Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Euthanasia Controversy

As much as I bitch about my job, there is one thing that is close to my heart that keeps me at this office and that's our policy on euthanasia. We perform this service for anyone who needs to put their animal to sleep for whatever reason. They have to come in, sign the forms, pay the fee, and we take care of the rest. They can be present or not, whichever they choose, at no extra charge.
There are many vets who won't perform this service without extensive testing and diagnoses, putting the pet (and owner) through more unnecessary grief and draining the financial resources of the owner.
I'm sure my view may piss some people off. Unfortunately, pets get sick when the owner is already financially stretched, and the owner has to make a decision based on finances. It sucks, but we've all been there at one time or another.
I've yet to see an owner put a pet to sleep make the decision lightly. It is the last option we have, and it is our responsibility as good pet owners to let them have a peaceful end, a final salute to the joy they've brought into our lives. Sometimes we have to decide this to end suffering, and sometimes to prevent suffering. This is such an emotionally draining decision that having some third party step in and tell someone they can't do it until they've tried harder is a huge crock of shit. I find it morally and ethically wrong for anyone to do something like that. Anyone who thinks it's okay to harshly judge someone who chooses a peaceful end for their pet should spend a day working in a kill shelter.
It's the toughest decision a pet owner has to make. Once the decision is made, it should be respected, and the owner and the pet treated with the dignity they deserve. I hope I've been able to do that for the clients I've helped.

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