Animal Euthanasia

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To Kill or Not To Kill
In the past few decades, there has been a big uproar regarding the topic of euthanasia in dogs. Euthanasia used to be a term used to end the suffering of a life by putting them in a painless and permanent state of sleep. I believe that today, the term ‘euthanasia’ when referred to dogs has transformed to a word used to justify the mass murder of dogs across the world. Most people will agree that the only time a dog should be put down is when it is sick or suffering from pain. I believe that if a dog is euthanized for any other reason, the person in control is guilty of committing an abominable act. They do not call dogs “mans’ best friend” for nothing. With proper training, every single dog has the potential of making a good house pet and becoming an important part of an owner’s life.

Most dogs that are being euthanized each year are not even suffering from any illnesses and are not aggressive either. They are just unlucky. The reasoning that is given by these shelters committing these vile acts is that there is an overpopulation of dogs in their shelters and not enough homes for all of them so they have no choice. The problem with this picture is the fact that many of these shelters breed dogs for the sole purpose of having them sold. Many of these dogs are being sold for sums well over a thousand dollars. The dogs that they are not able to sell are sent to shelters. These shelters fill up quickly because of these breeders who can’t sell their dogs and can only take what they have room for and can manage which leads to these breeders euthanizing their extra dogs, many times in the convenience of their own backyards. They figure that it costs them a lot less to murder their unsold dogs then the expenses they pay to take care of them while they wait for them to be sold. In the United States, an estimated 4 to 6 million dogs are euthanized in shelters each year. Pete Wedderburn, editor of Small Animal, says “It’s very disappointing that after all the noise that is made about how appalling it is, nothing changes.”

Unfortunately, not everyone will agree with the fact that euthanasia amongst dogs should only take place when the dog is suffering from pain or terminally ill. Joy Leney and Jenny Remfy mention in their book Dogs, zoonoses, and public health why dog population management is necessary and very important. In their book they say “Some people love dogs. Some people hate them. Some dogs are man’s best friends. Others, or sometimes the same ones, are sources of injury, accident, disease and pollution.” (299) Dogs can breed and multiply their numbers very quickly but the breeding is not their fault. It is the fault of the breeder for breeding them in order to sell them. Once they are not sold, they either become stray dogs and usually end up being killed in the future or are sent to be killed right away. I believe that this is very inhumane. Leney and Remfy continue to speak about the methods used to kill these dogs are beginning to be too costly because of transportation and drugs needed so kill shelters and breeders have come out with cheaper ways to get rid of their extra dogs. These new methods include ovens and gas chambers where they throw in large amounts of dogs at a time to be killed in order to save time and money. It makes me shiver how anyone who is responsible for these mass murders can live with their despicable acts. A simple solution to lower these rates of dogs being euthanized and to take control of the overpopulation of dogs is to alter the majority of dogs. Most shelters and animal organizations neuter dogs for no charge as well as give vaccines needed to prevent diseases from being transmitted. By altering dogs, the rate of dogs reproduced each day will drastically decrease. Each day 10,000 humans are born in the U.S. - and each day 70,000 puppies and kittens are born. As long as these birth rates exist, there will never be enough homes for all the animals. Early...
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