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Photographer researching Hurricane Katrina makes haunting discovery: a forgotten pet cemetery

Seph Lawless discovered this long-abandoned pet cemetery while on a field assignment in Louisiana and was touched by the monuments people built for their pets. (Used with permission)

Seph Lawless discovered this long-abandoned pet cemetery while on a field assignment in Louisiana and was touched by the monuments people built for their pets. (Used with permission)


Lori Knowles

Friday, February 13, 2015, 2:46 PM - Photographer Seph Lawless is no stranger to abandoned places, but while on a field assignment in the southern U.S. researching Hurricane Katrina, he found something he never expected: a forgotten pet cemetery hidden deep in a Louisiana swamp.

In a discovery that seems like a plot point from True Detective (or Stephen King’s landmark horror story Pet Sematary), Lawless stumbled across the cemetery while doing field research for a project to mark the upcoming 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
The cemetery has been abandoned since the early 80s, and the house that once stood on the property has long since collapsed and been overgrown with trees, but the sunken headstones still bear traces of the people who once lovingly tended them in memory of their animal companions.
“I was overwhelmed by seeing how much owners loved their pets,” Lawless said.

Lawless created a series of images capturing the dark beauty and magical feel of the place and compiled them into an ebook released Friday. Proceeds from the sale of the ebook will go to the Humane Society.
“One thing most humans have in common is a love for animals, especially pets. We show this love and admiration for pets in many ways during their lives that are spent with us and some of us even show it after they die,” Lawless said, adding he hopes the book will serve as a heartfelt and emotional reminder of the relationship between master and best friend.






For more on Lawless’ work, check him out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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