Would You Want to Be Buried With Your Dog in a Pet Cemetery?

 |  Jun 16th 2011  |   29 Contributions


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A woman spends some time at her dog's grave (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

A story from NY this week opened my eyes to something I never knew about: People are sometimes buried with their pets at pet cemeteries.

It makes sense, of course. Most human cemeteries won't accept pets. So owners who want to take that final "big walk" together with their pets have to find alternatives. Apparently some pet cemeteries have been more than welcoming to human ashes being interred alongside their beloved dogs and cats.

But these burials are making the news now because New Yorks Division of Cemeteries recently banned this practice -- leaving some people on this side of the grass very upset.

Suddenly Im not at peace anymore, Rhona Levy, 61, told CBS New York. You want to be with the people you are closest with, your true loved ones. The only loved ones I have in my life right now are my pets, which I consider my children.

Levy is not alone in her angst. The ashes of Thomas Ryan are sitting at his sister's house with no final resting place. He was supposed to be buried at the 115-year-old Hartsdale Pet Cemetery, where the ashes of his wife and two dogs await him.

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Some of the graves in the historic Hartsdale Pet Cemetery

My uncle and his wife couldnt have children. They had dogs instead that they absolutely adored, and like any pet owner they loved their animals like children, Ryan's niece, law professor Taylor York, said in an article in the Queens Campaigner. My uncle had every intention of being buried next to his wife and his four-footed family.

York is challenging the ruling, and State Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) is drafting a bill that seeks to let the practice continue.

The "cremains" of about 700 humans and 75,000 animals rest at the Hartsdale Pet Cemetery. Ed Martin Jr., president and director of the cemetery, told CBS the cemetery has added about a dozen people each year for the last few years. It's a definite increase, he said. A representative from the International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories confirms this is a nationwide trend.

Dogsters, did you know that you could be buried with your dogs at certain pet cemeteries? Is this something you would want to do? Have any of you made plans to do so?

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