Some folks simply can’t let a beloved pet go, even after they’ve passed on to that great big paddock in the sky. Be it marble monuments, taxidermy, freeze-drying or even cloning, people go to great lengths to preserve the memory of their faithful companion.
Now, thanks to Michelle Melaragno of Auburn, Maine, there’s a new, environmentally minded option for bereaved pet owners: Composting. Her process, marketed as Compassionate Composting Inc., was designed especially for horses, which are very expensive to bury or cremate due to their size.
A 100-feet-square gravel pad surrounded by gravel berms is being built on 46 acres of land owned by Melaragno, with enough room to compost at least 50 large animal carcasses at once. The berms encapsulate the animal carcasses with a mix of manure, hay, wood shavings and spoiled food, baking it via decomposition (at temps that reach 131 degrees, hot enough to kill bacteria and nullify euthanasia chemicals) into rich, loamy, and distinctly un-horselike organic matter, ready for fortifying the begonias. The entire process takes about six months.
Animals can even be composted individually, ensuring that your pet can continue fertilizing the lawn long after he’s stopped frolicking in it.