Untangling the mys­tery of a for­got­ten pet ceme­tery

The Mercury News Weekend - - LOCAL NEWS - Joan Mor­ris Colum­nist — Paul Lloret, Fre­mont Con­tact Joan Mor­ris at jmor­ris@ba­yare­anews­group.com.

DEAR JOAN » My com­pany moved to Fre­mont near War­ren Av­enue — across from Mis­sion Boule­vard and Tesla — a year or so ago.

On nice days, I’ll do the oc­ca­sional walk to one of the delis that’s a mile away or so. One of my co-work­ers men­tioned there’s a pet ceme­tery on the cor­ner of Lake­view and War­ren, so the other day I walked down the street into the park­ing lot, and sure enough there’s a pet ceme­tery of some sort there.

The gate is locked, and while it looks as if it’s no longer reg­u­larly used, it has not been to­tally aban­doned. It cer­tainly isn’t open be­cause there is no ac­cess.

Might you know about this small plot? Could there have been a vet­eri­nary hos­pi­tal there at one time back in the day along with a pet ceme­tery?

I just find this sit­u­a­tion unique and it’s a quiet place hid­den away from all the noise and traf­fic that per­me­ates that area. Rather a shame that more couldn’t be done for its up­keep, but then again I fig­ure no one wants to pony up the money. At least some­one had the heart to leave it alone and keep it there. DEAR PAUL » You cer­tainly pro­vided me with an in­ter­est­ing mys­tery to in­ves­ti­gate, and while I’ve man­aged to un­ravel a bit of it, there still are unan­swered ques­tions.

With the as­sis­tance of Fre­mont city of­fi­cials, I was able to learn that the Warm Springs Pet Ceme­tery was is­sued a use per­mit in 1971. At the time, the area was zoned as park­land.

In 1976, the des­ig­na­tion changed to in­dus­trial when the city amended its gen­eral plan and re­zoned the area de­scribed as “bounded by West War­ren Av­enue, Braga Street, Alameda County Flood Con­trol Line ‘D,’ the Nimitz Free­way to a point 4,900 feet southerly of West War­ren Road and the PG&E lines.”

It was then that Robert E. Gwinn, act­ing as the chair­man of the board for the Warm Springs Pet Ceme­tery, pe­ti­tioned the city to al­low the 1.8-acre ceme­tery to re­main as in­sti­tu­tional open space. The city granted the re­quest, but in the 1980s, the land was sub­di­vided and the ceme­tery size was de­creased. And that’s where the trail runs cold.

City records show that the use per­mit re­mains ac­tive, but I could find no more in­for­ma­tion on the own­ers or whether buri­als still are be­ing done. I thought it might have a con­nec­tion to the Warm Springs Pet Hos­pi­tal, but they say no.

If any­one knows the rest of the story, please fill me in and help us solve this puz­zle.

Bark in the Park

San Jose’s an­nual Bark in the Park re­turns to down­town 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Satur­day at Wil­liam Street Park, South 16th Street and East Wil­liam Street. Ad­mis­sion is free but a $5 do­na­tion per dog is re­quested.

The event in­cludes low­cost vac­cines and $5 mi­crochip­ping, demon­stra­tions, lots of food and mer­chan­dise ven­dors and ev­ery­one’s fa­vorite — con­tests that in­clude dog cos­tume, dog/owner look-alike and tail wag­ging.

Money raised from Bark in the Park ben­e­fits lo­cal com­mu­nity and pet-fo­cused or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing Hu­mane So­ci­ety Sil­i­con Val­ley, San Jose An­i­mal Care Cen­ter and the Cam­pus Com­mu­nity Neigh­bor­hood As­so­ci­a­tion. It’s a great event for an even greater cause.

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