War dogs now laid to rest for free at Nevins Farm in Methuen

Chantal McGovern (center) of Haverhill, with other Northern Essex Community College alumni. From left are William Klueber, Alex Gonzalez, Dallas Coffman, McGovern, Rosemary Klueber, Joseph Edwards, and Linda Lamb.
Chantal McGovern (center) of Haverhill, with other Northern Essex Community College alumni. From left are William Klueber, Alex Gonzalez, Dallas Coffman, McGovern, Rosemary Klueber, Joseph Edwards, and Linda Lamb.

HEROES’ RESTING PLACE: Any dog that has served the country during times of war can now be cremated or buried for free at the MSPCA at Nevins Farm in Methuen.

Through the new Heroes at Hillside program, the war dogs can be laid to rest in a dedicated area at the MSPCA’s Hillside Acre Animal Cemetery.

The program is for dogs killed in action, as well as those adopted after their military service.


For more than 80 years, Hillside Acres Animal Cemetery — a 4-acre landscaped area with mature trees — has provided a resting place for more than 18,000 animals.

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Hundreds of people regularly visit their interred pets there.

The special area set aside for war dogs has enough space for up to 100 burials, with future expansion possible. The dogs will be honored with a headstone inscribed with their name, provided free by Colizzi Memorials in Methuen.

The MSPCA at Nevins Farm is actively working with veterans groups across the country to ensure that anyone currently caring for a war dog knows about the service, and how to apply.

There are now eight war dogs buried at Hillside, some of which were in World War II, including Corporal Derek, a Doberman that served in the Marine Corps and was wounded twice in the Battle of Guadalcanal. He was buried in 1952.


It is only recently that war dogs, including many that gave their lives to protect servicemen and women, have been afforded the honor and recognition to which the MSPCA feels they are entitled.

Little more than a decade ago, dogs, still listed as “equipment” by the military, were regularly left behind at war sites after the troops left.

“It’s with tremendous gratitude and a heavy heart that we offer free cremation or burial services to these courageous dogs,” said Dave Gordon, properties manager of the animal cemetery at Nevins Farm. “These animals are just as deserving of our compassion and respect as the thousands of men and women who continue to risk life and limb in service to our country.”

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CONFLICT CLASSES: The North Shore Community Mediation Center is offering a weeklong intensive summer program in alternative dispute resolution for high school students.


The program is geared for anyone entering ninth to 12th grade who is interested in a career in law, advocacy, social work, peace and conflict studies, intercultural studies, or who wants to develop valuable skills for everyday life.

The aim is for the students to join a growing movement for peace and the eradication of violence and bullying. They will participate in team-building activities, discussions, and interactive games, as well as visit court to see mediation in action.

The students also will practice conflict management and resolution strategies, and learn the principles and process of mediation used by experts around the world.

The program is led by facilitator Anya McDavitt, with support from other local mediators, lawyers, and members of the North Shore Community Mediation Center.

McDavitt, the center’s director of youth services, has a master’s degree in intercultural relations and more than 15 years’ experience in education and youth development.

McDavitt designs and implements peace education curriculum, and leads workshops and trainings for student groups.

Since 1994, the mediation center has partnered with 27 schools in the region to establish peer mediation programs and teach conflict resolution and leadership skills to students, teachers, and administrators.

There are two sessions of the summer program in alternative dispute resolution: June 25-29 and Aug. 20-24.

Each session is $300 and runs 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at the center’s office in Beverly, 100 Cummings Center, Suite 307-J.

Space is limited to 12 students per session so early registration is encouraged. Call 978-232- 1212 or e-mail

WHO’S WHAT WHERE: Chantal L. McGovern of Haverhill, a recent graduate of Northern Essex Community College, has received the Alumni Award for Outstanding Achievement. The award, given by the college’s alumni association, recognized McGovern for her leadership on campus. She is one of the longest-serving staff members at the NECC Observer, the college’s student newspaper,
recently serving as executive editor and circulation manager. She also works in the college library. McGovern graduated with high honors with an associate degree in liberal arts with psychology, writing,
and middle/high school teaching options. In September, she’ll attend UMass Lowell
to continue studying psy-
chology, with plans to pursue a career as a child psychologist.

Wendy Killeen can be reached at