The Nebraska City City Council denied a request from a Lincoln woman to bury her pet poodle in the family’s Wyuka Cemetery plot at its meeting Monday.
Council members voted 4-0 to deny the request from Diana Yearsley to bury Tiffany in the family plot alongside Yearsley’s parents and the gravesite that she will use in the future.
City Attorney David Partsch told the council he had reviewed Wyuka’s rules and regulations, as well as city ordinances, and determined that Wyuka allows for the burial of only human remains in a gravesite.
Partsch added that, since the city cannot regulate what family members place in a casket,  pets may be buried in the cemetery if their cremains are placed in a casket before the casket is buried.
Yearsley told the council she did not anticipate a high demand for pet burials going forward in Wyuka. She also said she believed she should be able to use the cemetery plots in Wyuka as she wished for her family, including Tiffany.
“We have to look at those who have been buried there in the past,” said Mayor Bryan Bequette, “and realize that not everyone views pets in the same way” Yearsley and her family did.
Bequette added that future cemetery plans may include full-use plots, in which pets will be able to be buried, but that he believed that families in Nebraska City whose relatives were buried in Wyuka wanted the cemetery to continue to bury only human remains there.
“This does not diminish Tiffany’s contributions to your family,” Bequette said to Yearsley after the council vote had been taken.