Sharing A Grave With Pets Becoming More Popular, Oklahoma Vet Says

Tuesday, April 21st 2015, 11:27 pm
By: News On 6

Pet trusts and including animals in wills are becoming more and more common. While it's important to have a plan for your animals, some pet owners are taking it a step farther.

Most pet owners think of their dogs as part of their family, but some animal lovers want their dogs to die when they do.

C.J. is missing a leg and an eye, which makes it hard for him to get around, but none of that matters to owner Alesha Brant.

"We have friends that would be willing to take her in, that would give her a calm loving home," she said.

Even though she has on-going health issues, Brant said if something happened to her she would want C.J. to carry on.

That, however, is not always the pet owner's wish. Green County veterinarians say more people are writing their dogs, cats or even birds in their wills to be euthanized and buried with them.

4/21/2015 Related Story: Local Cemetery Allows Pets, Owners To Be Buried Together

"Pets are property in Oklahoma so it's up to each owner, and as long as the pet is euthanized humanly. I'd rather see the pet re-homed and live a full life, but if that's what the owner wants, that is their wish," Veterinarian Dr. Kristie Plunkett said.

Brant said, "I think it's completely selfish. It would be akin to throwing your business away because you are passing."

Dr. Plunkett would never recommend euthanizing a healthy pet - in fact, it's against a veterinarian's code of ethics. But she said in some cases it's the he most humane option, especially for older and diseased animals.

"If we are prolonging the inevitable, if we are prolonging suffering, and with medical intervention can't get their pain under control and their disease process is deteriorating their body,” Plunkett said.

She said many of the animal home owners set aside money for their animal's urn.

"They can either be put in their casket with them or, if they are going to be cremated as well, their ashes can be buried together or scattered together,” Plunkett said.

Another option, which is more popular, is to set up a trust fund for your pet. Animal lovers agree, it's important to have a plan.

Plunkett said, typically dogs owned by elderly people are also older as well, and they are the hardest to place in a new home.