The loss of a beloved pet can be just as traumatic for some as losing a family member or a close friend. Heck, most people consider their pets to be members of the family, so on that level, it makes sense to feel that way when it's time for Snoopy, Kitty, or Spot to leave the planet.

I'll be honest, I've taken the death of my dogs throughout the years, much harder than the loss of some family members as strange, and morbid as that may sound.

One thing is for certain, pets should be allowed to live much longer than they do, for all the joy, love, and companionship they help bring to our lives.

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When a pet does pass away, what can you legally do with the animal's body?

Pet owners have options at a time like this. You can bury the animal on your land if it's legal to do so in your state. You can take them to a pet cemetery, should there be one where you live. You can have your pet cremated, or there's always the toilet if say, Bubbles the guppy has just passed.

My wife and I have traveled the cremation route several times. As weird as this sounds, we have three urns that contain the ashes of the dogs that have passed away since we've been married. The remains of Marino, Claire, and Taylor all sit on a shelf in a spare bedroom that doubles as the dog room in our home.

Jude and Mallory
Marc Elliott/Townsquare Media

The two dogs above are our current hounds, Jude and Mallory. The dog on the left is Jude, she could quite possibly be the best dog I've ever owned, very well behaved and smart. The dog on the right, is Mallory, aka Satan's spawn. She's as sneaky and as mischievous as they come. There has been many a day when I've come close to putting her in an early urn. Losing a pair of $300.00 leather boots, several TV remotes, a patio furniture set, and the left side of your leather couch has the tendency to make a person feel that way somedays. Trust me. But I digress, sorry!

To get back on point, let's say, God forbid, Fido has just passed away. Can you legally plant your beloved fur baby in the backyard in South Dakota?

According to the folks at, the answer is yes. In the state of South Dakota, a pet owner can bury a pet in their backyard, but you must bury the animal within 36 hours of its passing and it must be buried 3 feet underground.

Before you even think about putting a shovel to dirt, it's highly recommended that you call 811 before you dig, to consult with a utility specialist. They will come to your home for free and mark the approximate location of buried utility lines. The last thing you need in your hour of grief is to hit a utility line. If you weren't having a bad enough week already!

So oddly enough, it appears you can plant your deceased pets wherever you like here in South Dakota. I just caution you to remember the movie Pet Cemetery.

You remember what happened in the Stephen King movie "Pet Cemetery" right? The last thing you want is Church the reanimated cat to come back and pay you a visit every night. Trust me, he was looking for more than a cup of Meow Mix.

I can still hear Fred Gwynne saying the ground beyond is "sour" as he gave the warning to Louis while he was contemplating burying his cat in the infamous cemetery. If you've seen the movie, you remember how that ended.

Come to think of it, might be wise for you to take the cremation route too.

Source: The




Ten Commandments of Sioux Falls



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