30Jun
2017
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Diego and Roxy wearing sunglasses while promoting the Resting Paws car rally

Paws News July 2017

Euthanizing a healthy pet for the owners’ convenience

In the last month I came across 2 articles written on the subject.

It is a fact that healthy pets are euthanized every day in Canada. The reasons vary:
• monetary issues
• owners are moving
• the owner is getting older and can’t look after the pet anymore
• the owner doesn’t think anyone else can or would want to look after their pet
• the owner has passed away
• the owner simply doesn’t want the pet anymore

Unfortunately the pets are considered a property under the law and what happens to them is up to the owner.
In our society there are more pets than homes and it is a dilemma what to do when we can’t or don’t want to look after our pet anymore.
Some Clinics don’t even ask why the owner wants the pet euthanized.
The Veterinarians Association says fewer Vets are willing to euthanize healthy pets, but the Association does not prohibit it. It is also not prohibited by federal or provincial legislation. Many animal advocates say it should be. Animal Protection Laws in Canada are outdated and need to be overhauled. In 2014, Canada received a D out of possible grades A,B,C,D,E,F,G on World Animal Protection’s Animal Protection Index. World Animal Protection includes all animals, not just pets.
Most animal shelters have euthanized un-adopted pets for years, but the practice has fallen out of favour in recent years.
This is where the animal rescues come in. They look after pets that might have special needs, need extensive medical or dental care or simply need more one on one TLC. In the greater Ottawa Region there are over 70 animal rescues. They do great work and are always looking for Foster parents.
There is also the Pet Resource Bank. They help pet owners keep their pets by providing food, Contact for Veterinary Care at reasonable rates and Aftercare. Proof of Income has to be provided (https://www.petresourcebankottawa.com/).
If pet owners need help feeding their pet there is also the Ottawa Paw Pantry (http://ottawapawpantry.ca/).
The only reason a healthy pet should be euthanized is excessive aggression towards people and other animals. Some animals that have been strays for too long become “wild” out of necessity and can’t always be rehabilitated.
The responsibility for our pets lies with all of us. Only we can bring change to the laws that should protect animals.
The best thing we can do as pet owners is having our pets spayed or neutered.
Both our dogs are rescues and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Roxy was brought to SPCA Gatineau by her owner who could no longer care for her. Diego was a stray found in the Plantagenet area. They both had their issues when they first came to us but with training, patience and love they turned in to wonderful pets and we can’t imagine our life without them.