A Virginia woman has created some controversy in her passing recently. It seems that the woman had included in her will that she wanted her healthy Shih Tzu named Emma euthanized once she passed away in order for the dog to be buried alongside her.
The dog arrived at the Chesterfield County Animal Shelter in Chesterfield, Virginia, on March 8 after her owner’s death, where she stayed for two weeks. During that time, the shelter was in contact with the executor of the dead woman’s estate trying to keep the dog alive.
On March 22, the executor of the owner’s estate came to the shelter to get the dog and the shelter again offered to have the dog signed over and be adopted out, but the executor declined. Emma was then taken to a local veterinarian, euthanized and taken to a pet cremation center. Her ashes were placed in an urn and returned to the representative of the woman’s estate.
Current Virginia state law also views dogs as personal property and does not prevent the euthanization of a healthy pet if that’s what the owner wishes. However, ethical dilemmas may prevent some vets from performing the procedure. That didn’t happen here.