Rendering plants process decomposing animal carcasses, large roadkill and euthanized dogs and cats into a dry protein product that is sold in the pet food industry. One small plant in Quebec renders 22,000 pounds of dogs and cats per week. The fur is not removed and "dead" animals are cooked together with viscera, bones and fat at 115°C for 20 minutes.
Each year in the United States, 286 rendering plants quietly dispose of more than 12,500,000 tons of dead animals, fat and meat waste. Baltimore's Valley Proteins "hooger" vat contained an eclectic mix of body parts ranging from dead dogs, cats, raccoons, possums, deer, foxes, snakes, a baby circus elephant, and a police quarterhorse. In an average year, Baltimore´s pound hands over 21,888 dead animals to Valley Proteins which sells inedible animal parts and rendered materials to Alpo, Heinz, and Ralston-Purina.
Valley Protein maintains two production lines—one for clean meat and bones and a second line for dead pets and wildlife. Thus the meat and bone meal made at the plant includes materials from pets and wildlife, and about five percent of that product goes to dry pet food manufacturers.