A healthy pet dog was euthanised and buried with her owner who requested they be put to rest together.
On March 8, Shih Tzu mix Emma arrived at an animal shelter in Chesterfield County in Virginia, USA.
She stayed there for two weeks until the executor of her owner’s estates revealed the dead woman’s final wishes.
Despite shelter staff’s pleas for mercy, the dog was taken to a vets and put down.
Emma was then cremated and her ashes put in an urn to be buried alongside her owner.
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 NBC12 .
“Ultimately, they came back in on March 22nd and redeemed the dog.”
In Virginia it is legal to euthanize a healthy pet, which is considered personal property.
The decision was not welcomed by many on social media.
One woman described the decision to enact that women’s will as “cruel and selfish.”
Another simply said: “What a selfish, disturbing request.”
“Something about this has to be illegal,” one Twitter user wondered.
Dr. Kenny Lucas, of the Shady Grove Animal Clinic, said he would not have put Emma down if the dog had been brought his way.
“Whenever we’re faced with a euthanasia situation, it’s a very emotional situation, and beyond everything we talk about, that we need to do ethically, and we’ve taken an oath to do and it’s something we take home, too,” he added.
“It weighs on us as professionals.”