Euthanasia is a sensitive subject for most people, and is a great debate. Animal euthanasia is a common practice among shelters when they become too full of stray animals, resulting in the need for these animals to be euthanized in order to make room for new incoming animals. Euthanasia, also called “mercy killing” is the act of putting to death painlessly or allowing to die, as by withholding extreme medical measures, a person or animal suffering from an incurable, especially a painful, disease or condition. (1) Euthanasia is more commonly referred to as “putting down”, or “putting to sleep”. This practice is a necessity when it comes to trying to control the stray animal population, terminal illness, rabies suspicion, aggressive behavioral problems, and elderly pets. When a human life is going to be compromised by a pet, euthanasia is a better option than “dumping” the animal. By “dumping” the pet it becomes a general hazard to other people, pets, and that same pet is then forced into attempting its own survival after being domesticated.
There are many methods to the actual act of animal euthanasia. There is intravenous anesthetic, which most pets are euthanized by. It consists of an intravenous injection which is typically a very high dose of a barbiturate, such as sodium pentobarbital. When injected into the vein, the drug produces rapid unconsciousness, respiratory then cardiac arrest, and death without the pain and distress that accompany all other methods. (2)There are also other methods, such as the gas chamber, which the pet is overdosed on isoflorine, a common anesthetic used during surgery. The last two more uncommon methods are cervical dislocation, or snapping of the neck, and is used mainly only in mice and rabbits. Shooting is only appropriate for cattle and horses if performed properly. Knowing how the proper way of euthanasia is performed is important.
Aside from the shelters necessity to euthanize, many people...