Pet cemetery owner in Iowa defends horse burials
TIPTON (AP) — A pet cemetery owner in eastern Iowa is battling state regulators over the proper procedure for burying horses.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has fined Steve Johnson, of Tipton, $10,000 for not sending dozens of horses to a landfill. The state considers the animals to be “solid waste” that should be discarded in that manner.
The Des Moines Register says Johnson is appealing the fine to the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission. The group meets next week.
Johnson’s attorney says his client gives the horses a dignified burial. A DNR attorney says the agency is concerned about the quality of the state’s groundwater.
Experts in the industry of pet burials say states like Iowa may not be keeping pace with how owners want to treat their deceased animals.