Canine Rights

Devastated Dog Owner Faces Animal Cruelty Charges for Shooting, Burying Terminally Ill Dog at the Beach

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A Virginia man is facing animal cruelty charges after shooting his dog and burying her body at a public beach. Now, he’s speaking out about what he did, saying he only had the best intentions for his beloved companion of 15 years.

Michael Eric Whalen, 65 owned Allie, a hound mix who had been his constant companion for more than 15 years. About a year ago, Allie was diagnosed with Cushing’s disease, a treatable but incurable terminal condition that’s a result of excessive levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body.

When she was diagnosed, Whalen’s veterinarian recommended euthanasia. But, Whalen said, the time wasn’t right.

“Allie was not ready. I was not ready,” Whalen said. “She was still having fun. She wasn’t in ill health.” He continued treating her symptoms and enjoying what time they had left until one day in February when Allie’s health took a turn for the worse.

Allie suddenly began panting, swaying, and seizing uncontrollably. “It required my full attention to keep her airway open, to keep her from aspirating her vomit, to keep her from laying in her poop,” he explained to WVEC. Unable to take her to a hospital to be humanely euthanized, Whalen took it upon himself to end her suffering.

“I told myself I have a small handgun and I thought this will be painless, instantaneous,” Whalen said. “And then I just broke down, it was the most emotional thing I’ve ever done.”

He buried her body at a nearby beach, one of Allie’s most favorite places. A place they’d spent many, many hours swimming and playing together.

A resident later found Allie’s body partially buried in the sand and called authorities who traced her back to Whalen. Initially only charged with burying trash, Whalen is now facing animal cruelty charges for his actions.

“I gave my full testimony of what happened ‘This is what happened folks, I didn’t do anything wrong here and you’ve got to know the truth`,” Whalen said, speaking out to set the record straight.

“If your animal needs you, you gotta be there for her. You have a duty and obligation. I loved this dog. She needed me,” Whalen said.

Whalen has hired an attorney and has a court date in June. He hopes his case will shed light on euthanasia rights.

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  1. Avatar Of Mandy-Lou



    It says the dog was partially buried in the sand..?? mmm I'm unsure about this one. Yes shooting would be quick (one would hope)but why only partially bury the poor dog? I don't like the sound of it. I hope I'm wrong, I really do.

  2. Avatar Of Denise



    True animal abusers get off. This is not abuse. This is a man who loved his dog. If I had the means, I can't be sure I wouldn't do the same thing. Burying the dog is probably gonna wind up being a separate issue as far as legality. But drop the abuse charges.

  3. Avatar Of Jean



    His only mistake was burying his dog at a public beach. What was he thinking, to do that? I have been with all my animals at their end. I prefer to take them to the Vet for that injection but if I couldn't I hope I could help their passing myself as this man did.

  4. Avatar Of Jill Nygaard

    Jill Nygaard


    I see nothing wrong with the way he handled it. He wanted to be the one to put her down when it was time, although very difficult he did this out of love ❤️. Many farm people do the same thing every day, they have loved the animal for how ever many years and when the time has come they want to do this. It is instantaneous compared to when you bring them in to be euthanized.

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