You know something is a “hot” topic when eHow has an articleabout it. What to do with dead pets hasbecome a hot topic. For most of us,dealing with a pet’s remains is a rarity.For those who work with animals, it’s a regular task. Veterinarians deal with dead pets OFTENbecause many of us leave our pets to their care after death but what happensafter we opt for them to dispose of the dead?
While “it’strue, most people don’t want to hear about what goes on behind the scenes inanimal disposal”, I think those of us who care about animals need toknow. Dr. Khuly interviewed the 3“regular” disposal people who come to collect the dead at her veterinaryclinic. She calls them undertakers. “Infact, when it came time to answer what they liked the least, they all mentioneddeliveries of body parts to the dump. Now, these are not the animal bodiesthemselves, rather some of the other animal pieces produced by vet hospitals(after amputations and abortions, for example).” I find it interesting that she points outthat only “parts” go to the dump but then I suspect that Dr. Khuly is in arather upscale veterinary practive.
In most veterinary clinics and animal shelters, dead animalsare bagged and place in cold storage, a freezer. From there, they may go to a facility forprocessing and burial or cremation and return to owners. Mostly, they go to the dump. Some places prohibit that so they go to acrematory or other furnace. They can also go to studentsfor anatomy practice or may be sold by the veterinarians to rendering plants. Sorry guys, that’s just the realities. And many, maybe most, still leave aeuthanized animal or a dead pet they’ve brought in with the veterinarian withno idea what will happen to the body.
As we’ve incorporated our pets into our lives as more akinto family members, options at death have taken on similarities to the humanfuneral business. Dr. Khuly cites theexample of$645 for end of life services through a veterinary clinic in her area, including$350 for cremation and return in a simple cardboard container. I think that’s obscene because that’s $645going to a dead animal. It’s about halfa year of better than average care for a live animal, including food. At Dr. Khuly’s clinic, the price is $215,including $150 for cremation. I stillthink that’s pretty outrageous, especially the cremation cost. Again, my personal objection is putting thatmuch money into a dead body when the living are in need. Like the human funeral industry, the petfuneral industry is preying upon the emotions of the grieving. From a more practical standpoint, there areother options for dead pets. Here’s afew of your options:
- Donate your pet for organ/tissue transplant. Yes, it is now possible.
- Donate your pet’s body or tissues for disease research.
- Donate your pet's body for a veterinary student to practice upon.
- Green burial. This isour modern fancy name for simply burying remains, as is. Where I grew up, this was the norm. A dead pet was put to rest in the yard, oftena garden location where the remains would feed the garden and we kids couldvisit them.
- Human type burial in a cemetery, green or embalmed. Some human cemeteries have long allowedanimal companions to join their humans (or precede them) but, as many cemeteries began torestrict the practice, pet cemeteries have begun to spring up. The cemetery where most of my family lies used to permit pets as well. Seriously, a funeral plot is a tiny plot of real estate. It's an old version of HOA. One buys a plot subject to the community rules and often governed by a board of trustees. I rather hope that cemetery still quietly permits the practice for those who ask.
- Embalmingfollowed usually by burial (although a body that’s properly embalmed can bekept above ground; embalmed bodies are sometimes held hostage by human funeralhomes for years when families can’t pay).
- Plastination. Don’t think it’s privately available yet butI’m sure it will be soon enough.
- Commercial modern mummification.
- Taxidermypreservation. Everybody remember Trigger?
- Cremationthrough a commercial service; ashes can be preserved, scattered or buried.
- Cremation at home; even a funeral pyre could beachieved. If disease control is indeedthe biggest concern, this is actually the best option when possible as fire isthe most effective method of killing disease and cremation near the location ofdeath is the method least likely to spread disease.
- Cryonics(freezing for future attempts at revival).
- Freezing in perpetuity.
- Freezing temporarily until disposal. Again, this is an excellent method of diseasecontrol no matter the end method of disposal.
- Scavengerfeed. Where I grew up, this was alsocommon. Animals, pets and livestock,were often left or moved to a better location for scavengers to feed upon.This is indeed the most “natural”, the true green, of disposal methods;it is what happens to animals who die in the wild.
- Rendering. “Themajority of tissue processed comes from slaughterhouses but also includesrestaurant grease and butcher shop trimmings, expired meat from grocery stores,the carcasses of euthanized and deadanimals from animal shelters, zoos and veterinarians.”
- Local sanitation and animal control services. “Dispose of theremains through a sanitation service. Prepare the remains according to localordinance and leave it for pick up by the sanitation department.”
- Local dump. Whetherpicked up with the trash, a sanitation worker or delivered by some othermethod, this is often where dead animals end up. In virtually every major disaster, a similarfate is made for human remains although we call it a mass grave and wegenerally try to bury the remains rather than dump them on top of a pile oftrash.
These are simply the realities of dealing with dead bodies,whether human or animal. As a practicalmatter, you are only limited in what you can do with your dead animal by lawand the limitations are sparse because the reality is that most methods ofdisposal are quite safe and effective.My personal preference is that the dead benefit the living whenpossible, just as nature intends when scavenging is involved. Second to that, my preference is quick andefficient disposal so that few resources are used as I believe resources shouldgo to the living.
The funeral industries, human and animal, have beenpromoting the concept of “danger” from burial without embalming, vaults,etc. They promote the concept of highdanger from contagions from the dead. “It is afamily’s prerogative to lower their own casket or forgo a vault and embalming,but James Olson, a funeral-home owner in Sheboygan, Wis... Vaults preventground sinking and graves collapsing, and embalming can make for morecomfortable viewing and limit the spreadof contagions if a loved one died of disease, he said.” If you ask me, it’s simple fear mongeringthat supports the sales of funeral services.Embalming fluids are NOT good for the environment! They present a far bigger problem than the possible contagion from the average corpse.
Sadly, China is beingsucked into this nonsense as well.On the other hand, Germanyhas found a way to ensure its animal registration fees as one cannot get apermit for disposal with the animal being registered. Oh, and then you have to pay a fee to cancelthe registration! If that isn’t addinginsult to injury, I don’t know what is.I’m quite sure we’re headed for the same nonsense in many parts of the USthough.
Dealing with dead bodies is emotional for most, even thosewho are practical and deal with the dead bodies of animals regularly. As shown above, there are many options andwhat is or isn’t acceptable is a matter of personal choices. Those who deal with the dead bodies ofanimals more regularly know more of the options and tend to make more rationaland practical decisions about those dead bodies. The last thing those people should besubjected to is criticism for making responsible choices for the dead bodies ofanimals.
It INFURIATES me that Houston SPCA is making a publicityissue of the dead dogs found in a freezer during the animal seizure in north Houston. Given the number of animals that theyeuthanize, they know damned good and well that temporary freezing of carcassesis a RESPONSIBLE and proper way to deal with dead animals until they can bedisposed. The exact same issue wasinvolved when SPCA of Texas made a big deal of the cremation of animal remainsby a rescue group in Fannin County. It INFURIATES me that they would use theseresponsible practices to inflame the public emotions. It is all the more infuriating to know thatthese are the exact same methods they likely use themselves for which they aremaking an issue if others practice the same methods!
Well, I guess it just goes to show what complete FRAUDS andHYPOCRITES these SPCAs are that they would use this issue in this way. I doubt there is an issue or lie they wouldn't stoop to if they thought it would inflame public emotions and drive up support for their thieving of animals and/or fund raising efforts! Trying to use responsible dead animal disposal as an issue is certainly evidence of how low they will stoop. Now there's a form of scavenging I cannot approve.
Because we are all so reticent to know what happens to thedead, there has always been a marketfor dead bodies and dead body parts.Driving the topic of what to do with dead animals further underground bycriticizing responsible choices will only create similar problems. Whether the animals are sold or secretly dumpedor buried, the criticism will further complicate things for everyone. Furthermore, if these SPCAs are making aspecious arguments about how these dead animals are being disposed, the courtsshould most certainly hold them in contempt.We should be holding them and the media in contempt for making thosespecious inferences in these cases!
DEAD ANIMAL DISPOSAL - INCINERATION
Incineration is a suitable method to dispose of small animals to prevent pollution and improve environmental quality. Many farms currently incinerate as the preferred method of dead animal disposal.
In the event of a cat (or dog) fatality, it is always best, where safe to do so, to pull over and remove the animal from the road and take it to a veterinary surgery or animal shelter.
- Guidelines. Do not touch a diseased animal without protective clothing and gloves. ...
- Burial. Burial is the oldest disposal method, but it requires thoughtful selection of the burial site. ...
- Incineration. ...
- Rendering. ...
- Alkaline Hydrolysis / Digesters. ...
South Carolina law section 16-11-510 says it's illegal to maliciously shoot, cut , maim, or wound an animal. You could get up to 10 years in prison if convicted for the crime.
Proper disposal of carcasses is important to prevent transmission of livestock disease and to protect air and water quality. Typical methods for the disposal of animal mortalities have included rendering, burial, incineration, and composting; each with its own challenges.
When disposing of dead animals, full attention should be given to preventing scavengers and vectors gaining access to dead animals, which might cause spread of the pathogenic agent. The method of disposal used has a significant bearing on economic impact.
Any dead animals such as fox's, squirrels, etc that are found in gardens, can be placed in a black bag and placed in the normal waste disposal bin.
Wrap the cat in an old blanket or place them in a cardboard box to transport them to the vet. The vet will be able to contact the owners to let them know their cat has been found if they are microchipped and they are usually prepared to look after the body even if there is no chip.
The dead cat is generally considered a bad omen, or a warning of something bad coming. However, it is also a sign that you need to reach out and seek help where you need it. It is a symbol to release any pent-up emotions, and fight for your independence.
Your local vet will be well placed to deal with dead dog disposal, and if you wish for it to be handled by them simply place a call as soon as possible. Your vet should then be able to organise the collection and subsequent burial or cremation, according to your preference.
The preferred means of disposal for these animals is incineration, although they may also be buried (see below).
Burial and landfilling can be used only where allowed by permits and the depths of the soil and water table. Large amounts of contaminated materials can be disposed of by trench burial (animals), landfilling (animals and plants), mass burial (animals) and field burial (plants).
Incineration is a safe and effective means of carcass disposal, especially from the standpoint of biosecurity. The carcass is completely consumed by fire and heat within a self-contained incinerator utilizing air quality and emissions controls.
Which among the available dead animal disposal methods is considered as the most economical and environment friendly? ›
Carcass composting is considered one of the best disposal options due to its greater affordability, better biosecurity and low inputs and investment requirements, but composting needs proper management for complete decomposition and to ensure that objectionable odors are not generated.
Various techniques used are:
- Composting. ...
- Biogas production (anaerobic fermentation).
- Aerobic oxidation in ditches/Lagoons/lakes.
- Direct application in field.
- Use as fish feed in fish ponds. ...
- For growing algae (diluted slurry).
Methods of carcass disposal include burial, landfill, incineration or combustion, rendering, composting (see Box 20-2), and alkaline hydrolysis (chemical digestion). The remains of animals suspected of having scrapie or zoonotic diseases should be burned, incinerated, buried, or chemically digested.