A blog by spcaLA president, Madeline Bernstein

May 23, 2019

What do you think? An eternal bond? Is it right?

Courtesy Google Images
There is no question that the human animal bond is serious, real, and really serious. A bond that crosses species lines so much so that people risk their lives for their pets and vice versa. A bond that is the subject of custody disputes during divorce, pre-nuptials and one that has created the need for pet trusts in estate plans. It is a bond for the ages and one that survives death.

After much litigation, whereby a former police officer wanted to be buried with his dogs, so that they could be together in the afterlife, New York now allows cremated humans to be buried with their pets in pet cemeteries.  In this case, the dogs predeceased the officer who was to join them when he passed on.

But - how far do we take this. Many are horrified that a woman, in her estate plan, ordered the euthanasia and cremation of her healthy dog and directed that the dog be buried with her in the cemetery.

Notwithstanding that animals are legally considered property, (and may be euthanized at an owners' request), and that the law, (which varies from state to state) may allow pet remains to be buried with humans, should this be OK?

Is this right to love pets so much that you would kill them in order to spend the afterlife with them? Is that love? Is it loneliness, fear, or fear of loneliness? Is it a misguided need for comfort or real comfort? Is there an afterlife?

What do you think?