NPR Dead Stop: Animal Trainer Frank Inn

Jul 27, 2012 | 0 comments

Frank Inn and Higgins

Hollywood animal trainer Frank Inn and Higgins, who played Benji.

NPR’s Dead Stop cemetery story series today focuses on Hollywood animal trainer Frank Inn. He’s buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills.

Inn made stars out of dogs, pigs, camels, chimpanzees, snakes and other animals. He worked in both TV and film, making a star out of a pig called Arnold Ziffel on the 1960s hit series Green Acres and a shelter dog named Higgins, better known as Benji.

His love of animals was so strong, he wanted to be buried with the cremated remains of his most beloved creatures. Inn suffered from diabetes and obesity late in life, at one point weighing more than 400 pounds. So he and his daughter planned for an over-sized casket and burial plot.

At the time they made arrangements, they were assured the animal remains could be buried with him. But despite his wishes, that didn’t happen. Apparently, between the time they made arrangements and his death in 2002, the laws had changed.

Listen or read the full NPR story.

By the way, there is a cemetery here in Albuquerque called Best Friends Forever where the cremated remains of humans and their pets can be buried or placed in a niche together. It’s one of the few cemeteries in the country to allow side-by-side interment of pet and human ashes.

A Good Goodbye