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Published on Oct 5, 2007
A short film by Barbara Gordon about France's oldest Dog Cemetery. Le Cimetière des Chiens lies just outside the city, in the suburb of Asnières-sur-Seine. The Cimetière des Chiens owes its beginnings to a law that was passed in 1898, when the Paris city government declared that dead pets couldn't just be tossed out with the trash or dumped in the Seine, but had to be buried in hygienic graves at least 100 meters from the nearest dwelling.
photosAttorney Georges Harmois and journalist Marguerite Durand quickly conceived the idea of a "cemetery for dogs and other domestic animals" on the outskirts of Paris. In June, 1899, digging began on a narrow parcel of riverfront land in Asnières-sur-Seine. The new cemetery opened for business that summer, and over the years more than 40,000 animals have been buried in the Cimetière des Chiens--not just dogs, but also cats, a racehorse, a lion, a monkey, and domestic animals such as rabbits, hamsters, mice, birds, and fish.