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Article - Why you shouldn’t bury your pet in the backyard


Dear Leader
Staff member
I think pet burial would be impossible to effectively control. Is there a greater public good in stopping Mom, Dad, and little Timmy from burying 'Ol Fluffy in the backyard? It might be weird to uncover a pet corpse from previous occupants if you're gardening or digging for a pool, but what's the harm to the larger community?

Old family backyard cemeteries are more of an issue around here. What happens when the property is sold? Do descendants of the deceased still have the right to visit their ancestors' memorials? How do you deal accommodate an old family burial plot in larger development? What obligation does a new property owner have to maintain the site?

For what it's worth, I cremated my dogs individually. We did the same thing with one of our cats. We have their ashes.


Chairman of the bored
Quite honestly, I don't know of any communities that regulate this. I'm not saying there aren't any out there, just that I haven't encountered any. That said, there are all sorts of regulations concerning the burial of human corpses, but apparently not other animals.


We were doing an archaeological investigation of an urban neighborhood as part of a HUD funded activity - building an urban park adjacent to an elementary school. We were going to demolish some 13 dwellings from c.1870-1925 or so. All "contributing" structures, so we had the whole MOU with the Advisory Council and SHPO, yadda yadda. We expected to find out where these houses had their outhouses before indoor plumbing, maybe some pottery shards here and there. (The first outhouses were located 3 meters and the second ones 9 meters from the edge of the alley, if you care to know.;))

But on one lot, we found bones. Lots, and lots, and lots of bones. This puzzled the archaelogist at first, but research confirmed this was the residence of the corner butcher, and he had apparently slaughtered the cattle in his backyard. What didn't get sold with the beef got buried in the back yard. Mind you, this was on a fully urban, 25'x120' lot adjacent to other similar home lots and an elementary school.

We sometimes use this story when the "anti-zoning" folks raise their heads around these parts.