet Haven Pet Cemetery has definitely seen better days, but it’s current Grey Gardens meets Haunted Mansion vibe only adds to its gothic charm.
Almost 2000 VIPS (very important pets) are laid to rest at Pet Haven.
Celebrity Pets include SIX of Liberace’s dogs, all lined up in a chorus line of plots with grave markers signed Love, Lee. Actor Michael Landon had his dog laid to rest here, as did Oscar winning composer Jimmy Van Heusen
The most famous resident is probably “Liberty”, white house pet, and first dog of the entire Gerald Ford presidency. Liberty made history in 1975 when she became the first dog ever to give birth at The White House. She had nine puppies, and The Fords kept one, named Misty, who is also buried beside her mother.
Many of the markers at Pet Haven tug at the heart strings. We all know our pets are family members, and the outpouring of love for the cats, dogs, snakes, and potbellied pigs that are laid to rest here are often very touching.
Southern California #134 -last visited December 2022