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Dutchess_III's avatar

Do we have the right to make the decision to euthanize a pet or other animal?

Asked by Dutchess_III (46266points) January 24th, 2019
21 responses
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We put Dakota to sleep last Saturday. She was 15 or 16 years old, and just becoming miserable. You could see it in her eyes and in every line of her body. She was very sick, though she couldn’t tell us where she hurt.

We let Dutchess go back in March of last year. She had throat cancer and was starting to slowly choke to death.

Did we have amoral obligation to help these animals out of their misery, or should we have allowed them to live (and suffer,) since they can’t give consent to euthanasia?

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snowberry's avatar

I think so.

MrGrimm888's avatar

You do.

A more interesting question might be does the animal shelter have the moral right to euthanize stray animals.

kritiper's avatar

Yes. It is the humane thing to do.

Caravanfan's avatar

Of course. Same for humans.

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rojo's avatar

It is more of an obligation than a right. We agree to care for our furry family members when we agree to live with them and when they are beyond the boundaries of medical help then it falls on us to make the hard call, and it is a hard call for us; we have been together for so many years and they have loved us unconditionally, but we have to accept that there comes a point when we can no longer help them and that the best we can do for them is relieve the pain and suffering,. BUT you must also be there for them until the end. You cannot desert them when they need you most; at the end of your time together. Yes, it is hard and it is perhaps beyond your comfort level but you must. You cannot let someone else do the dirty work. I guarantee they would lie beside you until the end. Can you do any less?

ellespark's avatar

Yes. In the wild an animal will realize it’s sick and go somewhere to die alone but when it’s our pet they can’t do that as easily. We feed them and take care of them and prolong their lives unnaturally sometimes. It’s so hard to make the decision of when to put your pet down because it’s your companion and you love them, but prolonging their suffering so you won’t be sad at having to say goodbye just yet is pretty selfish. Once my dog Hanna (that I had from ages 4–20) stopped eating and stopped patrolling the yard (her favorite thing to do, she had a path worn out. She was Rottweiler and Australian Shepherd) and didn’t even want to walk anymore we knew it was time and instead of lingering for days or even maybe weeks in pain and not able to do what she loved, she passed peacefully surrounded by her favorite people petting her.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Yes, but it’s never easy.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@MrGrimm888 do shelters have the right to euthanasia the animals? Well, the other option would be to force them in to an overcrowding situation without enough food to go around. Or turn them loose?

@ellespark good point about “unnaturally” prolonging their lives. If Dakota had been born a wild wolf she would have died a long, long time ago, while she was relatively young and healthy. She tore her meniscus about 6 years ago. In a wild animal that would have been their death knell.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I agree with @rojo, it’s an obligation. It’s a privelage to share our lives with them, and just like taking a parent or child to the doctor when needed, we are obligated to do the same for furbabies.

Sorry for your loss, Dutchess. So sad that two of our jellies lost dogs in the last two weeks, but I’m proud that you guys were able to get through the emotion and do the right thing by them.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I feel guilty because a small part of me is relieved because there is no more dog hair everywhere. That girl shed like you wouldn’t believe. And with that hair came dirt. We cleaned last Monday…and the house virtually hasn’t changed since then.
But I’d take the dirt and hair back in a heart beat if she could be young and strong and still with us.
I remember watching her run across the back yard….she just flowed silently, like a white ghost. It was breathtaking.

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KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III Please don’t feel guilty for that, we animal lovers all do the best we can, and it’s sooo normal to feel relief after an extended illness.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Nice @KNOWITALL. Thank you.

On her last Saturday 4 of the grandkids were here. We realized, early in the morning, it was going to have to be on that day, so without going into great detai,l I told the kids to take extra time to be with Dakota. When my son showed up to get the kids, I told him and he got down on the floor to say good bye to her.
Rick and I have been together 17 years. Dakota was with us for all but 4 of those years. She defined us. She defined our lives. Most of the grandkids don’t remember a time without her.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Yeah. They really become a part of our lives.

KNOWITALL's avatar

You guys are killing me, I’m ugly crying. :(

Dutchess_III's avatar

((( hugs )))

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answerbag's avatar

But think about the times the dog would be happy in a day, and the times it would be in pain because it is hard to be in pain and happy at same time.
It could be 1/5 of its day.
1’ is happiness. In that case, it would desire to live 1/5 of its day.

But if it could understand, it would (probably) prefer that you choose to end its life, but since cannot understand what is happening it cannot feel yes or no.

So we should focus on its pain.
When someone is in pain, but cannot speak for himself, them needs another to be responsible for them.
Who is in charge have the right to make that choice.

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