NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — A change in state regulations will allow New Yorkers to be buried with their beloved pets.
Roseanne Cirelli said that she wants to have her ashes buried with the remains of dog.
“With my Brandy, my husband, with my mother and dad, and brother so I can be with everybody,” she told CBS 2’s John Slattery.
Every week for the past 25 years Cirelli has brought fresh flowers to Hartsdale Pet Cemetery. Hartsdale is the oldest pet cemetery in the country and is the final resting place for 80,000 pets and the ashes of over 500 pet owners.
The practice of burying an owners ashes with a pet was allowed, and then it wasn’t. Now, it is allowed again but restrictions have been placed on cemetery owners.
Some officials questioned the new rules surrounding the practice.
“In what other business in the State of New York is told they have to stop a legal practice they’ve done for 100 years or do it for nothing?” New York State Assemblyman Tim Abinanti said.
After decades of allowing human ashes to be buried with pets the state disallowed the practice in 2011.
The family of former New York City policeman Thomas Ryan was told that his ashes could not be buried with his Maltese even though his wife’s ashes were already interred in a pet cemetery.
Under pressure from the family the state finally relented but said that the service could not be advertised and must be done free of charge.
The policy left pet cemetery owner Ed Martin confused.
“I can’t understand why the state is saying you can’t make a nominal charge to bury,” he said.
For now, pet cemeteries will have to offer a discount. Bury a pet and the ashes of the owner can be buried for free.
Assemblyman Abinanti has introduced legislation that would allow pet cemeteries to charge some $200 to bury human ashes.
The price of burying a pet is $1,600.
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