Dead Animals Policies

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Animals are killed with amazing frequency on rural highways. If the animal is found dead on the pavement or shoulder, it will be moved or removed by the Highway Department so that it does not pose a danger to the traveling public. When an animal is found on the County Right-of-Way and is not on the pavement or shoulder, it will generally be left where it is, to decay naturally. If a larger animal is found in the direct proximity of residential property, the Highway Department will make every effort to move or remove the carcass.

The County has adopted these policies due to current local and state laws that make it difficult to dispose of the animals, unless they are trucked to a land fill. The cost of hauling dead animals to a landfill is cost prohibitive in terms of labor and equipment. The natural decaying process is relatively quick, it returns nutrients to the soil, provides food for scavengers and saves the County considerable tax dollars.

When driving, keep the following in mind; smaller animals are injured or killed with greater frequency, but it’s the larger mammals, such as deer, that pose a greater risk for property damage or personal injury. Drivers are always encouraged to be alert while driving. If an animal is approaching or is on the highway, do not swerve to avoid the animal. You may run into an oncoming vehicle, or you may leave the pavement and crash into something much worse than the squirrel that was crossing the road. Numerous injuries and fatalities have occurred when drivers swerve, over correct, and then leave the pavement. Crashes with fixed objects such as trees or poles, or rollovers are common. Instead, stay in your lane and brake immediately, if possible. Proceed slowly in an attempt to avoid hitting the animal. Be patient, and the animal will most likely leave the pavement within a few seconds.