Of the six dogs my wife and I have had in 33 yrs of marriage, 4 have been shelter rescues, and they all turned out to be about the best dogs you could ever ask for. One was a last-second reprieve against "euthanasia" -- the shelter workers couldn't bear to put Sadie down, kept her a week past her time. Our vet networked the info to my wife, and we got her out of there the next day.
Our newest dog was probably a pre-emptive strike against a shelter drop-off: our neighbor got drunk and bought his son a puppy...then a few days later realized that they didn't have the time nor wherewithal to actually raise a puppy. I was away when we acquired little Dixie (a golden retriever/dachshund combination -- looks like a very short, long Golden, irrepressibly cute and at now about 2 yrs old, still looks like a Golden puppy), and don't know the details of the acquisition, but I have a sneaking suspicion that thievery was involved.
She was our first puppy in many, many years... we tend to adopt more mature dogs from the pound. She's keeping our 10-yr old Gussie (black street-dog kind of mutt) young and us in constant stitches....cuteness being impossible to ignore.
According to the last figures I saw, two million dogs and cats are killed in "shelters" every year in the U.S., because people can't be bothered to take care of them. And that's a huge drop over the days when it was more like six million. As far as I'm concerned, ONE is unacceptable.
On the plus side, I spent major portions of last week going back and forth to the Oakland shelter with a friend to get her lovely new dog last week, so there's one with a happy ending.
I hear you, mary. and I WAS only thinking about putting an animal down because they were suffering, sick, or something like that.
the idear that people would murder an animal because he pees on the rug, or shreds the furniture, etc. that didn't occur to me.
well, I am naive. people abandon pets all the time, too; don't they?
why those people should be taken out and shot!
(bad joke-- sorry)
many a truth found in jest, though... ( -;
may both your friends live long, happy lives and pass on in their own way and in their own time without suffering.
someone once said, human heaven is where all of the animals/pets you have ever loved are.
there is no one answer to this and it depends on the animal and the situation. What I am quite clear on is that it is evil and obscene to use the word "euthanasia" for any killing that is not driven by the welfare of the animal. "Humane euthanasia" as practiced by the "animal shelter" industry is simply mass killing for the convenience of humans.
In short, I think it's fundamentally up to the animal, and it's on you as the animal's caregiver to be clued and attentive enough, and conscientious enough, to respond appropriately to what's going on with them.
I've euthanized cancer-ridden dogs whose quality of life took a sudden dramatic turn for the worse (if they don't want to eat, big clue...). I've euthanized a cat when the subcutaneous fluids stopped working. I've had others go on their own.
I've got two geezers right now. Rex is certainly a lot creakier than he used to be, but he still likes to go to the dog park, still likes to run around and check things out, still gets excited when it's time for a walk. Callie is a darn likely candidate to make it to 20.
Which is to say, the issue looms large in my mind. It's part of the deal when you take on an animal that you are most sacredly obliged to do right by that animal for the rest of its natural life. Not that the animal has to fit into your life or your convenience. So no, you may not kill your animal because he pees on the floor. You may not kill your kitten because she sheds on the furniture. You may not kill your animal because you can't be bothered to provide proper care and medical treatment. The only reason you may kill your animal is that there is no other way to relieve intractable suffering, and at that point you're arguably obliged to do so.
difficult question, doubly difficult issue:
is it really ok to put a pet down?
luckily I have never had to face this issue, we have always moved around too much to have a 'steady' pet. there was a beagle we bacame attached to, as he shared our garden in one place we crash for a few months out of the year. he was old, and sick, deaf, too in the end. smart, smart dog; would only bark at strangers walking by, remembered and recognized us even after months and months had passed... anyways, his owners, and I never talked to them about this, let him die in his own time. I suppose the beagle suffered tremendously those last few weeks, and certainly the last few days. but, would it have been "ok" to have put him down? I certainly could never make that decision.
I hope this is not a bummer to think about, but something I've always had very mixed feelings about.
just wondering what others here think.
too cool, she says, weeping onto the keyboard.
and thanks for the beams for Sheba!
I'll think of these folks kindly as I pour the Canidae Platinum into Rex and Callie's dishes...