Can You Be Buried With Your Pet?

Your pet is an integral part of your life. They are often your constant companion, accompanying you on errands around town, going for long morning or evening walks, helping you feel better when you’re sick, and being a warm fur ball to cry on. However, the unfortunate part of pet ownership is that they often precede us in death. This is heartbreaking to say the least, but it’s a fact of life that is better than not having a pet.

Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford is a full-service, family-owned funeral home that is humbled when you choose us to take care of the remains of your loved one. We do our best to offer our support to you when a loved one dies, from helping plan the entire funeral service to aftercare help. Often, when a pet passes, we have them cremated, and we keep their ashes with us. And many of us want to be buried with our pets. Dolan Funeral Home will explore the option of having your pet buried with you in this blog post. Give us a call today to get started!


The answer to this question is this: it depends on what state you are buried in. A lot of states have specific laws that expressly prohibit animal remains from being mixed with human remains. However, at least four states have some form of law that do allow for a combined burial, and Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford expects this list to grow as the demand for this funeral home service grows.

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. According to New York law, there is no fee for this burial service and the pet cemeteries that allow this combined burial are barred from advertising this option to people. There are no statistics on how many people take advantage of this, but Dolan Funeral Home speculates probably not many because not many people know of this option.

Pennsylvania passed a law in 2006 that allows cemeteries on their own volition to have separate sections for those who want to be buried with their pets. There can be area for humans, one for pets only, and then one for both in Pennsylvania cemeteries.

Virginia is the other state that has formally weighed in on the matter. Virginia allows for pets to be buried with humans with stipulations: the pet must have been a companion animal, the pet must have its own casket, and the cemetery must clearly mark the sections where there are humans buried with pets.

These are the formal laws on the books. However, most people are buried with personal effects placed inside their coffins, from favorite books to a treasured family heirloom or family photos. Some funeral home directors will place your pet’s ashes in your casket secretly of course. This practice of placing your beloved pet in your casket has probably been going on for a long time.


There doesn’t seem to be a clear answer as to why humans remains cannot be buried with pet remains outside of tradition, and some people think the idea is weird and not right. This tradition includes the fact that most cemeteries do not allow pet remains to be buried except in specific locations if at all. Again, this is due to tradition. It has only been recently that pets have been thought of as members of the family, so say, one hundred years ago, pets were not loved and doted on like they are now so this was never an issue or a consideration by most people.

At a crematorium, human remains are always cremated separately from pet remains. However, as more and more people consider their pets family, expect to see the desire to spend eternity with Fido and Splat the Cat rise.


Massachusetts is silent on the issue of whether pets can be buried with humans. One thing is for certain: if you want to officially be buried with your pet, you will have to be buried in a pet cemetery. If you want to secretly have your pet placed in your coffin with you, that’s a call each funeral director will have to make.

Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford is the best funeral home serving the greater Lowell area, as well as Hudson, New Hampshire. We pride ourselves in offering as many helpful services as possible so that you can focus on the grief process. We offer prearrangement services, cremation, and traditional burial. Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford is a 24/7 funeral home, meaning a licensed funeral director is always on call to help when you need us. We offer catering services for your loved one’s visitation, funeral service, or celebration of life ceremony. This allows you to have a reception after the service, which can help ease your heart. We partner with amazing local catering companies from which to choose from. We do all the set up and the breakdown of the tables and chairs, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.

As a top-rated local funeral home, Dolan Funeral Home will transport your loved to your local cemetery of choice, and we’ll follow up with you after the funeral as part of our top-notch aftercare program, which is available for your use up to one year after your loved one’s death. From sorting through your loved one’s paperwork to helping direct you to someone who can help with the legal side of your loved one’s death, Dolan Funeral Home in Chelmsford cares and is waiting to offer you a helping hand or a listening ear. Contact us today if you’re in the greater Lowell area of southern New Hampshire for all your funeral home needs. We would be privileged to help!

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