Ask Chris: Pet Burial, SUV’s with Baseball Caps Plus LA Public Library’s 150th Birthday

How to bid your final farewell to pets from dogs and cats to goldfish, coyotes, and roosters. Plus, SUV’s with Baseball Caps, LA Public Library’s 150th Birthday and more.

When pets die in L.A., how are their remains handled?

Since it’s illegal to bury Fido in the backyard, you have three options: the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation, your local vet, or a private pet undertaker. Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park in Calabasas, for example, will wash and groom your pets, place them in a satin-lined casket, and arrange a private viewing in the slumber room before burial or cremation. A call to 311 will summon a sanitation worker to pick up dogs and cats as well as goldfish, coyotes, and roosters. According to bureau spokesman Nat Isaac, they’re all dumped into a pit at a rendering plant in Vernon and “ground to mush.” The oil is squeezed out and sold as fuel to cement plants in Mexico. The remaining powder is marketed as fertilizer in Indonesia. Calling the city is free; a vet costs about $70; and a pet undertaker can set you back around $2,000.

Q: What happened to the elephants at Hollywood and Highland?

A: The pair of 32-foot fiberglass pachyderms loomed high above the mall’s Babylon Court for two decades until they were removed in a recent remodel. Based on wood-and-plaster props from the silent epic Intolerance, the Babylon Court statues were intended as a tribute to film history. According to designer Jack Illes, the movie’s original elephants were abandoned in 1916 on the corner of Hollywood and Sunset and became one of Hollywood’s first tourist attractions. Decades later, Illes remembered them from a book in his grandfather’s library and left his job at Disney to resurrect them at the mall. Now he feels their loss. “They broke them up by hand with hammers,” he says. “You’d think they would airlift them out of there.”

Q: What are those white Jaguars with sensors driving around L.A.?

A: The $70,000 SUVs wearing a giant baseball cap of gizmos belong to Waymo, the autonomous-car company launched by Google in 2009. Since October, they have been running test drives with routes taking them through downtown, Westwood, and Koreatown. Once they get DMV approval, the electric Jags will become driverless alternatives to Uber and Lyft, with similar prices, no tips, and no attitude. “I’ve had drivers tell me they won’t go to certain areas,” says Waymo’s Olivia Chang. “The Waymo driver doesn’t care. We’ll be in all neighborhoods, from Beverly Hills to San Pedro.”

Chris’s Pick

LAPL Is 150! Party Hearty at the Library

(Photo: Leonard Ortiz/Medianews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images)

The founders of the Los Angeles Public Library met at a downtown theater because, of course, L.A. had a theater before it had a library. They had been gifted 750 books and needed a place to put them. So in 1872, they rented a room above a Spring Street saloon, and an institution was born. The 150th anniversary celebration wraps up this month at Central Library with the exhibition LAPL150—Our Story Is Yours, showcasing the city’s history with images selected from more than 3 million in the library’s collection. You can join the festivities by singing along to a birthday playlist at the library’s music streamer, Freegal, or play with a 3D printer and a laser cutter downtown and craft some crazy windup birthday cake.

All for free. Happy birthday, LAPL.