Can I Bury My Pet in My Backyard?

Bury a pet.

Can I Bury My Pet in My Backyard?

Our pets often become beloved and integral members of our lives. When they pass away, it is natural to want to honor them and even keep them as close as possible. Laws in Arizona regarding lawful pet burial are set by municipal code rather than state law.

It is not legal to bury your pet on your own property in all Arizona jurisdictions. Those who wish to do so should check their city’s ordinances regarding lawful pet burial. Some cities treat animal remains in the same manner in which they treat human remains. Those who live within HOA communities may also need to research their HOA’s community regulations.

According to the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control, some cities allow deceased pets up to 70 pounds to be disposed of in the city-provided trash container.

Many cities in Arizona have dedicated pet cemeteries for those who wish to honor their pet in a public way.

Below are examples of laws regarding pet burial in some of the major areas within Arizona:

Maricopa County

According to the Chapter XI of Maricopa County’s Environmental Health Code, dead animals should be buried or disposed of in a sanitary manner within 72 hours after its death.

City of Tempe

Section 6-2 of the Tempe’s city code allows for pets to be buried on the pet owner’s own property, in a city-approved burial place, or outside the city limits. Dogs, cats, and fowl must be buried at least two feet underground. All other animals must be buried at least four feet underground.

City of Flagstaff

Flagstaff’s “Keeping of Animals” ordinance requires that dead animals over 10 pounds be disposed of in a plan approved by the District, including placing the animal in a durable, fly-proof container.

City of Tucson

According to The Pet Cemetery of Tucson, deceased pets in Tucson can be buried on the owner’s own property or at a pet cemetery. If a veterinarian intends to bury a pet in a landfill, the owner must first be notified.

Pet End-of-Life Resources

Those who are dealing with the end of the life of a pet can contact any of the resources below for assistance regarding end-of-life services, including euthanasia and cremation. Additionally, pet owners are encouraged to contact the animal control agency for their area to assistance or guidance in burial or disposal.


Maricopa Animal Care and Control


East: 2630 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Mesa, AZ 85201

West: 2500 S. 27th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85009

AZ Humane Society


South Mountain Campus: 521 W. Dobbins Road,

Phoenix, AZ 85041

Sunnyslope Campus: 9226 N. 13th Ave.,

Phoenix, AZ 85021

Humane Society of Southern Arizona


635 W. Roger Road,

Tucson, AZ 85705

Humane Society of Mohave County


1700 Maple St.

Kingman, AZ 86401


Rideout Law Group handles cases throughout the entire state of Arizona, with offices located in Scottsdale and Lake Havasu City. For a free consultation, call 480-584-3328.

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