A shelter should be a temporary compromise for dogs and cats. It is not a solution to companion animal homelessness. Dogs and cats need more than food, water, and shelter from the elements. They need and deserve loving care, regular human companionship, respect for their individuality, and the opportunity to play and run. As difficult as it may be for us to accept, euthanasia (carried out by veterinarians or shelter staff trained in intravenous injection of sodium pentobarbital) is often the most compassionate and dignified way for unwanted animals to leave this uncaring world.