When a pet has died it can be heart-wrenching. At first, all you can do is cry and mourn the loss of your furry family member, but you know you can't just keep their body forever. It needs to be taken care of respectively.

So, what do you do? What are your options when getting rid of a dead pet?

What should I do when my pet dies?

According to Illinois law, you have to dispose of your pet's body within 24 hours of its death.

The best thing you can do is call the vet's office where they will either take care of the disposal or store the body for you until you're ready to cremate or bury it.


What are the proper ways to dispose of the body?

You have a few options. You can compost it, cook it, bury it, burn it, or give it to someone licensed to handle animal disposal.

Can I bury my pet in my yard in Illinois?

You can absolutely bury your pet in your own yard but there are a few things to be aware of, like digging a hole at least 6 inches deep and covering it with dirt.

Also, remember to keep your pet's grave at least 200 feet away from any streams or water sources.

READ MORE: Not Cleaning up Your Dogs' #2 is a Rockford City Violation

Is it okay to leave the body in a public place?

In Illinois, it's against the law to dump a dead animal or any of its parts on the street, alley, or any public area and sometimes on your own property within city limits.


Can I throw my pet in the garbage?

Technically, it's not illegal in Illinois to toss your dead pet in the trash, but it's definitely not cool.

The Illinois EPA doesn't require a special permit to throw dead animals in a licensed landfill, but it's generally considered a bad idea and not the most respectful option.

What happens if I don't dispose of the body properly?

If you fail to follow the rules, you could face criminal charges or a fine ranging from $100 to $1,000.

LOOK: Here Are 30 Foods That Are Poisonous to Dogs

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.

Even with all of these resources, however, the best cure for food poisoning is preventing it in the first place. To give you an idea of what human foods can be dangerous, Stacker has put together a slideshow of 30 common foods to avoid. Take a look to see if there are any that surprise you.

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

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