Founded in 1918, the Clara Glen Pet Cemetery was started by a husband and wife who loved their pets almost as much as they loved each other.
Considered one of the oldest pet cemeteries in the country, this lovely, well-hidden graveyard was the brainchild of Clara and Glen White. The couple owned numerous pets — 45 dogs, dozens of cats, and over 300 rabbits. Finding no pet cemetery to meet their needs, they started one of their own in their backyard. Soon, friends and family were also burying their pets there, and the Clara Glen Pet Cemetery was born.
The couple offered other services as well. They built coffins for the deceased animals. They also took pictures of the dead animals, some of which were put atop their own gravestones. A collection of these photos is now in the possession of the Linwood Historical Society.
Many celebrities who performed in nearby Atlantic City buried their beloved companions in Clara Glen. Irving Berlin, Eddie Cantor, and Billie Burke all have pets interred here. Showbiz animals, including Petey from “Our Gang” and Rex the Wonder Dog, are also resting here, after a long, hard life on the road. Rex was a star attraction at Atlantic City’s Steel Pier during the 1930s and 1940s. Many people flocked to see this dynamic dog bravely water ski. Another star dog was Paradiddle Ben. He has one of the most notable tombstones, etched with the masks of comedy and tragedy. Services could be very elaborate. It is said that the burial of one Atlantic City bartender’s dog was attended by 20 limos.
In 1943, Alex and Agnes Miller bought the cemetery and continued to offer numerous mortuary services, including embalmment, grooming, and caskets lined with feather pillows. They also continued to take photos of the deceased. Burials ceased in the late 1980s. The only interments still allowed are those of K-9 police dogs from neighboring Atlantic City.
Today, the cemetery is maintained by the Linwood Historical Society. Although many of the gravestones have been vandalized, and weeds often grow high, it is a peaceful, picturesque place, and home to some 3,800 pets.
Know Before You Go
This cemetery is in a quiet neighborhood behind private homes. It is between Shore Road and Wabash Ave. It is visible from Heather Court.