As humans, we can be blinded by love. Perhaps this explains why the owner of Emma, a healthy Shih Tzu mix, left explicit instructions for the pup to be euthanized, cremated, and buried with her remains.
In early March, Emma arrived at the Chesterfield Animal Shelter. She stayed at the shelter for two weeks before the executor of the will arrived to collect the dog to fulfill the owner’s wishes, reports NBC 12.
The shelter’s staff was less than happy to hand the dog over to be killed, rather than adopted. Reportedly, several conversations were had to try and persuade the executor not to carry out the demands in the will.
“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 “Ultimately, they came back in on March 22 and redeemed the dog.”
Emma was transported to a local vet’s office and euthanized. Afterward, her remains were cremated at the Richmond pet cremation center. They were then placed in an urn and returned to the authorized representative of the estate.
In Virginia, euthanizing pets is legal. Licensed veterinarians, animal control officers, humane investigators, and certified euthanasia technicians can all perform the procedure, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Convincing someone to euthanize a healthy pet, on the other hand, can prove challenging. Reportedly, the executor had trouble trying to find someone to euthanize Emma.
“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,” Dr Kenny Lucas from the Shady Grove Animal Clinic told NBC 12. He made it clear he opposes the procedure. “It’s something we take home too. It weighs on us as professionals.”
In the state of Virginia, it is not legal to bury animals in the same grave or crypt as humans. However, there are exceptions for private and family-owned cemeteries. Such was likely the case with Emma.
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