Anna Harris Smith founded the Animal Rescue League of Boston in 1899. An early champion of animal welfare, she originally envisioned "Pine Ridge" in Dedham as a resting place for the working horses of Boston, both after they retired and after life.
And Smith did not just limit Pine Ridge to the spirited spirits of Boston's working horses. Pine Ridge is America's oldest pet cemetery run by an animal welfare organization, said Jennifer Wooliscroft of the Animal Rescue League.
"She recognized the need for a dignified burial for a pet and not just in the backyard, truly a memorial," Wooliscroft said. "Considering she buried her own pets here, she wanted to extend that luxury to others."
And pet owners — some famous — have chosen the verdant, peaceful place for their cats, dogs, iguanas and birds ever since.
We recently visited the Pine Ridge Cemetery to take a tour with Anat Sagi, a cemetery liaison and grief specialist, and Michael Thomas, a cemetery groundskeeper who has worked at Pine Ridge for 40 years.
This program aired on August 24, 2010.