START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
Dec 7, 2011

In the United States today, there are nearly four million animals that are homeless.

Animal shelters have been taking steps to reduce that number, some ways which are positive and

some that are negative. One of the ways is to put the animals through “euthanasia”, which kills

them. Animal shelters should not put animals that are healthy and can be cured of sicknesses

through euthanasia.

Euthanasia is when a pet owner or animal shelter worker puts an animal “down” and kills

it. There are three different methods animal shelters use to put down animals. One is with the

dose of a poison called sodium pentobarbital, which is injected  through the heart or leg.

This is the most popular mean of ending an animal’s life. The animal is usually put to sleep

before the procedure without painkillers, and the needle is stabbed into the heart or leg. The

process is usually traumatizing for the  pet, the veterinarian and anybody else there. Certain

animals wake up when they feel the pain and start to struggle and fight the vet, or may need

another injection due to weight. (Ayers)

            Another type of euthanasia is carbon monoxide gassing. Animals are put into a gas

chamber, which come in all sizes, and a hose is attached to the chamber and the carbon

monoxide is released. The animals will usually scream and fight to get out until they fall asleep,

which takes seven minutes. In about twenty to twenty-five minutes the animals are dead.

The process causes muscular spasms and convulsions to the animals, and in certain gas chambers

the animals watch other animals die next to them. This process is not humane in any way, or

peaceful for the poor animals. Many animal shelters are against this practice, but there are still

some left in the US. A video from the 1990’s shows “The Kill Box” at the Yadkin County, North

Carolina animal shelter. “Viewers watch as two men load several dogs into a metal box. The men

attach a hose to the box, turn on the "poison gas" and wait until the animals, crowded into this

box, perish. The men then load puppies into the box, on top of the already dead animals and start

the process again.”(Peta)

The last techniques of putting an animal down are electrocution or decompression.

Electrocution, is obviously very painful and inhumane to animals. Decompression chambers

make the gases in animals' sinuses, middle ears, and intestines expand quickly, causing

considerable discomfort or severe pain. These practices may still be used in the US today. (Peta)

Twenty-eight to twenty-two million cats and dogs have been euthanized since

2000. That means 21917 dogs and cats a day 913 every hour. Animals that have been abused, in

dog fighting, puppies and kittens in boxes, and animals that were abandoned by their owners are

being euthanized, because people couldn’t be responsible and care for their pets correctly.

Humans treat dogs and cats like stuffed animals, not like a living animal that has needs and

feelings. What if people killed human orphans because nobody would adopt them? People have

been letting animals starve, run loose in their towns and using them as toys for years.(Katana936)

There is such a thing as a puppy mill, or in other words, a puppy factory. These places

breed dogs for pet stores in deplorable conditions such as cramped wire cages with no human

interaction except for feeding. Their cages are coated in feces and urine, they have unacceptable

drinking water, no feeding at all or bad food, and no veterinary care. Often times, dead puppies

are left in cages with other puppies that may not be noticed for days, due to diseases and

sicknesses that go unnoticed. The puppies that die or are not good enough are killed and thrown

away into the same place where our garbage goes. The dogs that come from these places are

emotionally scarred and may be afraid of the humans that adopt them and can even be afraid of

the outside world, since they have never seen it.(Rottweilerv)

After a dog’s fertility wanes, breeding animals are often killed, abandoned or sold

cheaply to another mill to try and get one more litter out of the dog. Many of these dogs spend

their whole life in a cage until their death and never know the feeling of being loved by a human.

Also, the puppies that have health problems due to the bad conditions are killed because pet

stores will not take them. Pet Stores are cruel to buy from these puppy factories and people

shouldn’t buy from them either. People should take action to shut down these factories and begin

buying from shelters. Plenty of animals at shelters are purebred, and if they aren’t, they are still

lovable and just as good. (Humane society)

There are countless animals that are homeless on the street because people throw them

out, they run away and cannot be found, are the litter of strays, or are just not wanted. That is

why people should take the steps to prevent this from happening. A few steps that could be taken

are to spay and neuter pets to avoid unwanted litters, license all pets with ID tags that have the

owner’s name and contact info, donate animals that can be used to be guide dogs for the

handicapped, and only animals that are sick, injured, or dying should be euthanized. Some

animal shelters are euthanizing animals because they have run out of room and cannot keep

all of the animals that come in humanely. If they tried to keep all of the animals they would not

have enough resources to afford the food, care and attention the animals need. If people could

adopt more animals it would save them from being euthanized. People can also sign pledges to

not buy from puppy mills, and to stop animal cruelty. Many animal advocates such as the

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), People for the

Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and World Wildlife Federation (WWF) try to protect animals

and do all they can to help them. You can become a member of these groups and help them take

action by signing petitions, donating money and  signing pledges. (Aspca) (YouTube)

            Euthanasia is obviously not the only problem that America faces over the care of animals,

The way we treat animals could be greatly changed if people would take action and prevent

animals from having to live such horrible lives. America is a place based on greed and

materialism. Just because a puppy isn’t the cutest puppy doesn’t mean it should die. What the

animals of America are experiencing now is almost like genocide. If humans are the highest

species, why can’t they be responsible and treat pets the way they should be treated?

The truth is that some Americans cannot even care for a child correctly, how could they

care for an animal that needs just as much attention and love? Hopefully the issue of animal

overpopulation will be solved in some way other than euthanasia. For the sake of the millions of

poor animals dying each day in America, people will understand that hurting animals,

abandoning and euthanizing them when they do not deserve to die             is wrong. We should cherish

the creatures that unconditionally love and forgive us for our mistakes. Having a pet is not as

simple as buying a toy and leaving it when you’re done with it, pets are just as important as

children. Soon, America will see the error of its ways and stop the cruelty and unnecessary

deaths of those so many people adore, our pets.





1.      Kristin Bien ( November 08, 2010

2.      Dean A. Ayers, Euthanasia is ‘Unethical’ for Dogs or Cats, as a Socialized Health Care Solution



5.      Videos on YouTube- Katana936 “Pet Euthanasia-the sad truth”, Formadeline “This can’t be happening” Rottweilerv “The Truth about puppy mills”







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Posted: Dec 7, 2011 1:16pm


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