National Pet Memorial Day is observed every second Sunday in September. For Warwick resident Rita Levine, it’s an extra special day because it marks the time when she was faced with a seemingly insurmountable task: saving the pet cemetery where her beloved animals were buried.
The cemetery had been abandoned and auctioned off to a land developer, who had no idea he had purchased a pet cemetery when he bought 15 and a half acres of land at auction in Orange County, NY in 2017.
When Levine learned that the cemetery, then called Abbingdon Hill, had not only been abandoned, but sold, she knew time was not on her side. She quickly formed a not-for-profit corporation and was able to secure the cemetery, renaming it “Forever Angels Pet Cemetery at Abbingdon Hill,” which is located at 148 Youngblood Rd. in Montgomery, NY.
The cemetery was in totally disrepair, overgrown with weeds, stones covered in lichen and quite literally crumbling apart. It lies nestled in a swath of woods, open fields and old stacked stone walls. The cemetery, now tended to with love and perseverance, looks like a haven, a place to commune with those who were so dearly loved in life. The work is endless and ongoing and yet it is transforming every day.
Forever Angels Pet Cemetery at Abbingdon Hill is located in Montgomery, NY.