Healthy dog euthanized to be buried with dead owner


NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 11: A groomer washes the paws of Connor the Great Pyrenees during the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Piers 92/94 on February 11, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

(WFLA) – A healthy dog in Virginia was recently put down so that she could be buried with her dead owner.

WWBT reported the owner of the Shih Tzu mix left explicit instructions in her will to have the dog euthanized and cremated so they could be buried together. The report did not mention the dog’s age. 

After her owner’s death, the dog named “Emma,” was placed in the care of an animal shelter in Chesterfield, Va.

Staff said they spent the next two week’s arguing with the woman’s estate after they asked her to euthanize the healthy pup.

“We did suggest they could sign the dog over on numerous occasions because it’s a dog we could easily find a home for and re-home,” said Carrie Jones, manager of Chesterfield Animal Services. “Ultimately, they came back in on March 22nd and redeemed the dog.”

Emma was taken to a local vet and euthanized. Her remains were transported to a pet cremation center and her ashes were put into an urn and returned to the estate.

“It’s not legal to put a dog’s cremated remains – or any animal – in a casket and bury them,” according to Larry Spiaggi, president of the Virginia Funeral Director’s Association and owner of Morrissett Funeral home.

But there are exceptions for private and family-owned cemeteries, according to WWBT. 

Euthanizing a healthy pet is not illegal, but many vets object to the practice. 


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