Montreal

Laval cemetery offers shared burials, ceremonies for humans and pets

A cemetery in Laval is hoping to make losing a pet a little bit easier, not only by having a service for your furry friend — but by allowing you to be buried alongside them.

Laval Cemetery believes it is the first in Canada to offer the service

The masters and companions section of the Laval Cemetery allows a human to be buried alongside up to two pets. If the pets die first, the space is reserved for the owner. (Laval Cemetery)

A cemetery in Laval is hoping to make losing a pet a little bit easier, not only by having a service for your furry friend — but by allowing you to be buried beside them.

The privately owned Laval Cemetery has set aside a "master and companions" section for humans who wish to be buried alongside their four-legged loved ones. 

Pet burials have been taking place at the cemetery since 2012, but not in the same place where humans were interred. 

Requests kept coming in from people who wanted to be with their pets, said Daniel Robitaille, director of the master and companions section.

Daniel Robitaille, left, and Benoit Poirier believe their master and companions section is the first place in Canada where pets can be buried alongside their humans. (Laura Marchand/CBC)

"You can't live 14, 15, 16 years with a pet and just drop them like that," he told CBC Montreal's Daybreak.

When a pet dies, the funeral complex will collect the body from the home (or the veterinarian's office) and prepare it for burial, "like we do for humans," he said. 

Each plot has room for one human and two pets. Cremated humans and animals can also have their ashes buried together.

Robitaille said they have pre-arrangements with owners who are still alive, but whose pets have passed away.

In two years, about 60 clients have used the service, said Benoit Poirier, the owner and supervisor of the Magnus Poirier funeral complexes and the Laval Cemetery.

Poirier's own golden retriever has a place in the cemetery for when she passes.

Cats and dogs have both been interred at the Laval Cemetery. (Laval Cemetery)

Poirier and Robitaille believe theirs is the only cemetery in the country to let humans be buried with their animals, with some clients coming from as far as Toronto for the service.

That's because many cemeteries are managed by churches and parishes that don't allow animals to be buried, Robitaille said.

Thus far, Poirier said that both cats and dogs have been buried, but they are open to other types of animals as well — even horses.

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