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...
Every time you visit the website freekibble.com, 20 pieces of kibble will be donated to help feed homeless dogs and cats. Saw the story last night on NBC news about the 12 year old girl from Bend, Or. who started the program and it brought tears to my eyes to see this young person doing such a good work. Canidae is one of the sponsors and that's what I feed my dog and it's good food.
to you and Sheba, with an extra dose of tumor-begone!
Sheba had her operation to remove a Round Cell tumor. Am told the laser surgery lasted about 20 minutes. She is doing very well. Bless you all!
I followed your link & just wanted to say, what a wonderful article. Its great to see how people have changed over the last decade. For those who have felt hopeless in the midst of a trying time & to prevail, giving the animals a life that many thought would be impossible.
Right on & thank you
that 18 is a cutie, I hope he & Cristal found loving families