Can Massachusetts Residents Be Buried With Their Pets?
People and their pets are pretty tight. It's not unusual to see pet owners and their animal friends traveling, shopping, dining and even sleeping together.
A pet, particularly a dog, can sense when its owner is in danger, stressed out, or simply not feeling well. Emotional support animals and professionally-trained service dogs assist thousands of Americans.
The bond between people and pets is an amazing one. After they've been together a while, dogs and their owners can even begin to resemble each other. It's true!
But can you be buried with your pet in Massachusetts?
The answer to that question appears a bit murky.
The official Massachusetts website, Mass.gov, has a lot of information about what you can and can't do with animals. For example, you are not allowed to let your farm animals graze in the street, but on the question of being buried with your pet, the site refers you to a private funeral home for an answer.
Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford says, "A lot of states have specific laws that prohibit animal remains from being mixed with human remains." But Dolan says, "At least four states have some form of law that does allow for a combination burial."
New York and New Jersey "allow human remains to be buried with your pet, but only if you are cremated and you agree to be buried in a pet cemetery," says Dolan.
Pennsylvania allows cemeteries to establish a separate section where people and pets can be buried together, as does Virginia under certain conditions.
Dolan says, "Massachusetts is silent on the issue of whether pets can be buried with humans. If you want to "secretly have your pet placed in the coffin with you," Dolan says, "That's a call each funeral director will have to make."