Healthy Dog Euthanized To Fulfill Late Owner's Will
By Dave Basner
May 23, 2019
People who put their pets in their wills have done some strange things, even bequeathing fortunes to the animals, but what one Virginia woman mandated in her will has dog lovers up in arms. The woman asked that her Shih Tzu Emma be euthanized so she could be laid to rest with her beloved pup, even though Emma was in great health.
According to WWBT, following the woman's death, the dog was put in the custody of Chesterfield County Animal Services, but two weeks later, after the will was executed, Emma was picked up and put down. Carrie Jones, the manager of the shelter where the dog had been, pleaded with the will's executor not to put Emma to sleep since she felt she could easily find a new home for the dog, however, the executor followed Emma's late owner's wishes. Saddest of all, it was all legal since in Virginia, animals are considered property, allowing an owner to do with them as they please in their will.
Emma might not have even been buried with her owner in the end. Per Virginia Cemetery Code, no pets can be "interred in the same grave, crypt, or niche as the remains of a human" unless on private, family-owned burial grounds.
While it's too late for Emma, hopefully her story will motivate others to ask for more humane placement for their pets in their wills.