FARGO, North Dakota (KVLY) - "I called the landfill myself and police and they both said it's not illegal to throw animals in the garbage, says Danielle Kasprowicz of Fargo.
A Fargo woman is heartbroken after her dog went into labor and the puppy she was carrying didn't make it. What the pet owner didn't expect, she says the emergency clinic just tossed the puppy in the trash. And according to city ordinance in Fargo and Moorhead, clinic staff are allowed to do that. Today Valley News team's Eric Crest shares her story so you know what to ask your vet in a worse-case-scenario situation for your pet.
Every city, every county has rules unique to them. But when it comes to your pet many would say moral judgment weighs heavier than the opinion of the state. Danielle Kasprowicz of Fargo says her dog and the litter she was carrying meant so much more than just another pet to her, "this is about my animal here. My animal is like a second child to me."
In both Moorhead and Fargo it's not illegal for people to throw away their deceased pets if they aren't diseased. But Kasprowicz says when her dog's puppy passed away during pregnancy, the vet simply told her they disposed of it.
Kasprowicz says the way the vet explained it shocked her, "we already disposed of your puppy. Which means it's in the garbage. And I said, just in the regular garbage? And she said yeah, the regular garbage."
The dumpster at the Red River Emergency Animal Hospital in Fargo is where Kasprowicz says her puppy was tossed.While it seems horrible, here in North Dakota and Minnesota, it's not illegal for vets to do this.
But Dr. Dill the owner of Animal Health Clinic in Fargo says his staff wouldn't practice such a policy," there is no rule or law that prohibits that. But it doesn't happen at this practice and it's something we just aren't comfortable with."
Obviously some vets do utilize the dumpster though. It's not against the law. But perhaps worse, Kasprowicz says she wasn't even given alternative options, and was just told where the puppy was. After calling several vets in town she found out they typically will tell you what those options are, "you can take your puppy home with you to do what you wish. You can pay for the cremation services. Or you can let us dispose of it ourselves," says Kasprowicz.
Dr. Dill says people shouldn't feel uncomfortable asking the questions about what can be done with your extension of the family, "just beware of your options. Ask questions. Nobody should be offended by a question like what are you doing with my pet if it passes."
So if your pet is much more than just a pet and you want to make sure it doesn't end up in a dumpster, make sure your veterinarian knows that.
"It would have meant a great deal to our family. For us to get over the loss our self, and then deal with it as far as burying the puppy," says Kasprowicz.
In Fargo and Moorhead city limits you're not allowed to bury your pets. But you can bury outside city limits or at a many landfills. Also, it's not against the law in either Fargo or Moorhead to throw away your pet. City leaders just ask that you wrap it in plastic first.