Compassionate Large Animal Carcass Removal Service in SLO County

Compassionate Large Animal Carcass Removal Service in SLO County | SLO Horse News

Someday you, as a horse owner, will have to face the question, “What do I do with this large animal carcass?”  Many horse owners have found themselves asking that question as they deal with the grief of losing a beloved horse. Who are you going to call for a large animal carcass removal service? The team of Errick Hicks and Kevin Buffett, of Atascadero Hay and Feed, is at your service.

This team got started providing burial service to horse owners who have the room to bury their horses on their property. However, as the options in SLO County for large animal disposal narrowed, they added the delivery of large animal carcasses to the disposal option chosen by the owner.


Are you prepared to leave your animals with a pet sitter? Help communicate all the vital care instructions with a Horse and Pet Care Communication Checklist.


Where Can A Large Animal Carcass Go in SLO County?

“It’s part of the game,” says Errick. “A horse owner will someday face the end – whether a horse is young, old, injured or even sound.” Most horse owners have made their decision of where the large animal carcass should go, before Errick arrives. Here in SLO County large animal disposal options are limited to basically three: burial on property, cremation or landfill.

Where the horse is located can already knock burial off the list. “A horse at a boarding facility or living in town has two options,” suggests Errick, “landfill or cremation.” In any event, the team of Errick and Kevin will handle the horse compassionately. They will also talk through the pick-up process with each client. An owner can choose to be away and not present, there to watch, or even there to help in appropriate ways. One thing Errick knows to be true, “People grieve differently.”

Large Animal Carcass Removal Service: Connection to Local Cremation Facility

Offering their services to Eden Memorial Pet Care in Paso Robles connects the large animal carcass removal service to the crematory. This provides horse owners with a reliable way to get their deceased horse’s body to the crematory. This is especially helpful in the event the Eden team can’t get there, or if the horse is in a position making it difficult to move.

Eden Memorial Pet Care Appreciates this Large Animal Carcass Removal Service

Christine Johnson of Eden Memorial Pet Care enjoys working with Errick and team. Her experience with Errick has been superb and has enhanced the Eden horse cremation services. She comments, “A couple years ago, Errick contacted me regarding his new business for transportation and pick-up of deceased livestock and equines.  It was a perfect relationship for Eden Memorial and he couldn’t have come into business at a better time.

This Service Saves the Eden Staff Time

We had been servicing the Central Coast since 2007 in our Equine Division and one of our biggest challenges was having staff available to serve our clients.  Dealing with livestock and equine takes a lot of coordination, care, dignity and professionalism— let alone time!  

While serving the Central Coast and Valley and over 30 vet hospitals, time was something that is limited to us; but we knew also wanted to have professional and trained individuals available for our clients.   It’s a very stressful part of our business.  Not only does dealing with larger animals take special equipment but time is usually not on our side.  We can’t place a horse in a morgue…we are dealing with elements of weather and wildlife as well.  Then there was Errick!  Not only is he professional, he has the skills and knowledge as well as a soft heart.  He and his family understand large animals and what it takes to properly and safely transport them.

Limited Options for Afterlife Care for Large Animals in SLO County  

With limited options for aftercare for large animals, Errick and family are very busy.  But now when a client calls us for cremation services and if we are unable to get transportation to them in a timely manner; we call Errick.  He usually can get to them quicker and has more equipment to maneuver horses out of pastures, fields and even box stalls.  He has a lot of specialized equipment we don’t offer.  And in the end the client gets the best service…someone caring and professional like Errick and staff handling the transportation and then Eden Memorial handling the cremation services.  

If a client wants cremation services, we will work with them and/or veterinarian to make arrangements and then schedule Errick to handle transportation separately.  Most times Errick will work with the client directly and charge for his services separately.  Then Eden Memorial will charge only for the cremation services/memorial products.  In the end…everyone is comforted with all bases covered and dignified services from start to finish.”

Large Animal Carcass Removal Service: Off to the Landfill

Getting a large animal carcass to the landfill is not easy for the owner. First of all, getting the large body into the horse trailer is nearly impossible without equipment. Next, a large body begins to decompose and liquids may seep from the body which is illegal to have spill on the road. A hauler must be licensed for this task, thus rendering many horse trailers unusable for transporting a deceased horse. Facing getting the horse out of the trailer is the final issue an owner will have to negotiate regarding handling the large animal carcass. Landfill staff will most likely be unable to assist with this.

Therefore, hiring a licensed professional to handle the daunting and difficult task of getting a large animal carcass to the landfill is truly a good decision for all involved. Errick and Kevin’s licensed large animal carcass removal service handles all sorts of large animals from San Miguel to Arroyo Grande. If their schedule allows, they may even go further. Some situations are pre-planned and some are un-planned. The team operates at nearly all hours of the 24-hour day. However, they don’t have a way of holding a deceased animal for several days. So, if there isn’t a known plan for the carcass then they won’t be able to remove it.

Large Animal Carcass Removal Service: Private Property Burial

Yes, a horse or large animal can be buried on private property in SLO County. If your property is big enough to allow a burial area 150 feet from a well or water source, or a dwelling, or a neighboring fence then private property burial is an option for you. Burying a large animal carcass is permissible on a friend’s property, with their permission of course, as long as the site meets the parameters.

Errick and team got their start as a private property burial service. They have grown into a large animal carcass removal service. They still continue to handle the private property burial process in a compassionate way.

To request the large animal carcass removal service give them a call:

  • Errick (805) 801-5227
  • Kevin (805) 461-6411  – Kevin is also the owner of Atascadero Hay and Feed. Stop in and ask him about the large animal carcass removal service.
  • The cost of the large animal carcass removal service has many variables, such as pick-up location and delivery. They’ll quote you a price once they know your needs.

Create an Afterlife Care Plan

Yes, as Errick reminds us, we will have to face the loss of our beloved animals both great and small. “It’s part of the game,” he says. You will be in a better position to make decisions and put a plan place before the fateful day. Your horse’s final resting place is a choice you need to make, now. The decision will be based on your finances and what you are OK with. The best option right now, while you enjoy your equine friend, is to develop an afterlife care plan. This way, you can face the future with certainty and a clear head.

The staff at Eden Memorial Pet Care is here to assist you. They want guide you towards making the best decisions for afterlife care of all your special furry friends.

Photo credit: Sharon Jantzen Photos

Are you prepared to leave your animals in the care of a pet sitter? The Horse and Pet Care Communication Checklist enables you to gather all the vital information you need to communicate all the elements of all your animals’ care to your pet sitter.  What if you suddenly had to leave town? Would you be ready for someone to quickly step in and take care of your animals? What if something happened to your horse or pet while you were away? Would your pet sitter know your wishes? This checklist will help you prepare your pet sitter to care for your animals the way you do. Get your Horse and Pet Care Free Checklist here >.


Sharon Jantzen

Former Pony Clubber, Eventer and Dressage rider who balanced training and showing with getting a college degree (from Cal Poly SLO), becoming a wife and raising a family. Presently she is enjoying riding a Rocky Mounted Gaited horse and exploring Mounted Archery. Her new baby is Whisper, a Connemara filly.

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