Thursday, September 19, 2013

From the archives: Doggy Disposal

Dear GoodJoan, 

Is it appropriate to dispose of a dead pet (too large to flush) in your town trash pickup? We don't have a dead pet, just one of those burning questions! ;)

 If you're dealing with something small, like a gerbil or a parakeet, you can probably wrap it in paper or a trash bag and put it in your household trash and no one would know or care. Something larger, like a cat or dog would be harder to disguise as regular trash. Many landfills will accept dead animals as household solid waste, but your local trash pick up may not want to handle them. A phone call to your garbage service is in order. Some have certain rules for disposal of what may be a bio-hazard. Things like diapers and kitty litter, in my town, have to be double bagged and kept out of the regular trash.

If the animal is something small, like a hamster, chances are the pet owner is a child and in that case a proper funeral is in order! There should always be a procession and a burial followed by short stories about how the pet was well loved. If someone can find black veiling, all the better! Be sure to cover the grave with a few heavy rocks to keep other animals from disturbing Zippy's eternal slumber! Even if the owner is a grown up, many people chose to bury their pets nearby, in a favorite spot or have them cremated and sprinkle the ashes in the pet's favorite place.

Buddy aims to be the favorite.

If the animal in question is road kill, you can call your town public works division or animal shelter and ask them to remove the animal from the road. If you are a Good Samaritan and notice an animal that is likely someone's pet, call the humane society first and report the animal and it's description, as best you can give. (ie "flat" is not helpful, but "a black and white with a pink collar" could rule out many lost pets for an owner that was searching.) A worried pet owner may not like the news that fluffy was found in the road, but knowing for sure what happened is better than wondering and driving to shelters all over hoping to find her. Even if it's not a pet, and something less pleasant like a skunk or a possum, the people who live and drive near it will be glad that it's picked up promptly.

Boomer pretends to be roadkill.

If the critter is larger and not as easily dropped in the trash you have a few options. You can wrap the body up and drive it to your local landfill yourself and pay whatever the fee is for the trunk full you're toting. You can call and ask your local trash pick up and possibly pay a service charge for removal of the animal. You can take the animal, in a plastic bag, to a local vet and pay a fee for them to dispose of the body. If you want the animal cremated and the ashes returned to you, label the bag with your name. You can also donate the critter to science in the way of a high school science teacher, vet school or taxidermist. The thought of Fido being dissected or stuffed isn't exactly pleasant but you don't care, you were just going to throw him in the trash anyway!!

ShopCat is not amused!
(**Please note all animals depicted were, at the time of the photo, alive and well and unharmed. No critters were harmed in the making of this blog post!**)

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