The Key Underwood Coon Dog Memorial Graveyard
is a cemetery located in rural Colbert County, Alabama
reserved specifically for the burial of coon dogs. Key Underwood established the cemetery on September 4
by burying his famous coon dog, Troop. Underwood chose the spot as it was previously a popular hunting camp. As of 2007 more than 185 dogs are buried at the cemetery.
A dog must meet three requirements to qualify for burial at the cemetery:
- The owner must claim their pet is an authentic coon dog.
- A witness must declare the deceased is a coon dog.
- A member of the local coonhunters' organization must be allowed to view the coonhound and declare it as such.
Headstones in the cemetery range from the homemade wooden and metal monuments to the more elaborate marble engraved stones found at many human cemeteries. The dead include many famous dogs such as Hunter's Famous Amos, Ralston Purina's 1984 Dog of the Year.
Labor Day Celebration
Every Labor Day
the Tennessee Valley Coon Hunter’s Association sponsors a gathering at the cemetery in a tribute to the inauguration of the cemetery on Labor Day in 1937. The celebration includes music, dancing, food and a liar's contest. The gathering is often attended by local politicians.
The cemetery is west of Tuscumbia, Alabama
. From Tuscumbia travel west on US 72
to Alabama 247
. Take Alabama 247 south for 12 miles to Colbert County Route 21, Coondog Cemetery Road. Turn right and follow the signs to the cemetery.