Virginia woman's young, healthy dog euthanized to fulfill her dying wish of being buried with her pet
A healthy Shih Tzu mix in Virginia, named Emma, was reportedly euthanized to fulfill her late owner's dying wish that the dog be put down and buried along with her.
The Chesterfield County Animal Shelter in Chesterfield, Virginia tried to keep the dog alive and was in constant contact with the executor of the dead woman's estate. The dog was taken to the shelter on March 8 after her owner's death.
Manager of the Chesterfield Animal Services, Carrie Jones, said: "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," WWBT reported.
A spokesperson for the Chesterfield County Police said that the executor of the owner's estate came to the shelter on March 22 to get the dog. The shelter reportedly consistently offered to have the dog signed over and be adopted out, however, the executor declined.
Emma was subsequently taken to a local veterinarian and euthanized. She was then taken to a pet cremation center in Richmond, Virginia. The dog's ashes were then placed in an urn and returned to the representative of the woman's estate, the outlet reported.
The state of Virginia enacted a law in 2014 making it legal to be buried along with your pet. The legislation reportedly allows cemetery firms to have a section devoted to human remains and their pets.
However, under the law, cemeteries must set aside a distinctly marked part of the property in an attempt to create sections where pets and humans can be buried together. The law also states that no pet ought to be buried in the same grave, crypt or niche as a human.
Other states such as Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York have similar legislation in place. A few other states also allow humans to be cremated and their ashes buried in pet cemeteries, while many other states in the country entirely forbid the procedures.
The American Veterinary Medical Association said that licensed veterinarians, certified euthanasia technicians, animal control officers and human investigators in Virginia are permitted to perform euthanasia.