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Radical: New York State allows pets to be buried alongside owners

A dog watches over a fallen comrade at a pet cemetery in the US dog-cat-serious
© Hartsdale Pet Cemetery - Facebook

In most western countries pets and their owners are still buried separately. In 2016, New York became the newest state to allow owners to be buried with the remains of their pets.

By Nick Whittle

Published on the 12/05/2020, 21:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:28

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law that allows people to have their cremated pet placed in their grave or in the casket.

In order to be buried in New York cemeteries, a pet must be cremated; it cannot be buried intact.

Most states still do not agree with the practice, and continue to outlaw combined burials. However, an increasing number are bringing in laws to address the growing demands of the bereaved.

According to the Sacramento Bee, Pennsylvania has, since 2006, permitted cemeteries to have three sections: for pets, for humans and for both. A similar law was passed in Virginia in 2014, permitting cemeteries to have clearly marked sections that allow the combined burials of pets and humans.

UK burial practice

In the UK, cremations account for 70% of funerals. On occasion pets are cremated with their owners but only by the strict consent of the crematorium and funeral director.

Vet’s Corner advice: read on to discover the signs of a dying dog

Generally, UK owners who wish their pet to be buried must contact a local pet cemetery to arrange this.

Culturally, the US and the UK differ in their treatment of animals that have passed away. Here in the UK we are much less likely to arrange a funeral or burial for our pets. In such cases, it is up to a vet to make the necessary arrangements.