FILE – A Shih Tzu mix named Emma was euthanized to be buried with their owner. Not the dog pictured. (Pixabay)

Healthy U.S. dog euthanized for burial with owner, sparks debates

A Shih Tzu mix named Emma was euthanized and cremated

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.

___

The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Israeli, Chinese policies ‘concern’ Canada, undermine freedom, says Trudeau

Israeli, Chinese policies ‘concern’ Canada, undermine freedom, says Trudeau

House of Commons can manage virtual voting securely if MPs want it, Speaker says

House of Commons can manage virtual voting securely if MPs want it, Speaker says

Liberals detail changes to COVID-19 aid as they ask MPs to OK new spending

Liberals detail changes to COVID-19 aid as they ask MPs to OK new spending

Charis Village opens its doors to first tenants in Lacombe

Seniors housing facility opens independent living phase of development

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The Lacombe Express covers the stories that matter to you and to our community

PODCAST: The Expert tackles the return of sports

Cam Moon, Joe Whitbread, Byron Hackett and Todd Vaughan discuss how sports can come back

Nunavut RCMP order probe after video shows suspect hit by police vehicle door

Nunavut RCMP order probe after video shows suspect hit by police vehicle door

Joint federal-provincial inquiry into N.S. mass shooting a good option: top expert

Joint federal-provincial inquiry into N.S. mass shooting a good option: top expert

As U.S. boils over, calls for Canadian justice ring out in House of Commons

As U.S. boils over, calls for Canadian justice ring out in House of Commons

How proceedings in the House of Commons during pandemic differ from normal

How proceedings in the House of Commons during pandemic differ from normal

Feds continue to add to COVID-19 supply stores to meet future demand

Feds continue to add to COVID-19 supply stores to meet future demand

Feds continue to add to COVID-19 supply stores to meet future demand

Feds continue to add to COVID-19 supply stores to meet future demand

Ontario mulls collection of race-based COVID-19 data; some argue it’s essential

Ontario mulls collection of race-based COVID-19 data; some argue it’s essential

Most Read