No one ever wants to be faced with the death of a beloved furry companion. Unfortunately, it happens. When it does, you very well could want to have a small ceremony, followed by a backyard burial.

But can you legally do this?

Photo by Katie Bernotsky on Unsplash
Photo by Katie Bernotsky on Unsplash

I was inspired to dive into Iowa when I read s story from WBKR about such laws in Kentucky and Indiana. Each state has its own rules, and Iowa is no exception.

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During the fall of last year, my wife and I lost our cat, Morris. He became sick and died very suddenly - within the span of two weeks. We chose cremation because sadly he didn't look like the same cat by the time he passed.

For many pet owners, however, burial may seem more permanent. A spot in your yard you can visit. A place you can remember and, if you have kids, they can learn a little bit about the death of a loved one.

So what are the rules here in Iowa when it comes to backyard pet burial?

Iowa law is pretty cut and dry

In Iowa the law is pretty simple: The state requires the disposal of any dead animal within 24 hours of its death. You must do one of the following, according to an ISU write-up on the matter:

The disposal can be by composting, cooking, burying, or burning or by disposing of it to a person licensed for disposal of animals.

So, yes. You can bury a pet (or any animal) in Iowa. You can also cook it... so there's that.

If you do not perform the burial quickly, you can be fined $100-$1,000 so, be sure you make the appropriate plans as quickly as you can.

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