HARTSDALE, N.Y. (CBS 2) — New Yorkers can once again rest in peace with their four-legged friends. A ban on burying human cremated remains in pet cemeteries has been lifted.

On Friday, an ex-cop was finally able to join his wife and dogs in eternal rest, reports CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.

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Peggy Trerotola cried tears of sadness, but also relief as she buried the cremated remains of her brother, Tommy Ryan.

“It was so wrong to deny his burial, and I’ve had him in the house so long that now I’m gonna miss him,” Trerotola told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello.

Ryan’s ashes had been on his sister’s mantle for months. The former NYPD officer was denied his final wish to join his late wife and their beloved dogs B.J. I and B.J. II at the Hartsdale Pet Cemetery in Westchester County.

“They didn’t have any children. And to them, their pets were their everything. They were their children,” Trerotola said.

Dog devotion and feline fidelity even unto death. The ashes of more than 500 owners are buried with their animal companions at the cemetery. That is, until Albany bureaucrats stepped in.

In February, Hartsdale got a letter from the state Division of Cemeteries, telling them to “cease and desist” the burial of cremated human remains.

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Human cemeteries must be not-for-profit. but most pet cemeteries are money-making businesses and that upset state regulators.

“The charge for doing it each time was $235, the same that we would charge to bury a cremated animal,” cemetery owner Ed Martin said.

Martin said there wasn’t much money at stake, but a lot of strong emotions. So he agreed to drop the fee for humans and the state allowed the burials to continue.

“I’m very grateful that today I could put him in the ground, with his wife,” Trerotola said.

At the time of his death, Ryan owned a dog and someday BJ III will join the rest of the family at Hartsdale.

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