A new study has explored the rise of pet cemeteries in society. Dr. Eric Tourigny examined pet cemeteries in England over the past 100 years and made some interesting discoveries.

Over the past century, humans have gone from referring to pets as friends or companions to referring to them as family members. The change in gravestone markings and the rise in burials for pets points to a stronger bond in the later century. The change also reflects cultural shifts in acceptable responses to grief.

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“References to animals as family members increase after the Second World War, coinciding with a rise in the use of family surnames on pet gravestones,” Dr. Tourigny says. “Some early adopters of surnames put them in parentheses or quotation marks, as if to acknowledge they are not full members of the family. The need to express grief following the loss of a beloved animal, however, was at odds with socially acceptable beliefs of the time.”

In the 20th century, animal gravestones began to suggest that humans would meet pets in the afterlife. Dr. Tourigny reviewed over 1,000 headstones to support his research.

If you are looking for a pet cemetery in your state, take a look at this directory of pet cemeteries.

We encourage everyone thinking of getting a pet to adopt instead of shop. Read more resources about adopting animals on One Green Planet, including 7 Reasons to Adopt Your Next Furry Best Friend, 5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Adopt a Pet, and These Heartwarming Before and After Pictures of Adopted Rescue Animals Will Make Your Day! Read tips for pet adoptions and what to consider before adopting an animal. We recommend using these apps to find shelter dogs near you!

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Read more recent animal news in One Green Planet about including the animal shelter that threw an epic birthday party for one of its dogs, Dennis Quaid the cat’s new owner, this rescue kitten’s jaw was fixed with buttons, and the sweet rescue husky with an untreatable tumor and big personality!

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