Telephone: (207) 829-6391
Maine requirements- all dogs 6 months of age or older must be licensed in the State of Maine. To license a dog you must have a current Maine rabies certificate. If the dog has been spayed or neutered, you must show proof from a veterinarian to receive the lower license fee. Licensing fees are $6.00 for spayed/neutered dogs and $11.00 for unaltered dogs. A kennel license is available for anyone that has a at least 5 dogs kept in a single location under one ownership for breeding, hunting, show, training, field trials and exhibition purposes. A kennel license covers up to 10 dogs and is $42.00. A kennel license is not a requirement, any dog can be individually licensed. Late fees will be charged after January 31 of each year.
Of the fees collected: $6.00 spay/neuter, $1.00 goes to the town clerk for a recording fee, $2.00 is deposited in the organized town’s animal welfare fund to be used for any animal welfare needs such as equipment, animal control officers salary, shelter costs, and injured animals, and $3.00 goes to the state. $11.00 unspayed/neutered, $1.00 goes to the clerk for recording fee & $10.00 goes to the state. Kennel license, $12.00 goes to the clerk for recording fee, and $30.00 goes to the state. All late fees go into the organized town’s animal welfare fund.
Licensing is accomplished quickly and easily at the Cumberland Town Hall. Please call 829-5559 for more information. Residents may also register their dog(s) online here.
Disposal of Animal Carcasses
In the last decade, a number of animal disease outbreaks worldwide have created a need for those charged with protecting animal health to understand the dynamics of carcass disposal. The foot and mouth disease outbreak in the United Kingdom, chronic wasting disease in North America, and the avian influenza outbreaks in Asia have all presented unique challenges in regards to carcass disposal.
The State of Maine Department of Agriculture offers training and technical resources and guidance for site selection and plan development to help you prepare for either routine or a catastrophic loss.
Many people do not like to consider that eventually their horses or other large animals may need to be euthanized. It is a sad fact of life, and one that should be planned for and not ignored. Waiting until you are faced with the death of your horse or other large animal will force you to make very difficult decisions during an emotional time. Planning in advance will help alleviate stress, and prevent problems with local and state authorities.
Maine Statutes and the Department of Agriculture Rules and Regulations govern disposal of large animal carcasses in Maine. The Maine Department of Agriculture’s “Chapter 211 Rules for the Disposal of Animal Carcasses”, and booklet “Animal Carcass Disposal – Site Selection and Methods” are available and provide the reader with detailed information for carcass disposal. For more information please contact the Maine Department of Agriculture at 207-287-7608 or view the Animal Carcass Disposal booklet.
It is advisable to check with the Code Enforcement Officer at Town Hall to determine which procedure may be prohibited or permitted in Cumberland. Under state statute it is generally not illegal to bury or compost a horse or other large animal carcass; however town ordinances and agency regulations will apply to individual situations (i.e. private and public wells, water bodies, streams, aquifer protection, flood plains, etc).
Any declared disaster, biohazard, disease outbreak, mass casualty event, or large scale emergency often overrides town and state laws. Therefore it is imperative that you consult with local emergency officials or the state veterinarian before you attempt to dispose of a carcass during those times.
If you must bury a horse or other large animal, make sure it is not near wells or streams, so that you do not inadvertently contaminate water supplies. Setback distances are specified in the rules. There are specific setbacks that must be maintained. Again, be aware of your town ordinances and regulations, as they govern whether or not burial is permitted in your area.
It is possible to compost a large animal carcass. Extensive studies have been done by several universities using different methods. In fact, the Maine Department of Agriculture considers composting of carcasses a viable disposal option, provided that it is not prohibited by town ordinances, and that the composting is done in an appropriate fashion so as not to contaminate ground or surface water.
Be advised, that composting is a complex process and not merely a case of throwing manure over the body. As it is with burial, you must first take certain precautions to avoid contamination of water bodies, access to a carcass by wild animals, and determine if town ordinances prohibit composting. Furthermore, composting will take longer than burial to fully break down a carcass-usually 6 to 9 months. Please consult with the Department of Agriculture on the composting process to learn about proper compost procedures for carcasses. These are also located on the Department of Agriculture website.
Incineration of a carcass is another option; however, there are limited places in Maine that will take large animal carcasses. Incinerating a large carcass should be undertaken by a facility that is equipped for it. It is inadvisable to attempt to simply burn a carcass yourself, as the heat generated may not be enough to completely break down the body. Often, transportation to a facility is difficult, and the incineration process can be expensive. This is an option that definitely should be researched in advance if it is a choice that you would like to use.
In the event of death from an unknown cause, it is advisable to consult with your veterinarian. The Maine Department of Agriculture is able to provide necropsy services. A necropsy is the proper term for an animal autopsy.
Dealing with the disposal of your horse’s body or other large animal can be very unpleasant, but it is a necessary part of being a horse or large animal owner. Ultimately, the method you choose will depend on several factors including expense, public health, feasibility and emotional preferences. The plans you make now can prevent problems and regrets in the future.
-Regardless of the method of disposal used, make certain you have all the facts and information first.
-Discuss euthanasia options in advance with your veterinarian.
-Always be very aware of wells, surface water, public areas and property lines. Also consider if seasonal water will be an issue: often different times of the year will cause water tables to rise.
-If composting or burying, take steps to ensure local wildlife or dogs cannot access the carcass.
-Always consult with a veterinarian if your horse or farm animal dies from an unknown cause.
-In the event of large scale emergencies or disasters, consult with local and state authorities as needed: Any mass casualty event from biohazards will require special handling.
-Do not attempt to compost a carcass unless you have familiarized yourself with the process. Please consult Maine Department of Agriculture.
-Carcasses should be disposed of within 48 hours to prevent them from being deemed a public health threat.
-Consider your options well in advance, and make plans for different seasons: for example it may be impossible to bury a carcass during the winter due to frozen ground.
-Please be aware that this information is meant as a guideline only and should not be construed as veterinary, environmental or legal advice.