HomeHuman to cat relationshipambivalentHeart Sticking Animals in Shelters


Heart Sticking Animals in Shelters — 11 Comments

  1. I’ve heard the same and I’ve also been informed by several reputable people that they are not fully sedating them and ferals not sedated at all!!!

      • MADACC – Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission

        Ruth, do you know how they justify this procedure? My reading about the heart shot is that the cat or dog should be deeply sedated to make sure that the needle is inserted accurately.

        • They say that the animals are given a shot to relax them and then workers stroke them and help to calm them until the heart stick is given. So they aren’t put all the way under first.

          MADACC, according to a shelter worker at a no kill shelter, killed a bunch of kittens a few years ago despite a shelter offering to take them. They continue to kill ferals despite a county wide TNR program being put in place. I think the leadership there just sees killing as the answer to too many cats. Of course, feral cats killing and rats, so I’m not sure too many is even correct. Milwaukee has a rat problem. Killing all our stray and feral cats will only exacerbate it.

          • I get the impression that a lot of people see killing cats as fast as possible as the way forward. I understand why they think that but I strongly disagree with them. It is not right and in the long term it will prove to be ineffective. It won’t work. It is shorttermism and reactive.

  2. Milwaukee animal control uses heart stick to kill cats, but they say they sedate them first. That is what would have happened to Monty had I not went back for him.

    • Thanks Ruth. It’s about proper deep sedation. That is what makes it acceptable but even then it is wrong because it should be a second choice method after conventional veterinary euthanasia. In fact it is still wrong on a number of levels because these are healthy animals.

      Frankly this shelter is an example of how the domestication of dogs and cats has gone wrong.

  3. Sadly the ones I witnessed weren’t sedated first, I presume the shelters doing this are ran by the state an they aren’t renowned for compassion they just want to get rid of the poor unwanted cats as cheaply as possible.

  4. I have seen vets euthanize by injection into the heart or kidney when they couldn’t get into vein and I found it brutal and is one of the main reasons I stay with any cat which is being PTS for health reasons , we don’t PTS for any other reason, the thought of it being done by shelter staff is horrific 🙁

    • Yes, Marion, if a vet has to euthanise this way then he has to for medical reasons and when the animal is deeply sedated but as you say, when a non-vet kills animals routinely without sedating in this way it is horrific. This is not a shelter. It is a processing plant.

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