If your children are furry and have names like Muffy or Beauregard the Basset, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has good news.
Cuomo signed legislation on Monday allowing New Yorkers to be buried with their pets at not-for-profit cemeteries. There are 1,900 not-for-profit cemeteries that the New York State Cemetery Board and the Department of State regulate. There are more than 4,000 municipal, religious, family and private cemeteries that do not have to adopt this change.
"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 new law will allow humans to be buried with the cremated ashes of their pets in the same grave. The law previously stated that pets were not allowed to be buried in human cemeteries, but humans could be buried in pet cemeteries, according to a spokeswoman from the governor’s office,
“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,” Sen. Michael H. Ranzenhofer (R-Amhurst) said.
The pet cannot be buried in a separate plot or before his or her owner, the spokeswoman added.
Fees for the service are up to the individual cemetery, but the new bill states that the cemetery must place all payments for the pet interment in its permanent maintenance fund.
While perpetual care funds cover the maintenance of individual sites, the permanent maintenance fund allows for overall care of the cemetery, according to the Department of State Division of Cemeteries’ website. The cemetery is only permitted to spend the interest on this fund.
“When this bill becomes law, owners and their pets will finally be allowed to have their pet interred with them,” outgoing Assemblyman James F. Brennan (D-Brooklyn) said. “The pet/caregiver relationship is a very special one and I am happy that this relationship will finally be honored.”