Vets Forced To Euthanise Healthy Animals

By Ruth aka Kattaddorra

The worst part of my job when working at vet practices in the 1960s to 1990s was holding healthy animals to be euthanized, simply because their owner had decided that fate for them.

Animal life is precious
Poster by Ruth aka Kattaddorra.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

We always asked the reason if someone brought in a cat or dog and asked for them to be ‘put to sleep’ and the usual ones kept on coming up: new baby, allergies, moving house, etc. but some outrightly said they just didn’t want their pet any more.

We then asked if instead of taking the animal’s life we could have permission to try to rehome them. Some people agreed, they just wanted rid and didn’t care what happened to the cat or dog. But some people refused! Can you imagine the mentality of a person like that!

Often they stood and watched their pet die, to make sure we did the job. We had a way around those who didn’t stay to watch, the money they paid went into an animal charity box and the cat or dog was spirited away, the duty vet turning a blind eye…..

I once brought home on the bus a huge Alsatian because I knew the very man who would love him, I was working about 10 miles from home then so it would have been a long walk had the driver refused to let me on the bus. But he just took one look and said ‘Hmm, no charge for your pony seeing as this bus is fairly quiet. He was obviously a dog lover. The dog was named Rob and had a very happy long life with his new owner.

Just to think he would have been dead if his first owner had stayed to watch, was an awful thing. There was a little poodle X puppy one day and I knew the very lady who would have loved her, but no, her owner stood and watched her die, not a tear shed by her, only by me.

Another sad tale was the day a man brought in his dog saying his wife had died, so why should the dog live and yes he stood and watched the dog die!

A funny story to lighten this depressing article a bit, a woman I knew had her dog euthanised for good reason but every time I saw her after that she ignored me. When I asked why, she said

‘Every time I see you, you remind me of our Butch’

Oh dear well I did have long hair those days lol Another funny story from the second practise I worked at, the ‘powers that be’ decided that the town had to be freed of the wild pigeons, well I love pigeons, they are such gentle birds and the very thought of killing them upset me very much. In that job I worked mostly alone as it was a small mixed practise with only two vets who after the small animal clinics and days operations were over, went on their farm rounds.

I was receptionist/nurse/accountant/cleaner/mortuary attendant, the lot. So the first batch of pigeons were brought in, in a big wicker basket and were left with me, the basket would be collected later for a refill.

As soon as the coast was clear I opened the back door of the surgery and then the basket lid and away the flock of pigeons soared into the blue beyond.

One day one pigeon left an egg behind in the basket, I carefully wrapped it in cotton wool and kept it warm all day and took it home for our late mother to nurture. She loved doing things like that!

So, I opened the door and announced ‘Mam, I’ve brought a little job for you to do’ then promptly fell over the step and smashed the egg! I never lived that down lol.

This pigeon ‘cull’ went on for months, until one day I had a phone call to say they wouldn’t be bringing any more pigeons in because their plan obviously wasn’t working as they were getting no less. ‘I wonder why?’ I innocently replied.

Now if we are out and about that town and see any pigeons, Babz will say to me ‘Oh look Ruth, there are some of your descendants’ lol.

But back to serious, I was thinking about all this the other day and did a bit of research on-line to see if it was the same rules now and yes it is!

A pet is classed as a possession and the owner has the right to choose if he lives or dies! Our Animal Welfare Act doesn’t stop it because a vet killing an animal is doing it humanely. So this means a healthy animal has no right to live if the owner decides he must die!

One comment I saw when researching this was:

‘Well healthy animals are killed in Rescue Shelters every day, so what difference?’

And sadly this is TRUE!

Ruth aka Kattaddorra

28 thoughts on “Vets Forced To Euthanise Healthy Animals”

  1. Oh Ruth your tales have made me laugh! 🙂 The vet peeing in the sink so funny 🙂 just what I needed today as well a good cheering up. Your tales totally remind me of the books and films of James Herriot.

    The sad bit of your post about people having their pets put to sleep is just so awful especially when its clear they simply don’t want them and as for that bloke having his wife’s dog pts well all I can day is I hope she damn well haunted him for the rest of his life day and night!!

        • True. He couldn’t have loved his wife very much if the first thing he did was have her dog pts. I never get the ‘oh its his/her dog’ either surely the animal is a family member 🙁 when we speak of our three is ‘oh WE have 3 cats’ because they are part of our family.

    • Thanks Leah, glad the funny bits cheered you up a bit, sometimes we just have to laugh, or we’ll cry x

    • Well there was the time a mouse ran our of a kennel and up inside my trouser leg but thank goodness when it reached the top it did a U turn and ran back down, maybe my wild dancing about screaming made it decide or maybe it didn’t like what it saw up there lol lol
      I was glad when I was promoted to the cattery, it was much better than the kennels.
      Another funny story was when I was again promoted to helping the vets in the consulting rooms, it was my job to clean them too, so one day I opened the door and walked into one, only to see the boss vet having a pee in the…..he said ‘Oops sorry Ruth, just testing my water’ lol lol


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