ALERT: Suspected Richmond puppy nabber’s brother also arrested; another puppy recovered

Bill would allow Virginians to be buried next to their pets

RICHMOND, VA (WTVR) — People can only be buried next to humans in the Commonwealth of Virginia, but that could soon change if State Delegate Israel O’Quinn’s (R-Bristol) bill becomes law.

It is expected to be heard in a State Senate Committee this week after already passing the House of Delegates 98-1.

The bill would allow Virginia cemeteries to decide for themselves on whether or not to offer the service. Under the proposal, if a cemetery elects to go forward with human/pet burials they must build an entirely separate section where only people supporting the service would be buried.

“This section of the cemetery would have to be completely separate than other parts of the cemetery and would have be advertised as such,” O’Quinn said.

A board member with the Virginia Cemetery Association said they have no “objections” to the bill.

In fact, some cemeteries told CBS 6 News that they believe it could increase business after years of declining revenues thanks to cremation popularity.

Alex Oplinger, a Richmond dog owner, said he loves the idea.

“I could totally see myself being buried next to my little guy,” Oplinger said.

Oplinger told CBS 6 reporter Joe St. George that his late grandma would of love the idea.

“We may have sneaked in my grandma’s dog’s ashes into her coffin,” Oplinger said.

Dr. Sandra Barker, a psychologist at VCU who specializes in pet loss grief counseling, says she is surprised it has taken this long for this type of legislation to be debated.

“I am surprised it has taken this long to come up. We know from early studies people are as close to pets as they are to human family members in many cases,” Barker said.

15 comments

  • Green Pet-Burial Society

    We are delighted with this development, and wholeheartedly support this effort. There are several cemeteries that allow for the full-body burials of pets’ remains in the family cemetery plot – but located in other states. These have been pioneered by green burial cemeteries. The Green Pet-Burial Society is the only program specifically founded (in 2010) to encourage and promote the acceptance of such burial practices in the US and internationally, and to encourage laws to be changed to allow pets to be buried in or adjacent to the family plot (in accordance with each cemetery’s policies). We call these ‘Whole Family Cemeteries.’ For a directory of such cemeteries, please visit: http://greenpetburial.org/providers/

  • clark minor

    I think it’s terrible that someone would sneak something into a coffin. That is very disrespectful. The family should dig the body up and remove the dog ashes so their loved one can be at peace. Shame on you, Alex.

  • RACHAEL

    I think this a good thing bc I love dogs and I think they deserve the same rights as humans in God’s eyes thank you thaank you

  • Manalishi

    Here comes the twisted priorities with the new democrat leadership. I gues economics are beyond the capabilities.

      • Tellmeagain

        Please tell me where in the KJV of the Bible does it say Dogs were put on earth by the Devil? God made all creatures big and small….

  • tori

    This is good. I live in richmond and it’s ok but I don’t like how dogs can’t get buried in cemeteries so this is good

  • kris

    WHAT THE?!?! THE DOG IN THAT VIDEO USED TO BE MINE! HIS NAME IS KIP AND HE GOT STOLEN OUT OF MY BACKYARD LAST YEAR. ALEX, I’D LIKE MY DOG BACK. NO JUDGEMENTS. PLEASE CONTACT ME AT KSPEAR511 at GMAIL dot COM

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