Euthanasia + Aftercare in Wisconsin

As you may have heard, there have been many changes occurring recently regarding euthanasia of equines in Wisconsin. We wanted to wait to give you the most definitive information possible, as it's not a topic that anyone wants to frequently broach. We seem to have found some stability in the area, so here's what you need to know.

After a horse is euthanized, to date, most horse owners have buried the horse on their own property, or had a "rendering truck" come and pick the remains up. Recent changes in rendering requirements and continued confusion about the widely variable local, state, and federal regulations have made euthanasia methods and aftercare availability more complicated. Here's what your aftercare options are:

  1. Cremation
    1. Cremation can cost between $1,100 and $1,800 per equid. If you want the remains back in a vase, it'll be at the upper end of that range. Midwest Cremation Service can come and pick your horse up in addition to providing the cremation service.
  2. Rendering
    1. This is where the primary change to handling remains has occurred. This process is still changing and we could have new information any time. For now, rendering costs between $250 and $600 depending on where your horse is located and how the horse was euthanized. 
  3. Burial on property
    1. Burial on property is regulated per municipality. There is no Dane County ordinance, but you should check within your individual city, village, or town ordinances to ensure that you're able to bury your horse on your property.
    2. If you don't own one, you can rent a backhoe from a neighbor or local company. Typically, rental will cost $200 - $400.
  4. Composting the remains
    1. Large animal composting is an option if you have the space and equipment. It is considered the most sustainable option for animal remains, but it is an active process that takes time and work. Here's a guide from Minnesota.

If changes continue to occur, we'll be sure to keep you in the loop on our webpage. For now, keep in mind that euthanasia, and aftercare, are expensive items in a horse's medical life.