New Yorkers Can Now Be Buried With Their Pet

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on December 21, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Do you want to be buried with your pet? Well, head to New York.

The state Division of Cemeteries had banned the practice earlier this year after learning about Hartsdale Pet Cemetery in Westchester. The cremated remains of about 700 people had been buried there since 1925.

But regulators have relented. Subject to restrictions, New Yorkers can now be buried in pet cemeteries along with their furry (or scaly) friends.

Human burials will only be available at pet cemeteries that do not charge for or advertise the service, reports the Associated Press. Customers must also be informed that they lose protections normally afforded to human remains. There are no record-keeping mandates and removal restrictions are more lax.

But what if you don't live in New York? Can you still be buried with your pet?

Regulations vary widely, but there may be a nearby pet cemetery that takes human remains. Those remains must usually be cremated and family members are often required to sign away certain rights.

If you can't be buried with your pet, it's probably because your state places strict limitations on who can handle human remains. The burial business is heavily restricted for health and safety reasons. Regulations are also designed to ensure the utmost respect.

This is why you usually can't bury your pet in a human cemetery. Should Fluffy really be buried next to a woman who hated cats?

If you want to be buried with your pet, start planning now. Research local rules and find a cemetery that will take you both. Then update your will so your family will know that you weren't joking.

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