Thursday, November 03, 2011

What To Do With A Dead Horse

I've spent several days debating if I wanted to write this post or not. I didn't want to but knew I should, to inform a few horse owners or potential horse owners of this big problem while owning horses. What do you do when that beloved, but very large, horse dies. This could also apply to owners of pets of any size. I'm sure I'm not writing this in the proper way but I'm not sure what that would be.
I knew what I wanted to do with Sunny after he died but there was the matter of cost. It cost a lot to dispose of a dead horse. I called the pet crematorium that had taken care of another horse I had that died. But I also called around to other places to find out the cost. Being a Sunday morning it was impossible to get ahold of anyone else that could do that job. For what ever reason my horse was starting to blot and smell in less than 24 hours after he died. It was a matter of having to take care of the problem as soon as possible, especially as the day was going to be a warm one. (A hot summer day would have been worse.)
We could have had the people from the pet service that cremates animals come get him but it would have been an extra cost to get him out of the small pen he had died in. So hubby and a good neighbor took down one section of fence, drug the dead horse out into an open area where we could back our flatbed hay trailer to him and used a wench to drag him onto the trailer. (I couldn't watch them do it. I was just glad that they could do it.) Then we put a tarp over him, and took him to the crematorium place. It cost us $400.00 with tax and would have been almost $600.00 if they had come to get him.
A few days later I did contact a couple of livestock carcass removal places. They said they could do it for between $200.00 and $300.00 to come get him. But remember it was a very warm Sunday morning and they don't do Sundays. Also this way it requires a death certificate by a vet saying the animal didn't die from an infectus disease. We had this but there are times like with my other horse when the horse will die before the vet can get there. Or you might just find it dead one morning. Again being a Sunday or a weekend or after hours it can be hard to get a vet to come out.
I found out that the only people that can put a dead animal of any size in the landfill is the carcass removal people who have a permit to do so. Most animal control or welfare organizations have these permits as do zoos, and the carcass removal companies. My local animal control said that I could bring dead dogs, cats or other small pets and pay a fee of $25.00 to have them take care of the pet, but not livestock animals like horses, cows, lamas, goats or such.
My local dog and cat vet has had to put down several dogs and cats for us when they were old and he charges a fee for doing this that includes sending the pet to be creamated. Possibly at the same place we have sent our horses to. This is the way that I prefer to handle things.
Although it is a job that I wouldn't want and don't know any one that would want it, it is a service that needs to be done. The people were very nice. They offered an additional service at twice the cost if you should want to have the ashes of your pet returned to you. Personally this idea is as horrifing to me as the lost of the pet is.

  • Anyone that owns a pet, especially a large pet like a horse should find out what can be done to dispose of the pet after it dies.

  • It is best to do this before the death happens so you don't have to do it when you are morning the pet.


  1. thank you this is a great peace of advice I have read

  2. Wow this such a great post and the tips are very comprehensive. For sure many entrepreneurs with small and big businesses are going to benefit from this. Keep it up!