So, I am a lawyer and I am usually pretty good about finding and reading code law. You have been given very good advice by Ms. Swan, but how do you go about finding out the rules and regulations in your area?
I tried it out myself for my County. I googled my County’s website. On the website was a link to the county code of laws. Most Counties have their laws posted on-line now in Muni-code or just on their own website. I started at the obvious chapter—Animals. Nothing there. So then I looked under Garbage, Trash and Refuse disposal. Nothing. Then Land Management. Nada. Then I googled what to do with dead horse and come up with my own blog. Obviously I cannot fill that blog with every possible county and state and local code.
My next move was to call the local extension office. I waited for 5 minutes to get an open line. Then I waited for 5 more minutes to hear a computer tell me all my options. None of them were what I wanted. Then I was transferred to an operator who transferred me to an agent when I requested “information about large animal disposal” That led to an answering machine.
My next move would have been to call my Vet and ask him/her, but that information may have been useful, but not necessarily in compliance with any code. I did not call just to test out the theory because Vets are busy and I am not that clueless to waste their time just to write a blog. Next I checked the state code. Nothing. I know there is nothing in my covenants prohibited except for raising swine.
Now if this had been a real emergency and my horse had just died the time and effort to try and track down information on where and how I was allowed to dispose of him would have sent me right over the edge. When my real horse died last year I could hardly even walk into my house before I just collapsed from grief and exhaustion after being awake with him for 48 hours of colic. My Vet took care of everything and knew who to call and what to do, so I did not even have to see any of it. If I had been required to search code or wait for computers to suggest gardening tips or wait for a call back from the county extension agent while my horse cooled in the back yard, it would have been unbearable. An absolute nightmare. I can’t even imagine how horrible that would be for a parent trying to make a child’s dead horse go away.
So REALLY REALLY take the good advice posted by Ms. Swan and do your homework now!!! Do not wait until you need to know. Although I doubt black booted government thugs will break down your door for an unlawful burial violation, the last thing you will want after you horse passes on is to spend all day trying to find out what is legal and then getting a citation and having to start all over with a now decomposed animal.
Have a death plan and start it now. When the time comes just getting up off the floor might be all you can manage. And you should have not only your plan, but the money to pay for it on hand. Take it from me, the last thing you need to be doing an hour after Dobbin’s demise is driving to the bank to get money for the disposal. And the choices you make in that hell time of grief may not be the choices you would make if your heart was not being ripped out.