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Uncomfortable question about animal burials

Maisiepaisie

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I have at least 30 animals buried in my back garden. Mostly guinea pigs as well as 5 hamsters, 7 rabbits and 1 dog. They're not all my companions. I brought home at least 10 from the rescue to bury as they were unable to dispose of the bodies in an adequate way. I've ran out of space so have started to use the front garden as well but that is difficult to dig. I'm wondering how long it takes for the remains to completely decompose. Do the bones ever just become dust or will they still be in the ground? I'm sorry to have to talk about this, its not pleasant I know. What I need to ask is, if I start digging where animals were buried 4-6 years ago will there still be any visible remains?
 

Mommy Of One

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This is just an observation, but I have burried my turtle, 5 hamsters, and cockatiel in my garden. I put a mineral over the spot which I burried them, (simbolic as in that I want them cleansed and ready for the afterlife.) A year ago I noticed that as I was digging around to find a spot for my last loved ones passing, my cockatiel, I basically dug up my whole garden and did not find one skeleton. I personally think it is safe to say that their bodies have decomposed themselves.
 

katiecavyNC

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A lot depends on the soil type, how much moisture and how deep you bury them. Soil type is especially key. Some soil types aid and hasten decomposition, other soil types actually have a preservative effect on the body (think peat bogs, where bodies can be preserved so that very ancient burials seem recent)

Smaller animals, like the rodents would decompose to the point where you would probably not find much if you accidentally dug in the same spot. Their bones are so small anyway.

A larger animal will take more time, relatively speaking than the smaller ones. Teeth are harder than regular bone and will last longer too. Plus if you had them wrapped in a cloth, blanket or plastic bag, etc that will delay the decomposition, especially the plastic bag.

Worst case you may find some bones. I'd just rebury them in the new burial spot.

I do have to ask though, is there not a crematory service for pets that you could use, or other option? What happens to the animals euth'd at the animal shelter or pet hospitals? It seems a lot of animal burials for your yard if you are already filling up the back...
 

Maisiepaisie

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There is a cremation service but its £50, which seems rather excessive to me. I'd rather spend that money on my living pigs. My personal belief is that the soul is eternal and my passed companions are now somewhere else and I will see them again someday. After passing, the body is an empty shell and not really important for the soul is now somewhere else. That dead body is no longer my little companion. Having said that, I don't like the idea of digging up bones and each time I bury another animal I say a silent prayer "Please don't let me dig anyone up" So far I haven't found any bones so hopefully all the bones have gone. I still have my Timmys' body to bury. I've been putting it off because I'm scared of digging up bones. I really don't like digging in the front garden because its full of stones and extremely difficult to dig a deep hole. I really hate this task and pray that this is the last time I have to do it again for a long time.
 

cavyinhawaii

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You have taken on such an unpleasent task. I would think after 5-6 years you won't find much left, if anything at all.
I know of 2 Vet offices in NC that just put animals in a plastic bag and throw them in the trash. When you have a pet die in their office they ask
" would you like to take him or just have the city take care of it"
I had a friend that did an internship and she told me what the city taking care of it ment, Plastic bag and dumpster.
 

katiecavyNC

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That is true - the animal shelters in many counties are built where the land fill is for a reason. Animals that are euth'd are just put out with the trash, or mass buried in a special area of the landfill.
 

Maisiepaisie

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That doesn't surprise me. Thats the reason I would bring home any dead pigs and rabbits from the rescue, because otherwise they'd just go to the tip. I think its appalling.

I buried my Timmy this afternoon. Luckily I didn't dig up any bones.
 

hydrohoki

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I have to ask... are you supplied by city water or are your neighbors on wells?

If you don't have water piped in, you should be careful about how you dispose of your pets. Some areas have laws forbidding burial without cremation. If you are burying such a high quantity, there may be an issue.

Sorry to play devils advocate.
 

Pigs N Blankets

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I used to bury my pigs in my backyard as well. When my pig recently passed the vet asked me if I wanted to take him home. I live in an apartment now in the city, so I said no, because he would have ended up in the trash and I couldn't bring my heart to do that. When I got the bill from them I realized I paid $40 to have him cremated. I didn't really like having to pay for that, but at least my piggie got a proper disposal.
 

TrekkiePiggies

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To hasten decomposition, you can bury any future pets with some quicklime.
 

KK<3cavies

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Where I live, it is illegal to bury your pets in your yard. Everyone does it anyway of course. I'm not sure what it is that they do with them though.
 
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