Healthy Dog Euthanized to Fulfill Late Owner’s Wish of Burial with Her Pet

RICHMOND, Va. — Over the protests of shelter workers, a healthy dog was euthanized so she could be buried with her dead owner in accordance with the Virginia woman’s will, according to WWBT.

The Shih Tzu named Emma was temporarily placed at the Chesterfield Animal Shelter, where staff members tried for two weeks to talk the executor of the will out of putting the dog down.

Carrie Jones, a manager at Chesterfield Animal Services, told WWBT that Emma would have been easy to place in a new home, but the person carrying out her late owner’s last wishes came back for the dog on March 22.

Emma was euthanized at an area veterinarian’s office and then cremated. The local news station reports that Emma’s ashes were given to the representative of the estate.

Virginia law sees dogs as personal property and, while it isn’t illegal to euthanize a healthy pet, ethical considerations may prevent vets from performing the procedure.

Current law defines a cemetery as “any land or structure used or intended to be used for the interment of human remains,” but WWBT reports that family-owned and private cemeteries are treated as exceptions.


  • PSL Boater

    The dog should have been allowed to live out her life and then cremated and buried in the same grave as her dead owner. Not like there was any rush.

    • fortisveritas

      One would assume with a name such as Emma that the Shih Tzu was a bitch, but not everyone uses gender specific names for their pets.

  • darkhorse6669

    this is terrible, the law needs to change. I have a friend who works at a local shelter and he said it is awful how many people would rather to have their pet euthanized if they were moving or something vs putting it up for adoption and giving another family the chance to enjoy that pet too and give it a good life.

    • fortisveritas

      How do you feel about abortion? I think it’s awful that women would rather kill their babies than take responsibility for their actions. Especially when there are so many decent couples ready to adopt.

    • Bob Stevens

      Something I agree with you on Dark, this story really upset me… dogs are family, not property.

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.