Healthy dog euthanized to be buried with dead owner

A generic urn on a casket. (Shutterstock/VDB Photos)

RICHMOND, Va. (WTHR) — Is it OK to euthanize a pet so it can be buried with its owner?

One pet owner in Virginia left explicit instructions to do so.

"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.

But the owners of Emma, a healthy Shih Tzu mix, decided they wanted her euthanized and to have her remains taken to a pet cremation center in Richmond, WWBT reported. Her ashes were then placed in an urn and returned to the authorized representative of the estate.

It's unclear if the dog will actually be buried with its owner because in Virginia, burying animal remains with human remains in the same cemetery plot is against the law.

However, Virginia Cemetery code 54.1-2310 forbids pets to be buried with humans in commercial cemeteries, the code has exceptions for private and family-owned cemeteries, according to WWBT.