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The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) has developed euthanasia guidelines

to give you good information and  to help your veterinarian assist you during this very difficult time

I have been unable to link from my website to this article but I encourage you to use your search engine to look for AAEP Euthanasia Guidelines

to take advantage of the good information on their website.






Following is an article written in 2000 when Jan Neitz  first started Trails End .  We want to thank everyone who helps make this business possible. 

A special thanks to all of the Vets across the Valley and State that work with us.                                       

We couldn’t do it without all the support!                       -The Trails End family.



When a beloved pet passes on, especially here in a rural area, finding a humanitarian way to bring peace to the animal is fairly easy. Burying a domestic pet in a homeowner's yard, or out in the open desert, is not an unusual practice.

But what happens when the beloved pet is not a small cat or dog, but a very large horse?

"There was a horse that laid dead for a week at Bar S, waiting to be picked up and I thought there had to be a better way of taking care of these animals," said Jan Neitz, owner of Trail's End Large Animal Disposal.

Neitz, who is well known among fellow horse people in the Wickenburg area, worked at the Bar S Animal Clinic in Wickenburg for four years. It was there that she became involved in the removal of large animals that had passed on.

"I saw a need for this kind of service, because it breaks your heart to know that a horse has been laying under a tarp for a week, waiting for the only service in Phoenix to get out and pick up the animal," Neitz said.

Scenes such as that is what made Neitz decide that something had to be done to prevent the lag time in waiting for a pick-up. She made contact with the Rendering Company, the only Phoenix organization that had provided large animal pick-up service to veterinarians, and began her service.

"After meeting with Rendering, I started to sub-contract for them, and at first I was only doing it part time, and still working for Bar S," she said. "But I ended up getting so busy that this is what I do full time now."

Neitz first started hauling large animals in January, but during the past 10 months, she has seen yet another need almost as great as the pick-up itself.

When horses or cattle are picked up and brought to Baker Commodities, there is not a burial. The animals become feed for dogs, and even the hoofs are used for certain oils. But for some people who lived 20 to 30 years with a horse, a grave for the animal is desired.

"Some people will say that since their horse lived a good life, that it's time that the horse provides for other animals," Neitz said. "But some want their horses buried, and this is very hard to accomplish."

Neitz is in the process of applying for a permit, where she can bury the horse on state land. She said that a person can bury a horse on their own property, as long as the acreage amount criteria is met.

"It's very hard, even to bury a horse on your own property," she said. "I buried a horse before, and my other horses were crazy for year. In fact, they still snort at the gravesite."

Neitz has had to "put a shield" over herself, to be strong enough emotionally to deal with the death of beloved family members. She used to earn her living by helping to heal living animals. Now, she is making her living taking away those that are no longer among the living.

"Some days are bad," she said. "And I feel all the emotion, because when a horse owner starts to cry, I'm right there with that person."

Neitz said the people in this area -- and in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Cave Creek where she also makes pick-ups -- have been very appreciative of the new path she has chosen for her life. She charges $230 for a pick-up -- the same price established by Rendering. Unlike Rendering, though, she has the ability to get to the animals much quicker.

"The people have all been great to me," she said. "I'm always getting hugged because they are so relieved that they won't have to see their horse lay for a week before someone can come and get it.

"And yes, I guess this is my destiny, though who would have ever thought that I would be in the mortuary business," she added. "But I just couldn't sit back and see another horse have to lay for a week. I had to do something."

This is not any easy process, but having a compassionate team of professional people helping makes it easier. 

That is our goal


By Janet DelTufo, Staff Writer 


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