Euthanasia: Danger to Animals, Health, Society


There is no excuse for the killing of millions of innocent, healthy, adoptable animals–who could be placed elsewhere.  Plus, the cruelty that is used to euthanize these loving animals, speaks volumes about the values of our current society.

Thanks for stopping by my new blog, “For Pets and their People.”  Let’s try to make a difference, especially with this story.

I was reading my facebook news feed tonight and saw the saddest photo of a dog, head hung down low, about to step into the ‘chamber of doom’–the euthanasia room.  (I posted the photo on my facebook page  or on my Twitter page for you to see, too.)  I immediately got sick to my stomach and tears starting flowing down my cheeks. The tragedy of euthanasia (EU), however, is not just about this animal or about how I feel–it is much, much bigger than that…

For instance, did you know that shelters can sell–and they do–the bodies of the euthanized animals to pet food companies?  Is this the motivation for over 3-4,000,000 animals per year in the U.S. being needlessly killed?  After all I have learned, I have begun to wonder.

To kill them as inexpensively as possible, the animals are literally stuck in the heart or in a kidney and left to suffer and die; they are gassed, shot. Kittens and puppies are bottle-fed poisoned milk–but it is really so much worse. I don’t even want to write about it and give you nightmares or have you curl up in a ball and cry for a week but I do want you to know that a lot of pain and cruelty is involved.  There is no loving person to hold them as the animals drift off to heaven, I hope.

They wait and wait and wait for someone, anyone to ‘spring’ them from the cold, concrete, stinky, smelly, infected floors of the shelters.  All they hope for is to be wanted and loved, to be fed and to have a nice place to sleep.  When no one comes, they DO know when their time is up.  Slowly but surely, some shelters move the animals one kennel closer to the EU room…or they watch their buddies walk up the hall, slowly but surely walking for the last time, still hoping to leave with a new owner, but never going home. They know. They feel it. They can smell fear and death.

Many people are under the misconception that shelters are adoption centers and medical first aid centers.  Nope. If you, the owner, bring an animal in to a shelter and surrender it–for any reason–literally within an hour, the animal can be killed.  Strays at least get 72 hours in case their owner shows up or a rescue group or adopter wants to take them home and love them.

If anyone brings an animal to a shelter with an injury, whether it is yours or not, chances are someone will take them from you and tell you how cute they are, but more than likely they will go to the “room”–a place where all the terminally injured or diseased/ill animals wait–in isolation–for their turn to be killed.  (If you find an animal, injured or not, surrender them to a vet or no kill rescue organization or best of all, move a mountain to keep them with you or to find a new family for them where they will be safe.)

Health Issues

The euthanized animals’ bodies are cremated or more than likely, they are shoveled into dump trucks and driven to the dump or to pet feed processing facilities.  There, they are “processed” with their collars still on–and the poison still in them that killed them.  Diseased animals’ bodies are mixed in, as are the previously injured.

If you feed your own animals’ inexpensive pet foods, especially canned foods, they very well could be eating these euthanized shelter animals.  Not only is this morally corrupt but it is so unhealthy that it is a wonder that they our pets live as long as they do.  Ever wonder why our animals are getting all types of diseases earlier and earlier in life?  Just open your eyes–and educate yourself.

The Corruption of Society

There has to be something wrong with a society who treats animals without compassion, kindness and empathy.  Many shelters and rescue groups in other parts of the country are begging for animals to adopt out–their shelters and rescue groups are empty–but it is cheaper for the shelter to kill the animals than it is to feed them for (give or take) two weeks, the time it usually takes to get vaccinated and to find a volunteer transport arranged to move them.

I often wonder about the people who can stick an innocent animal in the heart–and let it slowly die–all while looking it in the eyes.  I wonder about the workers who “load” the puppies and kittens into the gas chamber and then, what about the person who comes with the “truck” in the morning to shovel the dead bodies out, every once in awhile, miraculously finding one that survived.

Or how about the volunteers and techs who hold little newborns, and let them nurse on poison-filled milk bottles, knowing that that drink will be their last.  That seems like such a betrayal to me. There are people who shoot to kill, too, like a firing squad or worse.  There are so many people who work in this “business,’ that society itself is being undermined and corrupted, quietly.  Few really know what goes on behind the scenes and don’t have the platform to expose it.

How Can You Make a Difference?

First of all, you can adopt/rescue/foster or volunteer to help get homeless animals adopted out or foster/ed temporarily until adopted.  By going on Pet Finder, you can search by your zip code to find adoptable animals or even local shelters/organizations that all need help.  Just send an email that says, “Willing to Help.”

You can walk dogs at shelters; cuddle cats and kitties; volunteer at adoption events; collect food and supplies at work; raise money for medical bills; share animals on social media that are on death row, so that they may find someone who falls in love with them and “springs” them before, gulp, it is too late.  Every minute counts.

You can attend events and talk about this problem; volunteer to transport animals–usually everyone just takes a few hundred miles of a long run until the animal reaches home or a no-kill shelter.  You can bathe animals before adoption events. Go through your closets and gather up extra blankets to get the animals off of the concrete floor. (Most shelters have commercial laundry facilities but have very few volunteers to actually do the wash so the animals do without…)

Share, Post, Tweet…Educate your peers and get this secret out from behind the shelter’s dark doors.  You just might save some lives and you definitely will make a difference.

And if that is not enough, you can shout from the rooftops, write letters, tell your officials that euthanasia–due to overcrowding or budget restraints–is no longer acceptable.  We have grown beyond this barbaric practice and need to implement another solution.  Others have found some viable answers (see links), but because it will take some time, planning and costs more than just a needle to the heart, the powers-that-be are not willing to change.

We need to change this. The question that looms before us is HOW?

Thanks for stopping by, for listening and for caring.  Especially for caring.


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About Me: New Blogger Joins: To Help Pets and Their People

Check out my website/blog/rescue for Special Needs Dogs, the Rescue Ranch


Info Links

A Model for Action: No Kill Houston

 No Kill Advocacy: Shelter Reform

No Kill Learning Center

Nathan Winograd: No Kill Movement Leader

Rescue and Transportation Groups

Do They Really Use Dead Dogs and Cats to Make Pet Food?

Euthanasia Description by a Witness

 Even PETA Euthanizes

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”― Mahatma Gandhi


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J.D. Ward
Thanks for visiting "For Pets and Their People," my Natural News blog. About J.D.Ward: I've been rescuing and advocating for animals and natural health since forever! I became a vegetarian/vegan most years, because I would rather be friends with animals rather than (ugh!) the alternative. I began writing about animals and health to help them and their people about fifteen years ago. I hope that I can continue to make a difference in their lives. I love learning about new things as much as I love sharing what I learn. Hey--Follow Me! Sending Hugs from the Herd--the Rescue Ranch herd that is! (