|Remembering our Canine Veterans
On Memorial Day, Americans everywhere will be paying tribute to the men & women who have served our country, in times of war and peace, in past conflicts and current. With parades, memorials, and services, their bravery will be recognized.
Alongside these brave men and women, military dogs have served as well, carrying medical supplies, detecting booby traps & weapons caches, and acting as scouts and sentries. Since WWI, ‘war dogs’, as they are commonly known, have saved countless lives through their devoted service to our country.
At the MSPCA’s Hillside Acre Animal Cemetery, seven canine veterans are laid to rest, and memorialized with a monument dedicated to all War Dogs. Among the seven is Corporal Derek Dunn, the first War Dog to be buried with military honors. Click here to read his story, as told through correspondence with his owner.
As you plan your Memorial Day observances, we invite you to visit Hillside Acre Animal Cemetery this week and pay your respects to the War Dogs whose devotion and valor have helped keep our country safe.
For more than 80 years, Hillside Acre Animal Cemetery at Nevins Farm, operated by the MSPCA, has provided a tranquil setting for burial of more than 18,000 beloved animal companions. Located in Methuen, Mass., the landscaped cemetery sits on a gentle hillside filled with natural beauty and charm. Markers throughout the four acres celebrate the devotion of animal companions. Hillside is also the final resting place for a number of military dogs whose lives were lived in heroic, often hazardous service to our country (click here to learn more about our "Heroes at Hillside" program, providing free cremation or burial for Military War Dogs).
Our animal companions may be our closest friends. They share our homes, our lives, and our love. Their death represents a significant loss. It is also natural to feel uncertain about how to handle the practical aspects of a pet's death, and about how best to commemorate his or her life. Hillside Acre provides a comforting means of expressing a lasting tribute to your pet. Our services vary depending on your needs. We offer prompt, courteous service. Over 35 years of experience has taught us how important it is to recognize the lives of animals we hold so dear in our own special way.
Hillside Acre offers individual cremations with our own onsite facility to ensure your pet's privacy. The ashes may be returned to the owner in a sealed urn, interred in a grave in the cemetery, or scattered in one of the cemetery's memorial center beds. Urns are available in a range of styles and prices to suit your needs.
Choosing burial as an option can provide a comforting means of expressing a lasting tribute for faithful animals who hold a special place in a family's heart. We are able to assist you with all aspects of a burial, including private services and headstones.
The MSPCA provides perpetual care for each grave; there is no maintenance fee requested. The grounds are protected by a high iron fence with locked gates. Each cemetery patron receives a key so that you may visit at your convenience.
For each pet owner, deciding how best to commemorate your pet's life is a personal choice. We offer several memorial options throughout our property, allowing you to recognize the personal bond with your companion in a permanent way. The staff at Hillside Acre can assist you in choosing a comforting means of expressing a lasting tribute to your pet.
The loss of a pet can be devastating. Many pet owners don't know where to turn to process their grief when faced with the loss of a loving companion. The staff of Hillside Acre is trained to offer you the attention needed during your time of sorrow, and can assist you with grief support and counseling.
The MSPCA offers free private cremation for any Military War Dog, whether killed in action or adopted post-service. We also provide free burial at Hillside Acre, in a designated area adjacent to our War Dog Memorial. Click here to learn more.
Friends of Hillside Acre is a group of individuals who contribute funds to help support the cost of operations and the enhancement of the cemetery. The Friends are invited to annual events such as Pet Memorial Sunday to celebrate the depth and meaning of the animal-human bond.
Hillside Acre is located in Methuen, MA, near the intersection of Routes 28 and 213, a short distance from Interstate 93. Our cemetery office is located in the white house on the corner of the cemetery.
From Route 495:
Take Exit 47 to Route 213 West, Methuen.
Take Exit 2 off of Route 213 to Route 28, Methuen. Follow the ramp straight to the light. Make a left. The Hillside entrance is at the next light on the left.
From Route 93:
Take Exit 48 to Route 213 East, Methuen.
Take Exit 2 off of Route 213 to Route 28, Methuen.
Follow the ramp to the light. The Hillside entrance is directly across Route 28.
For further information on cremation and burial services, please call (978) 685-0632. Hillside Acres is open Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm, closed weekends & holidays. Beginning April 29th and throughout the summer, the Cemetery Office will also be open on Saturday mornings from 8am-12pm.
Please see our wish list below for items we are looking for in addition to monetary donations. For further information about Friends of Hillside Acre, contact: