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Can a healthy dog be put to sleep?

kimbilly
April 18th, 2005, 08:18 AM
Is a vet allowed to put a perfectly healthy dog to sleep?

I recently “rescued” a dog from a family that no longer wanted him. They claim to have tried for 8 months to get rid of the dog but had had no luck. They complained he was needy and destructive….. he is neither. They were due to leave on holiday and had said that if he does not find a home they will be putting him to sleep?

Anyway, when I heard about all of this I decided to take the dog in and try and find him the perfect home, I was not in a rush and wanted the new home to be the right one.
I always thought that all the talk was just threats and that they just hoped by being so mean that the dog would go to a home.

Last week I called the dogs vet just to get some insight into his history and as I got chatting I mentioned about the “putting to sleep story”. The lady on the other end of the phone responded by saying “oh yes, the appointment was already made”.

How can a vet look at a perfectly healthy 3 year old dog and just destroy it??? And just because the owner don’t want it any more.

It just makes me sad as I always look up to vets as some one I could turn to if I was stuck. I will be sure to avoid this one by miles.

nuttynutmeg
April 18th, 2005, 09:07 AM
It is sad,but it happens,unfortunately.

I am almost 30 and back in school I contemplated being a vet. I could not do that. I would take those animals home with me. I don't know how they can do it??

Maybe it's because they know the owners have no need for thier pet and rather than have that pet roaming the streets the vet sees this as saving it? I personally don't see it as saving,but the vet may have though.

I also don't understand why they would the pay the $100 or so to put it to sleep. Why not a shelter/rescue and donate that money to the shelter/rescue? At least the dog,would have it's life and a new beginning.

This has got me loving my babies more and more. I could never in the life of me ever put down a healthy animal,this has got tears in my eyes as I am writing this,this is so sad........

Lissa
April 18th, 2005, 10:05 AM
I agree that it is quite upsetting to think that vet's can and will put to sleep a completely healthy pet. The vet have very little "say" in the matter, I've heard stories of a vet asking the owner if they could keep it and find the animal a home but the owner insists that the dog be put down. It's ridiculous. My friend also put her 4 year old cat to sleep because she was peeing everywhere. Neither the vet or her assistants asked any questions, they just did it.

I am so glad that you had the heart to take the dog in and that the owners let you! At least he has another chance at finding a forever home. Have you found him a home yet!?

Melissa

kandy
April 18th, 2005, 10:38 AM
As I was reading this thread, I was appalled that a vet would put down a healthy animal. Although I can think of one vet in my town that would probably do it with no questions asked. It was such an agonizing decision to have my dog put to sleep when she was diagnosed with total kidney failure, I can't even imagine doing it to a healthy dog. Thank you for taking him in so that he wouldn't have to suffer the fate that his previous owners decided was right for him. I get so peeved when I hear of things like this - would this family put down one of their kids if they thought they were misbehaving???? In my opinion, it's the same thing - when you have a dog, you have accepted certain responsibilities and that means for life - not just for as long as you want to!!!

kimbilly
April 18th, 2005, 10:44 AM
I am so glad that you had the heart to take the dog in and that the owners let you! At least he has another chance at finding a forever home. Have you found him a home yet!?Melissa

Yes He has a new home. I had him for 2 weeks and loved him to bits, but I knew that having two dogs was out of the question right now. I have a 7 month old Beagle. I posted an adoption "ad" on here, but managed to find a home through other sources.

The whole story of his life is sad, and he is such an amazing dog. I can not believe that someone could look at him and think " i don't want you anymore so you are going to get put to sleep", the tought just makes me mad.

Attached is a picture of the guy, you can see what an good looking dog he is, and his personality is perfect.

SnowDancer
April 18th, 2005, 10:46 AM
My vet wouldn't do it. But what you don't know is what story the people gave the vet - they could have said that the dog was biting people on the street for no reasone etc. Some of the seemingly sweetest dogs in the world will do this - I know, I had one. I know a few people that have convinced vets to put a dog to sleep for this reason - when the dogs in fact were not biting.

kimbilly
April 18th, 2005, 10:52 AM
I did ask the "lady on the phone" and she said he was a healthy boy with no reported issues or problems.....

SnowDancer
April 18th, 2005, 11:12 AM
kimbilly - Angus definitely has that "I see food or am dreaming of food" look in his eye! Beagles are second in line after Dachshunds in this respect. My Eskimo also loves food, but unfortunately has a much more sensitive tummy so have to work around that. But the look is there - I had to laugh when I saw it. Happy he found a new home and that it works out.

Safyre
April 18th, 2005, 11:17 AM
The fact of the matter is, the vet MUST follow the directions of the owner of the animal. If the owner wants the dog put down, the vet HAS to do it. Animals are still seen as possessions in regards to this, and therefore, the wishes of the owner, regardless how ridiculous they are, have to be followed.

Please note: When i say the vet HAS to do it, I realize that the person can go to another vet if one refuses. They will eventually find a vet that says okay.

There was a story is my city just a few months ago about this. A lady had her 14 month old pit bull put to sleep because of the impending by law. No one could talk her out of it, and she fought like mad to have the girl put down.

LL1
April 18th, 2005, 11:22 AM
Because animals are property,the owner can put them down whenever they chose.Happens all the time.I have also taken a couple dogs into my rescue that were to be euthanized at the vet office,and the vet office called me for help.That also happens.

Natasa
April 18th, 2005, 11:36 AM
Vets can kill animals on owner’s request. But imo ethical vets will refuse to kill healthy dogs just because its not convenient for people to keep them any more.

Lucky Rescue
April 18th, 2005, 11:56 AM
What a sweet puppy!

Yes, people do have have animals killed for behavioral or physical problems all the time!. Quite a few we took in were from people who brought them to our vet to have them killed for stupid reasons, like an intact tomcat who sprayed in the house (duh!) and an adorable shih tzu who had some minor skin irritation. This one the owner REALLY wanted dead, and it took a lot of talking to get her to surrender it to Lucky Rescue. He has a wonderful home now!!

The latest example is Nugget, the Abyssinian that Mesaana adopted and the pet store wanted dead.

This is NOT euthansia (or "putting to sleep", a ridiculous euphemism) Those terms refer only to ending suffering. This is killing.

A good vet will try very hard to talk these people out of killing a perfectly healthy animal.

AliSam
April 18th, 2005, 04:35 PM
It makes me sad that people will think to put a perfectly healthy animal to sleep or that a vet would even consider it! :sad:

Prin
April 18th, 2005, 05:08 PM
The vet I worked for killed tons of great animals. One cat was put down at 2 because she wouldn't pee in the litter box. Otehrs get put down because their owners can't keep them and selfishly feel that the dog can't possibly live without them. All selfish reasons.

ATTENTION ALL HUMANS: You're not that special. Your dog will get over you when he gets a home that actually appreciates him and treats him like a part of the family. Get over yourselves. Give your unwanted pets up for adoption, already. You don't have to put them out of their misery, because that misery is YOU.

Lucky Rescue
April 18th, 2005, 07:49 PM
You're not that special. Your dog will get over you when he gets a home that actually appreciates him and treats him like a part of the family. Get over yourselves. Give your unwanted pets up for adoption, already. You don't have to put them out of their misery, because that misery is YOU.

AMEN!!! Very well said! :thumbs up

So many people won't adopt adult animals because they feel they will never "bond" with them. Untrue!! Many will bond more closely to you than a puppy would.

We adopted our last dog from the next door neighbour. Our dog was 5 at the time. Not only did he never try to go home, but he would bark at his former owner when he saw him. Animals are not stupid!!

snooks
April 18th, 2005, 07:59 PM
People are stupid. Ohhh did I say that or is that just the voices in my head. :evil:
We hear all the time about how people are going to put the dog/cat to "sleep". My answer is always no your not, your just killing it. Many vets will not do this and as far as I know, they do not HAVE to. Most that I have dealt with will fight to have the animal surrendered to them or a rescue.

Safyre
April 18th, 2005, 10:25 PM
Many vets will not do this and as far as I know, they do not HAVE to
Animals are property, the vet has to follow the wishes of the owner of the property.

I don't AGREE with this, but thats how it is. The owenr decides what they want done, and it is to be done. They can try to talk them out of it, but in the end, the owners choice rules. :yuck:

vivilee
April 18th, 2005, 10:56 PM
Yes, vets are required to put down animals that the owner pays to have put down. If not they are liable and can get sued.

Just because a vet will put down a healthy animal does not mean he/she is a bad vet. He/she is just doing what is required and requested because it is a service. You will occasionally run into vets who will take a client's money and say that they have put the animal down and then rescue the animal. The thing is the vet has now stolen the money in order to save the life of the animal.

Natasa
April 19th, 2005, 12:52 AM
Animals are property, the vet has to follow the wishes of the owner of the property.

I don't AGREE with this, but thats how it is. The owenr decides what they want done, and it is to be done. They can try to talk them out of it, but in the end, the owners choice rules. :yuck:


That is simply not true. Vets have a choice in the matter. They CAN refuse to euthanize healthy animal.

Prin
April 19th, 2005, 02:45 AM
They only have to do it if they agree to do it. A vet is not supposed to give the first injection (super sedative) then wait for you to leave and revive the dog and give it away, although some (of the better) vets do this.

CyberKitten
April 19th, 2005, 03:40 AM
This whole discussion makes me physically ill - especially as someone who had a beagle. But the idea that a vet HAS to put down a pet at an owner's whim is about as true as the suggestion that a doctor has to put grandma to sleep because the family thinks it's her time. This makes no sense!

Oh I realize there are bad vets out there who would do anything for a buck and I know the human analogy does not take into account the fact that the laws that protect animals are nowhere near as protective or as ethical as those that support we humans. But good God!! I discussed this with my own vet and another vet who sometimes works with her (this other one is actually employed by the NB Dept. of Agriculture so works with large animals in general) and they both agreed it is unlikely any ethical vet with the most minimal degree of humanity would do this. I cannot imagine the vet you worked with Prin - I hope you resigned as soon as you could just to protest that kind of practice! It's horrible! (I once refused to work in a lab at Harvard with a chief researcher who had a world renowed reputation - and I was a mere Resident and other profs and fellow Residents warned me I was jeopardizing my chances at good grades, obtaining good references and future opportunities as good as this one - at least for the biochem PhD part of my degrees - because he used dogs and other small animals in experiements.) He actually turned out not to be vendictive (sometimes an aberation in academic medicine) so I was quite lucky (or else it was my Maritime charm, lol) and managed to do OK on both parts of my course. (I was doing the combined MD-PhD degree - we offer that here too.)

I also realize some people in an urban setting will shop around until they find their own Dr. Mengele but people in a rural area usually have one or two choices if that. I feel sad for those people and sadder still for the animals who live in an area with one vet who will actually cater to the whim of a human. Mind you, kill shelters like most SPCA's routinely murder animals just because they have no space - this is a very bad time of the year esp for adult cats with so many kittens coming in! (sighhhhhhhhhh!) Still, I cannot believe a good vet would acede to the wishes of some owner who is really seeking out cruelty and murder. My vet and the other one concured with my thoughts and while every vet (like docs) is faced some with challenging ethical delimmas on a weekly basis, very very few would ever deliberately end a life simply because an "owner" requests this.

Is there a different veternary culture in Montreal? Hard to believe there would be - it's not all that different from where I live. Indeed, "my" vet or really "YY's" vet says she and other vets will sometimes take an animal someone has sought to be "destroyed" (her words - it is how she views this) and if the person is not present in the room when the "so called procedure" is scheduled, will tell a small white lie and actually keep the animal alive and then find a good home for her/him. Those are her ethics and I admire them. Reminds me of Lawrence Kohlberg's (sp?)'s ethics courses at Harvard. (I took one not so much bec of his rep but b/c of the content). Anyone ever read his books - he has developed a complex scale for ascertaining one's ethics. - I looked up a few sites outlining his views to demonstrate what I mean. In his scale, someone who would steal drugs for a dying child or wife was more "moral" or ethical than the company that was overcharging for the drugs. We used to tease one another as students and say "oh, you are only a 3 - how can we listen to you, that sort of thing). And now I feel like I am in the nostalgia thread again, ;)

Here are the sites: (and then I have to get to work - another too early morning!!)

http://www.nd.edu/~rbarger/kohlberg.html
http://www.nd.edu/~rbarger/kohlberg.htm
http://www.psy.pdx.edu/PsiCafe/KeyTheorists/Kohlberg.htm
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0914206184/thepsicafe/102-7589358-1644113
http://www.xenodochy.org/ex/lists/moraldev.html

Have a great day everyone!

Safyre
April 19th, 2005, 10:43 AM
In my previous response I did state is is the vets choce to say no. Sorry for not repeating myself in my responses.

Its not a popular topic, we all know this. Yes, vets can say no. Then the person will find a vet who will say yes. Vets are to follow the wishes of the owner, otherwise they open themselves to legal action.

Prin - and if any of the owners of those dogs that were revived find out that the vet did this, they can sue the vet. I'm terribly disturbed by that comment, that some vets that you know would be willing to break the law in such a way.
I'm not commong back to this thread, its way to disturbing.

Dahlia
April 19th, 2005, 10:45 AM
Awww, he's adorable! I guess some people don't think about taking the dog to a rescue instead of having it put to sleep. That's a shame. Maybe they just think that if they don't want the dog no one else will either. :(

kimbilly
April 19th, 2005, 11:22 AM
I am sorry if I upset anyone with my question. I was just really upset by the whole and am glad that I saved the dog and got him a great home.

Thank you everyone for your insight into it and of course sorry again if I upset anyone.

Prin
April 19th, 2005, 12:52 PM
Prin - and if any of the owners of those dogs that were revived find out that the vet did this, they can sue the vet. I'm terribly disturbed by that comment, that some vets that you know would be willing to break the law in such a way
I find it more disturbing when they don't save a perfectly good dog/cat when they can. Most of these people couldn't care less about what happened to the animal after it's gone. It's not like these people have lived with the animal for 15 years or anything. They want it gone because it is not a person to them. What is wrong with stopping the death of an animal that isn't ready to die?
I cannot imagine the vet you worked with Prin - I hope you resigned as soon as you could just to protest that kind of practice! It's horrible! I resigned for worse reasons than that... Many many many worse reasons. I tell people I know who bring their dogs there not to go there and they say they've never had a problem and actually KEEP going!!! Anyway...

Lucky Rescue
April 19th, 2005, 02:04 PM
I do know of a vet who will agree to kill a perfectly healthy animal and when the owner leaves they find it a home.

And vets are perfectly free to refuse to kill any animal.

bremarie03
April 19th, 2005, 03:01 PM
Vets are to follow the wishes of the owner, otherwise they open themselves to legal action.

Prin - and if any of the owners of those dogs that were revived find out that the vet did this, they can sue the vet. I'm terribly disturbed by that comment, that some vets that you know would be willing to break the law in such a way.

Vets are in "business" and just like any business, they have the right to refuse service to anyone. Unless you meant a vet that would take the money and not destroy the animal, I don't see how this would be a legal matter.

And if I had to choose between a vet that would thoughtlessly destroy a healthy animal, and one that would take the money and save the animal, it wouldn't be a tough choice by any means. I would be far more "disturbed" by the vet who would destroy a healthy animal, than by the one who would bend (or break) the rules to save an animal.

Karin
April 19th, 2005, 06:32 PM
There are vet's that will and some that will not. In the US it is not against the law to euthanize an unwanted pet, healthy or not. Animal control will do it for free as long as you sign over ownership.
I killed thousands when I worked for animal control. Healthy and sick.
Sometimes the circumstances are called for. Three years ago, while working for the evil vet, I had to euthanize a dear clients healthy 130lb Rottie, "Otto". Dad was a Williston police officer fighting bone cancer. He died unexpectedly during treatment. Otto was a daddy's boy 100%. Mom could not handle Otto, plus the greif was too much for her to bare. Otto's dad did not have time to get their affairs in order before he passed. Otto's ashes were spread along with dad's on the family property up north. Otto was 10 years old. It still breaks my heart, but there was no chance for a rehome, it had to be done. I miss both Otto & Bob Paxton dearly.

dogmelissa
April 20th, 2005, 12:18 AM
I know, totally OT.... but what's the most frustrating part of my life is that if I wanted to, I could probably find 5 or 6 vets within a half hour drive of my house who would be willing to not only kill any of my perfectly healthy pets, but would be willing to take a nice chunk out of my wallet for them to do so... but when it comes to my messed-up knee, I've BEEN to 4 specialists who look me straight in the face and say "you're too young to have pain so I'm not going to fix you".
Why are people willing to destroy an animal that's NOT in pain, but won't fix one that is??

Ok, there's my rant for the day. Back to agreeing that vets that euthanise healthy animals are sad, but it's the owners who are the ones to steer clear of. I wouldn't AVOID a vet that euthanized a healthy animal at an owner's request, but I would ask for the owner's name and go and deposit my dog's daily droppings on their front step, simply for being heartless.

Thanks for reading!
Melissa

CyberKitten
April 20th, 2005, 01:10 AM
Melissa Re your pain, there are many alternatives for pain management out there and if you feel you have no access to good pain managemet, then you need to do something about that as a medical consumer. I know it takes time and work to do it but I have been on both sides of the situation - as someone who lives in chronic pain and as a health care provider.

Have you contacted a pain management clinic or doctor who specializes in pain management. There are some very good ones in Ontario - is that where you are? There are pain mgment units that have teams of people to help and groups where you meet others in similar situations so you know you are not alone! If your doctor has not suggested it, ask her/him why?

I do not know your specific problem but if I were you, I would find the best doctor in the field - and the one I could relate to the best (tho I prefer to take competence over bedside manner) and make an appointment. You need to do everything you can to help yourself - I hear some anger in your voice and I am furious every day that I have to deal with pain but I find ways around it (mostly my work - my dad says work is great therapy and he has a point there!).

Sometimes, there are situations where one is too young for certain surgeries and those situations take patience. I myself was told at 12 that one "Health issue" I had would not worsen and that there was nothing they could do. When I was 17, my family and I discovered a doctor who actually could do the surgery and did on children less than 12!

I WAS angry but just for a moment. I sort of got even by joining the medical profession and ensuring no-one else that I knew of would do through what I did. It's hard to know whether I have accmplished that throughout the area I live in but at least I know I have done my best and many actually now have the surgery routinely in Canada - even as infants. But medical research has developed exponetially.

I do pain research tho with children and I know there are good services in Toronto but you need to actually access and use them. Good luck!!