How much time do you spend with your pets? Do you think you could spend any more?
For those who live in the state of New York, a recent law is allowing pet owners to spend a literal eternity with their believed companions, as the state now permits humans and their pets to be buried alongside each other. Signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, the bill allows for a pet's ashes to be included in the coffins of interred New Yorkers, although cemeteries with religious affiliation are permitted to ignore the law if it conflicts with their beliefs.
"This legislation will roll back unnecessary regulation and give cemeteries the option to honor the last wishes of pet lovers across New York," Cuomo said.
This law clarifies an issue faced in 2011, when the New York Division of Cemeteries banned, and shortly after un-banned, New York residents from being buried with their pet's ashes in designated pet cemeteries. In Hartsdale Pet Cemetery in Westchester County, New York, more than 500 plots are dedicated to both pet and owner. If there's one thing New Yorkers aren't budging on, it's their right to be with their animals at every stage of life and death. Now, if an animal dies first, the ashes can be held and interred later with the owner. If the owner passes away before their pet, the pet's ashes can be added later, too.