Woman dies, leaves instructions to have beloved, healthy pet euthanized, buried with her

RICHMOND, Va. — A Virginia woman who recently died had some extreme, and illegal, final wishes. She wanted her dog Emma euthanized so the dog and the woman could be together forever.

Workers at Chesterfield Animal Shelter were caring for Emma for two weeks as they tried to dissuade the executor of the woman's estate from going through with the woman's plans. The workers tried to get the person to sign over the ownership of the dog to the shelter so workers could find the shih tzu mix a new home, WWBT reported.

The person held firm and picked up the dog and then took it to a vet’s office, had it put down and then taken to a pet cremation business. The remains were put in an urn and returned to a representative of the woman’s estate.

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WWBT did not say how the remains were handled after the pet's cremation.

APPARENTLY MY STORY .... about sweet little Emma, the healthy Shih Tzu that was put down so she could be laid to rest...

Posted by Curt Autry NBC12 on Tuesday, May 21, 2019

But there was an issue. While it is technically legal to put down a healthy pet in Virginia, there is an ethical question surrounding it, so it could be difficult to find a veterinarian to put down an animal, according to WWBT.

But it is illegal in the commonwealth to bury an animal's remains, whether it is a dog or any other animal, in a casket in a cemetery. But the law applies only to a commercial cemetery. Private and family-owned cemeteries can be an exception to the law, WWBT reported.

Virginia Cemetery Code by National Content Desk on Scribd