A "healthy and friendly" dog was euthanized so that it could be buried with its deceased owner.
The dog, a Shih Tzu mix named Emma, wound up at a shelter operated by Chesterfield Animal Services in Chesterfield, Va., just south of Richmond. Officials there had hoped to find her a new home, but the executor of Anita Cullop-Thompson's will prevented that from happening.
Instead, the dog was put to sleep, NBC News reports.
"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,” Chesterfield Animal Services manager Carrie Jones told Richmond TV station WWBT.
Larry Spiaggi, owner of Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service, said he didn't learn of plans to euthanize Emma until after he'd cremated Cullop-Thompson's body.
"This dog was healthy and friendly," he told NBC News. "That's the sad thing about it."
WWBT says that the veterinarian who euthanized Emma broke no laws.