A Virginia woman requested that her dog be euthanized, cremated and buried with her when she died. At the time of her death, her dog—a Shih-Tzu named Emma—was perfectly healthy and well, creating a clash between moral and legal issues.
When a representative of the woman’s estate came to the shelter where Emma was being held, the staff there tried to persuade him not to euthanize her. They tried to encourage him to sign over any rights to her and allow her to be adopted by someone else. However, he refused and chose to follow the instructions in the deceased woman’s will. Emma was taken to a local veterinarian and euthanized.