The Etiquette of Road Kill

I knew it was going to happen sooner or later.  I mean, we do live in the country on a rural road that has a non-posted speed limit of 55 mph.

I woke up this morning to discover a dead raccoon in the road in front of my house.  Now, this raccoon was an extremely well fed animal that had to weigh at least 15 pounds and it looked like it just wandered into the middle of the road and died from a heart attack.  So the big question is:  What is the etiquette for removing dead road kill from the road when it dies directly in front of your house?

Is it my responsibility to get rid of it?  And if it is, how?  Is there some local, state or federal agency that can get rid of it? Will the garbage take dead animals?  Did Boca kill it?  (I know, I know.  I seriously doubted that as well, but we all know how Boca-cat likes to kill things so I didn’t think the idea should immediately be eliminated).  And I also thought how much worse this dead animal would be if someone actually RAN over it.  I think we would all agree that a dead animal in their normal state is much better than a dead one that is all smushed, right?

At an rate, I am now in a quandary as my kids and I stare at the dead racoon.

“Go get the shovel and some trash bags and let’s get rid of it,” I tell my son.  “we’ll double bag it.”

“I am not touching that thing” was his reply.

“Fine, how much?”

“No amount of money is going to work.  That is just big and gross.”

And then I had to have the age old argument with my husband:

“No, you cannot take a picture of road kill and post it on your blog.” (I wanted to add a picture of local road kill one year in our annual family Christmas letter and the idea was totally turned down by the entire family.  I can’t remember today exactly WHY I wanted a picture of road kill in our Christmas letter but I am sure I had a good reason).

Road Kill

Worried that someone might come by at 65 mph (let’s face it we all know the REAL speed limit on these back roads) I was under a time constraint to do something.

So I called animal control.  Now, you would have thought that I was asking for someone to not only remove the road kill, but also clean it, cook it and serve it for dinner.  Because “Noooooo, they don’t do that.” And “Nooooo no one is going to come do that.”  At least no one that receives my taxes.  So after that conversation, I figured the non-emergency police phone number would be a waste of time.

I finally decided that we would put the dead thing in several bags and carefully store it until trash day on Sunday.  Except by the time I could put my plan into action, my husband had already taken the shovel and just heaved the damn thing into the field across the road.

While I was very glad it was gone, I couldn’t help remembering how my dog brought in that cut deer leg she found last November and left it in the middle of my living room to eat for a snack.  Now THAT had better not happen with this 15 pound dead raccoon.

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