Standard Recommendations for Burial of Domestic Pets and Animals

Specific Burial Guidelines:

  1. The property on which the animal is to be buried must be owned by the animal owner. Individuals who rent or lease property are prohibited from burying an animal on property that they do not own, unless specifically allowed under their rental or lease agreement.
  2. The site where the animal is to be buried must be excavated to a depth that is large enough to contain the dead animal, as well as allow for a cover depth of 2-3 feet. Additionally, the burial site must be in an area that will not allow for feral or wild animals to dig up the buried animal.
  3. It is recommended that the dead animal be covered with lime or similar material prior to being covered with soil. This will aid in decomposition and reduce the potential for odors.
  4. In areas of high groundwater, animals cannot be buried within three (3) feet of groundwater depth. This refers to the seasonal high groundwater table.
  5. On parcels that have drinking water wells or are adjacent to parcels with drinking water wells, the burial site must be a minimum of 25 feet from the well. If the drinking water well does not have a sanitary seal, the minimum distance must be extended to 100 feet. These setbacks also apply to ditches, streams, rivers, lakes or similar bodies of water, even if they are seasonal only.
  6. Parcels utilized for agricultural activities AND that have an agricultural exemption are exempt from these requirements. Dead animals may be buried or not; however, if they are to be buried, the previous guidelines should be followed.
  7. This policy applies to all property located within the Washoe County Health District and is not intended to supersede any future city or county ordinances. Should ordinances or regulations be adopted addressing this topic this policy will become null and void.

Please use the email contact form or call our office at 775-328-2434 with any questions or concerns.

Last modified on 08/26/2016