Animals

Healthy shih tzu mix put to sleep just to be buried with dead owner

How the dog would have looked like. Photo: Getty

People around the world are shocked by the news that a deceased woman had ordered her healthy shih tzu mix to be euthanised as her dying wish in Virginia, US.

They wanted it killed badly

After the woman’s death, the dog was taken to a Chesterfield Animal Shelter, but its life was far from safe.

The animal shelter workers reportedly spent 2 weeks trying to persuade the woman’s close friends and family not to euthanise Emma, the dog, but they didn’t listen.

It is even more unfortunate given that such a healthy dog could have easily found a new owner willing to take it in and care for the shih tzu mix.

And after the 2 weeks, an executioner assigned by the woman’s estate came by the shelter, took the dog to a vet where it was put down. It was then cremated and its ashes put in an urn and given to the woman’s family to arrange the burial.

Legal, but unethical

It’s not illegal to put a dog down even if they are healthy and thriving in Virginia.

Unfortunately, the law states that animals are nothing more than property, which allows the owner to have the final say over the life and death of their pets.

While the law permits veterinarians to euthanise healthy animals, the Health Professionals Board, the veterinarian licensing committee does not.

Local veterinarians were disgusted to hear about the news as well. And Dr Kenny Lucas from the Shady Grove Animal Clinic was one of them. He says,

“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.”

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