All County, All the Time Since 2010 MAKE THIS YOUR PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY HOME...PAGE!  Tuesday, September 26th, 2023

People soon be allowed to be buried with their beloved pets at Glenwood Cemetery

People will soon be able to be buried with their pets, or pets buried alongside their people, as Picton’s Glenwood Cemetery prepares to embrace changes made by the regulating authority.

The board passed a motion that will permit the option of combined human and pet burials at the cemetery, a service Glenwood expects to be able to offer effective spring 2023.

Sandra Latchford at Glenwood Cemetery – File photo

Glenwood Cemetery chair Sandra Latchford led the meeting, with volunteer board members present, including Mary Corbett, John Hair, Maria DiMauro and John Thompson, along with Glenwood’s manager, cemetarian Casey VanHaarlem.

Open to the public, all rights holders and interested parties were invited to attend the public meeting.

This new option of combined human and pet burials becomes available after a change in the rules by the regulating authority, the Bereavement Authority of Ontario (BAO).

“Over the past several years, pets have taken on a more important role in people’s lives, becoming a much-loved companion and member of the family,” stated the press release.

It was noted that not surprisingly, there has been a steady increase in the number of customers requesting their pets be buried with them.

“Many people would like to be buried with their pets, they want their pets with them,” said Latchford. “Pets have always been in families for many generations, and we are very tightly related to our pets, and we get comfort from them.”

She said many people in the past have asked if they could take their pet’s remains with them so their remains stay with them when they are buried, something Latchford said hasn’t been possible previously because it was against the law.

“We’ve talked about this several times and we were really trying to get an option for pet burials for a long, long time, so we are really excited and pleased that this is going to be possible now,” Latchford said. “I think the public will be glad to hear it as we have had a lot of requests for having this possibility.”

Latchford said Glenwood began with green burials about five or six years ago and it is now an area that is seeing future expansion.

“I certainly think it is a good idea to run with human pet burials as it’s moving forward.”

It may not be widely known by the public that until recently pet burials in a cemetery licensed for human remains was not allowed, and was in fact illegal.

“Recognizing the significant increase in the request for pet burials, the Bereavement Authority of Ontario has amended their regulations to accommodate options for combined human and pet remains.”

Latchford said they had been pressuring the BAO, as had many cemeteries, to come up with some option that would accommodate the needs and wants of the customers that want the pets to be there, something the BOA now allow.

A pet-only cemetery still cannot be established on the property of an existing cemetery, but the change in BAO regulations does now allow for the combined option of human and pet remains, in designated areas.

“We are required that any lots sold are to be combined pet and human. We are not allowed to sell any lots with the intention that just pets will be buried there,” VanHaarlem confirmed.

BAO regulations for the interment of combined human and pet remains state that only an existing block, or adjacent blocks, of full or cremation body lots, a separate columbarium(s) or scattering ground in which there are no pre-sold graves (plots) or niches can be designated for combined human and pet burials.

To accommodate this new service, Glenwood will create designated areas within the cemetery specifically for the interment and burials of humans and pets.

“It is now that we can have a separate section in the cemetery, where no prior purchase of interment rights have been made, so that everyone knows in that section if they buy interment rights there, pets may be buried there,” explained Latchford.

While the restrictions placed on the cemetery by the BAO for combined human and pet burial areas are to be in designated previously unused areas of the cemetery, Glenwood plan to include columbarium, in-ground and green burial options for combined human and pet burials in new areas of the cemetery.

For a columbarium for example, a separate columbarium dedicated only to human and pet burials is allowed. As it happens, Latchford said a new columbarium was already in the works, so it will be designated for this purpose, and is to be installed next spring.

“We cannot do a pet burial in existing columbaria for which we have people already interred there, or who have already purchased interment rights.”

Another new section charted out for in-ground burials which hadn’t yet had any sales, will be converted to human and pet burials, Latchford said, with plans to do the same in some green burial sites as well.

Latchford noted that Glenwood is fortunate in being able to offer this new service because of the extensive land at the site –a total area of 63 acres – much of it not yet developed.

“We were able to quickly develop, chart out, plan out, map and survey a section that we could do for the human and pet burials, so that’s what we are doing,” she said.

It was noted that not very many cemeteries are yet offering this new service.

“One of the holdbacks for many cemeteries is that they will not have enough land available that can be separated and designated, so some may never be able to move forward with this unless they purchase more land,” Latchford said. “We were so fortunate to have so much land just being a forest and wildflowers that we can do this.”

The definition of ‘pet’ in the bylaw includes “any domesticated animal that commonly co-habits in a family household for companionship or support”.

A ‘pet’ does not include exotic animals, wild animals and any other animal defined by the municipality as a prohibited animal.

VanHaarlem noted that interment fees will have to be charged for every pet and human burial.

“That is something the BAO has specified. They are expecting from us that that we charge for every pet burial, even if it is happening at the same time as a human burial.”

Latchford said they are currently looking into pricing options.

Glenwood Cemetery’s bylaws will be amended to allow for the provision of this new service with the addition of a new Section 14 incorporating combined human and pet burial areas at the Glenwood Cemetery.

The amendment to the bylaws is subject to the approval of the Registrar, Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act 2002.

Glenwood Cemetery offers a full choice of burial options, such as traditional in-ground burial, cremation burial, columbaria, private columbarium, and scattering.

Described as one of the most beautiful and historic cemeteries in Ontario with its rolling hills, winding dirt roads and tall trees, the 63-acre sprawling cemetery is typical of the Victorian era. It is the final resting place for many of the area’s early settlers and their families.

Latchford said she was pleased so many board members shared the same vision as her to preserve the history and develop Glenwood, and “to get back to some of the beatification we had before at that cemetery.”

She said while Glenwood is a business, they are here to help people and support them. “We listen to what their concerns and wants are, and we do our best to meet that.”

“I just love the place. I think it’s a magical place and has potential, and it needs to be preserved and treated well and is an asset to the community,” she added.

For questions or enquiries about the new combined human and pet burials, Glenwood Cemetery can be reached at or by phone at 613-476-3511.

The historic Glenwood Cemetery is located at 47 Ferguson Street in Picton. Lots of useful information on Glenwood Cemetery, including its history, arrangements offered, including a map and walking trails, along with burial records can be accessed at

Filed Under: Local News

About the Author:

RSSComments (1)

Leave a Reply | Trackback URL

  1. Paul D Cole says:

    Glenwood is a beautiful place I worked there in my teenage years cutting grass and the usual cemetery duties. Being able to have a loved pet buried alongside us when we pass is long overdue Family Pets are loved as much any other Family member, good news and gives peace of mind.

OPP reports
lottery winners
Elizabeth Crombie Janice-Lewandoski
Tony Scott Sharon Armitage

© Copyright Prince Edward County News 2023 • All rights reserved.