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Euthanasia Horror Stories Underline Importance of Animal Rescue

Problems reported at a nearby animal services center are a grim reminder of all the scared, sad and lovable animals in shelter that want nothing more than to find someone to show them what love is.

I was recently sent a story to read, and I have to tell you, it made my stomach turn and made me angry. The story was in the Tampa Bay Times, and it discussed the problems associated with euthanasia at Hernando County Animal Services

The story discusses how some animals were not weighed to figure the right amount of anesthesia to be given, and the animals were not checked to make sure they were anesthetized completely before injecting the euthanasia
medication into the heart. In fact, it states that one cat was injected three times before its heart was ever found. 

The story points out that some cats were allowed to walk around the room after being anesthetized instead of in a nice calm space, and that euthanasia was being done in front of conscious animals. The writer does a great job and goes into much more detail. Here's the full article.

I have told you stories about dogs who came out of animal control. I have told you about diseases and dogs never given a chance. Some of these animals were not even scanned for a microchip to attempt to find their owner.

However, if you were the owner and took your animal to Hernando County to be euthanized and cremated due to illness, and wanted your animal’s ashes back, you would not know if you received yours or someone else’s animal, according to the Times article. The bodies were not labeled before they were put in the freezer.

I am so heartbroken for so many of these babies. As you all know by reading my articles, I want to save every animal possible. These places don’t care to save any. I understand that there is “no room," and that some believe there is no other alternative than euthanasia, but there is. There are ways to promote adoption, raise money at events, and lower costs for spaying and neutering. 

Maybe I am of the minority and believe my dogs to be more than just a dog. To me, they are my heart and soul. They are the things I cannot wait to come home to, and that love me unconditionally. They have more love and emotion than some people give them credit for.

Please spread the word to adopt a rescue dog. Yes, they might have issues because of what they have been through, but they seem to appreciate and love their owners so much. There are so many scared, sad and lovable dogs in shelters that want nothing more than to find someone to show them what love is — something they do not have from a human right now.

Find adoptable animals through Pinellas County Animal Services or, right here in town, Get Rescued in Gulfport.

Cherlene Willis May 23, 2012 at 12:27 PM
It's very difficult to read this, but I appreciate Shelly's efforts to spread the word about adopting from rescues. Thanks Shelly. - Cherlene
Lynda May 23, 2012 at 01:39 PM
The Hernando County story emphasizes the importance of hiring the right people to manage animal services and then county officials providing competent oversight. In many rural counties both are hard to find. In most states with aggressive agri-business lobbyists, good laws protecting animals (even domestic companion animals) are impossible to get through state legislatures. If you are interested in animal welfare, be sure you vote for people who are willing to protect animals. Ask candidates what they are willing to do to protect animals and promote effective animal services before you vote for them. Hold board members of animal welfare institutions accountable for what happens within those institutions. And, of course, as Shelly says,always consider adding a rescued animal to your family when you can. In many, many instances they will be healthier and have better tempers than purpose-bred puppy or kitten mill animals from expensive sources.
Marilyn Dupuis May 23, 2012 at 10:10 PM
This is outrageous!!!!! We have adopted but never in Hernando County, for some reason something tol us not here and we went out of county. Somebody needs to be accountable
Melanie H May 25, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Having worked in a high skill shelter.it's very easy to judge when you have never been in this situation. One day a week shelters workers were rotated thru the lab and were responsible for carrying out 40 to 80 euthanasias ..that day!! I have been working the shelter circuit for 6 years and every person I have worked with there are in this field because they LOVE animals. So in order to make it thru my euthanasia day I would completely check out emotionally and become very numb and mechanical. Crazy things happen in the labs, animals are unpredictable, effectiveness of ketamine can be altered due to illness, anxiety,and sometimes just pure will to live. imagine how hard these things are on an animal lover. Mistakes get made, It sucks but it you want to point fingers let's start by how many animals are hitting the shelters everyday. Not just surrenders, in the south it's strays. Animal control facilities and shelters didn't make this mess. They are just there trying to clean it up. Society and irresponsible pet ownership is to blame. Spay and neuter your pets and don't let your pets run at large to be exposed to parasites and disease. I have a bumper sitcker on my truck. it has a man holding a dog on a lease, and at the dogs feet are puppies. An arrow points to the man and says this is dick, an arrow points to the dog and says Dick's dog, and to the puppies Dick's dog's puppies.Then in large print it says "Don't be a Dick" Spay and Neuter your pets..
Cherlene Willis May 25, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Melanie, Thanks for sharing your experience. This is a very important issue for pet owners. - Cherlene

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