THE decision to put a dog down following the death of its owner has sparked outcry.
Emma, the healthy Shih Tzu mix, was euthanised so that she could be buried with her owner.
The unusual incident happened in Richmond, Virginia in the United States and has caused fierce debates.
Emma’s owner had left explicit instructions in her will for the dog to be put down and laid to rest with her.
She was reportedly taken to a vet, put down and then taken to a pet cremation centre before her ashes were returned to the executor of her owner’s estate, so that her will could be fulfilled.
NBC12 reports that Carrie Jones, manager of Chesterfield Animal Services said: ‘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.’
However the incident has proved controversial, with it being illegal in most cases to bury animal remains with humans in Virginia.
Dr. Kenny Lucas with the Shady Grove Animal Clinic said: ‘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.’
Do you think Emma should have been put down? Or should they have ignored the instructions in her owner’s will.