We all love our pooches, but one departed owner went too far after her pet dog was euthanised and buried alongside her.
By, 25 May 2019
The bizarre and disturbing incident happened in Virginia, USA. The deceased owner left the explicit instruction in her last will and executors decided to carry out the morbid request.
The perfectly healthy Shi Tzu was delivered to Chesterfield Animal Shelter.
An inhumane request
Staff at the centre were extremely reluctant to carry out the deed and did their very best to convince the estate that putting down a healthy dog is inhumane.
Carrie Jones is the manager of Chesterfield Animal Services. She said:
“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.”
After a two-week battle, executors of the will redeemed the dog. It was then taken to a far less scrupulous vet who euthanised the dog. Lawyers arranged the cremation and the remains were buried alongside the deceased.
The Virginia cemetery code forbids any animal remains to be buried in human cemeteries. However, there are exceptions for privately owned burial spaces.
State legislators are currently working on finding a way to close the loophole.
Much of the local animal welfare community condemned the decision to carry out the dead woman's wishes.
Dr Kenny Lucas works for the Shady Grove Animal Clinic. He said:
"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. Also, it’s something we take home too. It weighs on us as professionals.”
A very outdated practice
The Vikings buried dogs alongside their masters. This ancient culture believed the dogs would guide their owners through the Underworld and into Valhalla, the Viking version of heaven.
However, it's fair to say that ideas have moved on a bit since then! Let's hope the authorities can soon put an end to this cruel practice.