State tells pet cemeteries to stop taking in humans

HARTSDALE, New York (AP) — A state agency has told New York’s animal cemeteries to stop burying the ashes of pet owners alongside their beloved cats, dogs and parakeets. The order from New York’s Division of Cemeteries comes as a growing number of Americans are deciding to share their final resting place with their pets. The ruling has blocked at least one burial at the 115-year-old Hartsdale Pet Cemetery, which claims to be the nation’s oldest. And it has upset a woman who had prearranged to have her ashes interred there along with five pets, four of which are already buried. “Suddenly I’m not at peace anymore,” Rhona Levy of the Bronx said Friday. “You want to be with the people you are closest with, your true loved ones. The only loved ones I have in my life right now are my pets, which I consider my children.” Levy, 61, said she has no backup plan and is hoping the state order will be reversed. Taylor York, a law professor at Keuka College in Penn Yan, NY, said the state order compounded the grief in her family after the April death of her uncle, Thomas Ryan.

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