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Heiry Question: Woman who died of cancer had guide dog euthanized and buried with her

Dhicon_thumb By DogHeirs Team | April 02, 2013 | Answers (106)

An Indiana woman who died after a long battle with cancer on March 8 requested that her dog accompany her to the grave.

StadlerSheila Stadler, 68, made the unusual decision to have her healthy 5-year-old guide dog, Toffee, euthanized and buried with her.

According to WTHI News 10, the decision has proven controversial, although it is legal.

The original news piece on the broadcaster's site has since been removed, but other news sites referencing the story said that Sheila's son mentioned that Toffee "wandered aimlessly" in the days following his mother's death.

Her family carried out her wishes and Toffee was put down and placed at the foot of her coffin, where the dog was displayed alongside her at her funeral.

They were buried together.

Would you carry out a relative's dying wish to euthanize their healthy dog?



Would you carry out a relative's dying wish to euthanize their healthy dog?
Total votes 612
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Vote Depends (please explain)
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No way.. i wud never do that.. lady y dint u want ur son to b euthanised instead..Even he loves u nad he must hve missed u.. Such a selfish women ur to kill a healthy dog..No matter wt...
I think my Little girl, Ange, "Spaniel" will really want to be with me the day, Our good Lord takes me home; however it will be very selfish of me not to let her live her natural life to the full and once she passes on her ashes can be gently scattered over our grave, by will. Xxx
Eva Ladrach....by your standard, you should have been buried with Toby. See you some Sunday very soon. Have 500 flyers to pass out of the conversation we had on FaceBook the other day. Very interesting reading.
This is just wild! Smells like some Egyptian Pharaoh! What a selfish, cruel woman! The dog was not her property and she had no right to decide his life or death (if he was a healthy dog). And nobody would know about life of a dog after an owner passes. Lots of them have normal life. I knew terminally sick people who till the last breath were trying to find loving homes for their pets. What a sick idea!
I could never do this, because no matter how much a dog loves you, it is still a dog, not a human, and we can't project our human understanding of life onto a dog and call that fair. What about a human baby that lost the one person it completely depended on--would that baby be euthanized? Of course not. It's a matter of people not having enough respect for other species' right to live, we're not "better" than them and it's not fair that we should get to decide if it's their "time."
I would not put a healthy dog down to be buried with its owner. I believe the dog should just go on living as a person does when a person close to them dies.
Personally I find it abysmal that any 'qualified' vet would put a healthy animal down just at the behest of the owner. Yes, we know dogs form a close bond with their owners and other members of the family, and have been shown to go through their own period of mourning on the loss of one of those members, and, just like humans, this can take some time for them to work through. However, if the dog had been properly socialised, both with the wider family and public they find this an easier transition. For those that say their dogs would rather starve than be without them, I say shame on them, this only goes to prove that they have not provided an appropriate upbringing for their dogs, and, ultimately, the dog is the one that suffers for it.
Four years ago I gave my elderly Mom (ago 88) a little rescue Maltipoo (approx age 1-2) who was found wandering the streets lost, alone and very afraid. Now I knew at the time that the little dog (Sassy) would definitely outlive my very active and healthy Mom. Heck, she didn't give up driving until she was 90! I made the decision when placing the dog with my Mom that if anything happened to Mom, Sassy would come back and live out her life with my family. That little dog gave my Mom 4 awesome years. They were always together! My Mom walked that little dog twice a day, rain or shine. She even bought her a little rain coat and rubber booties so she wouldn't get wet on their twice daily walks if it was raining. Mom loved that little dog and that little dog just loved my Mom back. In June my Mom suffered a massive stroke. We were allowed to bring Sassy into the nursing home to see Mom and for Mom to see her. In the beginning, Mom would pet her with her good hand but the effects of the stroke began to take their toll on Mom and it confused Sassy so much that she wouldn't even go back into the room where Mom was. Sassy didn't seem to mourn as she saw Mom at her very worse and adjusted herself to her normal surroundings and my sisters dogs. I had also brought my 2 dogs and they all seemed to help Sassy realize she was not alone. In Sept my Mom passed away. My sister asked if she could continue to care of Sassy and I agreed with the stipulation that if she ever was unable to take care of her, that Sassy would still come back to me. ALL People need to have written instructions as to what is to become of their pets if something catastrophic should happen to them. You can have a valid custodial will written up that the judge will enforce and keep enforcing for the natural lifetime of your pet. Just remember, they may or may not mourn - just as we all mourne different, so are they. Love, compassion and understanding go a lot further that a needle on a cold sterile table.
Wow I have read each posting. I am concerned my dog will grieve for me, I know she will will and everyone who meets us says she would be devestated. I had to serve weekends (3) for a traffic violation and my Mother drove me to jail and my dog cried for me and I was devestated that I had done this to her. My mother told me if I ever got in trouble and had to be away from her she would mourn me to her death. I worked nites at a store and my Mom babysat her every night for 4-6 hrs and to this day she loves my Mom but she growls at her when my mom picks her up because sher thinks I am leaving her again. She is a Throw Back Pomeranian which means 1 in 5 will weigh 20 lbs as it goes back 5 generations but in researching this breed I found that these particular dogs bond cloely to the owner. I feel I need to leave her more with other people. If I am trying to leave my house she goes crazy screaming. I think it's best if u know ur sick or maybe even dieing you should try to socialize your dog with someone who will care for her. It's sad that some people have no one to care for their pets when their gone. I am 51 and she is 6. I hope the math plays out to us going together with old age but I am still confused as what i will would do. I am going to get in bed with her now and be happy we have eachother for now. I will say this has been an eye opener for me and I don't want her to die if I do. I am basically alone. I moved away from all my friends and I have a business that is only seasonal so I am alone with my dog and I haven't been socialable and right now I am doing her no favors by not planning something out. So confused.
ONLY, and I mean ONLY - if the dog were in bad health, or suffering in some health way. I think it's one of the MOST horrible stories I've ever heard. Woman: If you know you're not doing well, you do have time to find a home for a guide dog. For God's sake lady - did your mental faculties go too. Remember - she asked for this BEFORE she died and would not know exactly how the dog would react. Dogs mourn, yes. People do too. Will the next request be that Aunt Tilly be put down cause she can't get over Uncle Joe's death? Come on!
Sorry, no way I will do that. Such a Selfish person.
I would have to vote "depends" on the situation. There are thousands of dogs without homes, they live on the streets, stuck in shelters, lucky ones get to stay in foster care, but then they get shuffled around if they are not adopted. What happens when that family member takes the dog and then decides... They didn't want a dog in the first, keeps the money designated for the animals care and off to the shelter it goes. It happens all the time. If you think this doesn't happen your living in a very unrealistic world. I saw this happen in REAL LIFE with 2 children that lost their parents at age 7 and 10. In the will the children were to go to family friends, not either of their families because they new one child would be favored over the other. after a lengthy court battle the Uncle won, guess what.... One daughter was the princess the other ended in foster care and he took their inheritance! This really happened! For those of you saying putting them to sleep is cruel, let me ask, Have you ever had to put your beloved pet to sleep? In my married life we have had to lovingly put down 7 of our elderly pets. For the animal it was very peaceful, we stay with them, for us it was heartbreaking each time, never getting easier. If I was dieing and couldn't find a sure thing forever home... Heck yeah I would put them to sleep before I died so I could rest assure they would never know anything but the love and affection they had with me! I would never chance that they would end up in a shelter and be put to sleep there! Unloved, scared with no loving arms wrapped around them! They deserve every bit of that respect! Visit several different shelters and see if that's how you would want your dog to end it's life. I don't condemn that woman for making that choice for her dog, because if anyone of her family members wanted that dog they would have kept it. Maybe she did contact the service dog people..... Seriously, some of you need not be so cruel. Go visit a couple shelters and see if that is what you would want for your dogs!
This is probably one of the most selfish acts I have read about. If you have that in your will, you don't deserve a service dog. Sorry, but having a dog with you who will put a healthy dog down is no better than having put it in a high kill shelter. Shame on her. Shame on the other lady who is trying to defend putting this in her will.
NO NO NO. Such an extreme, selfish request would not be honored! Do we put people down because they are grieving too much for those who have died? NO. So there is no logic for putting down a dog simply because the person dying believes the dog won't be able to recover from their death. ALL of the animal kingdom grieves for loved ones who die. The cycle of life. What a shame that poor dog had his life taken because of idiot humans.
Yeah sure if the dog show signs of extreme grief and while we are at it lets check out some of those family members, if they show signs of extreme grief we should put them down also.
Additionally, any dog that is so emotional dependent on a single person to the point that they need that person to survive is a victim of animal abuse as they have not been socialized properly and as a result suffer from separation anxiety.
Wow, the dog helped her and her dying wish was to have it killed. What a betrayal. Disgusting. Also, to those who said that the dog would become miserable or end up in a shelter without her, dogs get over deaths- my dog got over the death of a man she loved very much and spent every day with. Service dogs are needed by society- they do not end up in shelters, they are not just companions but an asset to society and training one takes a great deal of time and money.
People are so selfish.. I think that is Murder of a Healthy Dog.. Another person could have used that dog as a service dog.. What a selfish and uncaring act upon the dog... Sorry poor baby!!!
This was an extremely selfish decision to make. This wonderful animal could have assisted another person with their disability, rather than be put down at the prime of its' life. Shame on her, cancer victim or not.
Service dogs are special. Just like certain breeds they do not do well in a shelter or multi-dog (foster) rescue environment. It’s very sad watching a dog decline because they no longer have their own person, let alone a working service dog. In order for a person to make a different choice there needs to be somewhere they can turn, someone to give them hope, a Program to provide a different option. Dogs are not the only living beings who need ‘help’, we Humans also need ‘help’ in such overwhelming circumstances. Instead of telling someone what they should or should not do with their service dog after they die, maybe finding or supporting a Program that will help them through the process would be the humane thing to do. Tails of Courage recently pulled a Service Dog from a shelter https://www.facebook.com/#!/tailsofcourage, which led them to realize they need to expand their Therapy Dog Program. It’s very expensive to establish a program for service dogs. Zena’s Saintz Program is now in the development stage.
Dog lover, you are assuming that you know best! Same with most of the people who answered this issue. Don't you honestly think those who are in our position have thought this through? You are all assuming you know what is best for our dogs. It never occurs to any of you that we ARE thinking of what is best for our dog. Just because it isn't what you would do, does not make it wrong. Those of us with service dogs understand the tremendous bond our companion has with us. We know how they are totally lost with out us. Most of us also are not talking about young dogs. I have two, one that will be 8 next month and the other is 18 months old and still learning his role. I would have no worries about him as he is comfortable with my sons and will be okay even though he will grieve. My 8 year old will not. She has been a very dedicated one person dog from the day she came home with me. Even now, after all the years we have been together, she still goes to NO ONE! She will tolerate my one son who is my care taker, my oldest she will go to for a small amount of attention but she hates going to his house even with me. She follows me around and cries! The other son she does not get along with and she has an active dislike and distrust for my husband. Her total life revolves around me and it really does not include anyone else. She will only tolerate handling and such on command. She has absolutely no interest or joy in anyone else. And You think you still know best for her?! It is so easy to decide what others should do with their companions and these are companions you know nothing about. You simply decide because you have no problems re-homing, everyone should feel that way. You cannot imagine how this dog might grieve because you have never seen one grieve to death. And yes, some do. It is not a perfect choice but one that some of us make knowing our dog or cat and understanding that for them, life is nothing without their person. You believe that sending an elderly service dog to..........where??, is best! Where do you think these dogs should go? Most places can't or won't take them as they understand they are not place-able. They also do not want to watch them grieve to death. So you think it is better to let them end up in a shelter and be put down alone? My family already knows how things are set up and yes, it is in my will also. Because it is in HER best interest and not up to someone else who has never even seen her to decide. Maybe you have never had a dog who was so totally bonded to you that life without you is a terrible burden. I do not take her life for granted or all her time with me. It is knowing her and understanding that for her, life ends when I am gone. She has nothing left to go for, no reason and no joy. I knew this when I took her on.
Mikki, you can say whatever you want to make yourself feel better, but KILLING your best friend when it isn't time for him or her to die is a MASSIVE betrayal of the trust that dog has in you.
Service dogs will occasionally lie down and die when their partner dies. Most often a good caring and understanding home can be found where the dog is able to become as connected to a new partner. I voted no as I feal that this was an act of selfishness.
Angela...and Keith....you are answering on emotion and totally not aware of the situation. You feel because you could not imagine putting a healthy service dog after the death of their handler, you are right. It is your opinion and that is it. You do not know the situation and truly it really isn't any of your business however to give you a slight bit of education............My girl has been with me since she was 4 months old and we met when she was five weeks old. She is a one person dog and has no tolerance of anyone else. She is now soon to be 8 years old! When I was last in the hospital, I was there two weeks and by the end of the first week, she was brought in simply because she had totally stopped eating and drinking. She was dying! By her own choice because we were separated. Maybe you have absolutely no idea what type of bond this is. You simply think you could do better. If she lived with you, you could make her happy! Did it ever occur to you that you could NEVER make her happy?! She was totally lost and grieving and my son and care taker was right here the whole time. She had no wish to continue. She came and stayed with me at the hospital and had to be forcefully removed every evening because of grief. Perhaps you have no ability to understand the depth of a dog's misery when taken from their one and only person. You assume you are better than me because you think life is better than death. I assure you it isn't always. Who are you to decide she has to starve herself to death because of grief? You assume that you would be better for her. You cannot imagine the depth of love and commitment between her and I. The same as it is with most service dogs and their people. Because you cannot imagine it, you cannot believe in it and therefore would demand a dog like her be turned over because your presence would fix her grief. And no, a dog her age cannot be retrained. Many service dogs cannot. They are in a symbiotic relationship with their handlers. You have no idea of the depth and type of love there is between a service dog and their person and the longer we are together, the tighter the bond. And just, by the way, do you think would happen to these dogs? There are thousands of shepherds alone in rescue and shelters who never get a home ever. You are placing a monetary value on her because she is a service dog and will be "useful" to someone else. Let me tell you, she wouldn't! People who depend on a service dog do not need a dog who is so overwhelmed with grief they cannot function.
How incredibly selfish. Just because you're dying doesn't mean that you have the right to KILL, yes KILL a healthy and innocent animal. Dogs live in the moment. Yes, they will grieve but they will move on. Your dog could have a great, healthy life without you. Seriously, quit being so selfish. You're not going to know your dog is there anyway...YOU'RE DEAD!
Yes. I would happily carry out her wishes and make sure her dog died peacefully. After the dog lived with me for 100 years. Then, yes, I would let the dog go.
I realize this will not be a popular answer but yes, my family have instructions to put my service dog down when I die. She and I have been together since we first met and she was 5 weeks old. She is a one person dog and does not really like other people. She is always at my side and cannot handle it when I am not there for her. On the times I have been in the hospital for surgeries, she is brought in daily so we can be together as she simply cannot handle it. I would rather she receive a painless death than starving herself or getting away to come and look for me. She and I will cross the Bridge together. If she goes before me, then the back up dog I am training now will go with my son. That dog is young enough and gets along with my son but not my girl. She is not a young dog now and I would not wish to put her through the misery of being without me as I have been her whole life as she has been mine. Unless you walk in these shoes, don't judge!
I have placed in my will a sum of money to be set aside for the care of my dogs (sum is dependent on the age of the dog at the time, includes food, vet bills ....) to include a stipend for the family taken care of them. I have already discussed with my sisters who (one of my sisters is the deemed guardian and she actually told me that she would take all four, so they would not be separated and she asked if I would do the same for her animals) I want to take care of them and they agreed. All money not used for their care will be donated to an animal rescue designated in the will. I have also asked in my will, that upon the death of one of my dogs, they be cremated and their ashes to be spread across my grave (as most cemeteries will not allow a pet to be buried with the owner), and there are expenses in the will to cover the cost of this as well.
I answered depends, mostly because I knew someone that had the same arrangement. In her case she was very elderly and terminally ill, her dog also was very elderly and terminally ill. It was just a matter of time which passed first, her vet told her more then likely if she went first the dog would die of grief shortly after. She wanted her pet burried with her in the coffin so she knew it would also have a propper burial and not discarded, and would be where it was happiest, in her arms. If her pet went before her she also had arrangements to have it burried with her . We moved before either passed so I'm not sure what eventually happened. If the pet were healthy then no, would not carry out those wishes, but after its life was over would then place them together.
I feel if someone takes on the responsibility of a pet (I have 3 adopted dogs that were adults when I got them), then that person has a responsibility to make arrangements for them in case of the person's death. The vast majority of dogs area adaptable to living in a new and loving home! I have had my oldest over 9 years, and she is 11. All are happy, a bit spoiled, and definitely loved. I do some volunteer work for rescue groups, so I made it a point to make friends who will help find loving homes should I die before my dogs do!
I have raised dogs for Guiding Eyes for the Blind, and I am pretty sure you sign some sort of agreement that if for any reason you are unable to care for the guide dog it must be returned to Guiding Eyes. When the dog we raised was retired we were allowed to adopt him, but even we had to sign a paper saying we could not transfer ownership. I am pretty sure what this woman did would not have been approved by the organization she got her dog from!!
My Mothers ex husband had a dog for years when he passed. The dog almost wasted away from a broken heart, then one day a male friend dropped by. Well it was love at first sight for the dog, she went home with our friend and lived several more years extremely happy.
What any here don't seem to realize is that many breeds of dogs become very attached to one human--ESPECIALLY guide dogs. When that human is gone forever, that dog will be emotionally lost for the rest of his/her life. In that case it is HUMANE to have the dog peacefully euthanized. To think this owner was being "selfish" is at best naive, at worst, stupid.
Sorry, there is no way I could do that.....I would tell them I would take the pets an care for them myself so don't worry....when its time they will meet you once they cross over Rainbow Bridge. I would hope they will find comfort in that their pet will be well cared for and loved.
No way. A healthy dog can find happiness again.
I couldn't put down a healthy animal no matter what the owner wanted. Dying wishes, if reasonable, are one thing. Killing a healthy animal who could learn to love others is not reasonable to me. I know my little one would mourn for me, but she could possibly have 10+ years and I want her to have a long life whether or not I'm part of it.
I find that to be totally selfish. And to display the dead dog at the funeral was disgusting. I know where I live it is ILLEGAL to bury an animal with a human. This dog had a lot of life yet and could have been a service dog for someone else.
No, and I would not want to know a human being that asked me to do so.
She's dead and the dog is not...... How would it understand, yet that is not the point. Selfish of her to want to kill a healthy animal that still had love to give to its master or mistress. Please note I say Kill and not euthanize.
When my mom-in-law died, we took in her ancient chow chow, who had a few days of grieving and then was fine. The dog lived to be 19 years old, four of those after his original person had passed away. He was happy to spend his time sleeping in the sunshine and getting petted.
I can see all the sides of this discussion and I don't really know what would happen to my dog. If he is older and not in the best of shape I would have him buried with me if he is still young and healthy AND my relatives can find him a home then I would want that for him. I would definitely NOT want him put in a shelter where he would suffer and quite possibly be put to sleep miserable and unwanted in his last days. So basically if old and unwanted buried with me, if young and wanted let him go to a good home.
I'm very lucky, I have a trusted friend who will take over the care of all my animals should I die, I know they will have a long happy, loving and healthy life with her. However if I was in the unfortunate position of not having someone I trusted to take over the care of my animals I would rather have them put to sleep than have them go to someone who would mistreat them. In this case I think the woman was being selfish.
This is a very sad post and I love my dog Buster with all my heart and I could not stand the idea of him being euthanized simply to make myself happier when I die. If I am dead, it does not matter who is buried with me but I would love him to have a fulfilling life after I am gone, with the hope he will always remember me. I would take great care in planning that when I am gone, he will be in good hands of a family member or the closest of friends, and when my dog dies of hopefully natural causes, I will wish him buried with me. It is strange to me that this lady could not make any alternative plans for her dog before her death rather then murder him, because that essentially what she did; murder her dog. The very thought that she considered she could rest peacefully while her dog was forced to die is seriously sick.
I am amazed at the narcissism of this woman and many of the posters here. To say no one would ever love your dogs or cats as you do is the height of narcissism. How could anyone ever think they are the only one who could love an animal. It used to be the practice that widows were burned alive with their husbands. It was usual, but did that make it right? I wouldn't want my spouse killed to be buried with me, nor my children, nor my pets. I've made arrangements. If you have no family members who can take your pets, then contact an animal rescue and include this in your will. In my town, there is a dog rescue with whom I have a legal arrangement--it's a program they have. Here's an article that can help you find one in your area: http://www.purdue.edu/uns/html3month/020925.Beck.vet.html
@Caroline ...And yes - we ABSOLUTELY SHOULD be judging these people for their incredible arrogance and selfishness, because THAT IS WHAT IT IS - no matter how much you try and dress it up as love, compassion or concern. That you don't see that should really concern you. It definitely concerns me.
@caroline - I am going to really try not to make a rude comment, but I must register my disgust at your post. First - I do not know why you felt it necessary to explain that you have cats, not dogs - as if somehow that makes your (I'm sorry) selfish and reprehensible desire to have them killed upon your own death any more appropriate or acceptable. Seriously? You are going to try and justify this act by saying "no one could care for them as well as I do" ? There MUST be some part of you that understands how ridiculous and somewhat disgusting that statement really is. This does not prove or demonstrate great love on your part - the mere fact that you believe it would be better for these animals to be prematurely put to death because they are "spoiled" and wouldn't receive the same level of neurotic attention as they do now indicates a psychopathy that I admit to find disturbing. Cats are AMAZINGLY adaptable, and since they (As we) are only given one life, your choice to end it so cavalierly is frankly unforgivable in my book. It indicates a lack of value for their existence, not a true concern for their welfare. I hope whoever survives you takes your request and ignores it like any rational being should.
How incredibly selfish and cruel to end a healthy animal's life . This dog would have highly likely been a huge help to another disabled person, and loyal companion. To think such a selfish deed is done is beyond belief.
NO i would not! I will make sure one of my children will take care of it! I will not have a perfectly healthy dog killed! I told my daughter that if i die ahead of my dog, to make sure that when my doggie dies, to have her cremated and put her ashes with mine... but i will not even contemplate of having her killed before her time!
If I were able to keep and take care of the dog, I would. If not and it were a service dog, I would check with the service who provided the dog. If not a service dog, I would ask for help from a rescue organization. If no help stepped forward, I would rather know the dog was peacefully put to sleep and never subjected to the horrors that are perpetrated on them these days. (For a different reason) I almost had to make that decision, but at the 11th hour a single person stepped forward to foster my girls. My little girl was lucky, she had a new forever home within 4 months. My taller girl lingers in foster care; I’ve read it can sometimes take years to find a forever home. Each morning I wake, it breaks my heart to know how insecure/scared she is, I see it in her eyes when I’m able to visit with her; her dog ‘friends’ come and go in foster care. In our hearts we consider them ‘children’, but society does not. I would have received ‘child’ support, and been able to maybe find somewhere to live that didn’t restrict them by weight and ethnicity/breed, or charge a higher security deposit and monthly rent. Children can grow up to take care of themselves, animals do not. My girl’s profile has 13,074 visits, but she’s still in foster care; not every dog has someone who will step forward for them … forever. Finding and receiving help is harder than people think and when you are ill or grief stricken, I can only image the added difficulty.
When I recently had major surgery I instructed my people that if I died to have my animals put down and cremated along with me. As much as I would hate ending their lives before their time, I know that adoption from a shelter is unlikely when there are so many homeless animals and that I would rather them go knowing only a happy life, not stay their last days in a cage and be euthanized and tossed out like trash. Or worse, sold to a lab and experimented on. In this case, the dog being a trained service dog that would definitely been able to help another person and treated as a wonderful assistant to the person he was helping I may have felt differently. In my situation I wanted to know that my furries would not suffer from mistreatment or spend their last days caged in a shelter.
@ Stephanie: In you comment you wrote, "What are we really debating? If we're debating whether or not a healthy, sound dog should be euthanized? Then it has nothing to do with the dying wish of a woman..." The original question was; "Would you carry out a relative's dying wish to euthanize their healthy dog?" So yes it does have Everything "to do with the dying wish of a woman..." The woman in the article, which BTW is where the question originated from, or any other person who you might be related to. As far as whether or not it's selfish? I think the Most selfish part would be to ask a relative to do this after your death! They are already grieving your death..why would you ask them to do something that more than likely will cause more grief for them?! If you are close enough to a relative to ask them then they are probably close to your dog as well. The question was would you carry out a relative's wish to euthanize their healthy dog. My answer would be absolutely not! When I was a child my family adopted a 9yr old Chihuahua from a elderly woman who placed an ad in the newspaper. She was making sure her dog was in safe and loving place when she passed. By being proactive about it she was able to have peace of mind. It took a little time but the dog bonded with us and became a member of our family. She had several more years of life and love. @Carol Carpenter: You stated in your comment "suggesting killing people in such a case is not even a suitable comparison. Not the same at all." But in that same comment you said, speaking of your cats, "They are totally spoiled, and they are the only children I will ever have. I know in my heart and without a doubt that no one will ever love them and treat them as I do." By your own statement you are giving them human characteristics, "..totally spoiled. "..the only Children I will ever have" "..no one will ever love them and treat them as I do." My son was totally spoiled growing up--not materialistically but with love. He is the only child I will ever have. He is an adult now but when he was young I knew he would be taken care of if I were to die. The same thing someone with a healthy animal be it a dog or any other pet should do. Make arrangements beforehand, and don't assume someone else won't love them or care for them as much as you do. That Is being selfish and in my opinion a little arrogant.
what I would do is, look after the dog until it died of old age or otherwise, you know when it's the dog's time to go! And THEN I would arrange to have the dog buried with its owner.
I am just completely outraged that an innocent animal was murdered to mollify the wishes of a dead person. Dogs are incredibly adaptable and to think that no one will care for your dog as you would is a bit insane. Shame on this lady and her relatives for taking a life that could have given someone else so much joy.
This was a last very selfish act. I foster dogs and my current foster had to leave his home where he was very loved, but because of health problems, his human could not care for him. He was, of course,very confused and stressed at first, but he has transferred his affections and loyalty to,us and is happy and thriving. We will probably end up keeping him with us until he dies of old age. Unless, I had an animal that was very aged and unlikely to be adopted, I would definitely NOT have them euthanized.
Well, there are a few answers above that I consider rude and judgmental, and I suppose my answer will garner some of those comments, as well. YES I will have my animals put to sleep and cremated with me. Now, mind you, I have cats, not dogs, but if I had a dog as attached to me as my cats are, I would feel the same way about it. They are totally spoiled, and they are the only children I will ever have. I know in my heart and without a doubt that no one will ever love them and treat them as I do. I can totally understand the woman's decision in the original story. We should not judge as some here are doing nor make threatening remarks in any case, agree or not. Furthermore, suggesting killing people in such a case is not even a suitable comparison. Not the same at all. Apparently her family felt the same as she did, or they would not have carried out her wishes. I cannot bear the thought of my babies being sent to a shelter. They would have no idea what was happening and would likely lose their minds in that environment. To prevent the possibility of their being mistreated in any way, yes I would in order to protect them from that.
I personally wouldn't do it.I was diagnosed with cancer and i made the same arrangements as i did for my son,my dog would stay with him.If i didn't have a child i would have made arrangements for a family member to take my dog.Thankfully im now in remission,so im here to care for and provide for my son and furry baby
I see SO many dogs being turned into shelters when owners die that it got me thinking about this same problem.I really DON'T know anyone I would trust with my dog.I would probably try to run an ad before things get to the point I'm completely unable to care for her but if push came to shove and I couldn't find a person I could REALLY trust with my companion...I would have her put to sleep.I know it SOUNDS terrible...but it is soul shattering to see how many people's treasured companions are discarded by family after an owner's death.I couldn't stand for that to happen to my Bessie.She has always been a memeber of the family..she sleeps on my bed..she travels with me....she is too important to me to risk her being ignored or discarded when I'm not able to watch out for her.
We were the "retirement home" for a service dog who had arthritis and was physically unable to further guide our blind friend. She had no problem transferring her attachment to us, and she enjoyed much love in our family for the time she had left. I think that more of an effort should have been made to find the dog another home.
Wow that was very wrong in my eyes . That dog did nothing wrong but help and give love. People mourn. Dogs do to . A dog is like a person would we not do that to a human. But there is no reason to put a dog down like that when a dog can give more love / and helpfulness and has meaning in life.
Anita, thank you for showing others that re-homing works and that pets can bond with new owners...
My husband and I talk all the time about making provisions for what would become of our two dogs should something happen to us at the same time. Never once did having them killed cross our minds. Are our dogs attached to us, yes. But they also spend lots of time with dog sitters, other family when we are away. I think the worst thing for them would be to not live in their own home - so crazy as it sounds we try to figure out a way to leave our home to someone who would also agree to keep the dogs for as long as they live... but no, not kill them. We love them too much and would want them to live out their lives. It would take them time, but they would learn to move on. We adopted our one dog when he was six, it took him several months to get past being abandoned by his previous family, now he is very bonded to us. It is possible!!
@holly, I have no doubt that your dog could be easily rehabilitated, and turned into a terrific service dog for someone else. Don't underestimate the ability of your dog to move past you.
Using the aforementioned logic, when a pet owner dies, kill their (owner's) spouse, children and any other relative who happens to care about them.....
@Eva, Tori, Drahomira, Kez, Kathy: I am so happy that there are people like you, those 79,8 %. But still it is quite worrying that among members of Dogheirs (!) would almost twenty per cent have their pet killed. I wonder what the ratio would be among wide population.
I think that was a act of selfishness. Dogs are rehomed all the time why would this one be any different . I have adopted dogs there were older and they adapted with no problems what so ever. Would they do this with a child thinking nobody else could care for them or love them, No so what gives them the right to take a life. Pure selfishness, I think that what it is called !!
Dogs are renowned for missing their owners and showing their emotions ... that's why they are so popular as pets and companions. Throughout history the loyalty of dogs has been recorded and celebrated. Just look at the story of Greyfriars Bobby. The basic story is not fiction but fact, and that little dog was adopted by a whole city. He wasn't lonely, or in need of shelter, food or warmth after the passing of his master. He was loved and cared for. We do not have the right to take the life of a companion unless it is a necessity. This dog could have offered the same loyalty and love to another in similar need and I strongly agree with the higher percentage in this thread. If my dog had given me five years of loyal service and companionship I could not have taken that step and had her or him put down. Worry about our pets and how they will be treated after we leave this world is no justification. If you truelly love and care for something you will give it (or them) the opportunity to bond with another. They have earned and deserve that chance. I don't view my dog, or any of my animals as my property to do with as I choose.
Some of these opinions are really perverted . If I die, I would rather let my darling pet live with another loving and great caring person. It is maximally immoral to kill any animal from any reason. I must think on my pet, not only on me.
I think it was extremely selfish,,guide dogs are extremely expensive to train and someone who couldn't afford one would have been the kindest and most generous thing to do , and the dog would have had another person to help and love..
As I type this, the voting shows that over 79% of the voters WOULD NOT have their dogs euthanized for this reason. I am in agreement. If the dog(s) is young and healthy, it would be totally selfish to have them killed. Dogs live in the moment. If they are provided with loving care they would easily bond with new owners. All I can say to the ones who say they are opting to have their dogs murdered, I am glad I am not your dog!! And I hope that laws can be changed so that it would be illegal to do such a thing.
I have three dogs and my children are all aware that they have two choices. They can either care for my dogs (they must be kept together in one place) as they are used to being cared for or they are to be cremated and their ashes are to be mixed with mine. My husband feels the same way. Our ashes will be combined. And the dogs ashes will be added as well. Those three dogs are our babies now.
@Holly, that a dog cries after you and does not eat a few days when you are gone does not mean you have right to kill him. My dog does it, too. Yes, dogs love their humans and they cry after them and they are sad, when they are gone but nothing lasts forever. From your message I can feel lots of arrogance and ignorance... For example when you explain why you plan to kill your dog "First of all he is my service animal and does not leave my side." I think you have explained yourself perfectly why you plan to kill him (= I am dead, he must be dead as well). It is only about you, it has always been. It is clear that you are used to all the attention all the time because of your condition and you are very self-centered. People like you don't belong in this community. You are no dog lover. And how do I know that he would choose to live? Because every living creature clings to their life! Or have you heard of a dog that commited a suicide?! So many people have suffered terribly because they lost someone. Would you kill them all so they didn't have to suffer? Think. Use your head more.
Holly, I have to agree with Debi. By your standards, if your dog dies before you, you should be euthanized rather than be miserable.
No No No! Killing a healthy dog because a human dies is selfish, extreme degree of disrespect for another being's life. If a dog is euthanized, should its owner also be euthanized? Also. if every owner surrender dog that is killed in a shelter also had an irresponsible owner euthanized? The U. S. kill rate would drop dramatically in less than a year. Now I'd vote for that.
I'm rather flabbergasted at some of the posts here. Stephanie said it perfectly. Yes indeed my dog is going with me. First of all he is my service animal and does not leave my side. Once I had to have surgery so he could not go with me. He whined, cried, and wouldn't eat or drink the entire time I was gone. He HAS to see me, even when being groomed. That is his job plus he has a lot of love. If he can not find me he begins to panic until he does. In fact there is a box or basket in every room so he can see me at all times plus he doesn't like sitting on the floor. I've thought about, and talked to this very thing with family and they all agree that my dog would not be happy without me. As for him (or any animal) choosing to live ... how do you know? Just like you don't know if my dog would choose to live. He wouldn't. When I go it will be me, my dog, and a frilly pink wedding dress that he wants so badly to sleep on. Am I selfish? No, Id be selfish if I left him because he would be miserable.
@Diana, I understand what you wanted to say. But still I would be concerned of the welfare once there is any issue not beforehand and take actions as if there was no other way. It was not the dog's will because if he could choose he would LIVE. Example: my dog is a stray from Greece. I went there for holiday and I took her back home with me. Imagine if someone thought before it is better to kill her because when the winter comes there are no tourists and so there would be on one to feed her, also she could be hit by car, torn apart by another dog, tortured by some sick people, eaten etc. etc. etc. Instead of that she has a safe home with me... There is always a chance of survival. I am sorry if I sound harsh but the decision to kill a young healthy dog just to be burried with him seems to me very selfish and has nothing to do with real love and affection.
@Regina: One dog grieving to death = all dogs grieving to death? No, I haven't experienced that and have not even heard about it. If it is possible than it must be very rare. Comparison: How many people do grieve themselves to death? Is it a common thing? No. But it can happen. That is the difference but you should take anyone's life. You are not God nor fortune-teller. Maybe you should think a bit more before telling people they don't know what they talk about.
If you read my post, my concern would be the welfare of the pup.. if no one would step up to care for him then I could why the woman decided what she did but if family could care for him at least try to let him live as long as he could... But no judgement. I have pups but I know if I died, my family would be there to allow them to live as long as they were.meant to live.
Again if you haven't experienced a dog grieving himself to death, then you really don't know what you're talking about. Regina
@Diana, @Stephanie: You are so wrong! Why do you even talk about a shelter? The woman had family and there is no reason then to put a dog in a shelter. I would never kill anyone "just in case" the life didn't work out well for them after I pass away. Have you noticed that every living thing including humans is fighting desperately for their lives? What you say is absolutely against everything that this page is about. This should be a community of people giving animals hope not death penalty.
@Sandra: I don't think she was applying any "human principles" in the dog's life. Or do you plan to have your family killed when you die to be burried with them?
Hope this woman ended up in hell and hope she is going to re-unite with her family there soon, too. Poor dog was robbed off of his short life by those selfish evil ignorants.
I'm certain the woman thought she was doing the best, but she totally underestimated her dog's ability to move past her death. She did not really know much about dogs, or she would have known that they do indeed move on, often times much quicker than humans. She was applying human principals to his life and that was incorrect. He would not have grieved her for the rest of his life if handled properly. He could have had a great retirement, or continued on to help another!
I would absolutely and as a matter of fact it is written in my will. Together in life...together in death.
I adopted a jack russel when he was 2 and 1/2, I am his third owner so for someone to say dogs cannot be re homed because they would mourn their owners, think about it. All rescues are coming from another home some of which weren't abusive but where the owners just couldn't provide a suitable environment for their pets. These animals thrive and do very well in a new home. That dog if I am correct, lives with a foster family until it is old enough to start it's service training and they are about 2 years old when the person is paired with their dog. So in essence the woman only had him for 3 years. He would have been able to go to a person that needed a service dog, and would have been very well looked after. It seemed that the woman took the dog to her grave with her purely on selfish reasons and didn't think about what that dog would have meant for another human being that was in her situation.
@stephanie well said. I think you're on to something here :)
Wow. I love my dogs but I would never take their life. I know she felt it would somehow help the pup but he could have been loved for many more years but I guess it depends on the level of care the family would invest in the pup. I can only say if I was in her shoes, I know I would die knowing my family would take good care my boys. It's sad that.the pups life was short lived though.. :(
I've already made provisions that in the event of my death, my 2 fur-babies are going to someone who cares, will love them and will allow them to live out the rest of their days. I agree - after they've gone on to Rainbow Bridge, then their ashes can be scattered over my grave. I don't think this woman was totally right in the head as a result of her illness to request this and her family should have done more to convince her otherwise. Pets are known to miss their owners when they're gone - they eventually move on.
If the dog was only 5 years old and a trained guide dog, it could have gone to help another blind person for at least another 10 years. I think it was lovely that the woman was so bonded with the dog to request it join her in death, but believe that unless the dog is old and its quality of life is poor this request should not be granted. Just because it's a dog and it's not illegal, would the same request be considered if it was her sons death she was asking for!!!!!!!!
Don't tell them not to shout. Let them expressing their opinion in their own emotions.
It is plain selfish. You can always let the dog live out its' life then scatter its ashes with the human companion after its' natural death. '
Good Lord NO!!! The pup could have helped more people!!!!!
No I disagree with this. This dog may have made a huge difference to somebody else's life, had it been allowed to live. I invite you to read this article on DogHeirs- Man battling cancer asks for help caring for his beloved dog. By Tamara Dec. 21. 2012.
This was a young, healthy service dog, who should have been allowed to be of service to someone else needing his services! There is absolutely no good reason for euthanizing a healthy dog, particularly a service dog! This woman was unbelievably selfish!
No need to shout Regina. We are all entitled to our opinions.
Since I have personally experienced this, yes I would put my dog to sleep. My dog was so attached to me, when I was a away for 2 wks just one time, he grieved so much, when I got home even with 3 mos of intense treatment, all his organs failed, something my vet had never seen, started having heart spasms, and had to PTS. If you haven't walked in someone else's shoes..STOP JUDGING.
The vet who euthanized this dog should lose his license!! You just don't put down a young, healthy dog because someone asks you to. This is so wrong!! The woman and her family were very selfish. This dog could have given another sick person years of good service.
HECK NO! If I die, I would rather let my darling pet(s) live with a great caring person.
This is wrong, just so wrong, is so, so many ways. The woman knew she was ill, she had time to arrange a new life for her dog. Not only did she kill a healthy dog, she prevented that dog, from becoming someone else's service dog. Service dog's are very expensive, and I'm sure there would have been plenty of resources to help her re-home the dog with another person in need. It's a shame this happened.
I, personally, do not support the euthanasia of a healthy, sound dog... but the reality, is that in this country we murder thousands upon thousands of healthy, sound dogs on cold metal tables without love. If I was terminally ill, and my choices were to euthanize my healthy, sound dog with love -- or to risk placing my dog in a shelter to die -- I would not even have to think about it. So, I wonder here - What are we really debating? If we're debating whether or not a healthy, sound dog should be euthanized? Then it has nothing to do with the dying wish of a woman... the picture is much larger than that. If we're debating whether or not this was "selfish" -- then I think we should all take a step back and look in the mirror -- because we've all been selfish before... especially when it involves the fate of those that we love. At the end of the day, I think we should all remember that this dog. This dog was loved. This dog was lucky enough to be loved as unconditionally by its own as it loved back. This dog had an AMAZING life - where he had a daily job (it probably loved), and was taken every where with its master - never left alone. When the time for this dog came to pass - it went without suffering, and with endless love. --- something that perhaps we can all hope for the end of our lives.
The people that said they should be euthanized are so selfish! Look at the humane society who have 10 Year old dogs or older who get adopted and you see An updated story of them living a happy life Sure your dog will be sad but they will get over it Crazy people wow
I just dont think its right to kill what you cant create. Where is the God factor, if we start playing gods?
I would rather have my dog humanely euthanized if I could not be sure of a good life for it after my passing. I would not want my dog to suffer my loss & then be destitute, discarded, or worse. The most important thing in my life is caring for my dogs; if I no longer can, the best I can do is ensure that they do not suffer.
Service dogs, or any animal for that matter, should be given the opportunity to bond with other humans and continue to enjoy life. After five years of faithful service I believe this dog was entitled to at least that.
I feel it is selfish of a person to kill a living creature for their own benefit. Yes, a dog will mourn the loss of their loved one, the same as a human will BUT they can be retrained also or the person can make arrangements for their loving furfamily member to go to another person that will care for them.
Yes I would if the dog was lost and mourning for their human, service dogs can be retrained, but they are paired with their humans at an early age. Which means that human was that dogs whole life.
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