How to dispose of pets that die at home

Someone asked what to do when a family member dies at home, but what do you do if a pet, such as a cat or dog, dies at home?

— Beverly J., Medford

There are several options available to those whose four-legged loved ones have passed on, ranging from cremation to mass burials. Some veterinarians will arrange final services for dead pets, but others don't, so it's best to call your veterinarian first before you really need to know.

Cremation options are available through two local companies: Green Acres Pet Cemetery and Crematorium and Serenity Pet Services. Both businesses can pick up your pet for a fee, or the body can be dropped off at either business.

Serenity Pet Services is open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Prices, which include an urn with your pet's ashes and grief materials, range from $95 to $180 depending on the size of your pet. For more information, call 772-0054.

Green Acres offers cremation services as well as burial services.

"Anything they can do for humans we can do here," said Stephanie Watkins, Green Acres' office manager. Cremation costs anywhere from $90 to $295 depending on weight, while burials start at $320. Funerals for pets at the cemetery are welcome and not uncommon, Watkins said. Green Acres is open 24 hours a day. For more information, call 773-6199.

Another burial option is turning the pet over to Jackson County Animal Control. Animal Control picks up pets that die in shelters and along the road and takes them to a mass burial at Dry Creek Landfill in Eagle Point. Pet owners also can take their departed loved ones to the shelter at 5595 South Pacific Highway, Phoenix, to be taken for the mass burial.

Program Manager Colleen Macuk said the pets are buried in a separate section and the body disposal fee ranges from $3 to $12 depending on the animal's weight. The dead pets are stored in a freezer at Animal Control until it's full, then the bodies are taken to the landfill.

As far as burying your own pet is concerned, according to Medford Police there is no ordinance specifically regulating burial of animals within city limits. However, you should be aware of other ordinances that might apply, such as offensive littering and unlawful accumulation of junk.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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