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New state law allows people to buried with pets

Lian Bunny/WBFO News

Pet owners who want to spend eternity with their beloved companions will be able to do so in many cemeteries under a new law signed this week by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The law will allow people to be buried with the cremated remains of their pets in 1,900 not-for-profit cemeteries regulated by the state, as long as the cemetery is willing. The law does not apply to religiouscemeteries.

WBFO reached out to Steven Sloane of the New York State Association of Cemeteries for reaction.

"I think it’s a great law," Sloane said. "We’re very pleased the governor saw fit to sign this pet burial law into effect. It will be something that can not only honor pets and military pets as well, being able to be buried with their owners. But also help cemeteries in the long term as well."

He noted that the law contains some restrictions.

“The pets are defined in New York State law, of what type of pet a person can have and we’ll follow that. But they have to be cremated, we will not accept any cats or dogs or any other household animals that are not cremated.”

Sloane believes the movement will spread beyond New York.

“Other states may go into doing this as well, pets and people taking care of their pets, is a very large business today and I think pet owners are willing to do quite a bit to remember their pets and when they suffer a loss of a pet it’s almost like suffering a loss of a family member.”

New York State has passed other pet-friendly laws in recent years. Last year, lawmakers passed a measure allowing dog owners to take their pets into outdoor areas of willing restaurants.

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