What to do when your pet dies in New York

New York is home to more than 1 million pets and myriad services to care for them, including grooming, daycare and more than 150 off-leash dog parks – more than any other city in the country, according to the Trust for Public Land.

But while pet owners may be spoiled for choice when it comes to making life easier for pets in the city, there is less clarity on what to do when the day comes for pet owners. ‘pets to say goodbye to their beloved pets – especially for those who cannot afford to spend thousands of euros. dollars.

If you are lucky enough to own your property, you can legally bury your pet on your own land in New York. But in a city of renters, that’s not always an option; New York has some of the lowest homeownership rates in the country.

The good news is that there are other options than private home burial and some cost very little.

Free or low cost

Pet owners can take their pet to a New York animal care center. From there, the center will take the animal and bring it to a mass crematorium based on Long Island. There are drop-off points in each borough and you can find your nearest center here.

“Every animal that enters the center is treated with the utmost care and respect,” said Katy Hansen, director of communications for Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC).

Cremation costs about $50, but Hansen said the organization offers a sliding scale for those who can’t pay.

For those who wish to dispose of their pet’s body free of charge, the municipal sanitation department will collect the remains free of charge. All you need to do is place your pet in a sturdy black trash bag and label it, such as “dead dog.” On trash collection day, the city will collect the animal and cremate it, but will not return its ashes. The service is only available for residents’ pets, not commercial businesses. (Sorry, bodega cats.)

A landowner may have a grave with a headstone in the yard.

In some cases, pet owners should not dispose of a dead animal. If the animal has contracted rabies or has bitten or scratched someone, you must report it to the Sanitation Department by calling 311.

If your pet dies suddenly at home, the ASPCA offers tips on how to safely store your pet before removing the body. The ASPCA recommends placing the body in a refrigerator or freezer unless you plan to have an autopsy performed. If it is not possible to store the animal in the freezer, there are other options that can be found. here.

Losing a pet can be an emotional experience, and throughout the city there are a number of support groups for those who have recently lost a pet. New York ACC offers pet loss support groups and grief hotlines, available on its website. website.

Private cremation

If you are not comfortable with mass cremation, there are also several options for individual cremation services throughout the five boroughs. These are a bit more expensive and prices vary widely.

In fact, for Joseph Miguel, it was high prices that motivated him to start his business, Pet Cremation, based in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. After losing his golden retriever Bella in 2012, Miguel found few affordable options for individual cremation, so he decided to start his business. Pet Cremationwhich has branches throughout the city, will collect your pet and cremate them individually, with the option of returning the ashes.

Prices are based on the weight of the animal, but it costs $350 to $400 on average, he said. You can contact us via a contact form on the website or by telephone at (929) 371-9015. Collection services are available 24/7.

Services to say goodbye

While city departments, ACC and Pet Cremation care for deceased animals, many city veterinarians offer the ability to euthanize sick animals and also perform cremation services.

Elizabeth Bukharie, for example, chose to have her dog Houdini, who died last year, euthanized and cremated. Schwarzman Animal Medical Centerthe world’s largest non-profit animal medical center, located on East 62nd Street in Manhattan.

“We chose to have him cremated and have them take care of the ashes,” Bukharie said.

After his death, Houdini’s ashes were scattered at the Final Gift memorial site in Clifton, New Jersey. The entire service cost about $800, but Bukharie said the most valuable part of the process was the support she was given afterward.

Houdini, dressed up for Halloween, was like a child to Elizabeth Bukhari and her husband, Adeel.

Courtesy of the Boukharie family

The medical center holds monthly support group meetings for those who have lost their pets. Bukharie said it has been extremely helpful for her and her husband to speak with those who are going through a similar experience.

“We don’t have any children,” Bukharie said. “Houdini was like our child.”

As an alternative, there are also companies that offer in-home services where your pet can live out their last moments at home by your side.

This is the path Caley Clocksin chose to take after realizing it was time to put down her mixed-breed dog, Jack. Clocksin chose a home euthanasia and cremation service thanks to Paws at peacewhich proposed a flat rate cost for euthanasia, with community cremation costing about $200 and private cremation $350.

“It’s a little weird to have to make a financial decision at this time, but we chose to do an individual cremation,” she said.

“Having to manage all these logistics in a very emotional time was difficult. So I really wish I had thought about it sooner,” she added.

Nicole Greevy also opted for an at-home euthanasia and cremation service for her family’s pit bull, Ripley, named after the character in the Alien film franchise. For Greevy, experiencing Ripley’s final moments at home last fall was very meaningful.

“In the city, to have the opportunity to have someone come to you so the animal could die in a familiar environment, I thought that was an incredible gift,” she said.

The veterinarian of Pet Requiem, the service Greevy and her husband chose to use, came to Greevy’s home. Once Ripley was euthanized by lethal injection, Pet Requiem gathered the dog in a bag and took him for cremation. A few weeks later, the veterinarian returned Ripley’s ashes in a small box, which Greevy said was intended more for her 12-year-old son than for her or her husband.

The whole process cost about $1,000, but she and her husband agreed they didn’t regret it at all.

“This is one of the largest payments I’ve made in one go,” Greevy said. “I didn’t hesitate a single cent.”

Pet Cemeteries

There are also other options available if pet owners prefer to bury their animals, you may just have to travel a little further and pay a hefty bill.

Regency Forest Pet Memorial Park, for example, has a pet cemetery on Long Island. A basic burial for a small pet “would start at about $900,” said Carol Merrone, the cemetery coordinator. Prices vary depending on the size of the animal and the choice of coffin.

“The casket should be much larger for a Great Dane than for a Chihuahua,” Merrone said.

Burials are usually booked at least five days in advance at Regency Forest, and pet owners can contact us via a online form.

Bideawee Memorial Park, also based on Long Island, has two sites, one in Wantagh and another in Westhampton. Prices start around $2,000 and plots can usually accommodate up to one to two pets, depending on the size of the casket.

For city residents, Bidawee can arrange for transportation of remains to Long Island Memorial Parks for an additional fee, or pet owners can bring them directly to the parks or to a location on West 24th Street in Manhattan .

North of town in Westchester County, the historic Hartsdale Pet Cemetery has been around since 1896 and has been a family business for 50 years, said Vice President Edward Martin, whose father has been cemetery director since 1974.

“Since I was 14, I spent my high school summers working here,” Martin said.

For small pets, prices start at less than $3,000, which includes the casket, plot, burial and general cemetery upkeep. Prices depend on the weight and size of the animal, as well as the location of the plot.

The cemetery is home to 80,000 dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, guinea pigs, lizards, monkeys and even a lion cub, while more than 800 humans are buried with their pets at the cemetery. He has even attracted famous clients, including Mariah Carey. Jack Russell Terrier who was buried there in 1997.

To plan a burial in Hartsdale, you can contact the cemetery by phone or email. Details are available on his website.

For stray and wild animals

It’s not just pets roaming the streets of New York: the city is also home to around half a million feral cats. Here’s what you can do if you find one that has died.

You can call 311 or fill out this form, which creates a 311 service request which is responded to as a priority and which will be sent to the appropriate agency which will arrange support. Be sure to provide an exact location on the form. If you find a wild, stray or injured animal in the park, fill out this separate form. form.

If you would like to report a feral cat or other animal, you can make a report to the Animal Protection Center (ACC) via 311 or you can bring the animal to an ACC drop-off center. You can find your nearest ACC location here. Most veterinary hospitals will scan animals for microchips so they can be returned to a prospective owner.

However, if the cat appears healthy, the ACC warns against introducing the animal, which could thrive in its environment. According to the ACC, national data suggests that when cats are removed from the area, more cats move in. This is called the Vacuum effect.

What else should New Yorkers know about saying goodbye to the city’s pets? Let us know at request@thecity.nyc with the subject line “CITY PETS”.


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