Killing sparky not the answer


Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

Picture your pet: four year old Sparky, a Golden Retriever. He is playful, kind, and loves to wake you up with a  big, slobbery kiss. Now, picture your life without Sparky. No more barks at the mailman, no more hikes in the summer, and no more wet, slobbery wake-up kisses. Picture it at your doing, because you did not want the burden of a pet anymore. Unbearable to think about, is it not? Forty years ago our four-legged, furry friends would have most likely been euthanized in a shelter or veterinarian clinic, solely for lack of interest, care, money or time on the owner’s part. According to the American Humane Association during 1970 approximately 20 million pets were euthanized in shelters alone.  According to was a year of shocking statistics. Powell states that 86% of euthanasias performed in ‘07 were due to “the life situation of the human caretaker.” During the course of this year, only 14% of euthanasias were a result of an unsavory characteristic of the animal in question. As of 2011, the statistics continued to drop dramatically from 20 million to three million. The huge decrease is a positive step in the right direction, but three million is still (too) high number. Pets that share a home with young children or are owned by younger people on-the-move are more likely to be mistreated by their owners. Granted, most of the animals euthanized are “put to sleep” for health reasons, a large amount are still euthanized for ridiculous and inhumane reasons:  worries about child safety, training problems, old age, money issues, and space issues. Still, the worst part is knowing that the animals euthanized were perfectly healthy, adoptable animals lacking loving owners and a permanent place to call home. However, the disgusting actions do not stop at shelters; veterinary office employees are familiar with the requests as well. Luckily, vets in the metro area have the cases under control whenever a request rolls around, and handle them the way they should be handled: with a refusal.

Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital, Indian Tree Animal Hospital, Adams County Animal hospital, Planned Pethood Animal Clinic and six others have openly and intelligently admitted that they would not, under any circumstances, agree to any requests for convenience euthanasia. Instead, they strongly suggest other non-lethal alternatives to relocating any unwanted pet, the biggest ones being training and adoption. A front desk receptionist at Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital denies any use of convenience euthanasia and instead suggests her idea to relieve the owner of an unwanted pet. “We really encourage them to try every other avenue aside from euthanasia; send the pet to a no-kill shelter or put the animal up for adoption.”

Indian Tree, another opposer of the controversial act, goes further into the prevention of euthanizing an innocent animal.  “We suggest them to try putting the animal up for adoption. If it comes to the point where the animal [owner] is incapable of finding a home, we will take ownership of the animal until a home is found.” Care Animal Hospital of Arvada is also known for having open arms to animals in need of homes. Along with the rejection of convenience euthanasia, people who work with animals agree on another thing: owners need to be reasonable, logical, and responsible when adopting a pet. To put it simply, people should not adopt a pet if they are not fully on board, prepared, mature, and knowledgeable of what is to come.