Found a dead animal? Here is what to do

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Photo Credit: Kalawin /iStock Photo

Finding a dead animal is never pleasant, but knowing what to do can make things quicker and easier to get it over and done with. Advice changes depending on whether you find the animal on your property or not.

If the dead animal is on your home or property:

If you find the animal on your property, you may be able to remove it yourself. Dead animals are notorious carriers of disease, so hygiene is of paramount importance. To start with, put on some disposable gloves and acquire some disinfectant spray. Steel wool would also be useful. Take a dustpan, and slide it under the corpse. You may want to spray the dustpan and the corpse first. Take the dead animal and dispose of it, either by incineration or burying it. Return to the site of the death with the spray and some steel wool. Remove any stains or remains that are still present after removal with the steel wool, then dispose of the steel wool immediately. Finally, spray the site once more and cover the area for 48 hours. This is to ensure any harmful bacteria are killed off before coming into contact with you. Here is a great source regarding dead animal removal. If this method does not appeal to you, most wildlife control companies offer dead animal removal services. Often it is a quick and easy job for professional companies like All Star Animal Trapping, and so will not break the bank too much. If you are vulnerable to infection, or squeamish, this may be the solution for you.

If the dead animal is in a public place:

If the dead animal is in a park, road, sidewalk, or other public place, your local or state wildlife office is entitled to remove it. Roadkill can pose a threat to cars, both damaging the vehicle and using it to swerve increasing the chances of accidents. Also, it attracts scavenger birds, which may become roadkill themselves and intensify the problem. Your wildlife office’s contact details should be on your local or state government website, and they should be able to dispatch some experts within hours. Alternatively, if you feel the dead animal is posing an immediate threat to people, you may want to remove the animal yourself. A bag can be used to pick up the corpse, but try not to be in contact with the animal at all, to avoid infection. Once the animal is safely removed, wash, or disinfect your hands as soon as possible. Visit deadanimal.org for more information.

If the dead animal is on a private property that is not your own:

If the dead animal is on somebody else’s property, it is not your responsibility, and neither is it necessarily the responsibility of the local wildlife office. However, you may want to try and contact the property owner to inform them of the presence of the corpse. If you feel the dead animal poses an immediate risk to the general public, you may want to contact emergency services.


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