Home Services Prices FAQ Photos Blog About me Contact

How to Dispose of a Dead Animal

Read the below do-it-yourself advice first, but if you need help, click here for my 2013 nationwide list of 100's of professional dead animal removal companies

As a wildlife removal expert, I'm often called to remove dead animals from property. Sometimes it's simple, such as when a raccoon or opossum dies in a yard. Sometimes it's more complex, such as when a rat dies in the walls, or a squirrel dies in the attic. Every now and then, people actually call me to remove their deceased dog or cat. So, how does one properly dispose of the animal carcass?

Burial: You can bury the dead body on your property. If it's a pet, you may want to put it in a box (pet coffin) for sentimental reasons. Or you can just lay the body in the ground. I recommend digging a hole at least two feet deep, to prevent scavengers from digging it up. You can also lay stones over the spot to prevent digging.

Incineration: If you have access to an incinerator, you can cremate the body. This is how the local animal shelter probably does it. Since you don't own an incinerator, you could attempt a really big bonfire, but I doubt you'll do that.

Bring It To Animal Services: Call your local animal services (click my map for the phone number in your county) and ask if they can accept a dead animal body for proper disposal.

Throw It Out: Your local garbage service might well take a dead body, though perhaps they'll discourage it, especially if the animal is large. But a mouse, rat, or even squirrel should not be any problem.

After you read the below information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does dead animal removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of dead animals - especially inside a house.
Example dead animal removal photographs - get do-it-yourself ideas.
Dead animal removal job blog - learn from examples of dead animal jobs I've done.

Most experts and health officials would definitely agree that you should not touch the bodies of animals that you found dead especially with your bare hands. You should always wear a protective glove to avoid any contamination with bacteria or other viruses that might have caused their deaths or just simply to maintain your hygiene. You cannot sometimes get away from small dead birds lying dead on your porch or your lawn and the most basic thing to do is perhaps to place it in a plastic container either to place it together with the garbage if you are expecting your garbage collector to come sooner but if you don’t then you should find a way to bury it yourself.

There are actually state regulations that you have to follow in order to bury the body of whatever animal you may found. Certain laws would tell you how best to bury them that is why you also have to seek information regarding these laws. It is also important that you stay clear of any near water sources when you bury the dead body and you have to make sure that you are not digging into some utility power lines or pipes because you might just cause a bigger problem not only for yourself but for all the people in your neighborhood.

But what if you find something bigger than a bird that has been lying around in the perimeters of your property? There are four known methods that you can make use of namely landfills, composting, burial, and burning. If you are by chance near a landfill, you can check with your local facility to see if they would allow you to just throw the body of a dead animal into some backyard pile of landfill materials. You can also try composting if you like and that is letting the body rot in your backyard or an area not often visited or passed by to avoid taking in the undesirable smell of the rotting body. Although their remains might be good to fertilize your soil, you should be able to bear a few days of unpleasant odor that might find their way into your sense of smell once in a while. But if you can’t afford to do this, there might just be a few composting sites that you can ask to take care of the remains for you.

Perhaps the most efficient and the most widely used method is burying the body. If you have a place of your own and if your local laws permit you to bury them as long as you follow their guidelines, you can go ahead and find a perfect place to lay the body and to let it rest in peace. But if the place is not yours, you can always ask the permission from the owner to do some digging to bury it. This is most recommended for those who have pets which might be the most common household dogs or cats that they feel most attached to so that they can show their proper respect for their favorite pet for the last time.

Aside from this, you can always opt for cremation. Again for those with pets, this is most ideal since you can also carry back the ashes with you if you like, to remember your beloved cats or dogs every time you see their ashes in their urn. Of course, this might cost some money but it would be worth it especially with the memento that you would have or to avoid any danger of contamination with other animals or even humans.

Aside from the mess that many of these pest animals cause when alive, there might be another problem you might find yourself in when they die on you and you just can’t leave the bodies alone to rot. That especially if it is inside your house or within the perimeters of your property. The responsibility of taking care of their carcass lies solely on you. This article might be useful for you so you would know what to and what not to have done while handling their dead bodies.