“Who do you want to be with when you’re dead?” said Levy, 65, a vivacious administrative assistant at a real estate firm who visits her pets’ graves weekly. “You want to be with your family.”
The International Center of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories in Atlanta lists more than 200 pet crematoriums and burial grounds across the U.S. Hartsdale, established in 1896, is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Lonely Planet travel guidebook has listed it as one of the world’s top 10 burial grounds.
Hartsdale was in the news this year when the state formally changed its law to permit cremated human remains to be buried with pets. That ended a long-running battle between the state and the family of a New York City policeman, Thomas Ryan, who died in 2011 and wanted his ashes buried with his dogs in Hartsdale.
“The right to be buried with your family, whether it’s four-legged or two-legged, seems so fundamental, yet it’s still something that upsets a lot of people,” said Edward C. Martin Jr., the cemetery director since 1974.