Let’s depart wildly from the subject du jour to discuss some important information that may have been lost in the shuffle: On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that will allow people to be buried with their pets. Make no mistake — this is the most important news happening right now.
“For many New Yorkers, their pets are members of the family,” Cuomo said in a statement. “This legislation will roll back this unnecessary regulation and give cemeteries the option to honor the last wishes of pet lovers across New York.”
This doesn’t mean that little Jerry Meowguire’s body can just be tossed into the casket alongside yours. The legislation stipulates that “the cremated remains” of animals must be interred in a “grave, crypt or niche” in one of the city’s nearly 2,000 not-for-profit cemeteries. This is apparently an improvement from the previous legislation on the topic, which in 2013 officially allowed pet cemeteries to accept the cremated remains of humans. What’s the difference? You’re both dead, ostensibly, and as long as you’re together, why does it matter whose cemetery you’re in?
But some people are rather picky about the location of their eternal resting place, and for them, the law is a milestone.
“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,” the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer (R-Erie County), said in a statement.
The new law does not apply to religious associations or societies. It also requires that approved cemeteries offering pet-human burials provide a list of charges for the service, with the revenue then going to the cemetery’s permanent maintenance fund.
The Daily News points out that the bill was one of the last approved by the state assembly in June before the end of its session, edging out others like one aimed at eliminating or significantly extending New York’s statute of limitations for child abuse cases. Oh well!