Arkansas and California laws do not allow a pet to be buried on a pet owner's property. Pet burial laws vary from state to state, but what about Kentucky and Indiana? We found some answers.

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When Sadie died a few years ago, a call was made to a friend to come and bury her for me. I didn't even check to see the law in Kentucky beforehand about doing it. I grew up on 100 acres in Northern Michigan, and all of our deceased pets were buried on the property. I just wanted Sadie close to me, so that's what I did, but was it illegal? The subject came up with a friend recently, so I did some research to find out.

Whether you opt for cremation, burying in your yard, or burial in a pet cemetery, there's no right or wrong choice. It's important to memorialize your furry family in the best way for you and your family.

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Photo by Kevin Knezic on Unsplash
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Cremation Option

Cremation is often the choice to celebrate and memorialize your pet. There are many pet cremation services offered as a convenient and affordable option. Your pet deserves the dignity and respect that these services provide.

Here, thelivingurn.com offered some helpful advice when making this difficult decision.

If I choose cremation for my pet, when will I get the ashes back? If your pet passes or is euthanized at a veterinary clinic and you decide to let them handle the cremation process, you can typically receive your pet's ashes within a week. Alternatively, if you go to a pet crematorium directly, you can typically receive your pet's cremains back either on the same day or the next day.

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Photo by Tereza Hošková on Unsplash
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Pet Cemetery Option

Did you know there are well over one hundred pet cemeteries in the United States? There are, and many are located close by. We believe that pets are family so don't they deserve a proper send-off? Having a traditional funeral service can help not only to memorialize your pet but give the family some closure.

If I choose burial for my pet, how soon can I do this? Thelivingurn.com recommends that you bury your pet as soon as possible after passing. Some pet cemeteries offer pickup services to transport pets to the cemetery for burial. If you decide to bury your pet yourself, or if it’s the weekend or a holiday and your local pet cemetery is not open, many veterinary offices are able to keep pets in refrigeration for a few days until you’re able to bury them.

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Photo by Chewy on Unsplash
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Can you Legally Bury a Pet in Your Backyard?

Just remember that while burial is legal in these states, some local counties may prohibit it from being done. The laws throughout the years can also change. A great rule of thumb is to contact your local veterinarian to be sure.

In Kentucky

Most state burial laws allow your pet to be buried in your yard, but some have small rules to follow. In Kentucky, dead animals should be disposed of within 24 to 48 hours of death. "Pet burial is allowed on your property as long as the burial site is not within 100ft of a water source, and is buried at least 4 feet underground.", EmergencyVetUSA.com shared

"Kentucky residents may bury close to home, however, the law requires burial to a minimum of four feet deep with the body covered with two inches of quicklime and at least 3 feet of earth. In addition, the site must be more than 100 feet from any watercourse, sinkhole, well, spring, public highway, residence, or stable (Kentucky Statues – KRS Chapter 257.160)". Faithful Friends Pet Memory Center added.

In Indiana

In Indiana, pets must be disposed of within 24-hours of their passing. EmergencyVetUSA.com shared, "Pet burial is allowed in Indiana as long as the pet is buried at least 4 feet deep underground.

While burial is legal in the state, local counties may prohibit it says Lee Parker on animals.mom.com. "In Marion County, which includes Indianapolis, it is illegal to bury your pet in your yard, while in Knox County you may bury an animal on your property if the grave is at least 2 feet underground, and 50 feet from any water supply."

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Photo by Krista Mangulsone on Unsplash
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Tips for Burying Your Pet at Home

According to ASPCA, "If you choose to bury your pet at home, put the body in a heavy-duty plastic bag, encase it in a secure receptacle such as a wooden or metal box, and bury it at least three feet deep. This helps prevent other animals from being attracted by the scent and digging at the gravesite. Home burials allow caregivers to be near their pet’s remains, but this option may not be suitable if you move frequently."

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
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I hope that this helps you a little when it comes to taking care of your family member after they cross the rainbow bridge. I know that we will all reunite with our babies one day! For now, just love, kiss, and cuddle them while they're here on earth!

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To prepare yourself for a potential incident, always keep your vet's phone number handy, along with an after-hours clinic you can call in an emergency. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center also has a hotline you can call at (888) 426-4435 for advice.

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