Cremation of domestic animals. The solution to a difficult problem.

In the light of the applicable sanitary and veterinary regulations, it is not possible to bury the animal at home, on your own plot. Animal cemeteries, on the other hand, are relatively expensive, and not everyone finds them aesthetic. The solution to the difficult problem of burying pets with whom we were emotionally attached is the animal crematorium. The urns with the ashes of the animal can be legally kept in the apartment or buried in the garden. However, in the case of mass cremation, the burial at the cemetery for animals will be a necessity.

Sanitary rules for the burial of animals

The body of the animal poses a serious sanitary and epidemiological threat. Contributes to the poisoning of groundwater. For this reason, in Poland and most other countries, it is not possible not only to bury animals, but also to bury people on a private property. The act on preventing and combating infectious diseases in humans of 2008 (Journal of Laws 234 No. 234 item 1570) imposes the obligation on animal owners to remove animal carcasses from the property. This obligation depends neither on the species nor on the size of the animal. In practice, this means that animal carcasses are handed over to a company specializing in animal carcass disposal. Usually, this obligation is carried out through veterinarians who constantly cooperate with the relevant companies, signing contracts with them that include permanent cooperation.It is also possible to dispose of the animal’s body through the municipal authorities. In the event that the animal died outside the property (e.g. in a road accident), the disposal of the body can be carried out by informing the security services about it.

Of course, the disposal of the animal’s body is a paid service, the cost of which depends on the weight of the animal – often its price is not much lower than the cost of incinerating the body at . In the case of incineration of the body in a crematorium for animals, burying the urn in the garden is legal, and it does not pose any threat to health and the environment. There is no law that prohibits keeping an urn with ashes at home – scattering ashes is illegal in Poland, however.

What to do with the body of a dog and a cat?

We often treat domestic dogs and cats as family members, we are emotionally attached to them. The disposal of their bodies required by law seems to us a soulless solution. However, the law allows the animal to be buried in special cemeteries. In such a case, the cremation of animals is not necessary, but usually the cost of placing an urn with ashes in the cemetery is lower than the cost of burial in the ground. We must remember that we often have little time to decide what to do with an animal’s body. The death of an animal is often a sudden event, and veterinary offices store the bodies of animals in special freezers, often for less than one day. Some pet owners (especially in situations wherewhen the death of an animal occurred without veterinary care) decide to illegally bury dogs and cats in the garden or in the forest. Such proceedings may result in high fines, as well as the necessity to pay for the exhumation of the animal. We can take into account the dissatisfaction of our neighbors and the possibility of informing the police about the matter – it will be right, groundwater poisoning with deadly venom is a real health risk (especially where there are wells and septic tanks).

Crematorium for animals: individual and collective cremation of an animal’s body

A more humane solution than the disposal of the animal’s body is cremation. It is important to know that in the case of disposal, the bodies of animals are also incinerated – however, they are burned together with veterinary waste in ordinary incinerators. The services provided by a typical animal crematorium are mostly individual or collective cremation.

Collective cremation is cheaper – it consists in incinerating the animal’s body together with the bodies of other animals and burial in a common grave. Therefore, in the case of mass cremation, it is not possible to recover the animal’s ashes later, and burial in the animal cemetery is necessary. However, individual cremation is also possible in a crematorium for animals. It is more expensive, but it gives the possibility of individual burial in a separate grave in the cemetery for animals or handing over the urn to the owner of the animal. In both cases, the cost of the service depends on the weight of the animal, but it is not high – even an individual cremation of a large dog does not cost more than PLN 1,000. Many crematoria also offer the possibility of cremating the corpses of guide dogs for free.In a crematorium for animals, it is often possible to create an artificial diamond out of the ashes or hair of an animal.

Each animal crematorium also provides transportation services. It is not necessary to place the body in the veterinary freezer: direct collection of the animal’s body from the owner is usually carried out within a day (in summer months) or two days (in winter months).

Polish