Animal law

Virginia bill would allow pets to be buried with people

A bill in Virginia would make clear that people and pets may be buried next to each other after their deaths.

Virginia law defines cemeteries as places for the interment of human remains, the Washington Post reports. The bill introduced by Israel O’Quinn, a Republican member of the state House of Delegates, would allow “companion animals” to be buried in plots adjacent to people in a separate area of cemeteries.

Most state laws either don’t address the burial of pets with people, or they don’t allow it, according to funeral industry lawyer Poul Lemasters. New York and New Jersey allow human ashes to be buried in pet cemeteries. The story also refers to two cemeteries that allow pets and humans to be buried together.

Hillcrest Memorial Park in Pennsylvania allows the burial of human bodies, rather than just cremains, with deceased pets. It has three sections: for humans, for pets, and for pets and humans together, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported last year. Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens near Baltimore also allows people and pets to be buried next to each other in a separate section of the cemetery.

Updated at 10:47 a.m. to fix typo.

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