Euthanasia is a sad reality caused by people who abandon animals, refuse to sterilize their animals, and patronize pet shops and breeders instead of adopting stray animals or animals from animal shelters. Every day in the U.S., tens of thousands of puppies and kittens are born, and there will never be enough homes for all these animals. Animal shelters and shelter workers are stuck with the heart-wrenching job of dealing with unwanted animals.
Some people wonder why “surplus” animals can’t simply live in animal shelters instead of being killed. Even if government-sponsored and private animal shelters had the resources to house the millions of homeless animals born in the U.S. each year (and they don’t), “no-kill” shelters do not provide a solution to the problem of companion animal homelessness.
Dogs, cats, and other companion animals need much more than food, water, and a cage or pen. They also need lots of loving care, regular and sustained companionship, respect for their individuality, and the opportunity to run and play. As difficult as it may be for us to accept, euthanasia (when carried out by veterinarians or trained animal shelter professionals with a painless intravenous injection of sodium pentobarbital) is often the most compassionate and dignified way for unwanted animals to leave a world that has no place for them.