As pet loss professionals, it's not surprising that many area families turn to us to assist them with pet burial. If you are considering burying your beloved animal companion, either in a local pet cemetery or at home, it may serve you to know that we can help. We invite you to read the following information on pet burials and our pet burial services.
Years ago it may have been common for families and individuals to bury their pets at home. But today, there are often local regulations which restrict (or even forbid) at-home pet burials. Tracy Hall, in the online article "Is It Legal to Bury My Pet in the Backyard?" writes, "When coping with the loss of a pet, few owners think about whether their actions might be against the law." Yet, it's a point worth considering before you decide if it makes the most sense to bury your pet.
Why would pet burial be regulated? Ms. Hall explains it this way: "Such regulations are generally created because of health and environmental concerns. In an environmental context, home burials can affect the purity and safety of water supplies." When you consider that fact alone, you may decide against pet burial, and opt instead for pet cremation.
However, if you still think pet burial is the most suitable end-of-life care for your pet; there are steps you should take to protect you legally, and to ensure your pet's burial will not damage the environment. Here is what we advise:
Determine that you have the legal right (or the required permission from the property owner) to use the land where you intend to bury your pet.
Check with your county Board of Health or Animal Control agency to determine if there are any local restrictions or regulations on pet burials. And be aware that many such laws don't make a distinction between the burial of a small pet (a dog or cat), and a larger animal, such as a horse or goat. Ms. Hart tells readers, "For example, municipal code in Los Angeles, California states no person shall bury an animal or fowl in the City except in an established cemetery."
If you plan on burying your pet at home, we offer you the following suggestion to guide you through pet burial.
Wear protective clothing (long pants, and long sleeved shirts) to reduce exposure to parasites, bodily fluids, or disease. Everyone's clothing should be washed afterwards. You may also wish to wear a protective mask and rubber or plastic gloves.
Use your pet's blanket (or a different blanket or sheet) as their burial shroud, make a pet casket, or select one from our collection of pet caskets. You may want to determine the environmental impact of the item you use (avoid using plastic or wood treated with chemicals).
Choose a location on your property where there are no underground pipes or wires; and make sure it's one where you don't expect to be digging in the future.
Dig a hole at least 24 inches (60 centimeters) deep. Once you've placed your pet into the hole and said your good-byes, you'll cover over their grave with the soil removed while digging the hole. Tamp the soil down firmly.
Wash your hands with antibacterial soap afterwards.
Mark the location of your pet's grave with a handmade (or purchased) headstone or memorial marker. You may also want to mark its location on a map of the property.
Here's something to remember: you don't have to do this alone. We have experience with pet burials and can be a very supportive ally to you and your family when burying a beloved pet. Call us at 916-348-4000 to learn more about the ways we can assist your family with pet burial.
Burial in a Pet Cemetery
If a home burial is not possible, you may wish to arrange for your pet's burial in a local pet cemetery. With our extensive experience in pet burial, we can assist you in selecting the most appropriate pet cemetery for your family's needs.
Are you aware that there's an International Association of Pet Crematories and Cemeteries? They are a non-profit organization committed to "advancing the standards, ethics, and professionalism of pet cemeteries and crematories worldwide."They recommend you check a pet cemetery's personal endorsements or professional affiliations; to that we'll add two suggestions:
Review any comments left on social review sites (such as Yelp, or Google +).
Talk to friends, co-workers or family members for their recommendations.
Naturally, you can set those tasks aside and simply call us at 916-348-4000. A member of our staff will answer whatever questions you may have about pet burial in a local pet cemetery.
Pet Burial: It's a Long-Standing Tradition
Are you familiar with what many consider is the world's oldest pet cemetery? Found in Paris, France, and dedicated in 1899; the cemetery is known as the Le Cimetiere des Chiens et Autres Animaux Domestiques (in English: 'Cemetery of Dogs and Other Domestic Animals'). What's really amazing is its size: over 40,000 animals are buried there. (For more information on this remarkable place–and to see some beautiful photographs of existing pet memorials) read"Pets in Peace: World's Oldest Pet Cemetery".)
We don't want to neglect mentioning Hartsdale Pet Cemetery which, according to their website, is even older than the Cemetery of Dogs and Other Domestic Animals in Paris.
Located in Westchester County, New York; Hartsdale was founded in 1896–some three years before its French counterpart. According to their website, the cemetery "began as a simple act of kindness by Dr. Samuel Johnson, a noted New York City veterinarian. A client, distressed and saddened at the death of her dog, wanted to give it a proper burial. But, there was no way to legally do this in the city. Being a man of great kindness and compassion, Dr. Johnson offered his hillside apple orchard in Hartsdale for the burial. Soon, with the help of a story by a local reporter, Dr. Johnson was besieged by literally hundreds of requests from grieving pet owners. Today it is home to nearly 80,000 pets – from dogs and cats to rabbits and reptiles and even a lion cub."
With a combined total of over 120,000 pet interments, these two pet cemeteries are shining examples of the deep emotional connection between us humans and their pets. We're sure this is a connection you are most familiar with, as you grieve for the (real or expected) loss of your beloved animal companion. Now, the emotional burden of bereavement can weigh very heavy; heavy enough to cause you to doubt your judgment about your pet burial options.
Allow Us to Help
As your pet loss ally, we can assist you in making these difficult emotional and financial decisions. If you need our recommendations on local pet cemeteries; are looking for guidelines on pet burials; or seek another form of assistance with pet burial, just reach out to us at 916-348-4000. We are available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.