She loved her dog to death. Both of their deaths.
Emma, a Shih Tzu mix, was brought to the Chesterfield Animal Shelter on March 8 after her unidentified owner was found dead in her home early that day, Elizabeth Caroon, the public information coordinator with the Chesterfield County Police, told Fox News.
Several days later, on March 22, the executor of the owner’s estate arrived at the shelter to retrieve the dog after being left with explicit instructions that the dog be euthanized and laid to rest with the dead woman, WWBT reported.
“We did suggest they could sign the dog over on numerous occasions, because it’s a dog we could easily find a home for her and re-home,” shelter manager Carrie Jones told the local station.
Caroon told Fox News that despite multiple pleas by shelter staff to rehome the dog, Emma was ultimately retrieved by the executor.
The dog was reportedly taken to a local vet’s office where it was euthanized. The remains were cremated, placed in an urn and returned to the legal owner of the woman’s property, WWBT reported.
Caroon said that police did not know if the animal ended up being buried with its owner but the legality of this under Virginia law seems unlikely.
“Permitting the interment of a pet in the same grave, crypt, or niche as the remains of a human” is prohibited under VAC 47-20-190 and no private company may “engage in the business of a cemetery company in the Commonwealth without first being issued a license by the board.”