Can Pet Ashes Be Buried With Humans? USA State By State Laws


Being buried with our loved ones gives us comfort in knowing that we will all still be together even in death. In some cemeteries you may notice that couples are laid to rest together. In other cemeteries you may notice plots where whole families are laid to rest together. So as our furry friends become more and more important to our family ties, it is not surprising more and more people want them resting at peace together with them. 

But Is It legal to bury pet ashes with humans? Yes, most USA states have no rules on being buried with pet ashes and leaves it up to each cemetery. However, It is a matter of where you live, there are some states that do not allow your loyal companion to be buried with you, while there are other states that allow it as long as it is done in whole-family cemeteries.  

This article will help guide you on whether you can be buried with your loyal friend depending on the USA state you live in.

Can Pets Be Buried With Their Owners

DISCLAIMER: The possibility of having your pet ashes being buried with you differs by each state. In this article, we summarise the laws each state has on pet ashes being buried with their owners. However, It is best to check with your local cemetery or authorities to see if there are any regulations and requirements that supersede these laws. 

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY DC

Can Humans Be Buried In A Pet Cemetery?

For the majority of the USA states, it is not illegal to be buried with your beloved pet. However, most human cemeteries do not allow this due to fear in offending those people that have already purchased a plot, or the families of those already buried.

So the solution? to bury humans in pet cemeteries. Take Hillcrest-Flynn Pet Memorial Center, in Pennsylvania for example. They offer lots for pets and lots for pets with humans.

However, Not all pet cemeteries are or can offer this service due to the small plots available.

A trend that is growing in popularity is whole-family cemeteries. These cemeteries allow full-body burials of a pet’s remains in the family cemetery plot.

Is it better to cremate or bury a pet?

This is all up to each individual owner on what they feel is best for their pocket and beliefs. 

With larger animals, it is usually easier to have these pets cremated.  Many people who want to be buried with their pets will usually die years after their pets.  By having your pet cremated and placed in an urn, you can easily have these urns added to your coffin prior to being buried.  This is a very easy way for your pet to be buried with you. 

Some people do not want their pet’s to be cremated and certain places may allow your pet’s body to be buried in a family plot in the cemetery. 

Can You Put Pet Ashes In A Coffin?

Can you put pet ashes in a coffin? the answer is Yes. That is if the pet dies first (many states and cemeteries will not allow you to exhume the human body in order to add the pet ashes).

You could cremate the pet and keep the ashes until the owner dies. Then ask the funeral director to let you put the ashes in the coffin. They usually allow you to put whatever you want (within reason) in the coffin before it gets buried. That’s one of the secondary reasons for having an open-casket funeral… so people can put mementos in the casket with their loved ones.

Final Thoughts

When planning your funeral, make sure that your wishes of who you want to be buried with you are known.  This way you can make sure that you are going to be buried in a cemetery that will allow your pet ashes to be buried with you.  Since each state has its own laws, it is best to check with your local funeral homes and cemeteries on the best way for your pets to be buried with you. 

 

Sara Redding Ochoa, DVM

Raised in Calhoun, LA, Sara attended Louisiana Tech for her undergraduate school, and afterwards St. George University to complete veterinary school. After veterinary school Dr. Ochoa moved to east Texas to work in a small animal an exotic veterinarian. She lives happily with her husband Greg and her babies Ruby the schnoodle, Monkey the tortoise and Oliver James “OJ” the cat. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling the world with her husband, baking, and taking Ruby shopping

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