Dignified, Respectful, Compassionate... End of Life Services
Removal and Relocation Services, Burial Services, and Cremation Arrangements

     Gone are the days of the traumatic and horrific memories of witnessing the removal, relocation and burial of our beloved four-legged companions.  There are no chains attached to extremities for lifting, no dragging on the ground for long distances, and no hanging suspended from heavy equipment during transport.  Our specialized equipment and rescue glide allow for the compassionate and respectful handling of the animal throughout the process.  We have provided deceased services to private owners, professional equestrians, therapeutic riding facilities, event venues, rescue organizations, and the like who have been able to, at their discretion, be present for and observe the entire process providing some closure knowing that even in death their beloved was treated with dignity and care.  

     We are here to help them with the grieving process during a rough, often unexpected, time in their lives.  Often unplanned, we know and understand that owners may not be thinking logically or rationally during this time which is the reason we always make it a point to ask the owner if they would like any keepsakes (mane, tail, halter, horseshoes, or other attire) prior to our departure or the on-site burial of the animal.  We often times work directly with the veterinarian to schedule the service should the owner not want to be present.  We offer to be a liaison between the owner and the secondary location, such as a crematory or diagnostic laboratory, for payment of services requested by allowing the owner to provide us with the form of payment for such location and we in turn present it to a representative of that location and obtain a receipt for payment.  This saves the owner from having to handle any additional paperwork and discussions or travel unnecessarily during such a difficult time.     

     We are life-long horse and livestock owners and we treat our animals like family during their time on Earth and expect nothing less thereafter… and we promise to provide the same for your animals too!

     4Hooves Large Animal Services, LLC utilizes some or our specialized equipment, commonly associated with the technical rescue of large animals, for the removal of a deceased equine or other livestock animal from most any location (stalls, trailers, ravines, pastures, etc.).  Then by securing the animal to the “rescue glide” (www.rescueglides.com ), it can be moved to an on-site burial location, to an awaiting transport vehicle for transportation to an offsite burial location of the owners choice, to a secondary location of the owners choice (diagnostic laboratory, crematorium, landfill, renderer/abattoir, etc.), to a "Big Cat" Rescue / Sanctuary to be utilized as a natural food source for the rescues (only if no drugs or medications have been recently used and died of natural causes or gunshot), or transported to 4Hooves Farm property for burial.  Typically if the animal is to be buried on the owner’s property or secondary location other than 4Hooves Farm property, the owner or agent for the owner is responsible for contacting and arranging for someone to construct the final resting place, however we can provide them with resources to contact if available and requested.  We also offer full service burials complete with constructing the burial site using our backhoe at a location site within a 30 mile radius of Spring Lake, North Carolina on a case by case basis. 
While removing, relocating, and transporting the deceased, we treat him/her with the dignity and respect that the animal, which for most is a cherished and loved member of the family, deserves.


     Deceased services are not considered to be an emergency.  4Hooves Large Animal Services, LLC will make every effort to respond within a 24-hour time period with most requests being handled within a few hours of receiving the request.  If we are unable to respond we will advise you at the time the request is made. We realize that making the decision to euthanize is not easy and it cannot always be planned or scheduled, however sometimes due to chronic medical conditions, age, overall health, etc. arrangements for euthanasia and burial / disposal can be made in advance. If you are able to plan for this in advance and would like for us to provide our services during this difficult time, please contact us prior to scheduling an appointment with the veterinarian to check our availability.  We will provide you with some dates we are available and you can make arrangements with your veterinarian and contact us to confirm.    

     4Hooves Large Animal Services, LLC now handles all arrangements for cremation through a third-party professional association with a local, reputable crematorium.  This crematorium has state-of-the-art equipment and a beautiful, well maintained and managed facility.  This facility is one of a few in the state that can cremate the entire equine or livestock animal without compromising the integrity of the animal's body.  As we have personally witnessed and assisted with, the owners and staff of the crematorium handles the deceased with compassion, dignity, and respect.  There are a variety of options for urns and keepsakes available and the owner can choose between the cremation and return of the entire animal's body or just the head and heart, as well as a private or group cremation.  The client will be provided with the crematorium's contact information upon invoicing for the end of life services.  All correspondence after the animal, client information, and payment have been delivered to the crematorium will be handled solely between the client / animal owner and the owner or staff of the crematorium. 


Relocation of Deceased on the Rescue Glide for Burial
Removal of Deceased Bull from Drainage Ditch and Burial
Deceased Horse Placed on Rescue Glide for Removal from Stall
Removal of Deceased Horse from Stall using Rescue Glide
Relocating Deceased Horse on Rescue Glide from Stall to Trailer
Memorial for Deceased Horse at 4Hooves Farm
Transport of Deceased Horse in our Trailer
Packaging a Deceased Horse for Relocation and Burial
Preparing a Final Resting Place at 4Hooves Farm
Memorial for Deceased Horse


EUTHANASIA OPTIONS ---- 4Hooves Large Animal Services, LLC does not chemically euthanize animals as we are not licensed veterinarians and euthanasia is considered veterinary medicine by law, therefore it would be illegal for us to euthanize an animal.  Whenever possible, unless it is an emergency or death from natural causes, it is highly recommended that the client contact both 4Hooves Large Animal Services, LLC and the veterinarian performing the euthanasia to schedule the appointment on a date that works for everyone.  We usually provide a few options for the client to discuss with the veterinarian and make a decision for the date of the appointment.

With that being addressed, we will however euthanize an animal by field euthanasia methods only in the event of an emergency incident (i.e. horse trailer accident, barn fire, entrapment, natural disaster, etc.) if the animal is suffering and the injuries incurred or current condition is not survivable and there is not a licensed veterinarian available within the hour or if the animal is to be donated to a carnivore rescue (Lions, Tigers, Cougars, etc.)  Should field euthanasia be warranted related to an emergency incident, immediate contact with our Advisory Veterinarian will be made, the animals condition will be discussed, photos and/or videos will be obtained, and the euthanasia will be in accordance with veterinary recommendation based on the facts presented.  If the animal is to be donated to a carnivore rescue, the animal's body and internal organs must be free of specific drugs that can harm or kill other animals on contact.  Field euthanasia is the only method accepted if the animal did not die from natural causes.  4Hooves Large Animal Rescue, LLC can instruct the owner, agent for owner, client, animal control, law enforcement, or authorized designee, based on their confidence and skill level with a firearm, how to properly and humanely render the animal insentient (brain dead) with total body death soon to follow as the animal's central nervous system stops receiving signals from the animal's brain and shuts down (heart stops beating, lungs stop breathing).  Another option maybe to transport the live animal, if able to safely be transported, to the carnivore rescue for field euthanasia at that location.  As a last resort for any field euthanasia, if the owner, agent for the owner, authorized animal control officer or law enforcement officer accepting care, custody, and control of the animal is present we will obtain permission and a transfer of ownership agreement stating the animal is owned by us at that time.  It is not illegal for a person to euthanize an animal they own as long as it is performed correctly in a humane manner and with human safety and the animals welfare as the top priorities.  Field euthanasia will be discussed on a case by case basis and can be refused at the discretion of 4Hooves Large Animal Services, LLC.

GRAVESITE VISITATION ---- 4Hooves Large Animal Services, LLC unfortunately does not permit visitation during or after burial due to the animals being laid to rest on our private family farm.  If you would like gravesite visitation we recommend you contact someone nearby to ask if they would allow your equine to be laid to rest on their property.  If that is not an option, we would be glad to refer you to places that provide that option if known and available.  We typically do not publicize our physical address.  We do not except haul-ins to meet veterinarians at our farm for euthanasia and burial.  Upon request, we will photo the animals final resting place and email the image to the client. 

KEEPSAKES ---- We will offer to remove mane, tail, and horseshoes to return to the client upon request.

CREMATION ---- If the animal is being transported for cremation the following applies:
     *An estimate for services, minus the cost for cremation, will be emailed to the client.  It is
       impossible for us to determine the total cost for services without knowing the weight of          the deceased animal.  The animal will be weighed upon drop off at the crematorium. 
     *An invoice will be emailed once the total amount due for the service and cremation is             determined.    
     *Any mementos (urns, beads, jewelry, plaques, boxes, etc.) will be purchased directly from        the company providing the cremation.  The client will be provided the contact                        information for the company if not already known to make these arrangements.

DONATION TO CARNIVORE RESCUE ---- If the animal is being transported to a carnivore rescue/sanctuary for donation of the body to feed the rescued carnivores the following applies:
     *We will instruct the owner, agent for owner, or authorized designee on how to properly          and humanely field euthanize the animal if the proper firearm is available and the                    confidence, skill set, and firearm experience meets our standards for being able to safely          and correctly follow instructions and perform the task without issue. 
     *As a last resort only, if it is a situation where we must perform the field euthanasia, due to        the Veterinary Practice Act and State Laws, we can not practice veterinary medicine                without a license on an animal that we do not own.  We will have the owner or                        authorized designee sign a bill of sale for the animal for a nominal fee or transfer of                ownership stating that the animal is owned by us (at the time of euthanasia and death).            The financial responsibility for the Invoice for Services, Cremation, or any other                      associated fees will still be placed on the original owner at the time that the Invoice for            Services was accepted and the date for services was scheduled.   
     *On occasion the carnivore rescue will require the live animal be transported to that                  facility for field euthanasia onsite to confirm that no chemical euthanasia drugs were                used.  If this is the case, we will request the owner or authorized designee transfer                    ownership in writing to the carnivore rescue just to cover all basis with the performance          of euthanasia.  We will handle the transport of the live animal and will invoice                          accordingly.

COMPOSTING (OPTION TO RETURN COMPOSTED REMAINS) ---- This End of Life Services option is something we are considering providing in the future.  Please keep checking in with us if this is an option that you are interested in discussing for your animal.