Cedar Hill Pet Memorial Park Honors K9 Veterans
CEDAR HILL— It’s been five years since a dedicated team decided to save the Cedar Hill Pet Memorial Park.
Founder Theresa M. Brandon says after the park was saved the initial excitement died down. Since then, selling people on the idea of donating to a pet cemetery has been extremely challenging.
“I cannot tell you how many grants I wrote over the course of this time frame only to be turned down every time, when it was solely focused on the cemetery,” she said.
They added the War Dog Monument to keep the momentum going and to highlight the park. Just last year, the addition of an advocacy program called Shadow Fund also played a key role in further expanding the park.
At the same time it honored the service by animals in the protection of communities both locally and beyond.
As K9 Veterans Day is celebrated nationwide March 13, the project celebrated its fifth anniversary last weekend.
Appropriately, the event took place at the War Dog Monument located inside the Cedar Hill Pet Memorial Park.
The multifaceted K9 Veterans Day program offered recognition of those individuals and companies who have supported the Pet Memorial Park.
There was also a presentation by local police officers who have received Shadow Fund grants in the past. These grants helped to cover the medical costs for their retired K9 partners.
Pet Memorial Beginnings
It was in August of 2011, Brandon and her husband Clark Brandon III discovered that the Park, located off Highway 67 in Cedar Hill, had been deserted by the previous owners. Property taxes had fallen into arrears going back to 2004. By the time of their discovery, the grounds were in complete disarray and overgrown.
Dallas County had even seized the property in preparation for selling it to reclaim the back taxes. Having two pets in the Pet Memorial Park, Brandon made the decision to save the park.
During the past five years, the Cedar Hill Pet Memorial Park has undergone a series of renovations.
“One of the challenges when building any business or organization is to do it through programs that not only make sense, but expand its reach into the community it serves in a positive manner” said Brandon. “The creation of the Shadow Fund was such a program. Since the initial rollout of that program in 2016, CHPMP has had the challenge of convincing both sponsors and donors of the need and value of supporting such a program, as well as communicating the opportunity to those we wish to serve. In order to do this, the organization decided to conduct two annual events at the park to draw members of the community to celebrate the value that animals provide in our lives.”
The first event of the year was the K9 Veterans Day. A second event will take place in the park this fall, “Blessing of the Animals” on the first weekend in October.
CHPMP Family Member Passes
The Pet Memorial Project anniversary celebration this year is bittersweet. Recently Brandon received news of the passing of the group’s beloved ‘Mr. Anonymous’. A silent partner in the group’s struggle to rehab the property.
“We discovered this one day after noticing a new bench in the park,” she said. “This is not an analogy for the lack of anonymous donors, but the loss of a real person. A gentleman from South Texas who, during our time of greatest financial need, made a generous matching contribution so that we could pay the nearly $30,000 in back property taxes, penalties and interest.”
Mr. Anonymous died on January 25, 2017.
“He was known as someone who loved his Labradors, Doves and animals in general. We hope that there will be other Anonymous folks out there who agree that the small non-profit in Cedar Hill has demonstrated its worthiness to receive additional donations. We hope there is a ‘domino effect’ so that our work can continue in service to this community asset.”
Donate to Cedar Hill Pet Cemetery online at or by check to P.O. Box 1418, Cedar Hill, TX 75104-1418. For more information, or to arrange a burial for a pet call 1-800-818-8152.