New law allows owners to be buried with their pets in some cemeteries

Photo by Matt H. Wade
Photo by Matt H. Wade


Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation allowing New Yorkers to be buried with their pets at not-for-profit cemeteries.
“For many New Yorkers, their pets are members of the family,” Cuomo said. “This legislation will roll back this unnecessary regulation and give cemeteries the option to honor the last wishes of pet lovers across New York.”
The bill (S.2582/A.2647) will allow humans to be buried with their cremated pet with the cemetery’s written consent. Cemeteries will also be required to place all payments for the pet internment in its permanent maintenance fund and provide customers with a list of charges pertaining to the burial of the pet. This legislation will not apply to cemeteries owned or operated by religious associations or societies.
Increasingly, cemetery organizations are being approached by their lot owners to allow for the interment of cremated pet remains in their non-religious cemeteries, according to the bill language.
According to recent statistics, 62 percent — or approximately 72.9 million U.S. households — own a pet. With this increased ownership has come a significant shift in the desire of New Yorkers to have their pets interred in their grave, crypt or niche.
“For years now, New Yorkers have desired to have their pets interred in their grave, and cemeteries will now be able to offer this burial option as a result of this new law,” said Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer, R-Amherst, the Senate bill sponsor.
This new bill would allow for this interment only incidental to the burial of human remains and would provide important consumer protections. Cemetery corporations would be required to provide a list of approved charges and to direct all payments received for interment of such remains to be deposited in the cemetery’s permanent maintenance fund.
“When this bill becomes law, owners and their pets will finally be allowed to have their pet interred with them. The pet-caregiver relationship is a very special one and I am happy that this relationship will finally be honored,” said James Brennan, D-Brooklyn, the Assembly bill sponsor.
According to the bill memo, this new law will take effect immediately.