94°F
weather icon Clear

Healthy dog euthanized to be buried with deceased owner

RICHMOND, Va. — Veterinarians and funeral homes in Virginia are rejecting the idea that pets should be buried with their owners after a recent case in which a healthy dog was euthanized so it could lie with her owner.

WWBT-TV in Richmond reports workers at one animal shelter tried to talk the executor of the estate out of the plan. They failed and the Shih Tzu mix named Emma was euthanized and cremated. The dog’s ashes were placed in an urn and given to the estate’s representative.

“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.

Dr. Kenny Lucas says while it’s an emotional situation, he said his clinic won’t do it.

“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, it’s something we take home too,” Lucas said. “It weighs on us as professionals.”

At his funeral home, Larry Spiaggi, president of the Virginia Funeral Directors Association, has Peace, a chocolate Labrador retriever and certified therapy dog that he keeps at the funeral home to help clients through their grief. As for euthanizing a healthy dog and burying it with its owner, he said he finds the practice abhorrent.

“I am licensed by the state of Virginia, so I have a license on the line with the Health Professionals Board,” Spiaggi said. “So I cannot do it.”

Virginia law generally forbids burying pets with humans.

A state lawmaker is considering legislation to address the problem.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Social network for knitters bans Trump talk on its website

A free, 8-million strong social network for knitters, crocheters and others in the fiber arts has banned talk of President Donald Trump and his administration.

US moves 300 migrant kids after poor conditions exposed in Texas

The U.S. government has removed most of the children from a remote Border Patrol station in Texas following reports that more than 300 kids were detained there and caring for each other with inadequate food, water and sanitation.

Judge says census question might have discriminatory motive

A U.S. judge says new evidence paints a “disturbing picture” that racial discrimination may be the motive behind the Trump administration’s push to ask everyone in the country about citizenship status.

Supreme Court rules for business, government in information fight

The Supreme Court sided with businesses and the U.S. government Monday in a ruling about the public’s access to information, telling a South Dakota newspaper it can’t get the data it was seeking.

Trump attacks Fed again, wants interest rate cut

President Donald Trump is continuing efforts to pressure the U.S. central bank system, saying the stock markets and economic growth would be much higher if not for its actions.