When Ronan resident Louise Weaver took her beloved Airedale terrier to the veterinarian, she knew it was likely the end of the line for Daisy. The 9-and-a-half-year-old dog was sick, and it turned out her kidneys had failed. So when Weaver called the vet the next day and found out Daisy had died, she wasn’t shocked. When she tried to make arrangements to pick up Daisy’s body and found out she had already been disposed of, she was devastated.
“[The veterinarian] didn’t give us any choice whether we wanted to get her; he just threw her in the dumpster,” reported a sobbing Weaver. “You don’t just take someone’s pet and throw it in the garbage.”
Weaver named the vet, and we’ve confirmed the dog died there, but no spokesman was made available by press time, so we won’t.
Weaver says she planned to bury Daisy under a large pine tree on her family’s property in Camas Prairie, but now that’s not an option.
“I just want people to know that they shouldn’t take it for granted that when they bring their sick pet to the vet that they are going to get it back,” says Weaver.
In most cases, pet owners will at least have the choice, according to spokespersons from area veterinary clinics.
“In our facility, very few pet owners take them home after they die,” says Sara Monroe, a vet assistant at Four Paws Veterinary Clinic in Missoula. “It is always up to the owner, but very few people have the space to bury a pet in their back yard.”
Most pets end up at a crematorium like Montana Combustion Services in Alberton rather than backyard pet cemeteries. According to a spokesperson at Combustion Services, pet owners have a choice of a “private cremation,” in which the bereaved receives Fido’s ashes in a decorative wooden box, or a “non-private cremation,” in which the pet is cremated and its ashes are spread on a private piece of property in the beautiful Flathead National Forest.
“They go to nice place,” said the spokesperson. “We don’t throw them in the dumpster or anything.”