Animal lovers' last wishes disrespected

Talk about creating a problem where there wasn’t one.

For years the 115-year-old Hartsdale Pet Cemetery in Hartsdale, N.Y., has allowed humans to be buried alongside their best friends. Now the New York Division of Cemeteries (http://www.dos.state.ny.us/cmty/proposedrule11-10.htm) has decided it’s against the law for Aunt Martha and Fee-Fee to spend eternity together.

The news media reported on this last week, noting that more and more people want to be buried with their beloved “family” members (http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/06/11/ny-tells-pet-cemeteries-to-stop-taking-in-humans/buried-with-fluffy/).

You might think that the state has some health issue with dogs and cats lying with humans, but that’s not it at all. The agency says cemeteries that provide burial space for people must be operated as nonprofits. Because Hartsdale charges $235 to open an animal’s grave and add the person’s ashes, the cemetery czar says it’s against the law.

Um, when was the last time these folks went to a human funeral? Cemeteries, even ones run by churches and other nonprofits, charge a heck of a lot more than $235 to get Uncle Eddie in the ground. In fact, in Uncle Eddie’s case the diocese tacked an extra $900 onto the bill for a graveside burial.

And another thing, what makes them think pets aren’t already getting buried with their humans.

In my person’s family I know of at least one dog’s ashes that were snuck into a coffin at the funeral. But then again, her relatives are not above burying an aunt with a can of her favorite beer in her hand.

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