Rescue Journal

carol hine AND saints answers char olson's question on would i kill a puppy?

Carol  ·  Mar. 30, 2010

they say there are no stupid questions....maybe this is true..i would have to think a bit more deeply upon this cuz today i am not too sure.

just to set the record straight..i did actually answer this question on the AAS message board, but as has happened in the past, the powers to be decided not to post my response...i don't know if they missed it or simply forgot but that question is hanging out there so i suppose it deserves an answer somewhere. i also did not see the original question on the brindleweb board which is why i never answered..i had stopped reading that thread when i got bored.,,so i apologise for not answering.

so my first part of the answer to the question of which i was accused of no response is this...sorry i did not see the question til sunday night, 2 days ago. i am actually glad that AAS decided not to post my response because i have been thinking about it further and deeper and now i have more to say.

anway..the answer to this burning and so dramatic question..would i kill some innocent puppy. i will try to be as honest as i can.

i have killed several puppies over my 20 year rescue career...i did not mean to, it was not intentional but they were all newborns, under a week old that i was trying to feed and keep alive but they still died in my hands. i still feel very badly about that...good intentions, trying hard does not always make someone tiny and innocent stay alive.

i am the epitome of the proverbial puppy hugging bleeding heart, i try to keep everyone alive...even blind 17 year old incontinents in end stage cardiac disease, crippled with arthritis who occasionally bite...if there is a way..i have the will.

i never decide to euthanize based on the cost of medical care...i don't even know how much each individuals vet bills are because i mostly just look at the total we owe.

but i have decided at times not to pursue medical options, not to give some poor animal the care that they needed to actually survive.

here is an example from about a dozen years ago...

a feral cat was trapped and taken into our vet. we were intending to neuter and test and take him into our shelter for life long care. the vet called me to come in and see him..which i did. and what i saw was a feral cat with an 8 inch prolapsed rectum that had started to gangrene. i looked at the poor little black, beat up and skinny cat and i knew the vets could cut out that part of his diseased bowel and put him back together again. but i also knew that i was not going to be able to administer antibiotics, stool softeners, laxatives and keep that healing surgical area clean and free from feces, blood and drainage while he healed. my inability to provide proper post-op care was going to make him feel even worse and he would still die. i looked at that poor cat desperate for the chance to fight or fly and i said, put him down...i could not offer him anything better than more suffering and pain and fear.

i still see him on the table in that cage char..i still feel the fear that broad sided me from his eyes.

char.....i have euthanized many actual death toll is far greater than anyone elses..i kill sometimes 50 animals a year...some have been newborn puppies and kittens unintentionally.

i do think that was a stupid question directed at me. a more thoughtful and pertinent question might have been...
why did carol hine defend the spca?

and my answer to that is simple....we are each responsible for the burdens of decisions we feel we have to make. we sometimes have to make decisions that we actually hate. having had to make hundreds of life and death decisions regarding the animals in my care, and then having to find a way to pay for them financially, emotionally, even physically..i do respect the difficulties these decisions sometimes present.

i have seen lots of animals in the care of other rescuers, euthanized that i personally would have tried to save. but i was not the one caring for them. they made the decisions they made for their reasons which to them were valid...if i give them that respect am i not morally bound to give the same respect to the spca?
am i not morally bound to at least try to see some of the difficult issues that affected the decisions being made?

i live in a glass house where sometimes animals die therefore i do not throw stones at other glass me this respectful.

i am assuming char, that you do not read this blog so i will post it over on brindle for you to see, no point in asking or answering if the person intended does not get a chance to see.



Hey Carol... Loved your answer on BW. Sometimes I read some of the postings on there and wonder about the IQ of some people. Sorry Nicole I know that was political to say but I had to get that out. But I wrote this when it is way down on the page and no one will see it. LOL.


Yes, but the problem with SPCAs is that they ALLOW people to divest themselves of responsibility. They stoicly kill thousands of animals every year in order to allow the public to not feel any guilt or responsibility. What if we said "no" to the public? What if they had to do their own dirty work? Of course this is not a good solution for the animals but neither is taking them into a back room where the public never goes and killing them. When we do this it allows our society to never think about those animals. If people were told they had to figure out a way to care for their animals and make their OWN decisions regarding life or death perhaps there would be a sea change in the way people view their companion animals. Perhaps they would not seem so disposable anymore.


While there are definitely some 'bad' spca/ac departments everywhere (and some are hated for very good reasons), I think the main reason is usually that they're not Magicians. People seem to think that just because an SPCA exists, it should solve Everything.
The same people who don't donate, volunteer, adopt from, or otherwise *help* the spca, still expect them to take in, vet, and adopt out every creature that crosses their threshhold.
When they let Fluffy have a litter, they want to be able to dump that litter at a shelter and delude themselves into thinking that it all turned out okay. When that baby whatever gets too big, they want to dump it and assume it ended up living happily ever after somewhere (else). No one wants to know the Reality, and it's always easier to blame an organization than it is to accept any sort of responsibility.
(my 2cents...)

Jenn Hine

Is it bad that I was reading this while eating lunch ... and did not pause ... even at the prolapsed rectum part ...

My thoughts on the matter are that there is the IDEAL .. the UTOPIA .. that we would like to save every animal .. and then there is the REALITY--in which these life/death and medical decisions are made on a case by case basis ... which is multi-layered with questions and in which there is never a clear-cut right or wrong but that we can only make the most educated/thoughtful/considerate ... etc. decision and then we have to live with that decision. There is thinking longterm and shortterm too ... I could go on and on I think you get my point. It is naive to judge others so harshly and not see and give credit to the role the SPCA plays and the value they give to the community. They provide education to the community and they take in and pick up the strays... among many other roles. I just don't get the people that are so ANTI-SPCA ... have even really stopped to think about why they dislike them so much?