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Euthanasia due to economy

Discussion in 'Veterinary' started by oxijenchan, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. oxijenchan

    7+ Year Member

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    Today, there was an article in our newspaper here in Hawaii stating that due to the economy situation, people have been bringing in their pets to the local humane society to be put up for adoption. But since there is no one wanting to adopt these poor animals, they are being euthanized. Has anyone out there having this type of situation in your area?
     
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  3. Raimes

    Raimes Third time is NOT a charm
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    Where I work is definatly the vets are getting sick of it.. and tired.. and fed-up.
     
  4. Gonidae

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    Where I am coming from it is a common practice, I can't say that I agree with the practice but on the other hand if wouldn't they would be roaming around in the streets. I think that the problem in my country is bad distribution of funds from the local authorities and government as well as low level of pet loving awareness, e.g. people who go on a vacation just leave their pets around the airport. the pet shelters are under funded and over crowded and it has nothing to do with the world financial crisis or individual financial capabilities. people are just mean and stupid! owning a pet is a privilege that is often abused.
     
  5. KKibo

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    Our hospital runs its own "rescue" (in quotes because we rarely actually have more than one animal a month in this situation) where if someone brings in an animal to be euthanized/treated and can't afford the procedure by any realistic negotations. Such as they can hardly care for their kids let alone their animals or a life saving surgery that will ideally cost $2000, but they only have $300 to spare and are not willing to finance. We allow them to surrender the pet to our rescue where it is given free care and is NOT euthanized unless its quality of life is greatly diminished and the animal is usually found a new home within two to three weeks.

    Granted this only works because we have several very loyal clients who make sizeable donations to the rescue.

    Personally, I think it is unethical for a Veterinarian to euthanize an animal due to the client not being able to take care of it, even in a shelter. Overcrowding is an issue, but its an issue that is in the hands of the state, NOT the shelter to resolve.
     
  6. twelvetigers

    twelvetigers stabby cat
    Veterinarian 10+ Year Member

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    And what will the state due to prevent the overcrowding?
     
  7. KKibo

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    Impose breeding liscenses to stop backyard breeders and puppy mills for one thing. Mandatory spay/neuter laws unless the owner can prove the animal is to be used in shows or for liscensed breeding. Some may see it as harsh, but its better than what we have now (for health and population concerns) and over time it will work.

    Shelters are expensive to maintain, but many governments take it upon themselves to state that animals are not necesarrily property, but a dependent of its human family therefore the governments that impose those types of laws (even such laws as animal cruelty which is a large reason for overcrowding impose dependance over property) then they should be held accountable to caring for the abandonded animals within their boundaries.

    Now, that doesn't mean I advocate cruelty towards animals. Not by any means. I'll put it in other terms. Juvy halls are crowded, orphanages are crowded...I doubt anyone would even considered executing children...who are dependents of their owners.

    If the state puts laws in effect that, atleast partially, are a cause for the overcrowding it is their responsibility to solve the problem. Sure it takes money, there are ways to make money. You may not want to pay more taxes, and neither do I. There are other ways than taxes to make money, It just takes a little more thought and work than most legislatures care to pursue. However, populations elect the officials that represent them and if they make animal related laws because a population calls for it, then they need to be willing to reap what the sow. If state governments can't afford to build more shelters, then they shouldn't create laws that will make a need for shelter space.

    I should have elaborated on what I said in my earlier post. Yes I do believe euthanizing animals simply because they cannot be paid for is unethical. However it is a necessary evil due to the current, albeit poor animal regulations.

    We brought these animals into this world, its our responsibility to care for them.
     
  8. Pandacinny

    Pandacinny VMRCVM c/o 2013
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    That's great, except that most shelters and rescues are privately run and receive NO funding from the state. Absolutely none. The ones that do receive funding are often under-funded because, in the (paraphrased) words of a government official in one city: "We have murders to worry about here."

    If you'd like to offer some real, creative solutions instead of wishing for state sponsorship that'll never come, I'm sure the shelter community will be happy to listen. :p

    On a more serious note, though: more money is only helpful to organizations that can use it effectively. Unfortunately, many organizations are just not as well run as they could be. Also, veterinarians are not usually the ones in charge at the shelter. I'm sure there are exceptions to this, but normally they're working under the rules and mandates set by the board of directors or operations director - just like everyone else. They may or may not be making decisions on who stays or who goes.

    Double unfortunately, many staff members at shelters are not well trained where euthanasia is concerned. In my opinion, it's better for a qualified person (like a veterinarian or well trained tech) to be euthanizing animals than someone who was barely trained and doesn't really understand what they're doing. I think that euthanasia can be a gift for animals that are suffering - whether that be from a physical disease or from the stress of being stuck in a cage in a shelter with little enrichment for the past 10 months and no prospect of adoption.

    I'd like it, too, if we didn't euthanize any healthy animals, but remember that it goes much farther than "a little overcrowding." Animals in overcrowded conditions without enough enrichment or attention develop health and behavioral issues that are really difficult to break. Certainly more than the average pet owner wants to deal with.

    Obviously, something needs to be done. I think increases in foster care programs and community outreach are the answer. That and better education for shelter staff on the physical and psychological needs of animals. I also think that vets in these situations are dealing with way too much for me to condemn them as "unethical." It's just not that simple.
     
    #7 Pandacinny, Jan 22, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2009
  9. Electrophile

    Electrophile Working Dog Doc
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    We can't hardly get the average pet owner to license their animal. Breeding licenses does nothing to stop puppy mills and backyard breeders. It just hurts the responsible owner. The typical irresponsible, ignorant owner will continue to randomly let their animals breed indiscriminately, sell them on Craigslist or dump them at the shelter, and no amount of unenforceable and expensive legislation is going to stop that. Our local shelter can't even adopt out pit bulls because they don't have the staff to do home checks. So just who is going to pay to be the tail lifting police for these intact animals? As a vet, I sure don't want to be the one who has to report to animal control that a dog that was 17 weeks and *gasp* was still intact. :rolleyes: Spending money on education and low cost spay and neutering clinics are the only way to go that is feasible and is cost effective, in my opinion and experience.
     
  10. redhorse

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    Traffic laws are unenforceable and quite frankly have little to do with safety. But traffic tickets make quite a bit of money. Unlicensed breeding tickets surely wouldn't stop the behavior but they could very well help to subsidize the shelters and animal welfare programs. Catching unlicensed breeders would be simple with the advent of the web.

    Is it a perfect solution? No. But it is a viable money making idea and a starting point towards a solution.
     
  11. sumstorm

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    You still have to pay someone to issue the tickets and potentially to prosecute if need be. That can really get expensive. How do you prove that I have what you say I have on my property without trespassing?

    When I was in Louisiana, this was a constant issue with DOG FIGHTING, let alone dog breeding. Federal crime. You have to have cause and a warrant to go on the property. No warrant, no convinction, no charges. In my experience, the dog fighters (yes, it was so common that I and most other dog people knew at least a few dog fighters, it was a powerless issue, even some zoo employees fought dogs) would have enough reason to suspect, and would move the dogs for a month to another site.

    As for vets euthing at shelters....in the county my husband lives in, its gas chambers. pack the pets in, close the door, and start the gas. Don't need a vet for that. They don't even check to be certain the pets are dead coming out of the chamber. They also don't check for microchips before or after euthanizing (which is states law), and a 3 day hold is all that is required. Oh, and if your neighbor takes your dog, turns it in as thier own, it can be euthed immediatly there. Reporting repeatedly hasn't done anything to affect any of that.

    Having said that, the vet I work for doesn't euth for convenience. We refer to breed rescues.
     

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