In Colma, Pets Rest Cemetery and Crematorium stands apart from the austere atmosphere of human cemeteries

COLMA — For more than 70 years, Bay Area pet owners have said goodbye to their four legged companions at Pets Rest Cemetery and Crematorium in Colma, California.

For more than 70 years, Bay Area pet lovers have gone to Pets Rest Cemetery and Crematorium to give their pets the dignity of final burial or cremation. Pets Rest is located in Colma, a necropolis south of San Francisco where 1.5 million humans have been laid to rest in more than a dozen cemeteries. Pets Rest is a sharp contrast in appearance to the austere and dignified atmosphere found at the human cemeteries. The mortal remains of dogs, cats, goldfish, hamsters and many other animals are marked by grave markers and headstones in a lively colorful jumble.

Pets Rest has inspired strong opinions from the pet lovers who have brought their loved animals here for final rest. This video looks at Pets Rest and the considers what pet lovers have written about their experiences with the cemetery.

Joe Dworetzky is pursuing a second career as a Masters student in Stanford’s Journalism program. He practiced law in Philadelphia for more than 35 years. He represented private and governmental clients in hundreds of financial restructurings and commercial disputes. He served as City Solicitor for the City of Philadelphia under Mayor Ed Rendell and in that capacity, he led a 150-lawyer department responsible for all the city’s legal matters. From 2009 to 2013 Joe served as one of five members of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission with responsibility for the overall management of the city’s 250 public schools. He moved to San Francisco in 2011 and began writing fiction and pursuing a lifelong interest in cartooning. His first novel was published in 2013 by Indigo Sea Press and his short stories and creative non-fiction have appeared in dozens of literary magazines and journals. In 2018 he came to Stanford University as a fellow in the Distinguished Careers Institute, and his studies in that program kindled a passionate interest in journalism. He served as a staff writer and editorial cartoonist for The Stanford Daily and his reporting and editorial cartooning frequently appear in the Peninsula Press. In the summer of 2019, Joe worked on the metro desk of the L.A. Times as an intern. His wife, Amy Banse, is the managing director and head of funds for Comcast Ventures, San Francisco. They have four children ranging from 19 to 35 and live in San Francisco.

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