Burying my hamster.
November 20, 2008 2:03 AM   Subscribe

Where can I bury hamster in an urban East Coast US city?

My poor hamster, Jim Rhodes (the one on the left in this vid with her ex-cagemate, Tony Stark, in happier times), has been struggling with an upper respiratory infection. I took her to a vet on Monday; he prescribed an antibiotic (Albon), which I've been administering religiously, but it isn't helping. In retrospect, I should have pushed harder for him to stop *@(*!&@ing around and give me a prescription for Baytril that I could take elsewhere.

The stress of being grabbed twice a day and having antibiotic squirted down her throat is probably contributing to her rapid decline, but the end result is that my girl is a bag of bones held together with force-fed Pedialyte and Mazuri pellets suspended in water. She heaves and squeaks everytime she breathes, so she probably won't live out the night, let alone the week.

I'm in the center of central Philadelphia. It's a little irrational, I know, but after she dies, do I have any options for the poor dear besides 1) putting her in the trash or 2) sneaking into Rittenhouse Park under cover of night to bury her?

I'll probably be home this weekend with my parents in the suburbs, where I can put her in the pet graveyard out back, but I can't imagine it's sanitary to take a commuter train home with a (frozen?) dead hamster in a Ziploc bag.
posted by joyceanmachine to Pets & Animals (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's no less sanitary than taking a piece of frozen meat on a train. Make sure it's properly frozen, bagged securely and preferably in some kind of cool bag to stop it thawing too quickly.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 2:23 AM on November 20, 2008

You could go up to Fairmount Park, where you'd be less likely to have to sneak so much. Not saying that it's legal or whatever, but you could probably even do it in daylight if you found a more secluded area.
posted by polexa at 3:21 AM on November 20, 2008

First off, sorry for your (impending loss).

Having dealt with frozen, deceased, small animals in the past, I don't see any problem at all. I agree with the idea of freezing and double bagging.

I would not, however, bury him in Rittenhouse Park. Too many dogs digging/sniffing around.
posted by scblackman at 3:21 AM on November 20, 2008

Oh, and I'm sorry about your hamster :(
posted by polexa at 3:28 AM on November 20, 2008

I'm sorry to hear about your hamster.
I second le morte de bea arthur, and if it makes you feel better, I have done something similar with two pet rats of mine - I live in a flat with no garden, and had a kind friend several suburbs away offer me the use of his garden as a rodent cemetery. I don't have a car so took my refrigerated deceased rats (not simultaneously, some months apart) on two train lines. They were well wrapped up and inside several bags, & these were early morning commuter trains with many passengers & the usual guards, & nobody said anything.
posted by hgws at 4:16 AM on November 20, 2008

Hamster > Ziplock bag > paper bag (to hide hamster from view of fellow travelers)

Bury hamster a foot deep or so. We've disposed of small family pets in our back yard and have yet to have problems with dogs exhuming the corpse...and we own a beagle, which is in constant search for something to eat.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:51 AM on November 20, 2008

Ditto Thorzdad. If you're really squeamish, for the train ride put her in a shoebox in a shopping bag, or a coffee can inside a grocery bag.

Sorry about your hammie.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 6:28 AM on November 20, 2008

You might buy a good-sized plant and bury the hamster in the flowerpot.
posted by orange swan at 7:13 AM on November 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

Your vet should have some options for you -- we're dealing with an aging guinea pig, and have no yard to bury him in, so we asked the vet what to do when the time comes. (Cremation and disposal of ashes, cremation and you get the ashes back, pet cemeteries, etc.)
posted by sarcasticah at 7:43 AM on November 20, 2008

I would honestly be surprised if you were the only one on the train with a dead animal in their possession. Don't worry too much about it, just go do what you have to do.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:28 AM on November 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

Hamster > Ziplock bag > paper bag (to hide hamster from view of fellow travelers)

Those damn communists always messing with our dead pets!

Seriously, even though it may not seem serious, could you have a miniature funeral pyre on your grill?
posted by Pollomacho at 9:11 AM on November 20, 2008

Burial at sea? (meaning river or pond or lake...)
posted by Jahaza at 11:52 AM on November 20, 2008

I know someone who took a dead rhesus monkey on the Boston subway in a briefcase.
I know someone else who buried their cat in the middle of winter on top of a fresh (human) grave, since the ground was frozen and she couldn't dig anywhere else.
I know some weird people.
posted by bergeycm at 7:38 PM on November 20, 2008

Not sure what you could do with him, sorry. Just wanted to say that I hope he pulls through. I'm terribly sorry for your loss.
posted by soonertbone at 3:13 PM on November 21, 2008

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