An animal shelter euthanized a healthy Shih Tzu mix at the request of her late owner, whose last wish was to be buried with her pup.
Emma, the pup, arrived at Chesterfield County Animal Shelter in Virginia on March 8, according to a report published Wednesday by CNN. She stayed there for two weeks while the shelter and the executor of the estate decided on how to proceed.
As you can imagine, the dead woman’s will — to have her healthy dog put down and buried with her — has sparked quite a bit of controversy. https://t.co/Hmk2QGudoR
— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork) May 22, 2019
“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,” Carrie Jones, manager of Chesterfield Animal Services told WWBT. (RELATED: Little Girl With Inoperable Brain Tumor Receives Special Visit From 40 Dogs)
On March 22, the dog was picked up by the executor from the Chesterfield animal shelter and the shelter suggested again to sign the dog over and have her adopted out, according to a spokesperson for the Chesterfield County Police told CNN.
Disgusting fucking nonsense https://t.co/E8C075xpPM
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) May 23, 2019
Cemeteries fall under state law in the United States, and in most states, it is illegal to bury a pet with a human.
Virginia lawmakers passed a bill that allowed pets to be buried at the cemetery of the owner. The pet, however, has to be buried in a marked area separate from the human remains.
Although it might be hard to find someone to euthanize a healthy animal, it is legal in Virginia for licensed veterinarians, control officers, and certified euthanasia technicians to put down animals, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.