Coming in August 2014, pet cemeteries in the state of New York will start allowing the cremated remains of humans that wish to be buried with their pet in pet cemeteries. This new regulation came into New York State legislation after NYPD Officer Thomas Ryan and his wife were barred from being buried with their three Maltese dogs at Hartsdale Pet Cemetery. After a three year battle, their burial was finally allowed.
It seems that allowing for humans to be buried with their pets was more of a money issue than anything else. Pet cemeteries currently cannot charge a fee for a human burial, so thus this would have been a free way for those without money to bury their loved ones under false pretenses. However, the new regulations still does not allow for a fee to be charged, yet a bill to allow to charge for human funerals in pet cemeteries may be considered in the future. Under this new regulation, pet cemeteries are not allowed to advertise for human burial.
Hartsdale Pet Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York has been accepting pet burials since 1896 and is the oldest Pet Cemetery in the United States. The area was originally the apple orchard of Dr. Samuel Johnson, a prominent Veterinarian in Manhattan. He offered his apple orchard as a place of burial for a bereaved woman's dog. After making headlines in the local paper, burials skyrocketed there.
Today, Hartsdale Pet Cemetery is the final resting place of 80,000 pets. Celebrities and financers alike come to give their beloved friends elaborate send offs. Diana Ross and Mariah Carey buried their pets there as did Elizabeth Arden and former Mayor Jimmy Walker. Now that legislature ruled that humans may be buried with their pets in Hartsdale, it sets the precedent for pet owners to be buried with their pets all around the country.