Please add your comments/reviews below. Works included may not represent the philosophy of the Green Pet-Burial Society in either nonfiction or fiction (e.g., we do not support disrupting cemeteries or the practice of mummification), yet may contribute to our understanding of the roles that ‘pets’ and other animals play in our lives cross-culturally and throughout history.

Note:  If you know of a published work of fiction or non-fiction that represents or explores themes of animal death, particularly pet burials, please let us know.

Table of Contents

Children’s Literature
    Older readers
    Middle Readers
    Younger Readers


*Adams, Carol J. , Patti Breitman and Virginia Messina. Even Vegans Die
A Practical Guide to Caregiving, Acceptance, and Protecting Your Legacy of Compassion. Lantern Books, 2017. [our work is highlighted in the last chapter]

Aloi, Giovanni. Speculative Taxidermy: Natural History, Animal Surfaces, and Art in the Anthropocene. New York: Columbia University Press, 2018.

Ambrose, Barbara. Bones of Contention: Animals and Religion in Contemporary Japan. University of Hawaii Press, 2012.

*Ambrose, Barbara R. and Laura Hobgood. “Animals” in The Routledge Companion to Death and Dying, ed. Christopher M. Moreman. Routledge, 2018, 371-384.

Aries, Philippe and Helen Weaver. The Hour of Our Death: The Classic History of Western Attitudes Toward Death over the Last One Thousand Years. 2nd ed. Vintage, 1982. [not animal-focused]

Becker, Earnest. The Denial of Death. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1973.

Brandes, Stanley. The meaning of American Pet Cemetery Gravestones. Ethnology 48, no. 2 (2009) : 99-118.

Brant, Linda. Monuments of Compassion. The Journal of Public Space 5, no. 4 (2020) : 221-230. 10.32891/jps.v5i4.1421. [This article describes a taxonomy of monuments, as well as Linda’s memorial for farmed animals. It also introduces the term, monuments of compassion, coined by GPBS founder, Eric Greene.]

Brooks Pribac, Teya. Enter the Animal: Cross-species perspectives on grief and spirituality. Sydney: Sydney University Press, 2021.

Cole, Brigitte F. and Phillip E. Koerper. The domestication of the dog in general–and dog burial research in the southeastern United States. Journal of the Alabama Academy of Science 73, no. 4 (2002) : 174(6).

*DeMello, Margo, ed. Mourning Animals: Rituals and Practices Surrounding Animal Death. Michigan State University Press, 2016.

Desmond, Jane C. “Animal Deaths and the Written Record of History: The Politics of Pet Obituaries,” in Making Animal Meaning, 99-111. Michigan State University Press, 2012.

——-. Displaying Death and Animating Life: Human-Animal Relations in Art, Science, and Everyday Life. University of Chicago Press, 2016.

de Waal, Frans. Mama’s Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves. W. W. Norton & Company, 2019.

Dobscha, Susan, ed. Death in a Consumer Culture. Routledge, 2016.

Doughty, Caitlin. From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death. W. W. Norton & Company, 2017.

Felicidario, Nina. Commentary: Mourning roadkill, in Great Lakes Echo (a project of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State University). May 7, 2021.

Harris, Mark. Grave Matters: A Journey Through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial. New York: Scribner, 2007.

Heinrich, Bernd. Life Everlasting: The Animal Way of Death. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012. [Read an interview with the author.]

Hertz, Robert. Death and the Right Hand. (reissued by:) Routledge, 1960. [not animal-focused]

Hirschfeld, Rachel. Petriarchy: The Complete Guide to Financial and Legal Planning for a Pet’s Continued Care. New York: AICPA, 2010.

Howell, Philip. A Place for the Animal Dead: Pets, pet cemeteries and animal ethics in late Victorian Britain. Ethics, Place and Environment 5, no. 1 (2002) : 5-22.

Ikram, Salima, ed. Beloved Beasts: Animal Mummies from Ancient Egypt. New York: The American University in Cairo Press, 2006.

——-. Divine Creatures: Animal Mummies in Ancient Egypt. New York: The American University in Cairo Press. 2005.

Iliff, Susan A. An Additional “R”: Remembering the AnimalsILAR Journal 43, no. 1 (2002) : 38-47.
[Note: at the time of publication, Susan Iliff D.V.M., Dipl. ACLAM, was a Senior Research Veterinarian at Merck Research Laboratories, Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, New Jersey.]

Johnston, Jay and Fiona Probyn-Rapsey, eds. Animal Death. Sydney: N.S.W. Sydney University Press, 2013. [review]

Jones, Barbara Lee. “Mythic Implications of Faunal Assemblages from Three Ohlone Sites.” Master’s thesis, San Francisco State University, 2010.

Kean, Hilda. The Great Cat and Dog Massacre: The Real Story of World War Two’s Unknown Tragedy (Animal Lives series). University of Chicago Press, 2017.

Kelly, Suzanne. Greening Death: Reclaiming Burial Practices and Restoring Our Tie to the Earth. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.

Kenney, E. Pet funerals and animal graves in Japan. Mortality 9 (2004) : 42-60.

Kreider, Tim. A Man and His Cat. in New York Times, Menagerie. August 1, 2014.

King, Barbara J. How Animals Grieve. University of Chicago Press. 2013. [Commentary by the author on NPR]

Kuzniar, Alice. Melancholia’s Dog. University of Chicago Press. 2006. [Review by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas.]

Laqueur, Thomas W. The Work of the Dead: A Cultural History of Mortal Remains. Princeton University Press, 2015.

Lee, Sherman A and Nicole A Surething. Neuroticism and Religious Coping Uniquely Predict Distress Severity among Bereaved Pet Owners. Anthrozoos 26, no. 1 (2013) : 61-76.

Lopez, Barry, illustrations by Robin Eschner. Apologia. University of Georgia Press; 1998. [Apologia reflects upon the animals killed by vehicles on the road. Read an interview with the author here.]

Lopez, Patricia and Kathryn A. Gillespie, eds. Economies of Death: Economic Logics of Killable Life and Grievable Death. Routledge, 2015.

Mitford, Jessica. The American Way of Death Revisited. Vintage. 2000. [not animal-focused]

Monahan, Linda Angela, “Understanding “Roadkill” through an Animal Method”. William & Mary: Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects. 2015. Paper 1539626782.

Morey, D. F. “Burying key evidence: the social bond between dogs and people,” in Journal of Archeological Science 33, no. 2 (2006) : 158-175.

——- Dogs: Domestication and the Development of a Social Bond. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Porcher, Jocelyne. Pour une Mort Digne des Animaux. Introduction by Elisabeth de Fontenay. Paris: Éditions du Palais, 2014.  [Note: Porcher is a leading advocate of “traditional farms” and a critic of industrial farming.] review

Robben, Antonius C. G. M., ed. Death, mourning, and burial: a cross-cultural reader (2nd edition). Hoboken, NJ : John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2018. 

Rose, Deborah Bird. “Judas Work: Four Modes of Sorrow,” in Environmental Philosophy 5, no. 2 (2008): 51–66.

——-. Wild Dog Dreaming: Love and Extinction (Under the Sign of Nature). University of Virginia Press, 2011.

Sloane, David Charles. The Last Great Necessity: Cemeteries in American History. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991.

Slominski, Elena Michele. The Life and Death of Funeral Practices: Persistence and change in the death system and the rise of eco-funerals in the United States. Master’s thesis in Development, Environment and Cultural Change, Centre for Development and the Environment. Reprosentralen, Universitetet i Oslo. 2020.

Solomon, Sheldon, Jeff Greenberg and Tom Pyszczynski. The Worm at the Core: On the Role of Death in Life. Random House, 2015. review

Sullivan, Daniel and Jeff Greenberg, eds. Death in Classic and Contemporary Film: Fade to Black. Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. review

Tourigny, Eric. “Do all dogs go to heaven? Tracking human-animal relationships through the archaeological survey of pet cemeteries,” Published online by Cambridge University Press: 27 October 2020, pp. 1-16. DOI:

van Vuuren, Karen, ed. Natural Transitions Magazine: Pets and Death 6, no. 1 (2017). copy

Veldkamp, Elmer. “The Emergence of Pets as Family and the Socio-Historical Development of Pet Funerals in Japan,” in Anthrozoös 22, no. 4 (2009): 333-46.

Walker-Meikle, Kathleen. Medieval Pets. Boydell Press, 2014.


Arikawa, Hiro. The Travelling Cat ChroniclesTranslated by Philip Gabriel. Berkley, 2018.

Bodsworth, Fred, illustrated by T. M. Shortt. Last of the Curlews. 2nd ed. NY: Dodd Mead & Co, 1988. review

Boyer, François. The Secret Games. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1950. [later turned into the film The Forbidden Game]

Hamilton, Walker. All the Little Animals. London: Littlehampton Book Services Ltd., 1968.

Kawamura, Genki. If Cats Disappeared from the World: A NovelTranslated by Eric Selland. Flatiron Books, 2019.

King, Stephen. Pet Sematary. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1983. 

Pletzinger, Thomas. Funeral for a Dog. Translated by Ross Benjamin. W. W. Norton & Company, 2010.

Stein, Garth. The Art of Racing in the Rain. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2008.

Waugh, Evelyn. The Loved One: An Anglo-American Tragedy. New York: Little, Brown, 1948. [The book was the basis for the film The Loved One, 1965.]


Lilley, Joanna. Endlings. Winnipeg, CA: Turnstone Press. 2020.


A Dog’s Purpose. Directed by Lasse Hallström. 2017. Los Angeles: Amblin Entertainment. Based on the book by W. Bruce Cameron

All Dogs Go to Heaven. Directed by Don Bluth. 1989. Dublin, Ireland: Sullivan Bluth Studios, Goldcrest Films International.

All the Little Animals. Directed by Jeremy Thomas. 1998. UK: Recorded Picture Company. Based on the book by Walker Hamilton.

Bwakaw. Directed by Jun Lana. 2012. Philippines: Cinemalaya.

Closet Monster. Directed by Stephen Dunn. 2015. Canada: Rhombus Media.

Denali. Directed, written, edited by Ben Knight. 2015. Moonhouse.

Duck, Death and the Tulip. Directed by Matthias Bruhn. 2010. Trickstudio. Based on the book by Wolf Erlbruch.

Forbidden Games (original title: Jeux interdits). Directed by René Clément. 1952. France: Silver Films. [part of The Criterion Collection].

Frankenweenie. Directed by Tim Burton. 2012. Los Angeles: Tim Burton Productions. 

Gates of Heaven. Directed by Errol Morris. 1978. Los Angeles: MGM Home Entertainment, 2005. DVD. 

Get Low. Directed by Aaron Schneider. 2009. Los Angeles: Sony Pictures Classics, 2010.

Hachi: A Dog’s Tale. Directed by Lasse Hallström. 2009. Los Angeles: Hachiko, LLC. Based on Hachi-kō by Kaneto Shindô.

Heart of a Dog. Directed by Laurie Anderson. 2015. New York: Canal Street Communications.

Hud. Directed by Martin Ritt. 1963. Los Angeles: Paramount Pictures.

My Life as a Dog. Directed by Lasse Hallström. 1985. Sweden: FilmTeknik. Based on the book, Mitt liv som hund, by Reidar Jönsson. The Criterion Collection.

Old Partner (Wonang Sori). Directed by Chung-Ryoul Lee. 2008. South Korea: Studio Neurimbo.

One Nation Under Dog: Stories of fear, loss and betrayal. Directed by Jenny Charchman, Ellen Goosenberg Kent, and Amanda Micheli. 2012. New York: HBO Documentary Films.

Orphée et Eurydice. Music by Christoph Willibald Gluck. Libretto by Pierre -Lois Moline. Directed, choreographed and designed by John Neumeier. Directed by Matthew Diamond for PBS Great Performances. [While not specifically addressing the death of animal companions, this spellbinding opera-ballet illustrates how love transcends death and grief, and reaffirms life.]

Pet Sematary. Directed by Mary Lambert. 1989. Paramount Pictures.

Pet Sematary. Directed by Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer. 2019. Di Bonaventura Pictures; Room 101, Inc.

Roma. Directed and written by Alfonso Cuarón. 2018. Espectáculos Fílmicos El. [A review of the film’s symbolism here]

Sounder. Directed by Martin Ritt. 1972. Radnitz/Mattel Productions.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. Directed by Chiwetel Ejiofor. 2019. Participant Media. UK, Malawi. [Based on the memoir, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer.]

The Loved One. Directed by Tony Richardson. 1965. Sonoma County: Filmways. [based on the book by Evelyn Waugh]

The Three Lives of Thomasina. Directed by Don Chaffey. 1964. Los Angeles: Disney Studios.

Tikkun. Directed and written by Avishai Sivan. 2015. Israel: Plan B Productions. [Note: frontal nudity, sexual content, images of butchery] Read a review: After Life in Art Forum.

To Dust. Directed by Shawn Snyder. 2018. King Bee Productions. [Spoiler alert: in dealing with the death of his wife, the protagonist seeks to learn about the body’s decomposition. Yet it is a comedy of errors. In investigations, a pig is murdered and buried. While the film received critical respect, the murder of the pig – presented as a comical, ironic trope – wasn’t necessary to move the story forward, or reflect upon deeper themes.]

Where the Red Fern Grows. Directed by Lyman Dayton and Sam Pillsbury. 2003. Bob Yari Productions.

Children’s Literature (older readers)

de la Ramée, Marie Louise. A Dog of Flanders. London: Chapman and Hall, 1872.

Gallico, Paul. Thomasina: The Cat who Thought She was God. New York: Doubleday, 1957.

Children’s Literature (middle readers)

Armstrong, William H. and James Barkley (illustrator). Sounder. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1969.

Cooney, Doug and Tony DiTelizzi (illustrator). Beloved Dearly: Requiem for Fluffy. New York: Simon & Shuster Children’s Publishing Division, 2002. (ages 9-12)

Rawls, Wilson. Where the Red Fern Grows: The story of two dogs and a boy. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1961. (ages 9-12)

Children’s Literature (younger readers)

Brown, Margaret Wise and Christian Robinson, illustrator.  The Dead Bird. New York: HarperCollins, 2016. (originally illustrated by Remy Charlip in 1958). Kirkus review. A New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of 2016.

Demas, Corrine and Ard Hoyt, illustrator. Saying Goodbye to Lulu. New York: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009. (ages 4-8)

Erlbruch, Wolf (author and illustrator). Duck, Death and the Tulip. New Zealand: Gecko Press, 2011. (ages 5-8 and beyond). review. See film adaptation on our animation page.

Harris, Robie H. and Jan Ormerod, illustrator. Goodbye Mousie. New York: Alladin, 2004. (ages 2-4)

Hill, Frances and Vera Rosenberry, illustrator. The Bug Cemetery. New York: Henry Hold and Co., 2002. (ages 4-8)

Hughs, Shirley (author and illustrator). Alfie and the Birthday Surprise. HarpurCollins Children’s Books, 1998. (ages 4-8)

Luyken, Corinna (author and illustrator). My Heart. 2019. Dial Books. (ages 4-8) [This book is about the expressions of one’s heart, which can be nurtured and found in everyday life. Appropriate, since grief, as an expression of love, carries and guides us throughout our lives.]

Viorst, Judith and Erik Blegvad, illustrator. The Tenth Good Thing About Barney. New York: Atheneum, 1987. (ages 4-8)

Wilhem, Hans. I’ll Always Love You. New York: Dragonfly Books, 1988. (ages 4-8)

* Denotes mention of the Green Pet-Burial Society

updated July 14, 2021

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