A healthy Shih Tzu mix dog was euthanised as per her owner’s dying wishes to have the pet buried with her.
The dog, called Emma, had been taken to Chesterfield County Animal Shelter in Virginia after the death of her owner. The shelter had tried to keep the dog alive, however after two weeks of back and forth with the shelter and executors of the will, they lost the battle and the dog was euthanised.
"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 told CNN affiliate WWBT.
Eventually, on the 22 March the executor of the owner’s estate went to the shelter, took Emma to a local vet and had her euthanised and taken to a pet cremation centre.
Emma’s ashes were then put in an urn and given to the executor of the woman’s estate.
Not all US states legally allow people to be buried with their pets, but Virginia happens to be one where they can as a result of a 2014 law change. Although there are some caveats: cemetaries must set aside property to create sections where pets and humans can be buried together, and pets cannot be buried in the same grave as their human owners.
The decision to put down a healthy dog was met with widespread criticism
Dog owners, especially, were up in arms about the killing of a healthy animal
And thought it was a "selfish" reason
And one owner revealed he has his dog in the will - and people to look after it in the event he dies before his pet
Americans living in states where this is allowed, are trying to change the law
Others tried to get into the mindset of the owner - maybe she didn't trust anyone with her dog?