A Cemetery Dedicated To Honoring The Memory Of K9 Heroes

Nestled in beautiful South Lyon, Michigan, is an extraordinary place that honors some of our nation’s most courageous four-legged heroes.

The Michigan War Dog Memorial is a revered final resting place for retired military and service dogs. They are a nonprofit organization that provides interment with full honors to working dogs, at no cost to their owners or handlers.

They are also dedicated to educating the public about K9 working dogs, their heroics, and all the lives they save through their faithful service. The Michigan War Dog Memorial’s mission statement is:

Sam Bishop

“Our mission is to continue restoration of this hallowed ground into a park setting and maintain that setting for the purpose of allowing interment of retired Military Working Dogs and retired Service Dogs. To provide interment, with full honors, at no cost to the handler/owner. To provide research for military records and/or service records. This mission will be accomplished by private and corporate donations.”

Hundreds of dogs have been laid to rest in the peaceful park-like setting after faithfully serving their county and their handlers. Each grave is marked with a headstone that contains the name and the date of death of the dog it honors.

The Michigan War Dog Memorial was originally a family pet cemetery that was founded in the 1930s. It was formerly called Happy Hunting Grounds Pet Cemetery and many local and nationally known animals were buried there.

Sam Bishop

According to Atlus Obscura, “Some of the more famous residents of the graveyard buried around this time include Blizzard, a sled dog belonging to Richard Evelyn Byrd Jr., who served on the first U.S. Antarctic Expedition, as well as others such as Admiral George Dewey’s pet parrot, who served as the mascot for the U.S. Navy’s Flagship during the Spanish–American war.”

It was after World War II that the pet cemetery transformed into a war dog memorial, in the1980s. Local residents who wanted to honor the war dogs improved the overgrown grounds and helped raise the funds to build a 16-ton granite monument.

After that, the first official military burial took place. The dog was a Doberman pinscher, who served as a Marine messenger dog, who ironically was present at the official dedication to the monument in 1946 but was later poisoned outside his home in Rochester, Michigan, a year later.

Sam Bishop

Over the years, the War Dog Memorial has grown into something very special. It is a final resting place for hundreds of dogs and a place to honor our K9 heroes, that often get overlooked after their faithful service.

According to the War Dog Memorial website,

“One of the most powerful parts of the hallowed ground is a tribute to the dogs that were part of the Vietnam War. Weitlauf says a little more than 4,200 dogs were deployed, and only 204 of them made it back to American soil. Weitlauf spent more than two years tracking down the names and tattoo numbers of every dog. They are listed on a memorial wall that was dedicated in 2017. Dozens of dog handlers from the Vietnam War were there that day and were overcome with emotion when they saw the names of their long-lost friends.”

Sam Bishop

The Michigan War Dog Memorial is a great place to visit and pay respect to working dogs. They are dedicated to honoring and preserving the memory of each dog there. Their Vietnam Memorial Wall alone contains the names and tattoo numbers of the war dogs left behind after being classified as equipment.

Thanks to the Michigan War Dog Memorial and all its supporters, these dogs will “Never be forgotten”.

Please feel free to honor these heroes and support the memorial by sharing with your friends.