Spain’s First Public Pet Cemetery Opens · The Wildest

Skip to main content

Spain’s First Public Pet Cemetery Opens

by Ro Elfberg
27 June 2024
ChaoShu Li / Stocksy

Although as pet parents we never want to have to think about the eventual passing of our beloved animals, for pet parents in Malaga, Spain, the opening of the country’s first public pet cemetery this week could make that thought a little easier to bear.

Located in Malaga’s Parque Cementerio, this new facility is more than just a resting place; it includes a memorial park, crematorium, farewell room in which to hold wakes, an area for scattering ashes, a vet’s office and a burial zone for up to 500 pets. Although Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Zaragoza already have private pet cemeteries, this will be the country’s first public one. The council says the space will be something special and was created to respond to the “growing social sensitivity when it comes to respecting and caring for animals”.

Entrance to the pet cemetery in San Gabriel

As Juan Antonio de Luque, president of Malaga’s College of Veterinarians, explained to Spanish newspaper El País: “There are over half a million animals, including dogs, cats, ferrets, and other species, with 114,000 in the capital city of Málaga alone. Previously, owners wishing to bury their pets had to resort to private cemeteries.”

Alongside cremation or burial, the cemetery will handle post-death bureaucracy including transporting deceased pets and updating registries. Even more unique is the support offered to pet parents.

“As we understand that family pets are additional members, their caregivers experience part of that process, that transition towards death, and many lack the financial means to bury them as they would another family member. Therefore, it’s important to have public cemeteries, as they facilitate the grieving process,” explained Nuria Máximo Bocanegra, director of the Animals and Society department at Rey Juan Carlos University.

In the UK, there are a number of different pet cemeteries that range from private to historic, you can learn more about their services here.

Ro Elfberg

Ro Elfberg

Ro is The Wildest UK’s Senior Editor. She has previously written and copy-edited for British Vogue, Glamour and DICE. When she’s not being manipulated into dishing out Dreamies to Kobe the cat, she spends her free time trying to convince her snake, Butters, to wear a tiny hat.

Related articles