With rising cost of disposal, Lyon County buys crematory for animals to save money | NevadaAppeal.com

With rising cost of disposal, Lyon County buys crematory for animals to save money

Karen Woodmansee
Appeal Staff Writer

The purchase of an animal crematory does not mean more stray animals in Lyon County will be euthanized, but it will control rising costs.

The crematory will be used to dispose of the remains of sick animals that have been abandoned or animals that have been killed in traffic, said Ted Bolzle, the county’s executive director of animal services.

The crematory request was approved by the Lyon County Commissioners this month. It costs about $25,000, Bolzle said, and would cost the department about 3 or 4 cents per pound to dispose of animals – 300 pounds can be cremated in about four hours.

Bolzle said cremation units have an indefinite life expectancy, so he believes it is an economical long-term investment.

“Right now the county spends $8,100 per year,” said Comptroller Josh Foli. “I figure this will pay for itself in four years and we’ll be money ahead.”

Bolzle said the Lyon County Animal Services Department doesn’t euthanize animals, rather it makes referalls to a veterinarian. He said the county used Reno Rendering Co., an animal disposal company, to dispose of dead animals, but that the company has recently increased its prices.

Reno Rendering Co. currently retains usable parts of dead animals for use in cosmetics and other products, but cannot use small animals. Those animals are then disposed of at the landfills.

Bolzle said the department still plans to make every effort to adopt out animals.

“We’ve been fortunate, we do very well with our rescues,” he said. “We haven’t had to put any down to make space.”

Bolzle said the department will continue its policy to adopt out all pets that qualify.

“We don’t really consider cost a factor,” he said. “The way we evaluate animals is, if an animal has killed livestock or bit a human being, depending on the situation, but truly dangerous and vicious animals, we’ll have them euthanized.

“Then we get animals that are sick, animals with cancer and other health-related problems, and we have to have them put down.”

He said some people abandon seriously ill animals to avoid veterinary costs.

“If it has a treatable medical condition, we try to adopt them out,” he said. “But a dog with parvo, we’re looking at $1,600 to treat it and not a very high success rate.”

Fast facts

• $8,100 – average annual cost to dispose of animals with Reno Rendering Co.

• $25,000 – cost of crematory

• Reno Rendering Co. future charges to dispose of animals is $18 per dog, $12 per cat and $225 per horse or cow

• County now must dispose of average of 320 animals per year, including animals killed on the highway.

• County expects crematory to pay for itself in four years.

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at kwoodmansee@nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111 ext. 351.