Euthanasia refers to the humane practice of ending a life to relieve pain and suffering.  For an insurance claim to be valid, many companies require advance notification and prior permission except under the most extreme conditions. In some cases, the insurance company may wish to seek a second opinion before a horse is euthanized. The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) has established guidelines that state the justification for euthanasia should be based solely on medical, not economic considerations, regardless of the age, sex or potential value of a horse. The following criteria should be considered in evaluating the immediate necessity for intentional euthanasia of the horse to avoid and terminate incurable and excessive suffering: 

  • A horse should not have to endure continuous or unmanageable pain from a condition that is chronic and incurable.
  • A horse should not have to endure a medical or surgical condition that has a hopeless chance of survival.
  • A horse should not have to remain alive if it has an unmanageable medical condition that renders it a hazard to itself or its handlers.
  • A horse should not have to receive continuous analgesic medication for the relief of pain for the rest of its life.
  • A horse should not have to endure a lifetime of continuous individual box stall confinement for prevention or relief of unmanageable pain or suffering. 

Euthanasia (both equine and other animals) is a difficult yet inevitable event of animal ownership. And regardless if it is planned or unplanned, it is always an emotional moment for everyone involved. While we cannot cover the essential emotional coping and healing tools here on this webpage, we want to help provide some details that need to be considered and offer a few resources. 


GRIEF RESOURCES

Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary  Medicine Pet Loss Support
540-231-8038

University of Pennsylvania
484-453-8210  |  Website

NECROPSY
(often necessary for insurance claims)

Warrenton, VA State Vet Lab
272 Academy Hill Rd, Warrenton, VA 
540-347-6385 - Requires a vet referral

Marion Dupont Scott Equine Medical Center
17690 Old Waterford Road, Leesburg, VA
703-771-6800

CREMATION/DISPOSAL SERVICES

Agape Pet Services
804-737-8400  |  Website

In Memoriam Pet Services
703-537-7373  |  Website

Valley Proteins, Inc.
800-871-3406

Local Landfill
While this may seem unimaginable, the considerate people that work at the local landfill provide a small sanctuary on site, far away from refuse, where they can dig and bury for you.

BACKHOE/DIGGING SERVICES
Many farm owners may already know a friend or excavator with a backhoe (think about the team that dug your pool, basement, or grated arenas), but if not here are two that we know who may be able to assist with your on-farm burial:

Bill Stanley
540-955-9128 or 703-932-1796

Uncle Al
540-788-3555 or 703-304-8570

 


 

 

 


 

 

 


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