The Virginia legislature recently amended state burial law to allow cemeteries to provide designated spaces for burying pets in caskets next to their owners.
Prior to passage of the new law, cremated remains of a pet could be buried in the casket with the deceased or the body could be interred in a pet cemetery adjacent to one for humans. An example cited in an article in the Martinsville Bulletin prior to passage of the new law is Noah’s Ark, a pet cemetery, that is adjacent to National Memorial Park Cemetery in Falls Church, VA.
The new measure is intended to help people who think of their pets as family members and who want them buried with them. The law specifies that pets and owners cannot share the same grave, crypt or niche and the pet section of the cemetery has to be clearly marked.
Now that the measure has passed, a couple can buy three adjacent plots – one for each of them and the one in the center for their beloved pet.
A few years ago, the New York legislature passed a law allowing humans to be buried in pet cemeteries along with their pets. However, pets still cannot be buried in cemeteries intended for humans.
Burial of a pet with its owner after death is a topic that has spurred a lot of discussion and emotions but very few states up to now have tried to deal with this issue.
For more information about end of life planning, go to www.diesmart.com.