Can You Legally Be Buried With Your Pet in Texas?
People love their pets. Let’s face it, for many of us, our pets are our best friends. In fact, there have been many recent polls where people admit that they would rather sleep in the same bed with their pet as sleep with their spouse. Other studies have found that the average person has more photos of their pets in their smart phone right now, than their pets.
Still other polls indicate that if they had to choose between their pet or their spouse, most married Americans would not hesitate but to select their pets.
With that in mind, while no one would ever question someone who wanted to be buried beside their spouse, in Texas it is probably NOT legal to be buried beside your best friend.
When it comes to legality, laws are often ambiguous. Here in Texas there are two dueling opinions from two different administrative offices. In reality, however, the issue is most likely never to arise, because most cemetery associations bylaws restrict the use of a cemetery to the interment of human remains only.
In 1993, the Texas Attorney General’s office determined that there was no expressed prohibition against the burial of pets in a dedicated cemetery.
Many legal experts, however, feel this opinion is wrong. That is because the Texas Tax Code grants a person an “exemption from taxation of property he owns and uses exclusively for human burial and does not hold for profit. Any cemetery organization wishing to take advantage of this tax exemption must restrict the use of cemetery plots to the burial of humans only.
There have been recent instances here in Texas where pet lovers have made the decision to have their remains buried beside their pets in a pet cemetery. Often, that is cheaper. Plus, as of now, there seems to be no statute in Texas regulating pet cemeteries.
Except, the moment a human is buried in a pet cemetery, then it counts as a human cemetery and all the rules would apply, meaning that it would no longer be allowed as a burial place for pets.
In conclusion, it must be noted that in Texas, at least for now, there is no legal way you could be buried with your pet. Although, it is not exactly illegal either. The penalties for property owners to bury pets and humans together, probably mean it is just not feasible in Texas.