Back in January, we posted about a Utah woman whose will stipulated that her elderly dog, Sasha, be euthanized and cremated, and that the ashes of the two be mingled. Most commenters had a problem with this, but a few noted that the dog was elderly and would surely suffer without her owner.
But now comes the story of an blind Indiana woman who had her healthy five-year-old guide dog euthanized an buried with her. The situation has created an uproar in the Terre haute neighborhood where the two lived. Sheila Stadler, 68, died of cancer last month, with her beloved guide dog Toffee by her side. Then, per Ms. Stadler’s wishes, her son had the healthy dog put down and laid alongside the woman in her coffin for the wake and burial.
Stadler’s request surprised funeral attendees and raised eyebrows within the community, though the practice isn’t illegal.
Gregory Reilly, of Honey Creek Animal Hospital, called the move “unusual in some aspects.”
“It just really depends on what the family wants to do with the dog,” he said. “Legally they can do whatever they want.”
Andy Stadler argued that the dog “wandered aimlessly” after his owner died and before he was euthanized, but many in the community viewed the this as nothing more than animal cruelty. Certainly, there are big questions raised by this situation, such as:
- Obviously, there are situations where dog owners cant legally “do whatever they want,” so why isn’t this one of them?
- Does the dog not have a right to life?
- Would the dog not have gotten over his grief?
- As a trained guide dog, couldn’t Toffee have provided his valuable service to another blind person?
What do you think?