A healthy pet dog was euthanised so she could be buried with her owner who had passed away.
The woman had left specific instructions in her will for the dog to be killed and buried alongside her.
The Shih Tzu mix, named Emma, was placed in a shelter in Chesterfield County in Virginia in the US after the death of her owner on 8 March of this year.
She was at the shelter for two weeks before the executor of the owner’s will came forward and shared the details of the deceased woman’s wishes.
Staff at the shelter fought to stop Emma being put down but were unsuccessful.
“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,” Carrie Jones, the manager of Chesterfield Animal Services where Emma was kept, told WWBT.
“Ultimately, they came back in on March 22 and redeemed the dog.”
She was brought to a local vet and euthanised.
Her remains were cremated and the ashes were put in an urn, which was placed in the coffin of her owner and buried with her.
While controversial, Virginia law doesn’t prevent having a healthy pet put down, according to The Independent.
It is not, however, legal to bury an animal’s remains with a person as was done in this case.
There are some exceptions to the law, such as when the burial takes place on a private plot.