An End to Harmful Animal Euthanasia

In this research paper, there is discussion of the beneficial effects a nonprofit organization will have upon the anti-euthanization movement.It presents two arguments: the euthanization of animals with treatable and manageable injuries, diseases, and behavioral problems should be prevented a nonprofit organization would be effective in controlling this issue or eradicating it. It takes the side of the movement, explaining the moral issues with euthanasia abuses and misuses, and addresses the opposition through the discussion of those who participate in convenience euthanasia.

The argument recognizes the need for euthanasia in the case of unsolvable suffering, such as untreatable injuries and diseases. The paper comes to the conclusion that the creation a large-scale, highly visible non-profit network of organizations who protect animals from euthanasia would be the most effective method of solving the issue of unethical euthanasia.

An End to Harmful Animal Euthanasia Through the Use of Non-Profits The death of an animal is bound to cause momentous grief in American culture.

In the United States, pets are regarded as family members. From pet cemeteries to Ikea dog beds and even “puppuccinos”, pets are treated as people. However, not every domesticated animal in America is blessed with such treatment. Millions of domesticated animals like cats and dogs are homeless, with only a few portion inhabiting shelters. Although some of these stray animals enter shelters, a significant portion of them are euthanized. Animal euthanasia has been used legally in the United States since 1990, and has been helpful in the prevention of animal suffering.

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However, animal euthanasia is frequently abused, as many animals with deformities or treatable injuries and diseases are often euthanized due to lack of funding or overcrowding. Many professionals see it as humane, for it prevents a stray animal from suffering from the effects of homelessness (starvation, illness, extreme temperatures, etc).

Still, there are people who disagree on the rationale behind these euthanizations. In a survey conducted by S. M. Gomez (2019) of 246 students at Advanced Technologies Academy, I posed questions about animal euthanasia; inquiring if the participants knew what animal euthanasia and of the different rationale behind animal euthanasia. I received 52 responses. Out of the 52 responses 73% of the recipients knew what animal euthanasia meant, and 27% knew that animal shelters administer euthanasia. Furthermore, 75% of the respondents knew that animals are euthanized if they are injured, ill, or deformed; 86.5% did not think it was merciful to euthanize animals with treatable illness, and 98% did not think it was merciful to euthanize animals with a fixable injury. However, only 50% believed that it was not merciful to euthanize an animal with a severe deformity.

Based on the AN END TO HARMFUL ANIMAL EUTHANASIA 3 results, many people disagree with the rationale behind euthanization, which presents a problem in society that needs to be addressed. The euthanization of animals with treatable and manageable illness, injuries, and behavioral issues should be eradicated through the creation and implementation of non-profit organization dedicated to saving animals from euthanization would be an effective method of prevention for questionable and avoidable animal euthanasia. Euthanasia originates from Greek language, literally meaning “good death.” According to Newkirk (2018), when an animal is euthanized it is meant to be quick, painless, and respectful–and implemented only when it is needed. For example, in cases of terminal illness or unsurvivable injuries and deformities, it would be unreasonable and unethical to continue to force the animal to continue to receive unhelpful treatment.

Although euthanasia should only be used when needed, some reasons for its implementation are quite questionable. These reasons include manageable and treatable illness and injuries, deformities, and aggression, as stated by the American Humane (n. d). However, a fair amount of the animals that are euthanized have untreatable injuries and diseases, and only a small portion are euthanized with treatable and manageable damage. In fact, the Animal Humane Society (​Dixon, Lay, Bonds, & Mock)​(2016) published a report in which 88.4% of animals euthanized were unhealthy or untreatable, while only 11.6% of animals euthanized were treatable. Although 11.6% may appear as an insignificant amount, when applied to the overall population of animals euthanized each year as stated by Gray (2015), those are 313,200 animals. This presents a quantity large enough to present a problem, but small enough to control. Through the use of a non-profit organization, this presented problem can be controlled, and perhaps eradicated.

Non-profit organizations are often useful methods of activism within the national and international community. For some background, non-profit organizations are “​groups that are tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) as ‘public charities’ because they are formed to provide ‘public benefit,’” as stated by the National Council of Nonprofits (2018) They do not gain any profit from the donations that they receive, but rather reroute those funds into paying those who work for their cause or, more importantly, spending the donations and investments to accomplish their stated mission or goal. According to Ebrahim and Rangan (2010), nonprofits are often measured on items such as accountability – whether or not these organizations are actually spending and receiving donations properly, are governed properly, and are actually accomplishing what they stand for – as well as impact – how much they actually provide the affect and change through their organization.

In short, nonprofits must actually be accomplishing their goals to be considered effective, which is an important measure for every nonprofit, including animal protection and rights.​ Nonprofits, thankfully, continue to be effective in their fields, and manage to continue to have large impact within the world of animal safety and rights. The Animal Humane Society (n. d.) continues to save approximately twenty-three thousand animal lives, and organizations such as PETA continue to push for animal rights within the international community. Although nonprofits such as these continue to save animals homelessness and exploitation, few animal safety and rights nonprofits actually spend their resources saving animals from euthanization, creating a lack of nonprofits who spend time stopping euthanization abuse.

The lack of anti-euthanization nonprofits could be solved through one of two ways: a confederation of smaller organizations to establish a network that provides safety to homeless AN END TO HARMFUL ANIMAL EUTHANASIA 5 and endangered animals or a national nonprofit which collaborates with many organizations across the country to provide said safety. On a local scale, anti-euthanization groups are not unheard, and often are nonprofits themselves such as Vet Ranch in Texas and the Abandoned Project, a national organization which has yet to gain much visibility. Vet Ranch (n. d.) provides free health care and treatment for homeless animals to prevent them from needless euthanization, and the Abandoned Pet Project (n. d.) networks a small group of veterinarians who wish to accomplish a similar goal. The creation of a nonprofit which networked more organizations like these closer together, and allowed for the support of new ones to be created on the local level could better benefit the cause of anti-euthanization. Similar projects outside of the field anti-euthanization and animal rights include the National Council of Nonprofits (n. d.) which has effectively linked twenty-five thousand local organizations for the common goal of public charity and benefit.

The Council allows for better advocacy due to communication, verification of accountable nonprofits, and bringing greater awareness and visibility, which is sorely needed for organizations such as Vet Ranch and the Abandoned Pet Project due to their small amount of followers and visibility(Vet Ranch currently has under three million subscribers according to YouTube (2016), which is under .1% of the US population and under 10% of the population of their home state of Texas). Non-profit organizations such as Vet Ranch and the Abandoned Pet Project function efficiently in their objective to save animals from euthanizations because of their focus and ability to achieve consistent donations and help from local veterinarian offices, find homes for these animals after they have been treated, and their love and devotion to give back to their community. With an organization established in a local community, it allows for the people in that community to feel a greater self-efficacy when they help those in need; thus local AN END TO HARMFUL ANIMAL EUTHANASIA 6 veterinarians would be incited by the moral obligation that is set in front of them to help in treating these animals. Advertisement for these animals is easier as well, as local people have better understanding of their area and have better connections to find homes for these animals.

A non-profit organization may also expose the issue to unknowing people, bringing awareness to locals and holding them accountable to some extent. The closer-knit a community is, the more self-efficacy and communal effort there will be. Thus, having a non-profit branch off to local communities is the most effective route. However, many individuals are not opposed to euthanization, but rather use euthanization to their own convenience. Convenience euthanization – or owner-requested euthanization – is often used at the expense of animals, with some cases being to get rid of mal-mannered animals but others including getting rid of animals due to moving locations or other non-fatal. Although some animals may be too aggressive to be safely kept among human owners, the abuse of euthanization can end a healthy animals life early due to personal reasons that only affect the owner rather than the animal. In addition, veterinarians find themselves negatively affected by administering these euthanizations due to either fearing of these animals safety in the case of rejection, the guilt of harming a healthy animal, or disagreeing with the need for the procedure, which further harms the mental health of those who care for animals (Rathwell-Deault, Godard, Frank, and Doizé, 2017).

The euthanization of these animals is an issue that cannot go unnoticed. Although some may see this euthanization as humane and merciful, it would not be the seen the same way if the same practices were used on humans, with many opposing legislation for physician-assisted suicide (Bever, 2018), which is the human equivalent of animal euthanization. Kure (2011) describes that the use of euthanization over suicide or death often AN END TO HARMFUL ANIMAL EUTHANASIA 7 allows for ignorance to the fact that the animal’s life is being taken away in a preventable situation, which would never be done to humans. Thus, animal euthanasia used towards animals who are injured, ill, deformed, or exhibit behavioral issues is unjust, merciless, and a problem worth relevancy.

To conclude, the euthanization of animals that are healthy, treatable, and manageable is preventable. Through the use of a national non-profit organization that would branch off into many local communities, the euthanization of animals would decrease greatly. By establishing the organization in local communities, it allows for people living in their communities to be held accountable for the animals in need. An organization established in local communities also allow for donation to be made from local veterinary offices and shelters, gathering help from medical professionals and every day citizens. The euthanization of animals under questionable rationale such as treatable injuries, illness, and behavioral problems is a issue that needs attention. These animals are living, breathing creatures that hold a soul and heart, just as human does; and should be held with the same respect and dignity as a person. With the help of a non-profit and the every-day citizen, these innocent animals can be given a second chance at life.

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An End to Harmful Animal Euthanasia. (2022, Feb 04). Retrieved from

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