In the News: Massachusetts lawmakers consider bill to allow owners be buried with their pet
June 24, 2015 at 8:41 AM
bill to allow cemeteries to bury deceased pets with their former owners was discussed during a Joint Committee on Public Health hearing on Tuesday. Massachusetts law currently prohibits cemeteries from letting humans and animals be buried together.
Rep. Nick Collins, a Boston Democrat, sponsored the bill and emphasized Tuesday that it wouldn't force cemeteries to allow pets, only make the option legal. The language would allow for both human and animal remains be buried together, including cremated remains, in a designated portion of a cemetery.
Animal Advocate Bill Trabucco, of Dorchester, spoke on behalf of the bill, State House News Service reports. "They're a family member. They just happen to have four legs and fur," said he said. "They'll give you undying love and loyalty, and I think we all know being part of the human race, we don't always get that from each other."
Trabucco, the owner of eight cats, two dogs and two birds, told SHNS he'd like to be buried with them. "All 12 and the ones who passed before," he said. He added that he'd like his wife buried alongside him as well.
Massachusetts Cemetery Association, which represents non-profit, private and religious cemeteries, opposes the bill on religious, environmental and sanitation reasons. A legislative agent for the association said they're willing to work with proponents to present a bill they both agree on.