San Angelo, TX - Proper disposal of deceased animals, whether pets or livestock or even the removal of roadkill, is a topic that may not lend itself to common knowledge.
"If one of your own pets passes away it is something that you can seek private care for if you wish to have your pet cremated," explains Morgan Chegwidden, the Assistant Director of Neighborhood Services. "If it's you loved one that you want to hold on to. You may also dispose of it properly either by bringing it to the shelter or disposing of it yourself; we simply facilitate them going to the landfill."
Cremation services for pets can typically be secured at veterinary hospitals. For larger animals, handling can become a little more difficult.
"If you own livestock that has passed away," said Chegwidden, "you would need to contact private vendors to have that disposed of, or if you have the means to dispose of it yourself properly by burying it - those are your two options there if you have livestock that passes away."
Private removers such as PQ Contracting can be called in to remove livestock from a property. If an animal is struck on a road, while many might reach our to local police or county authorities, Texas Department of Transportation is usually responsible for clean-up. Below, a TXDoT official explains some of the protocols that dictate whether an animal can be buried, or if there are underground utilities present, if the animal carcass has to be moved to allow for natural decomposition.
Additional considerations are made for potentially hazardous cases.
"I would also encourage those that observe a deceased animal," said Chegwidden, "if for example it's not your animal or one you're familiar with deceased, in the city right of way or you come home for example and there is a deceased cat in your front yard … animals that are high risk for rabies, those are ones we would want to know about right away. So that would be if you see a deceased skunk, racoon, less commonly a coyote or fox or bat - those are things were also very concerned about. Those are things that are high priority that we do want to make sure are disposed of properly."
There are many resources available, from local and county law enforcement, to directions from the TCEQ posted online by TX A&M directing the legal methods of deceased livestock disposal. As always, if people have more questions, answers are available. The San Angelo Animal Services hotline is open during standard business hours at 325-657-4224 and the shelter is located at 3142 Highway 67 N.