The Hartsdale Cemetery on Central Avenue appears to be a bit more than it says it is. The New York Division of Cemeteries has now ordered it to stop burying the ashes of pet owners alongside their pets.
The ruling will block one woman from going ahead with her final resting plans. According to the Associated Press, Rhonda Levy of the Bronx said, “Suddenly I’m not at peace anymore. 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. And Taylor York, a law professor, said the state order compounded the grief in her family after the April death of her uncle, Thomas Ryan. Ryan’s wife, Bunny, and their two dogs, B.J. I and B.J. II,
are buried at Hartsdale. Ryan had arranged, and prepaid, to join them, York said. There’s also a space for B.J. III, who’s still alive.
But Ryan’s ashes sit in a wooden box at his sister’s home because the state’s new rule won’t allow him into Hartsdale.
Hartsdale has an estimated 700 humans interred with about 75,000 animals.
–With thanks to Loop reader Christopher