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Owner Has Service Dog Killed And Buried With Them

Last updated on Tuesday, April 2, 2013

(TERRE HAUTE) - A Clay County woman who died three weeks ago following a lengthy battle with cancer was so attached to her seeing eye dog she requested her family bury the two together.

WTHI reports that Shelia Stadler, 68, of Brazil, died March 8 at home with her service animal, Toffee, at her side. Days later, the Stadler family had Toffee, a perfectly healthy 5-year-old dog, euthanized, displayed in the coffin at Shelia's visitation, and buried with her in Summit Lawn Cemetery right outside Brazil.

Sheila Stadler's son, Andy Stadler, told News 10 his mother's canine companion was already beginning to mourn the loss of the only handler he knew.

"I wouldn't say that's unusual for a dog to be in mourning, especially if a dog is really close to a person," said Gregory Reilly, with Honey Creek Animal Hospital.

Reilly added that, given the fact that Toffee was privately owned by the Stadler family it appears they were well within their legal right to do with the dog as they wished.

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