About a month ago we got some new neighbors in the house next door to us. It was vacant for a month while the owner located a new renter. We found out that the couple that moved in was recently engaged, newly transplanted from Savannah and had a huge English Mastiff named Che. About a week after they moved in we had the chance to put Che and Mali in the yard together for a play date. Mali seemed uninterested as did Che, but it gave me the chance to get up close to the second biggest of our new neighbors.

Mali is a constantly questioned mix of multiple breeds while Che is pedigree. Mali is quick and energetic, Che is big and conservative with his energy. Mali weighs less than 50 pounds and Che’s up into 3 figures. Though over the course of the last few weeks Che has been losing weight; a sign that, despite his size, he was vulnerable. On Sunday we left for brunch at a friend’s and came home to fins that Che had passed away at the young age of two years.

We found out that Che had many problems stemming from his incestuous bloodline. He suffered seizures and his owners had been advised to put him down earlier. On Sunday they put him down (into the ground). They buried him in the backyard near our fence line.

I should back up a bit. We found out about all this via an email from our neighbor on the other side. He said that he saw the huge hole in the ground and saw them carry the body out and cover it. Sure enough when we went out to check it out there was a large spot of Georgia red clay turned up with a cross made from two sticks stuck in it and a tennis ball resting upon it. When we first heard this we couldn’t believe this was happening (and we wondered what their landlord thought). Lauren talked to them today and got the whole story. It’s hard not to feel bad for them, but at the same time I think that logistically they handled this poorly. I am nervous about the large dead animal buried in the yard next door. They told us they’re keeping an eye on, watching and sniffing for signs of anything exhumed. Luckily we’ve had about two days of slow rain. Here is the relevant section of the Atlanta Municipal Ordinance.

Sec. 18-2. Removal of carcasses of small animals.
(a) Authority. The director, bureau of sanitary services shall deliver to the city dumping grounds the carcasses of small animals, such as sheep, dogs and the like.
(b) Notice of death, existence of carcass. Any person owning the carcass of any small animal or any person on whose premises a small animal should die or be found dead, within three hours of its death or the discovery thereof, shall notify the sanitation inspector of the district wherein the dead animal may be found or the director, bureau of sanitation services of the location of the animal, unless the owner within that time shall remove or cause or procure the removal of the carcass to a place designated by the director, bureau of sanitation services.
(c) Charges established. Any collection or disposal of dead animal carcass received from private agencies providing care and treatment to animals shall be accompanied by payment of the required fee, which shall cover the cost of such service to be rendered.
(d) Determination of amounts. The rates referred to in subsection (c) of this section shall be determined annually by the commissioner of public works and shall be based on the current cost of collection and disposal of dead animals. A schedule of the charges shall be filed with the municipal clerk by the commissioner of public works not later than the second week following adoption of the annual budget and shall be made effective January 1 of each year.
(e) Payment. Payment of collection and disposal shall be made by coupons purchased from the city before the dead animal is collected and transported to the disposal facility.
(Code 1977, § 14-4017)
Cross references: Municipal solid waste collection and disposal system, § 130-36 et seq.

Sec. 18-3. Disposal of carcasses of large animals.
The police chief or the director, bureau of sanitary services, upon becoming informed of any dead horse, mule, cow or other large animal within the city limits, shall cause the carcass to be properly buried or disposed of so as not to create a nuisance. No person other than those employed to do so shall remove the carcass of the animal, provided that the owner or the owner’s authorized agent may remove the carcass from the city under the direction of a sanitation inspector, but no one other than a sanitation inspector shall bury the animal within the city limits.
(Code 1977, § 14-4018)

I’m not sure what do to, but I will keep you posted. In any event, peace be with you Che.

3 thoughts on “Che

  1. So if I’m reading them correctly (though quickly), the statutes seem to focus on municipal responsibility for animal disposal. Is there anything describing the owner’s responsibility? And does a 150 pound dog fall in the ‘small animal’ category?


  2. I think because it is a dog it falls under the small animal, but I think a more archaic definition may be, ironically, more appropriate here. For example, if a single member of the household can carry the carcass then it can be called a small animal. This would most likely put Che in the horse, llama category where I think he would be happier.


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