An anonymous posting by an animal shelter manager whose job, which often involves putting animals down, is shooting around Facebook. It offers a sobering look into what goes on behind the scenes at animal shelters.
The letter, which a person who is not the author posted to their Facebook wall, gives a portrait of the types of people who bring their animals to the shelter and what it’s like for the staff who work there.
Here’s a little euthanasia 101 for those of you that have never witnessed a perfectly healthy, scared animal being “put-down”.
First, your pet will be taken from its kennel on a leash. They always look like they think they are going for a walk happy, wagging their tails. Until they get to “The Room”, every one of them freaks out and puts on the brakes when we get to the door. It must smell like death or they can feel the sad souls that are left in there, it’s strange, but it happens with every one of them. Your dog or cat will be restrained, held down by 1 or 2 vet techs depending on the size and how freaked out they are. Then a euthanasia tech or a vet will start the process. They will find a vein in the front leg and inject a lethal dose of the “pink stuff”. Hopefully your pet doesn’t panic from being restrained and jerk. I’ve seen the needles tear out of a leg and been covered with the resulting blood and been deafened by the yelps and screams. They all don’t just “go to sleep”, sometimes they spasm for a while, gasp for air and defecate on themselves.
When it all ends, your pets corpse will be stacked like firewood in a large freezer in the back with all of the other animals that were killed waiting to be picked up like garbage. What happens next? Cremated? Taken to the dump? Rendered into pet food? You’ll never know and it probably won’t even cross your mind. It was just an animal and you can always buy another one, right?
Perhaps though it would be crueler though if these animals were left to fend for themselves in the streets where they might go malnourished, hit by cars, and be a pest in their neighborhoods. But make sure you’re ready to take on a pet for life when you get one. And strongly consider adopting from your local shelter instead of getting a “brand new” one.
A Letter from a Shelter Manager – anonymous in North Carolina [Facebook] (Thanks to Kelvin!)