Corinth Board hears proposal for animal cremation

By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal

CORINTH – Researching how the remains of pets are disposed of after they are euthanized revealed an ugly picture to Corinth native George Coleman.
He found that in Corinth and Alcorn County the dead animals are simply dumped along with household refuse and transported to an area landfill.
Coleman told the city board this week that the practice is not only appalling for its lack of respect for the animals’ remains, but also adds at least one toxic chemical to the garbage mix.
The chemical used to euthanize the animals, he said, is one that does not dissipate over time and remains toxic as it goes into the landfill.
“There needs to be a discussion between the city and county about this animal disposal issue,” Coleman said. He also plans to present his concerns to the county board.
The city and county provide financial support to the Corinth-Alcorn County Humane Society animal shelter. For fiscal year 2010 Corinth gave $75,000 and Alcorn County $25,000 to support the facility.
Many of the veterinarians with whom Coleman discussed the matter also are concerned, he said.
A solution that Coleman suggested is to have mass cremations for the euthanized animals as a more humane as well as health-conscious way of disposing of the remains.
Coleman, a Corinth business owner for many years who retired to live in Pickwick, Tenn., said he recently found a new life purpose in operating a pet funeral service, cremation and cemetery business.
Coleman is the son of a family that operated a funeral home in Corinth for more than half a century, and he is working with the Shackelford family of Savannah, Tenn., that operates six funeral homes in various states. The plan is to establish pet funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries in Bolivar, Lawrenceburg and Lexington, Tenn., and Tupelo.
“The Corinth shelter says it euthanizes about 20 to 30 animals a month,” Coleman said. He would charge $25 per animal for cremation and all other aspects of services, including pickup.
Mayor Tommy Irwin, with the concurrence of aldermen, said they would invite the humane society board to meet with them to discuss the matter further.

Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@journalinc.com.