Dog owner dies, requests pet be euthanized for their burial together

Author:
Updated:
Original:

This embed is invalid

A Fargo man who recently died had one final request – that his dog Paco be buried with him.

But Paco was still alive, prompting a question: Should owners be allowed to have healthy pets put down so they can walk into the afterlife together?

The Fargo man's funeral was set for Friday, and his friends planned to honor his wishes, Valley News Live reported.

The man's friends said the dog was ailing, but neighbors in the man's building said the animal was healthy, and they were saddened by the news.

"We all at this high rise love that dog, so much, it's a beautiful dog, and all day long we have been trying to save that dog's life, that dog is healthy, we can't understand ... Is it legal to euthanize a healthy dog, that's been our question," one neighbor told the station.

It is legal. Fargo Animal Control officials told the station that it is common for people to request in their wills that pets be euthanized upon an owner's death, and the practice is legal under North Dakota law, which says pets are considered property.

Minnesota law is similar in that pets are considered property, the Minnesota Humane Society's Linda Challeen said. But she said she did not think it was common for healthy pets to be euthanized for burial with owners.

"I would think that many veterinarians would not be comfortable performing that service," she told BringMeTheNews.

More often, pets of deceased owners are passed to family members, who might take the animals in or pass them to shelters, Challeen said.

Jeff Moravec, communications director for the Animal Humane Society in Minnesota, said he had not heard of people in Minnesota euthanizing healthy pets for burial with an owner, and he said the organization would "highly discourage" it.

A 2010 NBC story notes that stories of people euthanizing pets for burial with owners, while startling, are not an anomaly. It notes the case of one dog owner buried with what had been his beloved healthy 2-year-old Yorkshire terrier.

Not all states allow pets to be buried with owners.

“Most states are either silent on the issue or they have very specific laws that they don’t allow it,” Poul Lemasters, a funeral industry lawyer told the Washington Post earlier this year.

Scott Smith, a spokesman with the Minnesota Department of Health, told BringMeTheNews that agency officials were not aware of any Minnesota laws that either encourage or discourage being buried with a pet. He added that cemeteries often have governing boards that discuss these sorts of issues and develop their own burial policies, so it might vary by cemetery.

Next Up

coronavirus, ICU

Nov. 25 COVID-19 update: 72 deaths ties Minnesota's single-day high

A COVID-19 update will not be provided on Thanksgiving Day.

Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 9.59.59 AM

Revival to open its fourth Twin Cities location

The fried chicken and smoked meat maestros are moving to St. Louis Park.

Duluth and Case Recreation Center

St. Paul to open two extra temporary shelters for homeless people

Mayor Melvin Carter announced the new shelters will be opened in the event of excess demand.

vote, election

Minnesota once again had the highest election turnout in the country

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a record percentage of voters also sent in absentee ballots.

court gavel

Minneapolis man sentenced to 30 years for death in robbery gone wrong

James Moore was sentenced in the death of Malik Smith.

Em1jOWyWEAwspXK (1)

St. Paul homicide suspect arrested by FBI in Chicago

A 34-year-old Minneapolis man was killed in the Nov. 14 shooting.

Sanford Health

Sanford Health 'parts ways' with CEO after his face mask comments

Kelby Krabbenhoft had been with the company since 1996.

closed sign

What's open and closed in Minnesota on Thanksgiving Day 2020?

Most services will not be running on Thursday and unlike most years, many stores will be closed, too.

PennyMomentos

How a turkey's brush with celebrity in Bloomington came to a tragic end

DNR: if you care about wild animals, stop feeding them

TCF Bank Stadium

Saturday's Gophers/Badgers football game canceled due to COVID-19 issues

The Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe will not take place for the first time since 1906.

Related