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 compassion.
We are here to help with the grieving process during a rough, often unexpected, time. 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 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.
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 our glide (animal stretcher), 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 local "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 to the brain), or transported to 4Hooves Farm property for burial. 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 prefer being able to coordinate our schedule with the schedules of the animal owner and veterinarian whenever possible as it makes the process so much easier for us and the animal owner, however if that is not possible we will of course still provide the requested services. Scheduling end of life services typically begins with the animal owner deciding what "week" they would like the service to occur then the owner contacts us to check our availability. We provide the owner a choice of dates during the desired week that we are available, then the owner contacts their veterinarian to schedule an appointment for one of those dates. Once the appointment is made the animal owner contacts us again to let us know when the appointment was scheduled and confirm hiring us for End of Life Services. We try to arrive at the same time as the veterinarian because it is easier to maneuver and secure the deceased animal on our glide immediately after euthanasia than waiting a while afterward. We usually allow time for emotional closure for both humans and other animals on the property if needed prior to us preparing the animal for its final transport.
Relocation by 4HLAS for Burial by Owner/Agent
If the animal is to be buried on the owner’s property or secondary location other than 4Hooves Farm property, 4HLAS will relocate the deceased but the owner or agent for the owner is responsible for contacting and arranging for someone to construct the final resting place. If resources for such service is not known, we can provide resources to contact upon request.
Burial On-site by 4HLAS
We 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.
Relocation for Burial at 4Hooves Farm by 4HLAS
We offer relocation of the deceased for burial on our 70-acre farm. This option does not allow for visitation as it is our private family farm.
Relocation by 4HLAS to Landfill or Renderer
We offer relocation of the deceased to a local landfill or renderer. If this option is chosen by the owner/agent, all associated fees from the landfill or rendering facility for the disposal of the deceased will be included in the final invoice. These fees are subject to change and are set by the entity accepting the deceased.
Relocation by 4HLAS to Diagnostic Laboratory for Necropsy (Autopsy) or Research
We offer relocation of the deceased to a diagnostic laboratory for necropsy (animal autopsy) or for medical research. These facilities usually require the request to come from a license veterinarian to authorize the scheduled procedure prior to the animal being transported.
Relocation by 4HLAS to a Carnivore Rescue / Sanctuary
We have spoken to the operators of Carolina Tiger Rescue in Pittsboro, NC and the Animal Park at the Conservators Center in Burlington, NC about recycling deceased animals to provide a food source for the rescued large carnivores (lions, cougars, tigers, bears, etc.) at their rescue / sanctuary. Both organizations are 501c3 non-profit wildlife rescues / sanctuaries whose missions are saving and protecting wild cats in captivity and in the wild. They are accepting donations of deceased animals as long as it is less than 12-hours post-mortum (preferred), was not euthanized by means of chemical euthanasia (drugs), and does not have any drugs in its system that are potentially harmful or fatal to the carnivores. We can transport the animal alive and humanely euthanize the animal at the rescue's facility or the animal can be deceased by natural causes or gunshot to the head (brain) upon pick-up for transport to the facility. Euthanasia by gunshot to the head is an acceptable means of "field euthanasia" and is considered by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to be a humane method of euthanasia if performed correctly. A "Transfer of Ownership" and "Euthanasia Authorization" document with signature will be required if 4HLAS or the staff at the rescue / sanctuary performs the field euthanasia the Veterinary Practice Act and the liability related to the procedure.
Relocation by 4HLAS for Cremation by a Private Company
We handle 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 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 handle the deceased with compassion, dignity, and respect. The owner/agent can choose between the cremation and return of the entire animal's body or just the head, heart, and hooves, as well as group cremation should the cremains (ashes) not need to be returned. Upon being invoiced for end of life services, cremation process, and/or urns and keepsakes, the client will be provided with the crematorium's contact information to determine how the cremains (ashes) are returned. There are a variety of options for urns and keepsakes available. An order form with the urns and keepsake options can be emailed at the time the service is scheduled or be presented at the time service is rendered for ordering purposes. All correspondence after the animal, owner/agent information, and payment have been delivered to the crematorium will be handled solely between the owner/agent and the owner or staff of the crematorium.
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 is outstanding ! I worked for a boarding/lesson/training barn that had
many older horses. Unfortunately, we had to help them when their time was up or they were sick. 4Hooves was always there for end of life removal and relocation and burial and we were so impressed with their services. It's never easy saying goodbye
to our equine friends so having a compassionate and understanding service such as theirs was indispensable! They were the utmost in promptness, kindness, respect and dignity when we called them to help us remove and take our equines for burial. Will never forget all they do.
B McNinch, Horse Trainer
I have known Tori and Justin McLeod of 4Hooves Large Animal Services for a number of years through my work as an equine veterinarian in Virginia. Tori and Justin have assisted many of my clients through their end of life services for large animals. They are prompt, professional and very compassionate in what can be a very overwhelming and stressful period in any horse owner’s life... I recommend them frequently to clients who are in need of end of life services...
Cathleen Lombardi DVM, CVA
The Oaks Equine and Livestock Services
As executive director of a local nonprofit therapeutic riding center, I am so grateful to have 4Hooves Large Animal Services as a local resource. Many of our horses are older, and all are beloved; we appreciate having a local company that is able to provide dignified and thoughtful end of life services when they are needed. Tori and Justin are a terrific resource in our community, providing training, emergency services, transport, and generally filling a much needed role in our local horse community.
North Carolina Therapeutic Riding Center