These pets are allowed to bury them in the garden

animal burial
From hamsters to dogs: which animal can I bury in the garden?

When the pet dies, mourning is in order. And the question arises: where to put the dead animal? There are four options.

In the evening hours, the woman secretly crept to the meadow on the outskirts of the village, spade in hand. Her tomcat Benni enjoyed sunbathing there while he was alive and caught many a mouse. Now Benni is dead and Mum wants to bury him in the meadow he loves because she doesn’t have her own garden. That’s not allowed.

“According to the Animal Body Disposal Act, something like this is prohibited outside of one’s own property, including in the woods and fields,” says Martin Struck, chairman of the Federal Association of Animal Undertakers in Dortmund. If you get caught, you could face a fine of up to 15,000 euros.

When it comes to your own four-legged friend, the owner has at least four legal options for dealing with the dead animal: He can take it to a rendering facility, cremate it in an animal crematorium, have it stuffed by a taxidermist or have it buried. On the other hand, if you find someone else’s dead animal, you should pick up the phone and report the find to the public order office. The authority brings the erratic boulder – as required by law – to the animal carcass disposal facility.

There is also another option for a small animal: it can be placed in the bin for residual waste – but under no circumstances in the bio bin. “Birds and hamsters are considered small animals,” explains Andreas Ackenheil, a lawyer specializing in animal rights near Mainz.

Another exception is very large pets. For them, a burial in their own garden is illegal, although there are no exact specifications in terms of size or weight. “Wolfhounds and mastiffs are on the limit,” says lawyer Ackenheil. So everything between hamsters and wolfhounds can find their final resting place in the garden, provided the property is not just leased, but belongs to the pet owner.

According to the Animal Body Disposal Act, the grave in the garden must be at least one to two meters from the property line and at least 50 centimeters deep. The deeper it is, the better – after all, the remains of your favorite should not be dug up by other animals. Grave goods are forbidden. The animal should be wrapped in a material that does not harm nature, such as woolen blankets, newspapers or towels.

On the animal cemeteries, on the other hand, memorial stones with an inscription are often used – for example at the animal cemetery in Bad Homburg. “Straying was your life” is written on the gravestone of the cat Minki, whose life as a stray came to an end after just three years.

“You are the best thing that has happened to me in my life,” it says about the cat Puppchen. “Thank you for being there”, “You will always be in our hearts” or “Forever my dachshund girl” are other inscriptions. There are now over 120 animal cemeteries in Germany. A funeral usually costs between 100 and 300 euros.

Another frequently used option is to have your pet cremated in a crematorium. The prices for a single cremation are – depending on the weight of the animal – between 105 euros and 315 euros. Added to this is the cost of the vessel. Upon request, the ashes can be sent to the pet owner in the previously selected urn. If this is to be buried, the same rules apply as for the burial of the intact animal body: burial is only permitted on your own ground.


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