Pet owners can now take their furry companions to the grave thanks to a new law signed by Governor Cuomo on Monday. The legislation makes it legal for cremated pet remains to be buried with their owners at non-profit state cemeteries.
The bill first passed Legislature in June.
“For many New Yorkers, their pets are members of the family,” said Cuomo. “This legislation will roll back this unnecessary regulation and give cemeteries the option to honor the last wishes of pet lovers across New York.”
Pet owners will still need to obtain written consent from the cemetery, and the burial of both pet and human must take place at the same time. In other words, the new law does not apply to those who have already been buried.
The legislation does not apply to cemeteries owned or operated by religious associations.
Another similar law was signed three years ago that required pet cemeteries to accept the cremated remains of humans wishing to be interred with their pets.
It also follows another law, which permits dog owners to bring their pets to outdoor areas of willing restaurants.
George Webster, New York State Association of Cemeteries president, said the law honors the special relationship New Yorkers have with their pets.
Previously, state law prohibited the remains of pets from being buried with their owners.
Under the new law, the cemetery must record any payments associated with the pet’s interment as part of its permanent maintenance fund. Customers must also be informed of the charges associated with the burial of their pet.
While non-profit state cemeteries are not required to accept pet remains, they now have the option under state law. The law does not apply to cemeteries run by religious organizations, many of which in New York will not accept anything other than human remains.