KGNS On Your Side: Options to help you say goodbye to your pet

Published: Sep. 11, 2023 at 10:25 AM CDT
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LAREDO, Tx. (KGNS) - Statistics show that 66-percent of U.S. households--about 86.9 million homes--own a pet. From companionship to emotional support, pets are a vital part of their owners’ lives. So, when they hit their life span, it’s not surprising the devastation many owners feel, with many pet owners admitting they don’t know what to do with their dog’s remains.

Like in the case of Daniela Sepulveda, who says her dog ‘Blue’ is her life.

“He’s just part of our family, like we don’t even see him as a pet anymore,” she says. “We even threw him a big birthday party; we bought him a cake and everything.”

When your pet is such a big part of your family, it makes it even more difficult when he passes away. So, what do you do with his remains?

According to local veterinarian Dr. Amanda Flores Alexander, knowing beforehand what you want to do is key.

“If cremation is the thing that’s your option and that’s what you want to do, then they’re many companies that do that you can look into.”

Pet cremation, a popular option for many, is offered at a cost and companies will pick up your pet’s remains at your home with flexible hours.

For those who prefer something a bit more traditional, burying pets is also an option.

“Buriel, I think depends on where you are and what the city ordinances are, so that’s something you have to check separately.”

As for City of Laredo ordinances, Laredo does not have any that prohibit burying a pet in the owner’s backyard.

A third option in disposing of a pet’s remains is to have them picked up by the City of Laredo. To do that, call 311 to report your pet has passed away. The 311 operators will then guide you on how and where to put your pet’s remains so that they can be picked up by the Solid Waste division.

This service is available Monday through Friday, from 8 to 5pm. It’s not available however after hours or on weekends. So, if your pet passes away during this time span, your only option is to call your pet’s veterinarian for help or dispose of the remains yourself.

Before getting to that though, Dr. Alexander shares some advice on how to help your fur baby live a longer life.

“So, I think that a well-balanced diet is super important, so any type of diet that’s going to be manufactured by a good company is going to be recommended,” she says. “Then flea and tick preventative and heartworm preventative are also super important because of the diseases that can affect their lives and their lifespans.” Above all, love them as they love you. “They’re like our babies, they’re like our children,” adds Sepulveda.

As for the companies that offer cremation services, the two in Laredo Dr. Alexander told us about are Gamez Pet Cremations and South Texas Pet Cremations. Both are locally owned and offer flexible pick-up services. As for services provided by the City of Laredo, if your pet does

pass away after regular business hours, try calling 311 anyway. Officials say if Solid Waste staff is available, they may be able to help you.

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