Tag: thomas ryan
Back in April, New York’s Division of Cemeteries issued an edict to pet cemeteries, prohibiting the burying of pet owner’s ashes alongside the remains of their beloved pets.
The order from the state office came after an Associated Press story about the growing number of Americans who have decided to share a final resting place with their pets, and who, because pet remains aren’t often welcome in human cemeteries, have opted to spend eternity in a doggie graveyard.
Apparently, this was news to the cemetery division — even though it has been going on, most everywhere, for a long time. A good 700 humans — in cremated form — had been interred at New York’s 115-year-old Hartsdale Pet Cemetery before the state told it to stop.
That order came in February, and in April it was extended statewide.
Last week, the state Division of Cemeteries issued new regulations, once again permitting animal lovers, in cremated form, to rest in peace with their pets in pet cemeteries.
The new regulations, CBS News reported, do impose some conditions: Pet cemeteries may not advertise that they accept human ashes; nor may they charge a fee for doing so.
A spokesman for the department that oversees the cemetery division said the prohibition was put in place because cremated remains in pet cemeteries don’t have the same protections as those in human cemeteries — namely the assurance that the cemetery will be maintained.
Like anyone’s ashes — dog or human — are going to care about that.
The ruling had kept the ashes of at least one human from being buried. Taylor York, a law professor at Keuka College said the state order meant the ashes of her uncle, Thomas Ryan, who died in April, couldn’t be buried alongside his deceased dogs.
York sent the cemeteries division a legal memo detailing why the state was wrong in banning burials of cremated human remains in pet cemeteries.
As the cemetery division saw it, law mandates that any cemetery providing burial space for humans be operated as a not-for-profit corporation. By promoting the human-interment service and charging a fee to open a grave and add ashes, Hartsdale was violating laws governing not-for-profit corporations.
But Hartsdale isn’t a non-profit corporation.
“The law is clear,” York said. “There’s no authority for this board to just arbitrarily impose nonprofit corporation law on a privately incorporated for-profit business.”
All the boring legal stuff aside, there really was, and is, no good reason to get bent out of shape about ashes, of whatever species. We throw them in the ocean, we cast them in the wind, we can even use them to make trees grow.
And there’s no good reason for a state government to bury us, or our simple last wishes, in red tape.
“My uncle wants to be buried beside … what he considered to be his children and I’m not letting anyone stand in the way,” York said before the new ruling was issued. “His love for those dogs was just as real and just as strong as any parent’s for any child.”
Posted by jwoestendiek December 21st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
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