Whether it's your pet or a wild animal that you find on the side of the road, it can be disconcerting to come face to face with a dead animal. To know how to react better in this type of situation, it is important to first know the correct procedure.
We have collected all the information and legal steps to follow if you must look after a dead cat, dog or any wild animal, whether it's a protected species or not.
1. What to do after the death of your pet?
The death of a pet can be very difficult to overcome. The following steps should hopefully make the mourning process less painful and stressful.
If your pet is a cat, dog or exotic pet (ferret, rat, snake…) weighing less than 40kg, you can choose to bury or cremate their body.
Burying your pet
You can bury your pet in your own garden as long as the exact site of its burial is a mimimum of 35 metres from your house or any water sources (well, spring, river…).
Source: S. Vandreck
The body can be wrapped in linen, a box or cardboard box or even in wood or just by itself. The hole must be at least one meter deep and the remains should be covered in quicklime to avoid attracting animals that may want to dig it up.
There are also animal cemetaries, managed by private businesses or charities. It is advisable to inquire at the cemetary directly to know the exact nature of the services.
Cremating your pet
You can also choose to cremate your animal's body, but this will always require you to go to a veterinarian.
If you decide you don't want to keep the ashes, your pet will be cremated with other animals. The service is paid with the price being dependant on the vet and weight of the animal.
Source: Project Cleo
If you decided to keep the ashes, your animal will be cremated alone. The ashes will be put in an urn and you can attend the cremation if you wish. In this case, the price will vary depending on the vet and weight of the animal.
What do I do if my animal weighs more than 40kg?
If your animal weighs more than 40kg, you will need to call the local butchering service within 48 hours of the death. The location of your local butchering service can generally be found at the nearest town hall.
The butchering service is then in charge of disposing of the body within two days (excluding Sundays and bank holidays).
This is a paid service with the price being dependant on the weight of the animal or the distance taken by the service to transport it.
No matter the type animal or it's weight, it is forbidden to thrown the body of a pet in a trash can, the sewers or in nature. You could incur a $190 fine.
2. What should I do with an animal that's been hurt or has died following a collision with a vehicule?
If you find a dead or injured animal or you have accidentally hit an animal yourself, it is advised that you don't act alone in trying to save it or move it. If the animal is a protected species, the law will provide for it.
For a pet
If you find a pet that has been injured or is potentially dead, you must alert the local town hall. The pound or a vet will then be in charge of looking after the animal.
Source: Pets – The Nest
You can also take them directly to the vet where they can check if the animal belongs to someone and contact them if this is the case. You can then choose to pay the veterinary fees or simply leave the animal there.
If you do decide to do the latter, the vet will be legally obliged to care for it if its vital prognosis is deemed too risky to be left without further care. It will then be up to them to contact the town hall to settle the medical bills.
For a wild animal
In the case of a wild animal, you must contact the police so that the approproate authorities can help out as soon as possible.
If the animal belongs to a protected species, you should contact a police officer responsible for hunting and wildlife. It will be up to them to decide if the animal is dead or organise transport towards a rescue center if they are hurt.
Source: LPO Hérault
If the animal belongs to a predator species, you should contact the authorities or the local town hall. If the animal is dead, it will be buried or taken to a butchering service depending on its weight.
If it's "big game" (deer, wild boar, stag…), you can transport the animal in your own vehicule after checking that the authorities are in agreement.
If the animal is hurt, they will either be shot by a person appointed by the town hall or taken to a rescue center, depending on the seriousness of their injuries.
The same rules apply if a wild animal is found dead or injured due to a hunting act or poaching.
3. What do I do with a diseased or poisoned animal?
If you find an animal that appears to be diseased or perhaps poisoned, whether it's dead or alive, it is very important to not touch it directly.
You must contact the local hunting federation. They are the only organisations equipped with dealing with diseased or poisoned animals.
The animal will then be taken to a specialised laboratory for further analysis.