to have sobbed my heart out at work today because I shouldn't have to do this

(485 Posts)
caniscantanymore Wed 17-Oct-12 20:53:55

I'm a vet. Some details changed or omitted for anonymity purposes and because I'll get flamed for this.

Today a man brought his dog in to me.

The dog was a large, boisterous adolescent puppy. He hurtled into the room, bouncing up to me excitedly, wagging his tail all the time and nudging at my hand with his muzzle. His big squishy paws crashed against my chest each time he paused to greet me, as he bounded around the room investigating all the smells. He was an unusual cross, very striking to look at and obviously a bright and energetic dog. He was adorable.

The history went like this:

The dog had been bought as a tiny puppy by a couple who were told it was a "designer" cross between two specific small breeds. Now, if the people who bought this puppy had had the slightest inkling about what they were doing it would have been immediately obvious to them that this was most certainly not a cross between two small breeds. But anyway, they didn't have a clue so they bought the cute little puppy from this dubious source (probably at a cost of several hundred pounds) and took it back to their family home, complete with toddler.

The dog grew a bit and it became clear that it was actually going to be really big. It was bouncy, energetic and destructive. It kept racing around and knocking over their small child. So they rehomed it to a family member.

The family member also had children but they were slightly bigger children. The family member really wanted to do the right thing, so they tried to "discipline" the dog. The dog began to show occasional signs of aggression and was completely hyperactive in the home, destructive and unmanageable. I was not surprised to hear this, since it was obvious to me from this dog's heritage that it was the sort of dog which had significant needs in terms of exercise and stimulation. In an attempt to magically resolve the issues the family member had the dog neutered. Which unsurprisingly made no difference.

Today the dog was brought in to be put to sleep. It had growled very aggressively when a child had put its face near his, and between this and an imminent change in circumstances the family member felt unable to manage the dog any more. He had tried local and national rescue organisations, all of which were full. He had nobody to care for the dog overnight tonight. He was not able to take the dog home, partly because of safety concerns and partly because the decision had been taken together as a family that it was the right thing to do.

So I put this healthy, affectionate, vibrant dog to sleep while it munched on treats and the third owner in its short life cried into his fur. Then when it was just me and the body of this poor puppy I had a good old cry myself.

I know there will be people who think I was right to put down a dog who has shown any signs of aggression under any circumstances. I disagree.

I know there will be people who think I was wrong to put down a dog when I could have taken it and found it a new home. I disagree.

I also know that there will be many many people who have no idea that this is happening all the time in this country because of irresponsible ignorant greedy people, selling dogs to irresponsible ignorant feckless people, who then pass them on to naive and thoughtless "rescuers" who eventually get to the end of their tether and bring them to me for euthanasia. All the time.

These are the dogs who bite children in the home due to a total lack of knowledge, reasonable expectations and effort to socialise them adequately.

These are the dogs whose owners can afford four figure sums to buy the latest random mongrel "breed" with a stupid made-up name, but cannot afford fifty quid to get it vaccinated, far less any money at all to treat even minor illnesses.

These are the dogs who clog up rescue centres all over the country, waiting along with thousands and thousands of others for the home with no children, no other pets and eight-foot fences, with an owner who has experience of managing behavioural problems, works from home, has stainless steel furniture and can write blank cheques to pay for the inherited illnesses the dog suffers from. Homes which don't actually exist.

These are the dogs who I have to put down because I know that it is more responsible of me to painlessly take their life than to condemn them to wait with the rest of the enormous population of "difficult" dogs sitting in rescue kennels all over the country.

Please, please, I implore you. Get advice before you take on a dog - from a vet, a qualified positive behaviourist, the Kennel Club, the Blue Cross, the Dog's Trust, the RSPCA - the information is there for the taking, there is no excuse. Go to a decent breeder, who has a waiting list, or a rescue centre which really grills you thoroughly before matching you with a pet. Find out how to bring your puppies up properly so if you do find your circumstances change then at least they are rehomable. Make sure you can afford to pay for the unexpected. Make sure your expectations are fair.

Please, because I can't keep having to do this sad

SweetSeraphim Wed 17-Oct-12 20:56:49

Man. What a moving post. I'm so sorry sad

OMG this is horrific. But it seems like you did the kindest thing possible in an impossible situation.

Dozer Wed 17-Oct-12 20:58:51

sad Am sorry, this part of your job sounds v hard, and you sound compassionate and brave.

If you can, keep trying to influence things for the better.


hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Wed 17-Oct-12 20:58:53

I hear you. It isn't fair. it's not fair to the dog and it's not fair to those who have to do the putting to sleep.

We did thoroughly check out about owning a dog before we got Smudge-the-Hoofy-Puppy-Dog 12 years ago. We thought long and hard, we debated backwards and forwards and waited years to do it right. There are lots of people who do heed the words of vets and professionals like you but equally there are those who know best and those people are much harder to educate.

Northernlurkerisbehindyouboo Wed 17-Oct-12 20:59:18

Nobody with any heart could flame you. You've done your job and you didn't create this circumstance. Today's dog should have had a better chance but it's not you who took it away.

I'm so sorry. Your post has really touched me.

I'm a cat person but grew up with dogs. My grandparents had springers. I understand working dogs like that and I'm in despair at the number of people who buy them because they look good but don't understand the OOOOMPH they have. It's a recipe for heartbreak.

ExitPursuedByAaaaaarGhoul Wed 17-Oct-12 20:59:53

sad sad sad

EasilyBored Wed 17-Oct-12 21:01:42

That is so sad. I'm sorry OP, poor you, and poor puppy.

gallifrey Wed 17-Oct-12 21:01:57

That is so sad sad

zombieplanmum Wed 17-Oct-12 21:02:02

Your post has made me cry - when i worked as a vet nurse i was astounded at how many healthy pets we had to put to sleep. It was never the dogs fault angry I lost time me and my friends would cry about this and the male vets even would get emotional.

I still think you did what you had to do and it was the right thing, that poor dogs life would have only gotten worse and he would have been past from one fuckwit to another to another.

We need to make people take dog ownership seriously, they are not fucking toys angry right there with you OP!

ToothGah Wed 17-Oct-12 21:02:11

That is so sad.

Is there not a local rescue or fostering people who would take this sort of dog from you? An arrangement you could make with someone for these occasions?

I would definitely sign up myself if vets asked for people to care for dogs that would otherwise be destroyed - particularly if a vet like you could see there was no real good reason to destroy them.

I'm not going to say any more, as I'm too upset and I don't wish to upset the OP further. But it's so fucking wrong and shouldn't be happening.

Bluestocking Wed 17-Oct-12 21:02:19

I'm so sorry. You are absolutely right; too many people treat animals like toys and expect to be able to just get rid of them when things don't work out.

PoppyScarer Wed 17-Oct-12 21:02:23


Witchety Wed 17-Oct-12 21:03:25

Oh my!! What a sad post!

We are about to start thinking about a family dog, this thread came at the right time.

ByTheSea Wed 17-Oct-12 21:03:40


MrsApplepants Wed 17-Oct-12 21:05:06

Am in tears reading your post. I agree with you wholeheartedly.

Unmumsnetty hugs to you

Viperidae Wed 17-Oct-12 21:05:23

I really am not keen on dogs as a rule but your post has even moved me sad

D0G Wed 17-Oct-12 21:05:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

caniscantanymore Wed 17-Oct-12 21:06:54

Tooth, there are lots of people who I can call in this situation. The good ones cannot take innumerable dogs indefinitely. The less good ones are willing but clueless and sending a dog like this to them would be a recipe for disaster all round. The buck has to stop somewhere.

No YANBU sad not one little bit sad

So sorry that is a part of your job. That's totally shit sad

LFCisTarkaDahl Wed 17-Oct-12 21:07:52

You did the right thing.

It's sad for us all reading that story but the dog died happy being cuddled - it doesn't know its dead. I know that's a weird thing to say but it is comforting to me, the dog doesn't know it's dead, doesn't know it's unwanted.

It's our shame and something we have to live with.

ToothbrushThief Wed 17-Oct-12 21:08:01

Sad post - you poor thing. I feel a little tearful reading that sad

ChristmasKate Wed 17-Oct-12 21:08:10

Your post has made me shed a few tears. Some for you and the impossible situations you have been placed in and more for the dogs you describe sad

My DC would love a dog, I mean they would really actually faint from excitement if I allowed them to have a dog but we all work or go to school and it would be another mouth to feed, family member to pay for and it's not possible or fair.

purplepansy Wed 17-Oct-12 21:08:46

sad how utterly crap

can I suggest you send this to some newspapers?

Northernlurkerisbehindyouboo Wed 17-Oct-12 21:09:10

It's not only dogs. People are awful about cats too. Our local CAts Protection (who provided us with our cat) is full of cats 'sacked' from the family home because the owner gets pregnant. The gits who used to live in our house had a cat. Cat was getting on a bit and then they decided to get a dog. Cat and dog hated each other - so they rehomed their middle aged cat rather than the new cute puppy. It would have better by far had they mustered the imagination to realise that a cat that had never lived with a dog was unlikely to be chuffed. But of course that would have involved them giving up something that they wanted and of course that came first. A lot of people are both stupid and selfish. Bad combination for owning pets.

imperialstateknickers Wed 17-Oct-12 21:11:24

Thanks for putting it in AIBU with a nice intriguing title, really really hope that your message gets out. I absolutely agree with you about all the things you say about the puppy industry as it is at the moment, for every responsible decent breeder there seems to be 50 dodgy ones, at best naive at worst seriously unscrupulous.

ToothGah Wed 17-Oct-12 21:12:31

What cross of breeds was he?

HoneyDragon Wed 17-Oct-12 21:12:44

No one could flame you sad, I can't imagine all the years of training to save animals life's, and you also have to shoulder a burden like this too.

scardeycat Wed 17-Oct-12 21:13:00

Your post made me try.

We have our dog as a result of a similar situation.

Makes me so sad.

hatesponge Wed 17-Oct-12 21:13:54

That's really sad.

Among certain areas of society, dog breeding seems increasingly to be seen as a way to make a quick buck, not just puppy farms anymore but locally we seem to have a worrying number of people trying to flog pitbull crosses 'long legged staffs' for £500, plus lots of other dodgy crossbreeds...

MrsApplepants Wed 17-Oct-12 21:14:18

Yes, do send your post to newspapers, a good suggestion.

kissyfur Wed 17-Oct-12 21:14:56

Such a sad post, I'm so sorry you had to do this sadsad

DrCoconut Wed 17-Oct-12 21:15:54

I refuse to have a dog because we don't have the time, space and resources to properly care for one. DS1 used to beg for one because other kids had dogs but I have maintained that the answer is no and will stay no. It is irresponsible to get any pet unless you are certain you can care for it through thick and thin.

TransatlanticCityGirl Wed 17-Oct-12 21:17:09

I'm really sorry you've had to go through this. I have to be honest however - I believe it is wrong to "euthanise" a pet in any circumstance, let alone because it is unwanted. I realise the support infrastructure simply isn't there, and for that reason you probably felt you didn't have a choice. But as long as families have a way out, without having to take responsibility, I don't think anyone except the most compassionate will ever be motivated to do something about it.

This story makes me feel so sad. You are so very right to educate people about the ramifications of their decisions with regard to purchasing a pet. However I also feel you were wrong to grant this family's request. Sorry, I know it's not what you want to hear... but it's how I honestly feel.

caniscantanymore Wed 17-Oct-12 21:17:13

I'm really not going to be drawn on details of this case because I have a duty of confidentiality. But not breeds which one would associate with being easy family pets.

cutegorilla Wed 17-Oct-12 21:19:04

And while the rescue centres are flooded with dogs like these waiting for the non-existant perfect home, others that are better candidates for rehoming get destroyed because there is no space for them. Then people trying to do the right thing go to get a dog from a rescue and if they're unlucky go somewhere that just wants to shift the dogs they've got rather than find the right match between dog and home. They get an unsuitable dog and rescue dogs get a bad reputation putting more people off taking them in.

It is so depressing.

Everybody considering getting a dog should read and re-read your OP. Then, if you still think you can give a dog a good home research, research, research. If you want to get a puppy get the right breed, find the right breeder. Don't rush, you sometimes have to wait a while for the right pup. If you want to get a rescue dog then find out as much as you can about the place that you are getting it from! The information is all out there.

caniscantanymore Wed 17-Oct-12 21:19:46

Transatlantic, I am all ears and delighted to hear that someone has a solution! What should I have done?

MoonlightandWerewolves Wed 17-Oct-12 21:20:22

So sorry you're having to go through this time and again, but, echoing LFC those animals are lucky that you do. If they can't be re-homed, then euthanasia is far, far kinder than just being turfed out to become a stray, or being abused by an owner who now resents them. Without people like you, these animals wouldn't even have the dignity of a good death.

I used to volunteer in a horse welfare place, so know a little bit where you're coming from.
Maybe the thing to try to hold onto, though, is remembering all of the times, and there will be many, where you helped an animal to recover, or where you found them a new home to be happy in.

But tooth - that's the point. There are too many dogs which are bred by people who are in it simply to make money. Those dogs are sold as fashion accessories with a trendy bloody made up name to people who are not equipped, interested or willing to socialise, train or care for the dogs and eventually decide to put them up for rehoming. And add to that the unknown nature of cross breeding; it is impossible to KNOW how the puppies of any mating will turn out and a cross breed makes it a very high risk exercise indeed.

But they are not rehomable. There are no homes suitable for dogs which have been badly bred, badly socialised, badly trained and often badly treated. They would sit in kennels, waiting and waiting. Stuck in a miserable existance through no fault of their own.

OP. I have no idea how you do your job. I wouldn't have the strength. I am sorry it is so hard.

ethelb Wed 17-Oct-12 21:21:00

I'm sorry you had to do this. It is terribly sad all round.

Just out of interest how do you think the dog could have been better disciplined? And what kind of expectations did they have that you think were wrong?

Northernlurkerisbehindyouboo Wed 17-Oct-12 21:21:19

Transatlantic - what if she'd refused though? The owner would have gone to another vet till he found one to do it - stressing out the animal massively as he did so. This is an awful situation. In no sense is it right - but that doesn't make the OP wrong imo. She has a professional duty to prevent suffering to the animal and she did that.

pegster Wed 17-Oct-12 21:22:05

I too am a vet and I too have sobbed over euthanasia's that could have been prevented if people had sort advice before introducing a new & entirely unsuitable pet into their homes. sad
I hope you (& I) have a better day tomorrow - it can be such a rewarding career and yet some days are just crap

PoppadomPreach Wed 17-Oct-12 21:24:14

Well-written, poignant post. I agree with every point. I'm sorry you have to "clear up the mess" created by all the idiots concerned.

GossipWitch Wed 17-Oct-12 21:25:11

I have tears, how sad for you and the puppy sad I will admit I'm not a dog person, I love them to pieces but I haven't got a clue on how to look after them, so I have cat's instead (watches kitten playing with a tea towel) I will never have a dog, as I think it would be unfair on the dog to have such an incompetent owner, but this is so sad.

suburbophobe Wed 17-Oct-12 21:25:29

Thank you for posting and highlighting this horrific situation.

GhostofMammaTJ Wed 17-Oct-12 21:26:37

That is so sad.

My dog was a reject too. We got her when she was 4 years old. Her previous owner had had her for a year. He had got her for his wife and then she had died. He then met someone else and was moving in with her.

We found out later that she had had 5 different homes before she came to us. She is now 11. I keep being reported to the RSPCA for an 'untreated' skin condition. This skin condition is in fact treated with cortisone injections, but to limited effect. It gets worse just after her flea treatment, so think she may be allergic to that. She is also allergic to fleas, so we can't not give it.

The only fault I have with my beautiful whippet/border collie cross is that she loves to chew electrical wires-one iron, one new vaccuum cleaner and two DS chargers ruined in her time with us. We manage it by mostly not leaving her alone with anything with wires on it.

We are moving next year, when she will be 12 1/2. I have a lovely lady who walks her every day for me. Our lives are going to change radically when we move. I shall be at full time university instead of being at home for much of the day, my DP will be working full time and my DC will be at school. The lady who walks her for me has said she would like to keep her when we move as her DH has now retired. The dog would have company of people she knows and who know and love her. I would be reluctant to leave her, but feel it will be for the best.

I do understand the peopls not wanting to put their children at risk though. I had my DD play with our dog before we committed to having her and we also had her while her previous owner was on holiday to make sure she suited us and we suited her.

Jux Wed 17-Oct-12 21:27:25

OP, very moving post, and I heartily agree with you.

What about reintroducing the dog license? Do you think that would reduce the number of irresponsible breeders and owners?

BonVoyageCharlieBrown Wed 17-Oct-12 21:28:57


Kormachameleon Wed 17-Oct-12 21:29:03

I'm a vet nurse and I know exactly How you feel

It breaks my heart every single time

And makes me want to scream at the idiots I know will just go out and buy another dog

Something needs to be done but I just don't know what

ginmakesitallok Wed 17-Oct-12 21:29:23

canis - wonderful post. It's because you feel this way that you must make a fabulous vet. In the circumstances you did what you could, you did what you had to, there's no right or wrong. Keep caring.

caniscantanymore Wed 17-Oct-12 21:29:34


Just out of interest how do you think the dog could have been better disciplined?
It didn't need discipline. It needed stimulation, training, exercise, routine and consistency.

And what kind of expectations did they have that you think were wrong?
That a dog of extremely challenging breeding will automatically fit into their busy lives. That a dog should tolerate its personal space being invaded by tiny humans at their whim. That whipping off its testes would somehow turn it into Lassie overnight. That buying a dog from some stupid twat in a back alley would ever end well. It's endless.

peg wine for you.

ratbagcatbag Wed 17-Oct-12 21:30:02

Having a cry too, in my youthful more stupid days, as a family we wanted a dog, had zero money and at 17 we looked in the paper for a dog free to good home and found one, a typical staffy x, he was 8 months old, not socialised and just a lot mad. My dad left soon after leaving my disabled mum with him (I'd just moved out) however for all his madness he's now 13, and although not ideal in in his mannerisms, he's a soft daft dog that we wouldn't be without. He wouldn't stand a chance of being rehomed if he needed to be, but he is for better or worse a dopey dog for life. If I did it again, I'd definitely look into it properly and go for a rescue dog, but as I work full time and have a demanding cat then it won't be for several years. sad

Viewofthehills Wed 17-Oct-12 21:30:48

I would love to have a dog, but know that at the moment I don't have time to look after one properly. I also know that the dogs i like have been brought up properly (very much like the children I lie).

I am so sad for you, that you have to do this so often. It is terribly unfair.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 17-Oct-12 21:31:28

what everybody else has said and i really feel for you

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Wed 17-Oct-12 21:31:37

OP I agree with you entirely sad

UndeadPixie Wed 17-Oct-12 21:33:43

Oh OP sad I wish they'd bring in some sort of system for owning and buying dogs, to make sure that people know what on earth they re doing before they take them on sad

OovoofWelcome Wed 17-Oct-12 21:35:09

I second purplepansy - send your OP to some newspapers.

Articulate, heartfelt and powerful.


QueenofNightmares Wed 17-Oct-12 21:39:23

I'm so sorry for you for having to do such a thing and for all the animals out there that just weren't good enough for their owners. I took in my little man because they were going to have him PTS after being bounced around every family member going hes such a joy to have in my life he was 7 when we took him in and he still thinks hes a puppy I wouldn't give him up for love nor money.

I agree with Northern though Cats are treated so fucking vilely too they're seen as even more disposable than dogs I have a 'friend' who is buying two kittens (she already has 2 cats) one for her DD9 and one for herself neither will apparently be neutered she also told me when she moves she plans to get rid of the two older cats sad I'm afraid I told her exactly what I thought of that but she has no fucking shame and really doesn't care the cats are flea infested, love starved and terrified of the smallest sound.

There's a staffy round the corner from me shes a beautiful girl and so friendly but she's terrified all the time I don't know what they do to her but she cowers away from you at first and never stops shaking. I always stop to say hello and give her some attention I just want her to know that someone gives a shit about her and shes not alone.

picnicbasketcase Wed 17-Oct-12 21:44:02

Horribly sad. I hope your post makes people think extra hard and agree you should send it to papers, other sites, wherever it will get a big audience.


MyCannyBairn Wed 17-Oct-12 21:44:37

I'm so sorry OP, what a shitty, shitty thing to have to do. I wish there was a special kind of prison for feckless puppy farmers, and those fecking idiots who spread shite about giving up cats when you get pregnant ( personal bugbear as a crazy cat lady and mum ). Wankers.

caniscantanymore Wed 17-Oct-12 21:48:41

Jux I think having a licence system may go some way to alleviate some of the problems. It would eliminate a number of potential bad outcomes because an awful lot of the time - most of the time, in fact - the problems arise out of complete ignorance. Anything put in the way of people who get dogs on a whim or without proper thought can only be a good thing.

I don't think it would help much at all with regard to dog fighting and some dangerous dogs issues. If someone's already wanted on warrants for assault, robbery, theft, supplying drugs etc, then they're unlikely to be bothered about getting themselves straightened out with a dog licence.

toomuchmonthatendofthemoney Wed 17-Oct-12 21:51:40

Such a sad and heartfelt post, OP, I am so sorry this has to be part of your job when you obviously care so deeply. Poor wee misunderstood pup.


Plomino Wed 17-Oct-12 21:54:19

How terribly terribly sad . We have greyhounds (says she sitting on the floor whilst the two of them are upside down on my sofas ) and I have heard of some shocking tales of neglect and abandonment of otherwise healthy dogs that have made me cry . One of mine lost nearly her whole ear , so as to get rid of the identifying tattoo when she was abandoned .

And it's happening with horses too . All our local rescue sanctuaries are full to the rafters , and yet people continue to breed foals. At the bottom end of the market , you can't give horses away . Not that long ago, we had a case where about 30 horses were just abandoned on the side of our local river , which the RSPCA ended up seizing . Just this week I have been offered a beautiful warmblood gelding , for NOTHING . Just because I can guarantee him a good home for life . All because someone bought him on a whim , and fortunately is a very decent man who has realised he has made a mistake .

You have my utter respect, because I just couldn't do what you do .

brrbrrwinteriscoming Wed 17-Oct-12 21:54:23

OP i am so sorry you had to do this. it is one thing i couldnt not do, and so put me off being a vet. It is terrible, i have two rescue dogs and would not buy a puppy/dog only ever rescue one.

Thank god for someone as compassionate and sweet as you and that the lovely dog had someone who obviously cared enoumously as it ended its very short life

LadyWidmerpool Wed 17-Oct-12 21:55:31

You poor thing. I'm sure your post will make some people stop and think. Thank you for sharing this.

caniscantanymore Wed 17-Oct-12 21:57:36

brrbrr "the lovely dog had someone who obviously cared enoumously as it ended its very short life"

I understand your sentiment but most of these dogs have owners who care deeply. This one did. He just didn't have an owner who had the time, the knowledge or the competence to provide for the dog adequately. Caring isn't enough. Anyone can care. It isn't what dogs need.

Blackballoon Wed 17-Oct-12 22:02:52

Another vet nurse here and it is a situation I have been involved in many times. Sadly there are not enough homes for all these dogs and being stuck in a rescue centre for months on end is no life. At the end of the day there are no welfare issues in putting an animal to sleep so this is the best option for a lot of dogs. Until people change their attitudes to dog ownership then this situation is not going to go away and it breaks my heart.

tazzle22 Wed 17-Oct-12 22:03:11

such a sad post canis.......... you are at the extreme sharp end of the situation in actually doing the deed and I can totally understand the frustration.

Whilst I understand the reference to fashionable cross breeds ( and its probably the current main contribution to the issue) I think that its not just them. The pedigree world goes in such fashions too and people get a certain breed just because they "like the look of them" .... like the current boom in the husky / malamute breeds ( or the bengal in cats). People take on breeds without being fully aware of the mental and physical needs of the dog sad

I try not to look too into depth / specifics these days as it does upset me so much ..... not just at the irresponsible owners but the "breeders" that dump clapped out brood bitches or pups to old to be "cute" knowing full well that rescues organisations will take them in GGGRRRRRRR thereby avoiding their responsibilities. ( although mainly involved in equine rescue we did get dogs and other animals as well)

Transatlantic......... I wonder where all these wondeful magical homes will come from so that no healthy dog ever needs to be uthenised ....... the resuces are all overflowing as it is and there are far more dogs out there than places for them. One of the dogs near my feet now had three failed homes since her entry into a rescue because of her complex needs and I was her "last chance" really as not only was she nervous aggressive she was self harming so mentally and physically needing a lot of suport. If the dog in this story had specific needs ( and certainly was not a simple, quiet family pet by the sounds of it) then rehoming it might not have been as easy as many others . It certainly did not sound impossible but with only a few hours and no local rescue place available then what on earth could canis do ??? She does not bear the responsibility for retraining / rehoming the dog.... the owners do !

The sad thing is that the more all those who rescue / foster take in the less responsibility some people will take ......... perhaps the family watching the dog described in the OP being pts will, because of seeing this reality, will think far more about dog ownership in the future..... and even tell other people about it and spread that message !!!!!!!!

RandomMess Wed 17-Oct-12 22:09:42


I would like more people to send a friend's foster dog. He was used as stud for years by puppy farmers.

He has lived for a year with a very experienced professional dog trainer, so far he has learnt his name - that's about it, he has little personality, he will play for a max of 20 minutes per day with the puppy they now have. Even now he has no life, I hope his previous owners don't get him back (they are being prosecuted) I hope they find a new owner that wants a calm quiet companion dog sad I think he's barked once or twice!!!

Paying for pedigree puppies is the cause of these things, why do people buy dogs when there are so many needing homes sad

SamuelWestsMistress Wed 17-Oct-12 22:10:18

What a horrible day for you. But, you have only done your job and it's a bloody tough job you do. You have no doubt saved the dog from a miserable and uncertain future. I could never have been a vet. Not for the sake of the animals, but for how utterly fucking STUPID people are! It makes me so angry.

Words can not describe how much I DETEST this ridiculous fashion for "designer dogs" and as you say thick, irresponsible and money grabbing idiots breeding two animals together and passing it on to the gullible public as something it's simply not.

It also angers me how many dickheads own dogs, and Staffies in particular which end up in homes. Every second dog in the dog homes seem to be status symbol dogs.

I really do think it's about time that dog licencing should be brought back to this country.

tazzle22 Wed 17-Oct-12 22:12:35

sadly canis I dont think the dog licence system will help really..... I am old enough to have paid a licence before they were abandoned here in UK. like always, the responsible owners paid for it the irresponsible did not. It is no guarantee of knowledge and skills ( and who would police any requirement to have attended classes or summat if it were a condition of a licence). The only time the licence meant anything was if the dog bit someone or the dog warden was involved or the dog strayed ..... and if it had no collar then owner could not be traced anyway.

You just need to look at the fiasco that its the equine passport system to see that dog licencing will not work !

fuzzpig Wed 17-Oct-12 22:14:28

No flaming from me. It isn't what you go in to your profession for, it is the opposite, and it is tragic. sad

I don't know about the ins and outs of it, but I think licences would be a good idea. Dogs (and pets in general) are all too easily seen as an accessory, a toy, a status symbol, and a disposable commodity. Nobody would call me an animal lover, but it sickens me, it really does.

My DSDs' little friend was killed by a dog last year, a badly kept dog whose owner should never be allowed an animal as long as he lives.

HappyTurquoise Wed 17-Oct-12 22:14:49

Anyone who could put a vet in such an abhorent situation truly disgusts me. It does make me wonder how many would do the same to vulnerable relatives if that were legal!

I can completely understand why you did it. The owners might have taken things into their own hands and caused unnecessary suffering, or let the dog out to be a dangerous, hazardous nuisance.

Thank you for being a vet. You are an unsung hero.

So sorry you have to do this, I have never really thought about vets having to be faced with this before sad.

I have to agree that under those circumstances, it is better for the dog to have simply gone to sleep happy and accompanied by people it trusted, rather than be uprooted again to live in a stressful kennel situation waiting for a suitable home which might never happen; you did the right thing for that animal and that family (who sound more naive than anything else).

I grew up with a series of big, bouncy, adorable, destructive and slightly bonkers dogs, from a working breed that took a lot of wearing out. They enriched our lives enormously but I also saw first-hand just how much work was involved, even living in the countryside with a big garden and a non-working adult in the house, so I can completely see how hard it must be when unscrupulous people are breeding and selling dogs that just aren't suitable as family pets for inexperienced people. What an impossible situation for all concerned. Thank you for your articulate and heartfelt post.

Flatbread Wed 17-Oct-12 22:19:17

Is there a vet code of conduct which guides when a dog/animal can be put down?

Do you take money for this?

Have you ever refused a request to kill an animal?

caniscantanymore Wed 17-Oct-12 22:19:22

I agree that it won't cure the problem tazzle - but many people who run into these problems really mean well but are clueless. If they had to get a licence before taking on a dog then it's an opportunity for education.

Anyway, tired, pissed off and despondent, I am going to bed. I'm sorry if some people found my post upsetting but you know, that's my reality. Wish it wasn't sad

headfairy Wed 17-Oct-12 22:19:57

What a sad and depressing story. We bought a border collie puppet when I was 13 with absolutely no idea what the breed needed. We knew she was bright and needed stimulation but we had no idea how much stimulation and how much exercise. We were lucky to have a huge garden and live in the country so we could take her out twice a day but it was never enough. We did our best but she did have stress related problems because she wasn't stimulated enough. She developed a flea allergy and because she was so bored she chewed a hole in her back 15 cm across.

I loved our border collie to bits and she lived for 17 years which is apparently very good for the breed, but never ever again would I have one as a pet. They are working dogs and need that lifestyle.

Eurostar Wed 17-Oct-12 22:20:49

I always think it must be so hard for vets, who generally go into the profession because they want to help animals, to then have to be involved so often in ending animals' lives.

Campaigning is good. Please take care of yourself OP. Vets have such a high incidence of depression, I hope you can keep your spirits up.

headfairy Wed 17-Oct-12 22:23:10

Sorry, meant to add canis I'm so sorry you have had to do this today. No flaming from me at all, your sadness at being in such a situation is obvious.

caniscantanymore Wed 17-Oct-12 22:25:30

Is there a vet code of conduct which guides when a dog/animal can be put down?

Do you take money for this?
I am an employee therefore not responsible for fees, but yes, there is a charge for all euthanasia procedures except for injured wildlife.

Have you ever refused a request to kill an animal?
Not directly - in many, many cases I have provided an alternative, either by putting the owner in touch with appropriate support, arranging contact with a rescue organisation, or in some cases fostering the animal myself until a home could be found.

RyleDup Wed 17-Oct-12 22:27:32

Horrible for you. I'm sorry. sad
I used to work in a vets when I first left school. I'll never forget the day a family brought in an ageing alsation and said they wanted it put to sleep as they were going on holiday and didn't want to pay the kennel fees. The vet told them that they didn't put down healthy animals and refused to do it. The father then told the vet that the dog had bitten his son, so he couldn't take the risk with keeping the dog. It was so obviously untrue, yet the vet didn't have a choice but to do it. The family, including the son, then all cuddled and kissed this so called vicious creature and then watched him be put to sleep. Then they all trotted off to enjoy their holidays angry

I have held and stroked three beloved cats when they were put to sleep, and even though they were really sick, had no quality of life or chance for recovery, it was still a heartbreaking thing to do, so I cannot imagine how hard it must be to put down an animal that is young and healthy.

Our first dog was a pedigree lab - it was my first dog, and dh hadn't had dogs since he was a teenager, so we wanted a known quantity. But when we decided to get a second dog, we chose, without hesitation, to get a rescue dog, and she has filled a hole we didn't even know existed in our lives.

Please consider rescue dogs - we have the most loving dog and would definitely go to the Dogs Trust if we wanted another dog.

I'm taking my 15 yr old dog to be put down next week with a heavy heart.

I love her so much, but she is so old, and deaf and blind and doesn't want to go outside anymore. I also think she has dementia.

It breaks my heart to do it but I know I'm doing right by her.

Stupid fuckers that can't even try to do right by their animals. That THEY chose.

3monkeys3 Wed 17-Oct-12 22:30:40

Oh dear, crying.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Wed 17-Oct-12 22:31:44

Its about time people needed a license to breed anything larger than a guinea pig! Its not just dogs and cats. Im a horse person. The horse world is full of indiscriminate breeding. There are thousands of horses born every year, who end up as meat. New Forest, Welsh, Dartmoor, thoroughbred... Farms in Wales where dozens of foals are born every year, in order to keep a handful, the rest being culled in one fell swoop by the knacker man.
These animals have no chance of a good life, or even any life.
TBH, hard as it is, and you have my absolute symapthy, because I couldnt do what you do, IMO, its probably the best thing that you can do for these animals, and the large majority of those in rescue facilities.
At the end of the day , the problem needs to be dealt with at source. Stop people breeding. Neuter any animal that doesnt pass some kind of vetting for suitability to breed. And more importantly, vet people who want to breed animals.

SrirachaGhoul Wed 17-Oct-12 22:33:39

I'm so sorry about your horrible day, OP, but I'm glad you've taken the time to write this. I have a 9 month old Springer and she's a full-time job. I'm at home so I've got the time for long walks in the woods, running, training etc. My neighbour has a lab the same age who goes in her crate for 9 hours a day. They are baffled as to why she's such a maniac sad.

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Wed 17-Oct-12 22:34:32

We lost a beautiful tom to cancer two years ago. Our vet took the decision to put him to sleep as he was clearly suffering. When we arrived to bring him home, I could see she'd been crying. She took such good care of our boy, and I'm so glad that she was with him when he passed.

I'm so sad that people think that pets are disposable. It's vile and selfish. When I hear that someone has 'got rid' of their pet for convenience I never see them the same way again. Bastards.

catdoctor Wed 17-Oct-12 22:37:03

canis wine or several for you.
At times it's fucking bollocks.
but I think as a profession we've pussy-footed around too long, worried we'll anatagonise our client base maybe?
Nowadays I'm far more inclined to tell people that their mastiff-breed puppy is inappropriate in a household with children, their 'american bulldog' is a fighting breed, that their cute Lhaso sounds like that because it's deformed, that their endearing Persian shouldn't have its nostrils between its eyes or the siamese kit's head is so narrow that its brain is being compressed.
What I don't get is that people seem so inclined to believe the breeders of these creatures- I'm talking about behviour issues as well as physical - but think that we as vets are having them on.
Since my long journey through depression and back I'm still doing this job after 20 years - a lot of my cohort have escaped. For me, having my heart on my sleeve didn't work - I deal with this shit by hassling the next lot of fuckwits more.
Well I sound suitably patronising wink I'm not issuing instructions, just musing really.
As my Nan would have said - keep your pecker up smile and keep drinking

scurryfunge Wed 17-Oct-12 22:40:59

What a horrible situation for you OP.
Please don't encourage people to seek advice from the RSPCA though, they do not have animals' interest at heart.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Wed 17-Oct-12 22:41:27

YANBU op sad It's so, so sad. It breaks my heart.

I rarely post on doghouse, but I read it and I get so annoyed when people say it's a vicious forum - it's not. It's a forum full of doglovers who hate the fact that this is a many-times-a-day occurance in vets throughout the country. And who know the reality of puppy farming, backyard breeding and the sad reality of dog rescue.

People want an ickle wickle puppy and take them on, from unscrupulous breeders, with absolutely no knowledge of the care and attention a dog needs - and no inkling of how destructive a puppy can be. They post on doghouse saying I want a labradoodle and then wonder why they're flamed.

I have a rescue dog - and I just want to rescue all the others as well sad

Your post made me cry. It also made me tell my 16 month old springer how much a part of the family he is.
Your job must be so hard

Haystack Wed 17-Oct-12 22:44:38

What a moving, thought provoking post op. You sound like you do your extremely tough job with compassion. It is a really important issue and think earlier posters are right that it should be raised with the media.

LaVitaBellissima Wed 17-Oct-12 22:49:55

Crying too OP, so sorry for you and the sorry situation you are in sad

Ruby27 Wed 17-Oct-12 22:51:42

I too work in a vets as a veterinary nurse and I agree 100% with everything you says. I've been there, cried, got so angry etc. totally understand. That's all I can say. Think before you make your choices....these animals are for life...they deserve that. X

MissBetseyTrotwood Wed 17-Oct-12 22:53:46

Just made me cuddle my greyhound a bit closer.

I was at our vet's on Monday for his boosters and while in the waiting room watched the vet nurses grilling a young woman with a husky looking pup. (Which is the breed of choice around here now for a certain type of person who uses their dog as a status symbol.) They could see from her records that she'd been in two years before with a different dog and wanted to find out where it was. The only thing she would say was that she couldn't keep him as he was 'too much' so she gave him to a friend and she didn't know where he was now. The nurses were unimpressed and told her so.

Ajaney Wed 17-Oct-12 22:56:14

I'm crying too, for the dog and you.

tanfastic Wed 17-Oct-12 22:58:35

I nearly cried at that, gosh I feel so sad now sad

MsVelvet Wed 17-Oct-12 23:00:23

This is so sad, i took on a friends cat when she could not look after it no longer due to being allergic to it, my other friend had a cute andrex puppy type dog and after a few months couldn't handle it bouncing around and got rid of it, i was so angry, why get a pet if your not prepared to put in the work to look after it, so cruel sad

firemansamisnormansdad Wed 17-Oct-12 23:02:40

You've done the right thing by posting this. Very sad. Take comfort that we're all with you on this.

elastamum Wed 17-Oct-12 23:03:27

I'm really sorry to read this. How awful sad.

The dog sounded just like our mad labradoodle that was rehomed to us. Bought without thought by a family with very young children, who didnt walk her properly and then when she became unmanageable and destructive, shut her away. Fortunately they had the sense to give her back to the breeder, who gave her to me, to come and live with our other dogs. For about a year, she ran away, wrecked the house and wasnt properly house trained. Because of her crap start in life she almost drove me to breaking point too. But slowly, she has settled down and got into the groove of just being part of the family. She is still desperate to be loved, but she is the happiest, most joyful dog I have ever met.

I shudder to think how easliy she could have been your poor dog today

edam Wed 17-Oct-12 23:05:25

That's such a sad story, and it must be incredibly frustrating and depressing to see it happening again and again.

Signet2012 Wed 17-Oct-12 23:05:49

This kind of thing breaks my heart. My beloved best friend hAs suspected cancer. His days are numbered. At the moment his good days still outweigh the bad but every time I look at him I know in my heart the time is coming.

I'm terrified, and heartbroken at the thought of having to take him, to stand and watch him go. I may not have had a clue but I've done my best by him, he has been a handful and if I had been a different type of person I could have had him put to sleep several times but despite his many issues (personality wise and health) he is much much more than a dog to me.

Angers me so much people's attitudes.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 17-Oct-12 23:07:04

terrible for you OP, i think your post is so well written, the points so well articulated you should send it to the papers - even just the letters pages. The people who would buy these animals needs to see the price of their lack of knowledge.

im so sorry you had a horrible day. i know that feeling a bit too well. x

Flatbread Wed 17-Oct-12 23:09:01


Thanks for your response. It seems under the code of veterinary practice, you are under no obligation to put a healthy dog to sleep. Could you not refuse to do so?

In some way aren't vets who willingly put a healthy young dog to sleep, allowing owners a 'get-out' clause from taking their responsibilities seriously?

I find it a bit hard to believe that all possibilities had been explored for a healthy young dog whom you describe as adorable with no real behavioural problems, and that pts was the only option.

TeaDr1nker Wed 17-Oct-12 23:13:20

Your post moved me to tears, how awful for you.

I agree that pets should be licenced, may make one or two people think twice.

I was brought up with daschunds, and when I moved and got my own dog I got the same. I know the breed, it's ins and outs, which is why I didn't go for another breed for fear of not being capable, I'm pleased to say my dog is 15 and still going strong.

mamapower Wed 17-Oct-12 23:18:25

I had a good few tears reading that. You are doing amazing things for all the animals coming through your doors, you should not have to euthanise a perfectly healthy animal, how tragic. I treasure my dog and the one before her, both boxers, both needing a lot of time training and that's what people forget and then the dog becomes uncontrollable and then well it gets put in a rescue home or put down. I agree with you completely, people need to do research, ensure they really have the time to dedicate to having a dog, get them neutered or spayed to stop unwanted puppies (another huge problem is abandoned pups), and also make sure it's financially viable.
That dog shouldn't have gone but at least it was done by the hand of a kind, caring and compassionate person. I hope people listen to you.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Wed 17-Oct-12 23:21:48

This article explains that 20 stray dogs per day are put down - that's every day. These are strays rounded up by the council- so I doubt it includes the poor dog in the op's post.

The horrible truth is that there are way more dogs needing good homes than there are good homes sad and yet backyard breeders and puppy farms continue to breed them and sell the puppies to just anyone with the cash.

If you want a dog - get a rescue dog. There are plenty of rescue puppies if you must have a pup. If a rescue doesn't consider you a suitable home then you need to think very carefully about whether you should get a dog. As that article says they should not just be sold on like pieces of furniture.

<steps off soapbox>

<gets a wine >

storytopper Wed 17-Oct-12 23:25:13

Really sorry for you OP - and for the poor dogs. There needs to be better education for potential dog owners - and the reintroduction of a license might have some impact.

From my circle of friends and acquaintances I know of the following 3 cases:

Couple no. 1 living in a small house bought a Dogue de Bordeaux - French mastiff. It was aggressive and very destructive and they could only take it out to walk in the dark. It was found to have several congenital illnesses and had to be put to sleep.

Couple no. 2, also in a small house, bought a St. Bernard puppy just after their honeymoon. It lasted a week and went back to the breeder.

Couple no. 3, large house, both working full-time got a 7 month old German Shepherd. It hadn't been socialised and had lived in a kennel. It terrorised their cats and on its first long walk managed to lunge at a jogger, other dogs and a mother pushing a buggy. They took it back to the breeder who managed to find a more suitable home.

These were all intelligent people - they just didn't think things through enough.

Jux Wed 17-Oct-12 23:25:56

Yes, the more I think about it, the more I am in favour of licenses, dependent upon courses. They should both be quite expensive so that people have to really want the pet. Any pet.

I wonder if a license granted applies to a household so that one license covers all pets or it should one per pet?

A licence could cost us a fortune, as we have 3 cats and a bearded dragon. They are all treated properly. DD would love a dog, but one of us would walk it so we haven't got one (and it would upset the cats).

Hope your day is better tomorrow, Canis.

Flatbread - what do you suggest that Canis do? The family in question had decided that the dog was being PTS immediately. Had she not done so then they would have kept looking until finding a vet who did, and if not a vet then god knows what would have happened to the poor dog. The family had made their decision and it is they who deserve our anger not the OP.

Perhaps we should be looking at licensing dogs again - it won't stop the dog fighting or the people who buy dogs to use as status symbols or weapons but it may just stop the very nice families whose lovely little children demand a puppy getting them, particularly if licenses are only given out after a training session with a local welfare organisation.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Wed 17-Oct-12 23:32:03

Amongst my acquaintances in the last year I know:

1. Someone who bought a puppy on Gumtree and then sold it 2 weeks later on Gumtree because it kept weeing in the house. I dread to think the fate of that little puppy - I hope it got lucky with it's new owners.

2. Someone who bought a huge dog from a backyard breeder that they knew. They both work FT and the dog is shut in a room on it's own all day.

3. People who carefully researched what breed of puppy they wanted, bought from a 'breeder' (I strongly suspect a puppy farm). The dog developed a terminal illness when it was less than a year old and had to be put down.

It just makes me so angry

MoonlightandWerewolves Wed 17-Oct-12 23:33:10

Flat - You, understandably, want to make it difficult for the owner to wash their hands of a problem of their own making. The OP is in a much more difficult bind as her care cannot, and should not, be for the owner, but the animal.

Yes euthanasia should always be a last resort, but it is, unfortunately, all too often the right thing to do in these cases.

All we can do, collectively, is to educate, and try and have existing legislation enforced to reduce the numbers of cases the OP, and others like her, have to deal with.

ThatVikRinA22 Wed 17-Oct-12 23:40:27

i have decided, as much as love and adore my pedigree dog (she was a rescue) that next time i will go to dogs trust.

Flatbread Wed 17-Oct-12 23:41:07

Lurked, all I am saying is that OP should presumably be able to say 'no' to killing a healthy, young dog.

In my work I can refuse a project if I have a moral objection. E.g, I can refuse to work for client in the tobacco industry. Sure, there will be others willing to do it. But that is their problem. I can sleep well knowing I have not used my education and skills to aid/abet profit-making from a dangerous substance. It might hinder my career advancement, but so be it.

OP has a choice, she could say no to killing a young, healthy dog. If someone else is willing to do the dirty, fine, let them do it.

No point sobbing your heart out later because you haven't the strength of conviction to say 'No' in the first place.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Wed 17-Oct-12 23:50:10

But what to do with all the dogs without homes flatbread? I don't think you can put the onus on the vet.

My dog was rescued from an Irish dog pound by Many Tears Rescue. He was days from death - rounded up as a stray - if they aren't claimed within 7 days they are pts.

He's a beautiful, healthy, friendly labrador. This rescue saves many dogs, but can't help them all. sad

MoonlightandWerewolves Wed 17-Oct-12 23:56:15

Flat - I think the point was she doesn't really. If it could be guaranteed that someone else could be found to do it then your 'moral objection' example would fit. The problem is it is not - we are talking about a living animal here, not a corporate organisation.

The possibilities, in no particular order of likelihood tend to be:

-A suitable home is found
-Another unsuitable home is found and the cycle starts again
-The owner decides to attempt the act themselves and isn't effective, leaving the dog in pain
-The owner abandons the animal, and they end up being abused / injured / starving to death
- The owner dumps the dog at a rescue and they end up in a small space for months with no-one taking them, unhappy and stressed and, possibly, having to be PTS

Your post ignores the fact that the OP needs to take all of the possibilities for the animal and its quality of life into consideration, not just her own emotions and morals.

Sorry for the essay, but having seen animals go both the easy and the hard way, a quick death is actually the correct standpoint, however upsetting. No, its not fair on the animal, but its kinder than some of the alternatives.

achillea Thu 18-Oct-12 00:17:52

I was at a London vet recently ans some youths came in with a staffie type dog, said they couldn't cope and the vet which is allied with an animal shelter just said sorry and turned them away. It seems that in my part of town they have a different policy.

OTOH I see why you would always put down an aggressive dog. Brilliant post op, I hope you use your skills to campaign.

Flatbread Thu 18-Oct-12 00:22:23

If it were an old/infirm dog, then yes. Or a young dog with serious behavioural problems.

But op mentions that this is a normal, adorable puppy. If op said no to killing it, what might have happened?

-The owner might have found another vet willing to kill it

-Or the owner could abandoned the dog and the dog might be taken in by a rescue and found a loving home

-Or it might not be rescued and killed within 7/14 days by the pound

-Or the owner might have decided to give it a second chance, being ashamed that a vet was not willing to aid/abet him in taking the easy way out

Not sure how killing a young, healthy dog after spending, 15 -20 minutes with it, is the 'right' or inevitable decision. Any of the above outcomes could have saved the OP grief and being no worse, really, for the dog. And it might have had a chance to survive.

lovebunny Thu 18-Oct-12 00:24:49


i have a whole plan to revolutionise pet-ownership and pet-breeding in this country - i've put it to defra but they didn't get back to me (they were asking, at the time). cowards!

JakeBullet Thu 18-Oct-12 00:25:33

I have nothing to add except to say I really feel for you OP. The way society treats animals in too many cases is appalling.

MummyDuckAndDuckling Thu 18-Oct-12 00:26:35


gussiegrips Thu 18-Oct-12 00:34:18

We're firmly in the Small Pet Years...a dog is part of our future at some point, but not yet.

So, I've been reading up a little about what's ahead of us - I've never had a dog though DH is pratically Mowgli.

I Did Not Know that you have 12 - 16 weeks to teach the cute little puppy all the situations and circumstances it will ever encounter as being safe situations. So, if it never meets a man by the time it's 16 weeks old, it might always be barky at men. Or pigeons. Or lorries. Or whatever it hasn't met.

Now, Mowgli says "never take on a rescue dog. You are only taking on someone else's mistakes"...but, how do I make sure that OUR cute little puppy doens't turn into a snarling disaster beccause I missed out introducing it to a wicker basket on a see saw by the time it was three months old...?

We've currently got budgies. I love them. Might stick with budgies.

TheDogsRolex Thu 18-Oct-12 00:50:13

So sad op sad

I know one person who had his dog put down just because it ripped up the carpet by the door....unbelievable.

I think owners need educating. I admit, I was not prepared for my dog at all. I've always owned cats and they pretty much look after themselves. My dog was much worse than a baby to care for, he was also an absolute lunatic and has more or less destroyed my house. But that is my fault, not his. He is a little calmer now he's reaching two but I think we still have a way to go with him. I can honestly say this dog has been harder work than bringing my dd up on my own from newborn. I do wish i'd researched dog behaviour and care beforehand.

caniscantanymore Thu 18-Oct-12 06:22:30

OP has a choice, she could say no to killing a young, healthy dog. If someone else is willing to do the dirty, fine, let them do it.

It's not about me and my morals though, is it?

Yes, he was healthy and IMO had no unresolvable behavioural problems. But he was also clearly going to be a very challenging dog - twenty minutes is easily enough time for me to discern that. His needs were already unmet. The sort of people with room in their life to properly care for a dog like this are thin on the ground, and have their pick of endless dogs in the same situation. The current situation was a highly stressful one for the dog, and children were at risk. By bringing that dog to me its owner made that my responsibility.

I could have refused. Do you really think that if all vets refused to put these animals to sleep that this problem would go away? That's an incredibly naive viewpoint.

From the dog's perspective, as an animal which lives in the moment and has no concept of the future, death is not a bad thing. If vets turn these cases away there are limited alternatives for the owner. The most likely outcome is that the owner dumps it or finds another, probably equally unsuitable home where its behaviour and prospects continue to deteriorate.

My concern is primarily with welfare, not ethics, so I do what I think is best for the welfare of the animal, despite it feeling ethically wrong. I just have to live with that.

HoneyDragon Thu 18-Oct-12 07:24:10


Perhaps what if people are brave enough to say


It might be enough to get people to stop buying from feckless irresponsible mutt breeders? It might also make people think twice I about breeding for fun and get their dogs spayed if they know within 12 months that cute bundle of fluff will be dead.

Once people know this is the outcome they might call for laws to be change to stop people buying and passing on the dogs one after the other, or repeatedly breeding for their own gains?

I doubt it though. Generally people who treat animals this way are bastards. And you can't reason with bastards.

Northernlurkerisbehindyouboo Thu 18-Oct-12 07:58:16

'No point sobbing your heart out later because you haven't the strength of conviction to say 'No' in the first place'

Yes I think you've missed the point fairly dratically tbh. It's not the OP's choices or convctions that are the problem.

pigletmania Thu 18-Oct-12 08:05:42

I wasvso sad to read. I could never do your job it mst be so hard. Why dnt people think long and hard before getting a pet. I think that people should have licences before owning a dog

Flatbread Thu 18-Oct-12 08:07:00

Sorry, Canis. You don't know that there was no alternative for this dog. 20 minutes is hardly enough time to make a decision to take a young, healthy life.

It seems to me that people are too quick to get dogs, and vets too quick to kill them when they become an inconvenience.

I don't see how it is of benefit to the poor dog or others like him, to be killed at the drop of a hat.

pigletmania Thu 18-Oct-12 08:11:41

Flatbread she was doing her job, no yep there is no alternative , don't you think she would use it if there were? The vet cannot be expected to take home every dog destined to be put down, her house would be full of them

impty Thu 18-Oct-12 08:14:47

This is so sad. As the owner of two dogs both rescues, one a lurcher and one a loopy afghan I can't express enough just how much work is involved in having a dog. Walking, playing, training, loving, and in my case grooming! Then there's the costs. And the working things out... For example afghan loves his crate at night, lurcher hates them. This was worked out after 6 months of afghan weeing all night every night!

Dogs don't just 'fit in' to family life. In many ways our life revolves around the dogs! It amazes me whenever friends get dogs that there is so much shock that they are hard work.

I've also sat in vets whilst a rescue place has tried to be found for young dogs... One in particular was for a dog who had growled at a young child who had grabbed it whilst eating.

I'm sorry OP you do have a tough job, I hope today you feel that the good out weighs the bad.

Flatbread Thu 18-Oct-12 08:17:11

Piglet, in 20 minutes she figured out there was no alternative? hmm

How convenient, owner gets rid of dog with minimal hassle, vet practice gets paid their fee. The only loser here is the poor dog.

pigletmania Thu 18-Oct-12 08:19:33

Flatbread as a vet she knows the situation, rescue centres are full and cannt take anymore. The owner also tried rescue centres but with no luck, the vet finds themselves in an awful situation. Not the vet fault but te owners who just did not think

theodorakis Thu 18-Oct-12 08:20:49

I am so sorry, I do understand. In Qatar, our annual population explosion of strays always reflect the latest fashion. Saluki crossed GSD, Dalmation, Husky, Pitbull and so on. People here don't seem to have any interest in "normal" dogs. I have fostered over 50 in the last 5 years and some have had to go to the vet and what a terrible decision it is to make, even if it is the best one.
I end up with the one eyed, bent tailed ugly little crosses and people are bewildered why I don't have "nice dogs". Then I have to walk past the pet shops selling overbred dogs knowing that next season they will be contributing to the stray population.

Our government is bringing in a policy where all dogs have to be taken to the Ministry and if they aren't neutered, they do it for free. They chip them for free and scan it against the owners ID. The hope is that if the dog changes hands, the new owner will change the details with the Ministry. Because we have to get an exit permit to leave the country, when you leave for good the permit won't be issued until your account shows you have either handed the dog in to the Ministry, changed owners or a licenced vet has euthanised. It isn't perfect and much easier to administrate in a country that has control over it's people's movements and an electronic ID system but it's a start. One foster we had when we lived in Dubai had a clowns face drawn on his face in permanent pen and WANKER written on his body. It was horrific but he found a home and 3 years later it finally wore off. The Police are quite sympathetic, they caught the guys who did that from fingerprints on the collar and they were jailed for 3 weeks.

Do you think the UK should bring back dog licences? I am torn because not all owners can afford to pay a high fee. Microchips here cost about 80p each in bulk, maybe if they were compulsary for a start it would help. I don't know what the answer is, like you, I just pick up the pieces.

I feel for you so much.

pigletmania Thu 18-Oct-12 08:23:01

The only way is to have a licence to own a dog, than there I'll be strict controls for anyone who wants a dog, not every Tom, dick or Harry can have one

Dawndonna Thu 18-Oct-12 08:23:27

My Cavalier King Charles is curled up on my feet. I'm so sorry you had to do this.
My dog has pseudomonas at the moment. We're off to see the specialist next week. My vet was telling me that there are a phenomenal amount of people who just think 'Oh it's an ear infection, they'll survive' and do nothing about it!
I agree, it must be a shitty job somedays.

caniscantanymore Thu 18-Oct-12 08:25:23

I look forward to hearing your credentials, Flatbread. I assume you have a qualification in animal behaviour?

This animal was far from a lost cause. But when an owner won't, can't take it home, all local rescues are full (except the one which regularly homes downright dangerous dogs with small children or frail elderly owners, with no back up, and guess who has to deal with the fallout from that ...?) and I simply cannot provide the dog with a home myself?

I'm sorry but you clearly have absolutely no knowledge of the current reality. It's not fair on the dogs to leave them bouncing around between rescues and homes, all the time being more damaged and more likely to hurt someone physically.

I have the skills and experience to make this decision, unfortunately. I'm not saying I'm always right. But this fluffy happy place which might materialise for these dogs does not exist.

Northernlurkerisbehindyouboo Thu 18-Oct-12 08:25:51

Flatbread - what is your purpose on this thread? To demonstrate your insensitivity and inability to understand the complexity of a situation?

impty Thu 18-Oct-12 08:26:12

Flatbread as someone who supports greyhound rescue, I know that people will 'get rid of dogs' they don't want in all kinds of horrible ways. If the local rescues are full, the vet can only do the most humane thing possible.

There are dogs found mutilated, shot, and left to starve in remote areas. Often just to save the cost of a vet.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 18-Oct-12 08:30:54

Canis, I think you're incredibly brave to post that here. If it makes just one person think harder about getting a dog then I hope that is some recompense for the flaming you get from people who don't have to walk in your shoes and have to do what you have to do.

Flamers - please don't shoot the messenger.

'But that is their problem. I can sleep well' - that's just passing the buck. I think the OP shows more moral courage than that.

theodorakis Thu 18-Oct-12 08:31:41

Flatbread you have a right to your opinion and, if my memory serves me, you are involved with rescues but, as I am in the same situation, I ask what to do? I have way too many animals in my house, a job and a family and a husband who has his limits. I have to say no so often. I have to do that knowing that the dog may be euthanised but as there is not a lovely big jolly home down the road with unlimited funds and no potential owners, what is the alternative? I simply can't saturate my house with dogs and it isn't the right thing to do. This will only be sorted when neutering is compulsary and owners are held to account for their actions. The solution lies in long term strategic planning, not keeping unwanted and unhomeable dogs alive.
For what it's worth FB, I don't think the OP was wrong to do it, or to be upset or to post on here. I think you could be a little less emotional unless you are preared to open your doors to unlimited dogs (and in my case parrots monkeys and lizards as well)

ladymariner Thu 18-Oct-12 08:32:07

canis ignore Flatbread, she clearly has no idea of the reality of the situation.

You had no choice in this, and my heart goes out to you. What a sad, shitty state of affairs.....

schnauzerfan Thu 18-Oct-12 08:33:36

Very moving post. You are amazing by the way. x

GrimmaTheNome Thu 18-Oct-12 08:34:27

>The only way is to have a licence to own a dog
I wish this could happen - and not just a piece of paper, a license akin to a driving license where you have to do some sort of simple test on the realities of ownership. Can't see it being a realistic proposition, unfortunately.

Flatbread Thu 18-Oct-12 08:35:45

Canis, you said in your opening post that the dog was young, adorable, healthy and with no real behavioural problems.

So why kill it then? You cannot know that it will not find a home, and you certainly don't seem to have a huge effort to find it one either.

Instead of coming here with a moany, preachy, woe-is-me post, why didn't you write a post before you killed the dog to see if anyone was willing to take it on?

I cannot believe that we allow people to kill animals so lightly. There should be a proper procedure in place to verify that euthanasia is the only option. Owners and vets are complicity in allowing the current charade to continue, where dogs are seen as disposable items.

firstpost Thu 18-Oct-12 08:35:51

This made me sob sad

It also prompted me to make an appointment to have my labrador spayed. My husband was keen for her to have puppies, he thinks that a pedigree puppy does not take away loving homes for rescue dogs. I disagree. He just got out voted.

So sorry, presumably you go into vetinary medicine because of a passion for animal welfare, and it must be soul destroying for you to have to put healthy dogs down .

poorchurchmouse Thu 18-Oct-12 08:36:23

I'm so sorry. What a horrible thing to have to do. Huge sympathy, OP. I don't see how you could have done otherwise - we are looking for a rescue dog at the moment and all the shelters are full to the gunwales. (We're having some trouble finding one as although DH and I have both had dogs before and DH is at home, DS is a toddler and shelters are rightly very cautious about rehoming to families with small children - unlike the irreponsible breeders others here have eloquently described.)

IShallCallYouSquishy Thu 18-Oct-12 08:38:16

I'm actually crying sad

You did what you had to professionally and it obviously was very hard for you.

cardamomginger Thu 18-Oct-12 08:38:30

I think you are a brilliant vet. XX

achillea Thu 18-Oct-12 08:41:45

Do you think that killing animals in this way adds to the cycle? If every vet turned away these cases and refused to put dogs like this down, owners would simpy have to find a solution. It sounds to me as though the public have an idea that it is an easy way out, this suits the breeders as well.

geegee888 Thu 18-Oct-12 08:42:06

YANBU. As a professional, you were put in an almost impossible position. I know vets really don't like putting animals to sleep without strong medical reasons, and some would refuse to. I understand your position.

And its not just big dogs. Its dogs who the owners have no time to train, dogs who the owners get fed up with when something changes in their life, and they want to dispose of them like a piece of garbage.

As a horseowner, I'm so often shocked at the lack of knowledge and consideration of dog owners for their animals. So many of them lack basic training and are out of control, because the owner has never bothered to spend the time with them, training them.

As a horseowner, I go to a lot of trouble and expense to ensure my horses have adequate, natural and varied turnout with adequate shelter in winter. I ensure they have plenty of exercise and equine companionship. Its a lot more trouble to keep horses this way, as the cheapest way would be to rent a tiny paddock, keep them on their own and chuck in some haylage. But the horse wouldn't be happy. And most horseowners I know go to a lot of trouble to ensure the best environment they can for their animal.

Yet many dog owners are urban, have little understanding of animal welfare and see a dog as an accessory, almost a toy, and think 2 10 minute walks a day (if its lucky) or a small garden are adequate.

achillea Thu 18-Oct-12 08:42:47

Also, is this a new phenomenon?

melliebobs Thu 18-Oct-12 08:46:27

Omg why put a healthy dog down?! Why not RSPCA or equivalent so it could go to a suitable home

Blackballoon Thu 18-Oct-12 08:47:16

Flatbread I'm sorry but I completely disagree with you. I think rescue homes encourage bad dog ownership. People think they can give their dog away to a rescue centre if it doesn't suit them. Maybe if people knew the reality that many dogs never get rehomed but spend their lives stuck in a kennel or get PTS then they would think twice.

Don't get me wrong, rescue centres do amazing work but you only have to look at how they are full to bursting point to see that this problem is just too big. There are just not enough homes to go round.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 18-Oct-12 08:48:44

Flatbread you are over simplifying this, what is the alternative if canis had refused well the owners find another vet yes possible actually in truth they find another way of solving the problem if the dog is lucky with a shotgun if the dog is unlucky it is released somewhere and hit by a car.
A few weeks ago I went into my surgery at 2am to find a large terrified and frankly unmanageable bull breed dog loose in the road outside the surgery, I narrowly avoided hitting the dog with the car. I could not get near this dog with a lead and in the end opened the surgery front door got some food and enticed the dog in to safety. I then enticed him into a kennel. The next morning we found a piece of rope tied to a drain pipe that had been chewed through by the dog presumably. It was later discovered that another practice in our area had refused to euthanase this dog the day before.
This dog did go to a rescue, however even with the help of a behaviourist this dog's outcome was not good.
As vets we swear to uphold the welfare of the animals in our care at all times sometimes this means making a decision to euthanase as you feel that refusing would compromise the animals welfare.
There are vets who have been hauled before disciplinary procedures for refusing and then the dog has suffered as a result of someone trying to kill it in another way. They were deemed to have failed to uphold the animals welfare.
Sadly the number of fuckwits who feel it is their right to own an animal is increasing some of them come for vaccinations and we can point them in the direction of good quality training classes. Others unfortunatly only darken our doorstep when it has all gone wrong, with all rescues full to bursting currently it makes situations very, very difficult.

NotNormal Thu 18-Oct-12 08:49:37

This is so so sad, I'm sat having a weep, I'm so sad for you and the dog. I had to have my dog put down about 2 weeks ago (age 8) as she had a problem with her inner ear that couldn't be fixed. She couldn't stand up and was in a right state. I'm still bereft, I don't understand how some people can be so irresponsible. I would definitely recommend sending your original post to a newspaper, it's very well written and hopefully it might stop others from being so incredibly selfish.

wordfactory Thu 18-Oct-12 08:53:17

OP I hope you are okay.

I can't see that you had an alternative.

I believe that there are much worse things that can happen to unwanted pets. If you had turned this family away, the dog's fate could have been much worse. You made that call.

biff23 Thu 18-Oct-12 09:04:03

How sad. What a really horrible position to be in. That poor dog just needed an understanding owner and proper training.

Situations like this should be properly governed but how would that actually work. I hate hearing about dogs being pts because of so called aggression. Of course a dog will growl when a child shoves it's face to the dog. A growl is a dog's only means of telling us it doesn't like something, they must be allowed to communicate this, it does not mean they are aggressive at all. My soft dog constantly growls at my 6 year old in warning, my boy still winds her up and has on occasion been snapped at when he's pushed her too far, that's his own fault, not the dog's. Really feel bad for you, what a terrible situation.

Maybe people need hands on experience with puppies before getting one. I have a retriever (carefully researched as our eldest is severely autistic). What I hadn't quite realised is how different show and working line retrievers are. So our dog is bonkers, which is fine, we live in a place of beautiful walks and severely autistic son loves walking. I work from home, providing he gets a decent couple of walks and ball chasing sessions a day he's fine. Much more excitable and full on than my (older, rescue) family pets when I was growing up, but after an initial 'woah' I've adjusted. His working line background has made him very easy to train.

One day I was on the beach and was approached by someone with a a young retriever pup. She asked me about mine and said she was having real problems with hers, she said he was aggressive and going for the children, said he was a first dog and was going to have to go back. He was a really young pup, 5 months? And from what I saw and her description it sounded like he was playing - not being aggressive at all. I suggested some books that explained about dogs learning not to bite etc and dog play, but it was almost as if she wanted me to validate her choice and say that he sounded aggressive. He just sounded like a completely normal pup. She didn't sound as if she could cope with pup behaviour but he didn't seem aggressive. I felt very sad tbh, I was taken aback by how full on a pup was, but would never have got rid if him.

I've also been surprised by the number of people with huskies etc as first dogs. It makes such a diffence if there's an owner who knows what they're doing. One dog (or perhaps owner) at our local park is such a nightmare I avoid going at the same time now - I've seen that dog actually hunt down other dogs, but the owner seems oblivious to what is going on and completely ineffectual. At another park I go to there's a shepherd who can be a bit tasty, but the owner is excellent - very in control, always on the ball, always one step ahead and her dog has a great time.

Frontpaw Thu 18-Oct-12 09:06:25

If she hadn't put the dog down - and the owner was desperate - what would have happened? There have been RSPCA cases where people have battered, drowned, stabbed and even shot 'unwanted' animals. Blue juice is a 'better' option here. God knows what suffering unwanted or inconvenient pets go through.

Why did the dog license go? If you have to pay a hefty fee (ok discounts for the elderly, disabled etc) and laws to clobber people who don't have a license or train their bloody pets. Maybe that'll stop some people getting them on a whim.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 18-Oct-12 09:06:38

>Why not RSPCA or equivalent so it could go to a suitable home

did you not read the OP? 'He had tried local and national rescue organisations, all of which were full'. The RSPCA isn't a no-kill rescue anyway.

>If every vet turned away these cases and refused to put dogs like this down, owners would simpy have to find a solution.
Yes -and in too many cases it would be horribly inhumane.

Firstpost - well done. That alone shows why the OP did a good thing posting. One less litter of amateur-bred pups. smile

MummytoKatie Thu 18-Oct-12 09:07:26

Flatbread - on first reading I sort of agreed with you - there must be a better option. But on reading more of the Op's posts it is pretty obvious that she is a rational intelligent person so if there was a better option she would have taken it.

The implication that she euthanised the dog for the fees is, frankly, ridiculous. According to google it costs about £50. Presumably a good £10 of them are for the drugs. Plus the cost of vet nurse, heating, lighting, mortgage on the building etc so maybe a profit of £20. But the Op isn't a partner so she doesn't get the £20. Her boss does. And he has to pay her annual salary from these profits. So maybe a true profit of £10. Would you really do something that upset you greatly to make your boss £10? I wouldn't. (And I really like my boss. - For all we know the Op could hate hers.)

The suggestion of advertising on mumsnet isn't great either. Someone like me would probably come forward. I am a really nice person and really feel for the dog. I also have never had a dog, have no true knowledge of dogs, work, have a young child who takes up all my spare time, have a husband who is not a dog person. But like I said I'm a nice person who means well and found the story really sad.

But realistically it would not end well.

Dawndonna Thu 18-Oct-12 09:08:17

It's nice of other people to give you explanations of how appaling your behaviour is flatbread. I just think you're being rude and horrid.

thevetswife Thu 18-Oct-12 09:13:34

Sympathies OP. We've been in the same situation many times sad

The worst case I 'helped' with was a litter of 7 beautiful bright 2 day old puppies who were brought in to be PTS because the owner 'couldn't be bothered with the hassle of homing them'. Refused to spay the bitch because it was bad for them. A few months later another litter turned up on the doorstep, abandoned at some point before surgery opened but almost certainly the same owners.

A couple of weeks ago I spotted a man putting a cardboard box on the carriageway of a busy road so I stopped and went back. 6 tiny kitten in the box sad He'd gone by the time I'd walked back so I took them to the surgery where they were hand fed by the nurses but didn't do very well.

What in all honesty can you do? Refusal to put to sleep will end up in abandonment and various unpleasant alternative deaths.

Flatbread Thu 18-Oct-12 09:13:38

Lonecat, we don't know what the outcome for the dog might have been. What we do know is that this young, healthy dog was put to sleep, as almost a 'first option' rather than the last one.

There are rescues close to where I live that have space for more dogs.

But it seems the owner didn't need to try hard enough, because there are enough vets out there just willing to kill a young, healthy dog. And then somehow justify that it is for the dog's benefit.

theodorakis Thu 18-Oct-12 09:16:43

Any chance of a MN lobby? Even the "dog dislikers" should support a campaign for some sort of control over dog owners, I say owners because they are, of course, the problem, not the dogs.
For every person who have had dogs shitting in their street, dogs knocking over their kids, been bitten by a dog or have had their dog attacked in the park, and for the dog lovers to protect dogs and reduce cruelty, lazy breeding and neglect.

The fact is a dog can be an anti social problem as much as the yobs who own them. There is also the issue of people not being able to afford their pets (never understood this, I would seek the help that is out there and share what I had rather than get rid of a member of my family) and for the sake of all communities for al the avove reasons. MN is a powerful force and most people on here have strong opinions, even the haters would like to see anti social owners being controlled. Isn't there a small chance that a big public campaign for some sort of government intervention and control may happen with MN behind it?

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 18-Oct-12 09:18:50

'It had growled very aggressively when a child had put its face near his' This is very normal behaviour. Dogs see close face to face eye contact as a threat. My own terrier growled at a toddler who's eejit parents let him crawl along the ground face to face with him hmm I class my dog as child tolerant not child friendly and rarely allow very small children to pet him, of course the parents did not know this because the hadn't bothered to stop and ask and were several feet behind us when their child threw himself to ground in front of my (luckily) leashed dog.

Of course this is not your fault you did what you thought you had to at the time. The fault lies squarely with the owners and the breeder, but I just wanted to point that out in case someone reading the thread panics because their dog has done this, it is not a sign of an imminently dangerous dog, just a sign that the toddler needs to be kept under control.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 18-Oct-12 09:19:25

I used to volunteer in an SSPCA centre (this is a while ago). They would always accept new dogs in. What people didn't realise was new dog in, means a current dog getting put to sleep. Rescue centres are full. There are nowhere near enough places for all the dogs that need them.

Flatpack You obviously care deeply, why don't you set up a rescue centre? One that guarantees to put no dog to sleep, and to take any dog that is offered? Why not?

As others have said, if vets refused to euthenase it wouldn't solve the problem. Owner s (generally) use that as a last resort, they will have already tried fb/gumtree/friends.

Sk if vet refuses what are the options? Abandon dog somewhere a long way from home, or kill it yourself. Which is uour preferred option?

wordfactory Thu 18-Oct-12 09:21:16

Peronally I think dogs should be like cars.

You should have to apply for a licence. Said license could be taken away for offences. It should be a criminal offence to own a dog wihtout one. Owners should have to take out insurance for medical care for their dog and third party liability in case their dog harmed a third party.

theodorakis Thu 18-Oct-12 09:22:21

Good point Dooin. I think the Op did what she had to but I know from this site how many people do panic. There is a difference between a twat having an untrained Akita and a family dog standing his ground and asking for his tail not to be pulled/have things put in his ears/share his bones or theopups favourite, being forced to wear hats.

theodorakis Thu 18-Oct-12 09:26:02

I don't get no kill rescues. What happens to all the dogs and what about the dangerous ones?

Bonsoir Thu 18-Oct-12 09:26:54

Expensive dog licences are the answer.

Northernlurkerisbehindyouboo Thu 18-Oct-12 09:28:36

'Instead of coming here with a moany, preachy, woe-is-me post, why didn't you write a post before you killed the dog to see if anyone was willing to take it on?'

'Oh Yes! Brilliant idea! 'Excuse me distressed dog owner, i'll just consult mumsnet and see if I can rustle up somebody totally appropriate for this animal. Then i'll get out my magic wand and make all the ickle puppies happy again'


If we gave prizes for absurd posts you'd be a winner Flatbread. Please stop insinuating the Op's in it for the money. It's plain enough that's not the case.

Flatbread Thu 18-Oct-12 09:28:48

I think if people had to kill their own pets, chances are it would haunt them for ever. Many would not be able to do it and would work out a solution for keeping the dog or really try to find a rescue, that can take them in.

Having a vet kill the dog gives the decision some validation (well, even the professionals thought it was an ok thing to do) and it is very likely that this owner will get another dog down the road because it wasn't so hard to get rid of the first one.

Guadalupe Thu 18-Oct-12 09:32:10

That is very sad. When I was a teen I worked in a vets on a saturday and I was horrified by holding healthy dogs while they were put to sleep and then carrying them out afterwards.

When you say designer dogs with silly made-up names, do you mean the ones that are meant to be good for allergies like cockerpoo and labradoodle?

EduCated Thu 18-Oct-12 09:32:17

Sorry, Flatbread, are you seriously advocating pele having to kill their own pets? shock

In some ways, I think you have a point about the availability of euthanasia validating some people's decisions. However, the alternatives are cruel, horrifying and far, far worse.

Flatbread Thu 18-Oct-12 09:39:50

I am saying that it is not morally justifiable for a vet to kill healthy young dogs with no real behavioural problems, just because the owner cannot be arsed to keep them or do the legwork to find a rescue (and they are many with spaces available, it just means travelling a few hours to get to one).

And frankly, why would an uncaring owner bother to make any effort at all if Dog-rid vet practice down the road will kill the dog for 50 quid within 20 minutes?

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 18-Oct-12 09:40:58

A lot of vets do smile and nod and take the dog into a back room to be pts 'later' upon which it is smuggled out of the backdoor and into the arms of a local rescuer, but as OP pointed out, the space in such rescues is limited and not all rescues are equal.

The very small rescue I work with (they have around 12 volunteers and no kennels) currently have in 26 dogs, way over capacity and a list of another 5 dogs waiting to come in. There is simply no more space. Of course they 'find' space when and were they can. A good rescue can magic up a spot as if from no-where in an emergency, although at some point even the best rescues have to say enough, for the sake of the welfare of the dogs already with them.

Equally rescues have to be completely honest about the dogs we are rehoming. Unlike people on FB we can't tell you our puppy is very loving and sits nicely waiting to be fed without letting you know that it also constantly jumps at you, is a complete nutter on it's lead and is in rescue because it has been reported to have bitten a child. We can train and train and train, and we do, my puppy will be doing his Bronze award in January, at my own expense, to help him find a home and is attending a week long intensive training course with me in December, we still have to give the dogs full history and rightly so, but it does mean that rescues can end up 'clogged' with dogs who have had behavioural problems in the past.

If people want to help then foster, donate, volunteer or simply 'join' rescues on FB etc and 'share' the dogs needing homes.

I can't see that there will ever be less dogs treat like the one OP met today, so there needs to be more people willing to help. Not all dogs who come in have behaviour issues and the ones who do are only given to fosterers who have the knowledge and experience to deal with that dog's particular issue. Perfectly well behaved family dogs pass through the doors of rescues every day due to death, illness, financial worries, marital breakdowns or emigration.

Imo change needs to start at the top with tighter control on the breeding, sale and exchange of dogs and educating the next generation of dog owners. Bigger rescues and the media need to start being brutally honest about what is going on and how many healthy, loving dogs they are forced to kill or turn away for want of space to put them.

Even rescues need to be more tightly controlled. Any idiot can set up a rescue, without having a clue what they are doing. 'Rescues' like this give the professionals and rescue dogs in general a very bad name.

PerfectStranger74 Thu 18-Oct-12 09:41:50

Oh, that's such a sad post! Sorry you had to do that, and thank you for highlighting the problem sad

LtEveDallas Thu 18-Oct-12 09:43:24

Flatbread got a kicking on her first thread for irresponsibly allowing her dog to produce a litter. She didn't agree that she should have had her dog spayed, she didn't agree that she wasn't the right person to find the pups homes. She took none of the responsibility for her own choices and actions.

She also talks about Pack Theory (disproved) and how crossbreeds are stronger than pedigrees (not proved)

Ever since she has dipped in and out of the Dog House and made a point of going against the majority view. She is holding a grudge, likes a fight, and enjoys winding people up.

She is quick to judge in all circumstances, doesn't think through the consequences, wont be told she is wrong and eventually goes off in a huff.

She has no credentials, is not a vet, is not a vet assistant, is not a behaviourist, is not a Rescue worker.

It is best not to rise to her (or listen to her).

gussiegrips Thu 18-Oct-12 09:43:25

If it's one dog in, one dog out at a rescue centre - how do they decide which one's out?

Cutest, most likely to be adopted 'v' difficult, least likely to be adopted?

takeonboard Thu 18-Oct-12 09:44:16

Teary reading this, so sad for the poor dog, you and the owner who felt he had no option.

Your post has certainly made me think, I wish you get this message out to more people.

Blackballoon Thu 18-Oct-12 09:51:16

It's all very well finding a place in a rescue centre for a dog but that doesn't equal a home. There are not enough homes for all the dogs in need of one. Therefore I think it is better for the dog to be euthanased than spend months in a kennel which is a scary environment for a lot of dogs. People are very blinkered to the reality of the situation this country is in when it comes to unwanted dogs. The people who are breeding all these dogs should be the ones being blamed, not the vet who has to consider the dogs welfare and sadly end the dogs life.

Flatbread Thu 18-Oct-12 09:51:20

Huh, LtDallas? So if you try to discredit me, somehow it becomes perfectly ok to kill young, heathy dogs without making adequate effort to find them a home?

fluffyraggies Thu 18-Oct-12 09:51:21

Cried at the OP sad

Ploughed through rest of thread.

Attacking vets for putting down unwanted pets is going about things backwards! This is the symptom of the problem. Attack the cause!

I'm thinking about that ad on the TV - dogs trust is it? "We never put a healthy dog down". I've always wondered how they achieve this. I think they'd be better off saying "We'll take your pet in if we can - but the chances are it, or one other will get put down in the end".

Otherwise it's perpetuating this fairytale tardis style dog home, which never fills up, where the dogs all run around in fields leading the life of riley. Wrong! Gives the wrong message out to the public that a dog is disposable.

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 18-Oct-12 09:52:15

One dog in one dog out is a council pounds way of working and it is often the dog who has been waiting the longest who goes 'out'. Rescues take in as many dogs as possible from pounds.

No kill rescues simply stop taking dogs in when they are too full and turn away the pound dogs and the unwanted pets, sadly, knowing that by turning them away they are most likely sentencing them to death.

Theo, truly dangerous dogs in no kill rescue are often kept by the rescues themselves or handed to someone more experienced and in a better position to keep the dog safely and away from the public. Rescues more often than not have qualified and experienced behaviourists working with them who are able to asses and rehabilitate most dogs and then find suitable homes, normally away from children, with experienced, responsible owners, who takes steps to continue improving behaviour and to manage the dog in a safe way.

Larger no kill rescues like Dogs Trust 'cherry pick' which dogs they take in and won't take any with severe bevahioural issues or who are unlikely to find a home due to age or breed, to prevent their kennels becoming full of hard to home dogs.

Flatbread Thu 18-Oct-12 09:53:09

Btw, I am actually am a rescue worker and foster carer for dogs and cats, I take full responsibility for my dogs and frankly, you sound quite deranged getting off on a personal attack.

fluffyraggies Thu 18-Oct-12 09:55:32

Should have said perpetuating the myth of a fairytale dog home ...

Yes dooin, and Dogs Trust should be clear about this in their ads i recon.

LtEveDallas Thu 18-Oct-12 09:55:46

Flatbread, you have form, and you know it. So this Rescue that you work at, and these animals you foster, is that in UK or France? Isn't it hard to foster when you move between the two countries on a monthly basis?

GrimmaTheNome Thu 18-Oct-12 09:56:07

>I think if people had to kill their own pets, chances are it would haunt them for ever. Many would not be able to do it and would work out a solution for keeping the dog or really try to find a rescue, that can take them in.

Fan-bloody-tastic idea. Not.
So, DIY killing; 'find a rescue' - that is not always possible and some can't keep the dog long before it (or another) is PTS. That can just be buckshifting . Or, if they can't do one or the other - abandon at the vets (great, vet still has the responsibility and the arsehole owner gets out of paying and can self-justify that they didn't have an option). Or the dog gets abandoned...which is bad for the dog, and if it actually is aggressive (or becomes so after abandonment) - well terrific result there. Potential for all sorts of harm.

canis I hear you. Your post is so very sad.

This is why people in The Doghouse get so frustrated when things like this happen.

I own Raptors. I visit youth organisations with them, give educational talks etc.
As a result of this thread I shall change my warnings and advice about raptor ownership to include all animals.

Never become an owner of any animal until you can fulfil all of its requirements, physically and mentally, for the rest of its life!

MTBMummy Thu 18-Oct-12 10:00:04

OP - I'm so sorry you had to go through that - I actually gave up on my vet degree, because I personally couldn't face having to put healthy happy dogts down.

It makes me so sad, that so many dogs end up this way or dumped in rescues because of stupid owners who don't do their research and expect a perfect dog without training.

Sadly we don't have a dog, as we'd prefer to get a rescue, but with a 3 year old we cannot find a single rescue that will let us adopt sad
(the secure graden, someone at home all day, experience with dogs don't seem to matter)

Flatbread Thu 18-Oct-12 10:01:49

Vets who kill dogs are also perpetuating a fairy-tale ending - 'Fido knew nothing and died happy'

It is of no benefit to a young dog to be killed, just because the owner and vet somehow pretend it was in the best interests of the dog without making an effort to find an alternative solution.

I will say this again, there are rescues that have spaces, the dog deserves a chance to be found a home, instead of killing it because that was the easiest option.

theodorakis Thu 18-Oct-12 10:02:16

I do believe that Flatbread is an animal lover and she does care, it's not the worst crime in the world. I am not excusing attacking the OP though, better to just ignore things you don't agree with.

At the end of the day, everyone is on the same side here, regardless of theory. and I do see why Dallas is frustrated, there have been so many of these Bonio fights over the same same subjects and they never end well. I wish everyone could combine their energies and DO SOMETHING!
I will make banners!

theodorakis Thu 18-Oct-12 10:04:32

What about inviting whatever minister is responsible for this for a q and a? I still think we should have a campaign, this site is extremely powerful.

RuleBritannia Thu 18-Oct-12 10:04:44

There are too many dogs and cats in this country as pets. If we were to have fewer dogs, there would be less dog poo in the streets. OP, you did the right thing.

Bring back dog licences at a price far dearer than 7/6. We might have more responsible owners then. If they are found allowing their dogs to poo in the street or where people walk (eg path, beach) and don't pick it up, their dogs should be confiscated and ...... That might teach them a lesson.

LtEveDallas Thu 18-Oct-12 10:04:59

MTBMummy, we got MuttDog from Many Tears when DD was 4, have you tried them?

We got Fatjess from DogsTrust (in Shropshire) when DD was a babe in arms, again have you tried them?

Hope you find one smile

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 18-Oct-12 10:04:59

MTBMummy, try your local Dogs Trust, Blue Cross or a sighthound rescue. Smaller, independent rescues normally assess on a case to case basis with no blanket bans on children.

MTAR also re home around the country with no blanket ban on children, but they do now charge for behavioural advise, which I think is wrong.

LtEveDallas Thu 18-Oct-12 10:05:42

X post!

Latara Thu 18-Oct-12 10:08:52

My cat was extremely aggressive at 5 months old when i got her from the RSPCA - again, one of the many cats who needs a no-pet, no-children home.

The RSPCA said she ''wasn't properly socialised'' - luckily for my cat i had no idea what 'not socialised' means & they chose not to explain - i think they were desperate for her to have another chance, as she'd been rehomed once before, so i was the 3rd owner.
She'd have been euthanased definitely if i'd returned her.

Socialisation is the process where a kitten or puppy gets used to it's mother, siblings, other pets, humans (male, female, adults, children, babies), various normal noises, traffic etc.

Kittens that are taken from their mothers too early adopt bad or strange behaviours for comfort; also they are unused to normal households.

It was telling that my cat was: terrified of men, hated toddlers & babies - she actually tried to attack them but i stopped her before she got near; she had no idea how to behave around other cats, was jealously attached to me & very anti-social in her behaviours.

She was lucky in that i don't give up - i just put gloves & boots on at home so she couldn't bite through to the bone (yes, she tried to seriously cause harm after getting angry at not being allowed to, for example, get in a kitchen cupboard on top of the plates - she would stop, stare at me thoughtfully then attack my legs or arms.)
I still have some scars today but i'm proud to say that 5 years later she's soft, only bites or scratches when playing, friendly to most people including young children, & generally behaves well.
She even lets me comb & brush her long fur daily now, without attacking!

But anyone slightly less patient would have returned her to the RSPCA, I was advised to do so many times by close family (who now love her to bits). I wouldn't have blamed anyone who choose to do that because it was extremely difficult to 'retrain' my cat (luckily successful in the end - after reading lots of cat behaviour books!).

PLEASE could anyone who breeds kittens ensure they are socialised before homing them; & PLEASE don't let toddlers or idiotic grown men 'tease' your kitten; DON'T take kittens away from the mother to early; in fact PLEASE just get your kittens neutered asap & DON'T breed from them to make money.

Shesparkles Thu 18-Oct-12 10:09:24

OP this must be such a harrowing part of your work. I really feel for you.
I've recently had a bit of a internal struggle about getting a dog, but common sense has told me I cant give a dog what IT needs, despite it being likely that it could give me what I need, maybe one day....

I do things, as do many others in the dog world. I do emergency fostering, have rescued and help raise funds for UKGSD. I also try to tell as many people as possible about responsible dog ownership, it often falls on deaf ears, because people often have the 'it wont happen to me' attitude. sad

A cute little puppy is one thing, the reality of a big bouncy adolescent dog is another. And that is when most dogs get rehomed/PTS because they have gone from cute and naughty behaviour is sweet and then its not when they nip your toddler/child because they have had little or no training.

It makes my blood boil.

Flatbread Thu 18-Oct-12 10:13:50

LTDallas, I foster short-term in France, it gives us a breathing space to find another home.

I also work to take dogs and cats to different parts of our region where we have a network of foster homes.

I cannot do it in the UK as we spend much less time there. But I contribute every month to two dog charities in Scotland and I know that they have space for dogs.

But this is not a thread about me, although I am sure you would love to make it one, as you seem to be very interested in my life.

soverylucky Thu 18-Oct-12 10:17:27

Why do they not bring back the dog licence? It should be quite expensive and the money it generates could be used to fund dog fouling clean ups, catching strays etc. With modern technology/micro chipping it could be done easily.

People think it is their right to have a dog and don't seem to realise the enormity of the responsibility. They don't want the vet fees, they don't want to train them, they don't want to feed them an adequate diet, don't want to exercise them and don't want them to make any impact on their soft furnishings and carpets.

Tbh - people are the same with children.....but that is a whole other thread.

QuietTiger Thu 18-Oct-12 10:21:47

OP - I'm not going to flame you in the slightest. Quite apart from the fact I work with rescue and see this same senario day in and day out like you - not enough rescue spaces, not enough adoptive homes, animals given up or dumped for stupid, stupid spurious reasons, I'm also going to tell you this...


"Compassion" (along with competence, LOL!) is the biggest quality I (personally) look for in a vet and you have it in spades. Any animal you treat is lucky to have you as their vet - through their life and at the end of their life.

I don't know what the answer is, I really don't. While there are complete morons out there doing what they are doing and treating animals as material disposable fashion objects, instead of sentient, feeling beings who deserve a loving home for life, people like vets, vet nurses and rescues will have to pick up the pieces.

I feel for you OP.

higgle Thu 18-Oct-12 10:27:28

I felt so sad when I read this thread. Part of the problem is that we all seem to have to work full time these days and that makes dog owning impossible for many people. I have had a dog ( sometimes two) for over 30 years. This was possible because at times I've lived very close to where I worked, I've had children and a nanny at home, had jobs that involved working partly from home or had a student child in residence.

Our last dog, a lovely but ancient rescue Staffy died in June - after our dear vet made heroic efforts to keep him with us for as long as possible. I reckon I have the skills to take on a dog like the one in this post and give him a good life - he wouldn't meet any children at all and we hardly ever meet other dogs out on walks around here. The problem is I can't - I'm a 9-5 wage slave with heavy financial committments that mean I can't afford doggy day care. I obviously couldn't make a really good job of keeping a boisterous young dog even with part time work, but I could take an older one and free up a space.

The present economic situation with loads of rented accommodation where dogs are not allowed and long working hours is not friendly to dogs. I also get the feeling that for many families a dog has to be perfectly behaved to be tolerated. I remember as a child there were dogs we had that were a bit snappy, or a bit destructive and our neighbour's dog did bite my brother's naose once, but there seemed to be a lot more give and take and understanding of doggy temprament, and never serious consideration of a dog being put down or re-homed.

LtEveDallas Thu 18-Oct-12 10:28:23

"as you seem to be very interested in my life"

Not interested Flatbread, just making sure people know the background and help them to understand why you feel it necessary to join threads simply to post an opposing (and quite often nasty) view.

I am surprised that a Rescue would let you foster dogs knowing you have 2 (or is it 3 now?) that are not neutered? I suppose the rules must be more slack in France.

Sonnet Thu 18-Oct-12 10:29:57

I am so sorry that you have had to go through this - and you keep having to do so. If your moving post makes only one person think then it is a step int he right direction.

My family wouldl love a dog - My DH & I were brought up with dogs. We have the resources and the cash for a dog BUT we lack time and are both out at work (me only 4 days but still). We all leave early (7.30) and both DH and I REFUSE to leave a dog alone all day. So dogless we will remain umtil we retire.

milli2512 Thu 18-Oct-12 10:31:13

As a dog lover this made me sob. So so sad. Makes me mad that people enter in to dog ownership without fully researching breeds etc. Poor poor puppy.

juneau Thu 18-Oct-12 10:33:57

My sister used to work as a veterinary nurse. She did it for four years and was so heart-broken by stories like this that she quit, retrained and is now a dental nurse. I know this happens to dogs and to cats - they are euthanised for all kinds of reasons. My sister had to assist in cases where the owners were going on holiday and didn't want to pay for kennels/cattery so had their pet put to sleep instead sad

Flatbread Thu 18-Oct-12 10:34:17

I don't think there is any one simple solution to the problem.

At the core of the matter, dogs have become a profit-making industry. There are people who profit from their birth, their death and every other stage in-between. That leaves dogs vulnerable to abuse from many sources, not just owners. Breeders, vets, dog-shows, dog-food manufactures all have an incentive to promote stuff that is not necessarily in the interest of dogs.

The solution will probably require oversight at all of these levels. With regard to the discussion based on the OP, yes, it should not be easy to own a dog. But at the same time, it should not be so easy to kill a young, healthy dog either.

geegee888 Thu 18-Oct-12 10:35:26

Never become an owner of any animal until you can fulfil all of its requirements, physically and mentally, for the rest of its life!

What a good point. But sadly how often do we see threads on here about people getting rid of their pets because they are thinking of having children?

There seems to be total indulgence of whether to get a pet or not, with no regard to training or long term future. I really do think some people make no attempt at all to train their dogs, but even if they have no experience, if they made the effort to read up about it or go along to a club, it could be done. I often wonder what would happen if when out on my horse, I let him out behave totally out of control, bounding up to people licking their faces while I let him, saying "hes only being friendly"!

theodorakis Thu 18-Oct-12 10:36:58

Sonnet, being at work isn't necessarily a huge problem for an older dog. Mine sleep from the second I leave the house to the second I get home. Retired Greyhounds are especially lazy. I think you should rethink. It isn't irresponsible if you find the right dog. I feel sad that families who would love a dog (and of course all families should have one!) think one small factor means not getting one. You sound like you would be fab owners!

I'm a vet too and no longer work in a practice because I've got sick of having to clear up stupid people's problems that could have been so easily prevented. It got to the point where it just made me too angry.

FWIW I do believe that there are far worse fates than a quick painless death for someof these dogs, and that you probably did the right thing. These dogs that have had multiple homes are often hopelessly damaged by a surprisingly young age and there are just not enough sensible, knowledgeable owners out there for them.

But I so hear where you are coming from. It is one of the most heartbreaking jobs in the world, especially if you, like most other vets, came into the job thinking you were going to be able to help animals. Instead you find yourself having to kill them because people are impulsive, thoughtless and careless sad

youarewinning Thu 18-Oct-12 10:38:28


Very heartwrenching and thoughtful post. I love the fact it has a strong educational message behind it.

LFCisTarkaDahl Thu 18-Oct-12 10:39:06

LtEveDallas did NOT personally attack you Flatbread - she gave an entirely unemotional account of your previous postings.

And I'm very glad she did as I felt sympathetic to you (didn't agree but felt sorry for you), now I don't as it's completely shocking to me that you have unneutered dogs and let one have puppies when there are so many dogs in rescues.

that alone means you act like a numpty who picks and chooses their 'morals'.

Thanks for posting that LtEveDallas

PerryCombover Thu 18-Oct-12 10:42:02

excellent post op

i'm sorry for you and the poor dog

CheeseandPickledOnion Thu 18-Oct-12 10:43:51

That poor puppy and poor you. sad

Flatbread Thu 18-Oct-12 10:45:14

LtDallas, lol. I have no interest in your life at all, I find your obsession with me a bit icky and a teeny-bit scary.

Maybe you should post in forums where only one point of view is valid, because you seem to find it very difficult to deal with opposing views, without getting personal and nasty. Frankly, your behaviour is bordering on bullying, just so that you know.

I care deeply about dogs, but don't find it necessary to abuse people who brings up their dogs differently than me. What I do find very concerning in this thread, is the ease with which young, healthy dogs are put to sleep. And people just saying that is in the best interest of the dog. If you have an opposing view on this, fine. But I think your posts cross a line and you sound like a bit of a demented stalker to me.

thevetswife Thu 18-Oct-12 10:46:07

A lot of vets do smile and nod and take the dog into a back room to be pts 'later' upon which it is smuggled out of the backdoor and into the arms of a local rescuer, but as OP pointed out, the space in such rescues is limited and not all rescues are equal.

Dooin, my DH got into a bit of bother a few years ago for this. The trouble is that the dog is the owners property and there was a consent form for euthanasia. For suitable rehoming cases he now gets the owners consent for the dog to be passed to a rescue or fostered by us until a suitable home turns up. Usually they say no sad

Dog may or may not go out of the back door , couldn't possibly confirm

GrimmaTheNome Thu 18-Oct-12 10:50:52

>With regard to the discussion based on the OP, yes, it should not be easy to own a dog. But at the same time, it should not be so easy to kill a young, healthy dog either.

I wouldn't disagree with that - but I wouldn't blame the vet either that there is no legislation to make owners behave responsibly, and too often there is no viable alternative available to the vet. They have other animals to attend to - with the best will in the world, a vet can't spend all day on the phone (or mumsnet hmm) trying to rehome one animal at the expense of her other patients.

So, how do we go about lobbying for solutions? What would they look like?
Some sort of rigourous and enforced licensing? Government funding for no-kill rescues? Strict laws on breeding - which would not only mean stiffer licensing/inspection of breeders but a total clampdown on amateur breeding?

Takver Thu 18-Oct-12 10:52:00

To those who are saying the OP should have refused - we used to live in southern Spain where the 'answer' to these unwanted puppies (at least then, I hope it has changed) was to dump them. I suspect that if vets refused then that is what people would do.

Our gorgeous, delightful mutt was from a dumped litter there - he was lucky enough to survive intact but several of the puppies (rescued by a friend who found them) had had ears/tails chewed off by rats sad

Same problem of 'trendy' breeds by the way, he is part husky - not pure bred and desirable but not an easy small pet either. (Although having said that he has been the absolute perfect farm dog, totally safe with all stock, incredibly good with children, and so easily trainable you would not believe, so not all difficult breeds mean a difficult dog . . .)

Takver Thu 18-Oct-12 10:53:31

" Strict laws on breeding - which would not only mean stiffer licensing/inspection of breeders but a total clampdown on amateur breeding?"

I would really support this - sure, it wouldn't be 100% successful - but it could help. Maybe a license to breed dogs rather than to keep them?

theodorakis Thu 18-Oct-12 10:54:33

Grimma I did suggest it upthread but everyone ignored me. I made a thread in doghouse about it.

Heartbreaking, OP. I am currently doing battle with my adolescent nutjob puppy, who is a demanding, high energy dog. We adore him, spend hours a day on exercising/training/grooming and more money than I care to think of at the vets/pet shop/behaviourist. It is daunting and overwhelming sometimes. But, we took this on. We chose to bring him home. Even when he is driving me demented and a little bit of me thinks 'oh, how simple life would be if you were not here', there is no way we'll give up on him. He's family.
I did my work experience at secondary school in a vets, and I remember a man bringing in his young German Shepherd. The man was wearing sunglasses, and in bits. The dog had bitten his toddler son, and his wife was at the hospital with the child while he had surgery. I understood why the man was having the dog put to sleep, and I understood why the vet was doing it. But, Christ, it was horrible to see a healthy, tail wagging dog being euthanised. The fact that I still remember it 20 years later shows how affecting an experience it is.

Northernlurkerisbehindyouboo Thu 18-Oct-12 10:56:31

Flatbread - you aren't being bullied. It's not bullying to point out inconsistency in your posts when you are intent on a holier than thou crusade. How dare you lecture the Op about her moral choices when the suggestion is you have refused to neuter your pets.

'I care deeply about dogs, but don't find it necessary to abuse people who brings up their dogs differently than me'

No, you just abuse caring professionals doing their job. angry

zombieplanmum Thu 18-Oct-12 10:58:29

Never become an owner of any animal until you can fulfil all of its requirements, physically and mentally, for the rest of its life!"

I dont know who said this upthread, and i do totally agree with it, but none of us have a crystal ball - things happen, people get sick, lose jobs, children get sick etc etc, so many things can and do go wrong, none of us can 100% guaruntee to be able to do this. I adore my dogs and would do anything for them, can't imagine EVER giving them up or heaven forbid, PTS but what if I loose my house? what if we can't find a LL to rent to people with pets, what if we can't get council accomodation and have to rent privately - then what do i do? This wasn't even a faint possiblity for me when i got my dogs, but it is now something that i can't rule out - my DPs work has dried up and we are behind with the mortgage, i can't find work although have just started part time cleaning job but it pays 7 an hour and i only get an hour a day sad I would not have predicted this.

theodorakis Thu 18-Oct-12 10:59:04

This is the thread I made although my invisibility cloak may make it hard to see wink

theodorakis Thu 18-Oct-12 10:59:21
LtEveDallas Thu 18-Oct-12 11:04:31

Even when he is driving me demented and a little bit of me thinks 'oh, how simple life would be if you were not here', there is no way we'll give up on him. He's family

Oh I can so relate to this. With RottDog so ill at the moment things are becoming quite hard at home. MuttDog seems to be sensing it all - she is very subdued at the moment, DD is sad, DH getting frustrated and I'm very tired. But we don't want to let her go yet. She has more good days than bad, and we are taking each day as it comes. She is costing me a fortune - her patches alone are £25.00 a day.

But she's family. We won't PTS until we have to, until she needs to go.

Flatbread Thu 18-Oct-12 11:05:29


All the vet had to do was say 'No, I will not kill a healthy, young dog'.

It is then up to the owner to find a solution. At the end of the day, the dog was in no pain and not a threat to anyone. Why make it easier for owners to get rid of dogs so easily? Did the vet give the owner a list of possible rescue centres or websites to call? Did she refer him to a behaviouralist? Will she refuse to put his next dog to sleep?

Fwiw, I do not think professional breeders (aka for profit centres) should be allowed to breed dogs. We will then just get dogs of the latest fashion that wealthy people are willing to pay for. That is a scary thought.

I think the solution is to ban the selling of dogs for money. And ban the exchange of money for killing a dog. Kill the incentive on both end, which allow dogs to be treated as commodities, to be bought and killed at will.

It will then be hard to find a dog to adopt and hard to kill one down the road. It takes a lot of money and effort to rear puppies and most people will not do it if there was no financial incentive, and hence people will not be able to get a dog so easily. If vets are not paid to kill an animal, I imagine they will only do so in the most necessary circumstances. And so it won't be so easy to get rid of dogs. End result -fewer dogs born and fewer dogs killed unnecessarily .

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 18-Oct-12 11:05:53

The puppy I have in atm has had a life that almost mirrors the pup in this OP, except he was dumped at the pound because the owner could not face making the choice to put him to sleep himself. He had 7 days to find a new home. 7 days that would spent in terror, in a cold, wet kennel with minimal human interaction and only very basic care. After those 7 days he would have been pts anyway.

He was one of the very, very, very few (and the number who are saved is minute compared to those who are not saved) dogs who were lucky enough to find a rescue space.

Has now been in my care for almost three months, even though he is a puppy, because we have to be honest about his history and behaviour, meaning no-one has the time for him.

This means the next dog who comes into the pound like him, will not be so lucky because their potential space is already taken. They'll spend their 7 days cold, scared, lonely and most likely stressed and hungry and then they'll be killed. That is the reality. That is why OP felt in this particular case she had no choice.

Things are not as simple as you'd like them to be Flatbread. People will always find a way to dispose of their dogs if they are so inclined. There are simply not enough rescue spaces to save them all. I wish there were, but there aren't.

Again I would implore anyone who has been disgusted by the treatment of this dog and saddened by the outcome to do something to help. Adopt, foster, donate, volunteer or 'promote' rescues and their dogs. There is always a way to help, no matter how short of time or money you are. Even the smallest gesture can make a big difference. It's all well and good posting on a thread like this, but at the end of the day only action will inspire change. Words alone will not help these dogs.

Hullygully Thu 18-Oct-12 11:08:48

People should have to pass a stringent exam efore they are allowed pets (and children)

Takver Thu 18-Oct-12 11:11:43

"It is then up to the owner to find a solution. "

What if that solution is just to dump the dog? That's what happened where we used to live.

Lovethesea Thu 18-Oct-12 11:14:35

So sorry you had to do this but I think you chose the path of least suffering for that dog. I have a rescue cat, would love dogs but work and have small kids and know I don't have time to be here for it.

Going round the rescue homes looking at desperate faces is heartbreaking. At least that dog was spared months or years of hope being crushed as another person walked past their pen. If there were more homes out there, more people with a spare acre or a job for the dog to do great. Rehome and retrain them all.

But you work in real life and I think you did the best you could for that dog. Sometimes quality of life is more important than quantity.

thevetswife Thu 18-Oct-12 11:18:12


"It is then up to the owner to find a solution. "

Ever seen a young pup with a two day old sub-fatal hammer blow to the skull?

How about a sack of drowned puppies?

Or a shot that misses? Or a yorkshire terrier used as a bait dog?

These are all cases that DH has been involved with for legal reasons

It's not the vet's fault that the owner is irresponsible. The vet has a responsibility for welfare which doesn't always mean life. I'm prepared to bet that any one of those animals would have preferred a swift death than what they had to go through.

Apologies everyone. I'm a bit vexed and will hide the thread.

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 18-Oct-12 11:18:49

There is known 'dumping ground' for dogs in our town. It is notorious for it. It's well known that people drive from miles around to dump their dogs there. The Police now feel the need to regularly patrol the area, taking details of dog walkers and their dogs, to try and control the situation.

I know of several walkers who have found dogs there. We have one in our care who we found there. Again, now he is with us, we have no space to keep the next one we find. Although it will end up in the pound over my dead body smile

People tie dogs up outside of rescues and pounds because they've been told there is no space or because they don't have the guts to walk in and admit that they are giving up their dog. People drown, strangle or starve their dogs and hide the body.

A lot of people know someone who knows someone who has a gun and will 'dispose' of your unwanted or sick pet in the local woods. It does happen.

Someone desperate enough will find a way to get rid of their dog if vets refuse to help. Some even prefer to kill their dog over approaching a rescue because they 'love' the dog 'too much' to see it spend it's life in rescue.

God, I can't think of anything worse than making 'getting rid' of an animal solely the owners problem. Awful things would happen to the animals. Not everyone is decent, not everyone wants to think through the consequences of their actions (Don't get me started on the back garden chicken keepers that decide to hatch a few eggs, then release the cockerels in to 'the wild' hmm because they can't face a quick, clean cull.)

Flatbread Thu 18-Oct-12 11:23:36

Takver, the owner might have dumped the dog, he might not.

Yes there is a chance that he may not have been rescued. But there is a very good chance that he might have. Ffs, there are hundreds of rescue dogs that find a good home

Do you really think it is ok for a vet to kill a young health dog within 20 minutes of meeting it?

Is this the right message to send to owners -you can't be arsed to rehome your dog and I will just kill it for you. 50 quid please.

Both owner and vet morally satisfied that they have done right by the dog...hmm

wordfactory Thu 18-Oct-12 11:25:19

Every year abandonned dogs get run over and die in agony. Or choke on things they scavenge from bins.

Do we really want more abandonned dogs because vets refuse to PTS?

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 18-Oct-12 11:26:36

There isn't a very good chance the dog would have found rescue Flatbread. The people with the experience to deal with dogs like this already have one or two that they are looking after and have no more room.

Rescue is in crisis all around the country because there is no more room.

There is a good chance the dog would have been sold on Gumtree to an even more unsuitable, dumped, shot or ended up in the pound before being pts

LtEveDallas Thu 18-Oct-12 11:28:15

People tie dogs up outside of rescues and pounds because they've been told there is no space

Oh yes, this is very true. MuttDog was found with her sibs in a sports bag that was left in the Rescue car park. It was very lucky that a visitor noticed the noise coming from the bag, as the bag was right next to the bins sad

Rescues are full. No-kill rescues are suffering and having to rethink their stance. There are 3 times the amount of Foster Homes being used currently than there were 2 years ago. It's shit.

theodorakis Thu 18-Oct-12 11:30:21

Yuck, just looked at Gumtree, full of designer puppies and teenage Sharpeis and Huskies etc

LookBehindYou Thu 18-Oct-12 11:30:25

There are so many arses in this world. Poor dog. Completely agree DOoin - they live miserable lives and then it ends. I'm sorry OP - a horrible side to your job which you probably didn't expect to do when you were studying.

PerryCombover Thu 18-Oct-12 11:34:09

oi Flatbread

Do you think you are achieving anything by this?
More importantly what are you hoping to achieve?

It's clear the vet rightly found she had a really difficulty putting the animal to sleep
She is expressing her exasperation and distress at being used professionally in a situation that really shouldn't ever arise.

given the same set of circumstances she would have to behave in the same way. Although you vaguely claim otherwise there was no magical offer of shelter or home there for the animal.

The OP's post might make someone think about whether they have really thought through all the aspects of purchase and living with an animal into old age posterity etc

your post, as far as I can tell, serves no purpose other than to try to make her feel worse about an already terrible aspect of her job.
try to show some empathy

saffronwblue Thu 18-Oct-12 11:34:12

canis what a tough day at the office for you. It must be so hard to be put in this position as a professional who is trained to save and enhance lives. You did the right thing. You have also written a very powerful OP which I hope gets wide circulation.

theodorakis Thu 18-Oct-12 11:34:28

I have had kittens stuffed through my letterbox. The thing is people feel noble by rescuing animals but don't have the means to do anything so they come to the "animal people". I get abuse from people who ring me saying they have seen a pack of wild dogs and I don't jump in my car and bring them to my house.
This is always going to be someone's problem and sadly people involved with rescue often are expected to take the dog off someone's hands and relieve their conscience. Often I find people don't really care what happens next, their work is done leaving us with even more animals we can't rehome.

LookBehindYou Thu 18-Oct-12 11:35:26

Flatbread do you think the owner would have been responsible or have sold it to a wannabe big guy who then gets frustrated with a difficult but not violent to order dog and beats it, is mean, teaches it bad habits and then sells it on to a guy in the pub? Big dog, not too violent is a perfect bait dog.

KellyElly Thu 18-Oct-12 11:36:07

When I win the Euromillions I'm going to set up a massive animal sanctuary to take all the animals in this situation. OP your job must be very hard. I wanted to be a vet when I was younger but knew I wouldn't be able to put animals to sleep.

missymoomoomee Thu 18-Oct-12 11:36:11

Flatbread I find your judgement of the op quite hypocritical considering you were careless enough to let your dog get pregnant (no doubt because you didn't want to line the pockets of evil vets). You do know YOU contributed to situations like this with your feckless attitude towards getting your dog neutered.

Terribly sad post. Personally I think part of the problem lies with the big animal charities. We got our dog before TTCing, but knew kids were on the horizon. I made some initial enquiries at RSPCA and DogsTrust about finding a rescue dog, but it seemed virtually impossible to find a dog they would be happy to rehome in a house with babies - hopefully - imminent. So we bought a puppy from a breeder, and he's been utterly brilliant with the babies.
When we started TTCing I came onto MN and learnt about independent rescues and other options, and realise we probably could have given a home to a dog that needed it, but I just didn't know that at the time. That must happen to lots of families.

theodorakis Thu 18-Oct-12 11:39:06

Intersting that ALL dogs for homing on Gumtree (the American Bulldogs, Akita, Huskies etc) are "perfect with kids and dogs"

Flatbread Thu 18-Oct-12 11:43:50

No Dooing. There are rescues that are taking in dogs, especially those that are young, healthy and without any major behavioural issues. Like I said, I know of two in Scotland who are doing so.

And it is possible elsewhere as well. I had called up one in Carlyle for a lady who had gotten abuse in the DogHouse, as she was unable to take care of her dog. This was an old dog with health problems and an undesirable breed, and yet the first rescue I called in Carlyle said they were taking in dogs, and asked if that poster could bring her dog over to meet.

The first option should be to see if the family can keep the dog, with getting the right training support. Second port port of call should be to explore rescue options thoroughly. Only if there is absolutely no alternative, should the dog be killed.

I am all for micro-chipping dogs, and heavily fining owners who abandon their dogs.

Similarly, vets should have a strong onus to check that the owner has tried all options before killing a healthy dog. And refuse to kill otherwise.

Yes, there will be extreme examples of people who will do horrible things otherwise. But there will be a good number who will do the right thing because they are forced to do so, and there are no easy/convenient options of having a vet kill their dog.

ladymariner Thu 18-Oct-12 11:47:36

Feeling sick at the thought of bait dogs........sad

ladymariner Thu 18-Oct-12 11:48:01

Ffs sad

HoneyDragon Thu 18-Oct-12 11:48:42

I cannot believe that we allow people to kill animals so lightly.

Why not? We bring them into the world just as lightly?

I would love it if there was a magical way to sterilise cats and dogs pretty from birth. Then they could only legally be sold if they were neutered.

It is not hard to kill an animal either. It really, really isn't. So better it is killed as painlessly and professionally as possible.

ladymariner Thu 18-Oct-12 11:53:08

And I think we should just treat flatbread posts with the contempt they deserve as they are clearly designed to just wind up and infuriate the posters on here who don't live in a fantasy world.....a fantasy world where everyone loves dogs and treats them well and don't ill-treat them and abandon them, a world in which it's ok not to neuter your own dog and behave responsibly because there are homes galore for each and every one.......angry

HoneyDragon Thu 18-Oct-12 11:56:44

lady, just ignore, its purely done to antagonise.

Flatbread may well be an "expert" on dogs and rescuing, but she has shown time and time again she does not know people.

hindsight is 20:20 I would have loved to have seen how she would have got the owner to take the animal back. Or found a willing rescue within 30 minutes. Or what measures she would take to prevent a hammer to the skull in the garage.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 18-Oct-12 12:01:17

> He had tried local and national rescue organisations, all of which were full. ...the third owner in its short life cried into his fur'

The owner had tried, doesn't sound like he went to the vet lightly. Maybe the rescues with places aren't easy enough for people to find when they need them (maybe thats why they have places?)

Sounds like one of the things that's needed is a widely accessible database of rescues with availability of places.

Flatbread Thu 18-Oct-12 12:13:21

I don't understand how I am being hypocritical. My dog had puppies. I kept one and found good homes for the rest. I had many offers to buy the pups, but I refused. I am not kidding, So many people (the plumber, our neighbour, DH's colleague etc.) wanted to buy our beautiful puppies. I preferred to work with a reputable dog homing group on this, and the puppies were only shown to very select families and were homed within a couple of days. The owners paid for the vaccinations and I gave a hefty donation to the group for their expertise in helping me identify good families.

My dogs are neutered now, and my pup gives us so much joy, just as the others are giving to their carefully chosen families. All this is irresponsible because...?

Ah, I forgot, only breeders are supposed to sell dogs for money. That is the responsible thing. And vets are supposed to kill young healthy dogs willy-nilly. That is also the responsible thing.

pigletmania Thu 18-Oct-12 12:20:10

Flatbread I just don't know what you are saying. There isent this wonderful dog utopia that all unwanted dogs can go to, it does not exist. I am sure op in her rofessional capacity knows what the alternative, that there isent one, it does not exist. It's not just one solitary dog, a lot of unwanted pets are brought in by owners incapable of looking after them, the centes around op area may be full and nit able to take the dogs coming to her. She has her reasons fgs. The alternative is to just leave them to the elements, poison or drown them. Pts is the most humane way

grimma the database would have to work in real time and that would mean that someone somewhere has to input all the information for all rescues and every santuary/rescue/pound would all have to work on one linked database with same software. FFS we cant even get this sorted out for the NHS in the UK for people, so what chance do we have for our animals? sad

higgle Thu 18-Oct-12 12:20:45

.... and you created a situation where there were x number less of homes available for homeless dogs because you decided to breed a litter.

LtEveDallas Thu 18-Oct-12 12:21:24

Way to re-write history! You do know your original thread is still available don't you?

pigletmania Thu 18-Oct-12 12:22:31

The best solution as I have said up thread is government policy so that people need a license to own a dog, this will weed out thse who would be incapable of looking after one

Vets dont kill dogs willy-nilly flatbread what a ludicrous thing to suggest.

All of us who foster/rescue etc dont have unlimited time/space and for every dog we take in and end up keeping means that somewhere another is waiting in kennels until a space is available again in foster care.

You have contributed to the problem because you bred puppies and although you 'gave them away to good families' who's to say that those lovely families wont struggle with the pup and have it PTS or allow their little darling to breed by mistake and perpetuate the situation again... and so the puppy cycle continues.

missymoomoomee Thu 18-Oct-12 12:24:07

Its hypocritical because you talk about vets sending the right message about giving an easy solution, didn't you expect the dogs trust (or whoever you eventually used) to give you an easy solution to your irresponsibility by rehoming the pups for you? Is that the right message for them to send out - 'Its ok if you let your dog get pregnant even though there is an easy way to prevent it, we will spend £££ on rehoming the pups for you'

Its also hypocritical because the homes that your pups went to would have taken in other pups, freeing up space in the centres, therefore giving dogs like the one OP talks about a better chance of finding a space.

Dress it up all you like, tell your lies stories about massive donations and working as a fosterer or volunteer or whatever. It doesn't change the fact that you have contributed to the situation dogs like this are in now with your selfish attitude to getting your dog neutered.

piglet a dog licence wont help, a breeding licence wont help - because we have those already, people circumvent the 'rules' and back yard breeders exist.

wildfig Thu 18-Oct-12 12:27:25

There are no spaces in most local rescues. And there are even fewer owners willing to take on an untrained half-grown dog. The options then, for the owner who is desperate to get rid of their animal, are limited - if I were a vet, presented with this horrible situation, I would rather break my heart and euthanise the dog then and there, than know that at best it faced being passed from home to home until it bit, and was PTS, or was turned loose far from home to spend 7 distressing days in the pound, followed by another vet's needle. Or much much worse, was 'rehomed' via Gumtree and found its way into the hands of evil people looking for dog fighting bait.

OP, I am sad for you.

theodorakis Thu 18-Oct-12 12:32:42

For a start the Government could do way more to educate people and make their websites more interactive. I have been looking through the website and found that you only have to be 16 to get a dangerous dog exemption. Surely their simplistic plain website could be zazzed up for not much money, have links to advice and generally be user friendly?

Flatbread Thu 18-Oct-12 12:32:42

Oh, yes,lt. Please feel free to link to the original thread.

And no, I did not take a place from another dog, as there was a waiting list for puppies, and they did not have many, as people people sell them for profit, instead.

And they have space for older dogs as well. As do another dog charity I contribute to. So there is space, especially for young, healthy dogs. And fostering options as well.

I don't understand why I am abused in every dog related thread. I don't abuse people who buy dogs from breeders, or perpetuate breeds that are harmful for dogs health. Or bring their dog up in silly ways and then complain when it chews the kitchen and sofa and is out of control.

It is bullying behaviour to stalk a poster and abuse them for things you don't personally like in past threads. We would never allow this in other parts -oh, you have four children, why do you talk about recycling and saving our earth, hypocritical, eh? Or you breast fed/ffs three years ago, I don't like that so you have no right to talk about nursery choices or whatever.

Lovely place, Mn would be then hmm

zombieplanmum Thu 18-Oct-12 12:38:43

Why the fuck are people derailing this thread!!! The OP wrote a very moving post about a position that vets find themselves in every single day. They can't just wave a magic wand and find homes for these pets who often through peoples ignorance are going to be pretty much unhomable. Sometimes it is the kinder option, but doesn't make it any easier to do! Please can you focus on the problem and how things can be changed to combat this. I personally think that "designer" puppies have a lot to answer for as it opens the door for backyard breeding wide open. My friend has an adorable labradoodle, she bred from her and all was well, she vetted homes etc, provided insurance etc, but it still left a bad taste in my mouth when the rescues are having to turn dogs away. Those dogs usually end up PTS.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Thu 18-Oct-12 12:41:15

Flatbread, did you really let your dog have puppies and give them to a rescue for homing?? You do realise that there are not infinite places for unwanted dogs in rescue centres. I hope you also realise that not all rescues are 'no-kill'. Those puppies you irresponsibly bred took spaces that could have been used to rehome other dogs.

And yet you're preaching in a nasty way to the OP about her 'moral' choice?

Flatbread Thu 18-Oct-12 12:41:34

Really, I think the people who contribute to this situation are those
A) that breed dogs for money
B) buy dogs for money and perpetuate the business
C) vets who aid/abet this by killing healthy animals needlessly, thus perpetuating the belief that dogs are commodities.

It might be un-pc to say, but it is a fact. You ca discredit me as much as you like, but there is a reason why op was feeling terrible. Because she was uneasy in her conscience about it.

And anyone reading this thread who might need to rehome their dog, please don't make killing it your first option. There are dog-centres who will take it on. Call around, and there are lovely caring people who will do everything to save a young, healthy dog from being put to sleep needlessly.

missymoomoomee Thu 18-Oct-12 12:41:36

Maybe Flatbread its because you are dishing out the abuse to a clearly upset and distressed op when you have, in fact, contributed to the problem. I also don't see any bullying going on other than from you to the op.

Bullying, you say? I believe that's bridge dwelling bingo <waves card>

wordfactory Thu 18-Oct-12 12:49:00

Lots of spaces at lovely caring sharing resuce centres with no-kill policy you say flatbread ?

Oh look, there goes the Easter Bunny on his way to meet the Tooth Fairy.

ThatVikRinA22 Thu 18-Oct-12 12:50:42

i think you should just take a step back flatbread, read your posts with the knowledge that you contributed to the problem that the OP has to clean up, and then perhaps you should shut up.

How many people keep uneutered dogs, let them breed, give away those cute little pups to "good homes" and then, never know what exactly happened to them after that? Did you vet those people and those homes? Do you know for sure that a change in circumstances would not mean one of those puppies you bred would not end up in the same situation? You cannot be responsible for other peoples actions after you have homed those pups. I know several people who i would never in a million years think were stupid enough to get pets and then rehome them - but they have. i have a great friend who bought a boxer pup with no knowledge of what she was doing - rehomed it within 6 weeks. another friend at work got 2 cats and left them when moving house. it amazes me that these, lovely, decent people, could treat animals like disposable objects, but people do.
Then its over to people like the OP to deal with, because people acted irresponsibly from breeding onwards.

You just lost any moral argument im afraid. I suspect you are too nieve and opinionated to realise it though. You and your actions contribute to this problem.
responsible owners neuter their pets. responsible owners do not say they work in rescues, see the problems that are created around casual breeding and still do it anyway.

flatbread your double standards are incredible.

MumsGoToReykjavik Thu 18-Oct-12 12:52:11

I truly hope OP that reading this will jolt some sense into the overwhelming amount of idiotic dog owners out there. So sad for you and the poor dog but I don't think you could have done anything differently.

I wonder if someone could post the jist of the OP onto facebook so wankers like my not-fit-to-own-a-dog sister can read it and maybe think.

HoneyDragon Thu 18-Oct-12 12:52:12

Its not an un pc thing to say at all.
it's a fucking stupid thing to say

Neuter dog if dog is pet.

It should cost money to buy a dog.

It should also cost to breed. Perhaps a licence at £200 per annum, and a £500 fine for unlicenced breeding?

And whether we like it or not dogs are commodities i the same way that people are. they have a lot of value if they are working dogs.

What dogs should not be is an accessory.

I am shitting bricks at the moment as the vet has suggested it may be better to let my dog have a season before getting her spayed. I need to start a thread on it, as the though of managing her in heat terrifies me. I do not want her to have have puppies.

theodorakis Thu 18-Oct-12 13:11:04

I don't think this thread is being derailed. OP didn't post for tea and sympathy but to raise the subject and open it for discussion.

I have to say, my very difficult foster who I have had for 7 years would not be rehomeable. I wouldn't want to put him through the terror and stress of trying, he had 10 homes in 6 months when I took him. If I was dying and had no family or friends I would PTS for his sake. I don't care what you say, I don't want him to be in a rescue centre, he was there for 3 years in between homes and was unable to cope with the noise and the coming and going. Rescue shelters are fabulous places, don't get me wrong but it isn't an ideal home for a dog, long term it is stressful for many. I am not ashamed of this ONE BIT.

Flatbread Thu 18-Oct-12 13:15:03

It is abusive to say a healthy young dog should not be killed after 20 minutes of time with the vet?

But it is not bullying to stalk a poster and try to discredit them because you don't agree with their beliefs? Really?

How does my having three dogs, presumably believing in pack theory (!), having pups and homing them responsibly, thinking mutts are genetically more diverse, in any way relevant to this thread?

I am not advocating double standards. If I killed dogs willy-nilly (with or without a fee), then yes, I could be accused of double standards.

The owner did not try all rescues. That is nonsense. I know of rescues that would be very willing to consider a young, healthy dog. This is a fact. A lot of dogs are happily rehomed. That is a fact. Many of us, including me, have rescue dogs who are doing very well. Yes, not all dogs are luckily, but why was those dog not given a full chance to live?

wordfactory Thu 18-Oct-12 13:18:47

flatbread those are questions for the owner!

The owner, has the responsibilty. But many owners are simply not responsible. A vet cannot make them so.

cutegorilla Thu 18-Oct-12 13:19:46

I really can't see that getting a dog PTS is giving an owner an easier way out than sending it to rescue. Quite the reverse. If the dog is PTS the owner (if they are half decent) will have to live with knowing that their choices lead to that dog's untimely demise. Too many times I've seen people congratulating themselves that they didn't destroy the dog, it went to rescue so it will have a perfect home and a lovely life and they are completely absolved of any guilt for making bad decisions in the first place. The truth is that often PTS is the better welfare option. The dog is not suffering any more. A life in kennels or, as far too often happens, in and out of rescue going to home after home that find they can't manage it, is no life for a dog. Not really. From an overall welfare pov it would be better to rescue and try to re-home those dogs with no health or behaviour problems. The dogs that are obviously going to be difficult to find the right home for should not be a priority when spaces are in such short supply. It's hard and harsh but it's reality.

I do totally agree that taking on a rescue animal is a great thing to do. I also agree that puppy farms and backyard breeders need to be dealt with. I do still think there is space for responsible breeders though. I don't think it would be good for dog kind if the only people left breeding were the puppy farmers who will continue to line their pockets while the rescues pick up the pieces.

theodorakis Thu 18-Oct-12 13:22:24

But here is the moral question. Isn't it morally worse to breed dogs than euthanise them?
And that is really not aimed at you flatbread I know nothing of your circumstances, but to all those Akita/Husky designers, why would you breed an animal that is likely to be an accessory to people who also think a gun is a cool accessory? I think the breeders will go to Hell before the vets.

theodorakis Thu 18-Oct-12 13:25:26

cutegorilla my darling little boy couldn't cope with rescue kennels. He couldn't cope with the run of homes he had either and was so anxious he peed everywhere and tore the house to bits. I would rather put myself to sleep than send him back there. He trembles when he goes to the vet, let alone having to go to an environment that he previously found so stressful he didn't eat for months.

Anyone who "saved" him with good intentions would be doing the wrong thing. i know, because I know him better than anyone. So I agree.

Acepuppets Thu 18-Oct-12 13:29:36

I found my beautiful cat in a rescue RSPCA centre twelve years ago, she was about 18 months old and seemed to act as if she had been spayed, which made it all the more surprising that she was there. Her tail looked as if it had been trapped in the door at some stage and has always been a bit wonky. I was checked out by the charity before I was allowed to adopt her, which was the reason why I chose to get a cat from the shelter. She was very aggressive and wanted to trust but didn't know how, at the time I was a, 'spinster' with just her so I spent hours cuddling her and reacting to her aggression with more cuddles and now she is timid with strangers but once she feels safe she won't leave you alone - I am not a spinster now but she is happiest sitting on my knee in the evenings. Animals need a lot of love care and attention as well as training before they behave well out of habit - I'm trying to train my three year old now but he is much more challenging lol. If you want a pet that isn't going to inconvenience you a goldfish is a good choice.

Flatbread Thu 18-Oct-12 13:36:23

And yes, Vicar, I did absolutely consider the situation. That is why I went with a rescue which has a 100% back-up policy. If the owner doesn't keep the dog for any reason it has to be returned to the centre. If any one of ours is ever returned, I am first in line to get them back. I gave them to the centre on this condition I stay in regular touch and get updates and have even been sent some photos. They are doing very well, touch-wood.

I don't see how any of this is relevant to this thread, though, except as a way of somehow trying to discredit me, and bully me into shutting up. So we can all go back and say, well done, OP, it was the right decision to kill a young healthy dog, with minimal effort to find a solution.

You know, next time on a thread where a poster says, 'for gods sake, you should make your child a proper lunch', is it ok to reply 'ah, but you did not breastfeed, how dare you criticise op for not feeding her child correctly' . That would be appropriate and relevant eh...?

Flatbread Thu 18-Oct-12 13:50:04

Theo, interesting question. IMO, giving life cannot be equated with taking life.

In most societies, for human babies, at least, there are very few restrictions on creating life, but lots of moral and legal issues/regulation on ending/taking a life.

I think there is huge responsibility which comes with creating a life, and people need to do the right thing by the wonderful creatures they have bought into the world.

There is also a huge responsibility which comes with taking/ending a life. It should take more than 20 minutes to decide on killing a living being.

Blackballoon Thu 18-Oct-12 13:52:30

I have helped put dogs to sleep because their owner didn't want them anymore and couldn't find a rescue centre to take them. Does that make me a bad person?

Sadly it's a fact that hundreds of dogs get put to sleep because there are not enough homes for them. You can not blame the vet! And to make out that it is all about the money is ridiculous!

People need to stop breeding their dogs which is where the problem stems from. I think the public should be made aware that healthy dogs are euthanased every day because there is nowhere for them to go. There is not an endless supply of kennels in rescue centres for them to go to and even then there are not the homes available.

I have a vet nurse friend who worked in an RSPCA clinic for a while. She was asked to PTS lots of animals simply because there was nowhere for them to go. She couldn't do it so left the job.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Thu 18-Oct-12 13:56:02

The fact is, Flatbread, you have criticised the op continually on this thread, when the op is vet, who clearly, from her compassionate post takes animal welfare very seriously. Yet you repeatedly and unnecessarily question her morals.

You fail to take into account that your own actions in breeding 8 unplanned puppies in your own backyard (which you then get DT to re-home for you) contribute to the very problem the op is talking about.

I've not seen a single poster on this thread agree with you Flatbread - do you wonder why?

HoneyDragon Thu 18-Oct-12 13:57:58

Yes but if you disagree with Flatbread you are bullying hmm

Northernlurkerisbehindyouboo Thu 18-Oct-12 14:05:32

It's not stalking to point out statements made on a public website. Do you think we all have goldfish memories flatbread?

LtEveDallas Thu 18-Oct-12 14:12:04

I'm not bullying you Flatbread, but I am very aware of the inconsistencies in your posts.

Right now the things you are saying make you sound as if you were going to use The Dogs Trust all along to rehome your 8 puppies - but you weren't, you posted over and over about how you were the best judge of character and how you would find your dogs puppies homes. But now you post: And yes, Vicar, I did absolutely consider the situation. That is why I went with a rescue which has a 100% back-up policy. If the owner doesn't keep the dog for any reason it has to be returned to the centre. If any one of ours is ever returned, I am first in line to get them back. I gave them to the centre on this condition I stay in regular touch and get updates and have even been sent some photos. They are doing very well, touch-wood

So which is the truth?

I am also confused as to how someone who claims to work in Rescue wasn't aware of the Dogs Trust, how it worked and what to do - oh but now you are saying you were fully aware.

Gosh, my poor old brain is hurting smile

YerMaw1989 Thu 18-Oct-12 14:12:17

Aw god that's awful, I hate the way seemingly 'problem dogs' are just put down.

Why aren't 'problem humans' put down then, its awful.

zombieplanmum Thu 18-Oct-12 14:22:39

theo, i agree with you and for the most part i think the debate has been interesting but whats with the she said/she said, its a bit pants and detracting from the debate, which you so rightly say is why the OP has started this thread. I agree with someone who said that she should copy that OP to a newspaper, in fact with her permission i could send it to a friend of mine who is a journalist.

theodorakis Thu 18-Oct-12 14:23:04

Yermaw, well you could say they are in the US!
Personally I don't think it is possible to compare humans to dogs in this context. Dogs are not humans, even the ones who think they are (Theogirldog thats you)

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 18-Oct-12 14:24:27

It is awful YerMaw and unnecessary in most cases. There is help out there for dogs like that. Unfortunately the help is limited and hard to find, mainly because there are already too many dogs in rescue.

I don't agree with killing dogs for behavioural issues and for once actually understand where Flatbread is coming from, although I think placing the blame OP is wrong, she did what she felt she had to do at the time. It was not OP who placed the dog in the predicament it ended up in. The breeders should hold most of the blame, second to the people who bought from a disreputable 'designer' dog breeder without fully researching the mix of breeds and the needs of the dog. If they'd done their homework they would have spotted from the start that everything was not as it should be with this dog.

Rescue space is very limited, especially for dogs who have been deemed as child-aggressive, like this one would have been despite not actually being aggressive. There are rescues who will and do take in such dogs, but spaces among them are not easy to find.

They are particularly hard for the general public to find.

I agree with whoever mentioned about a national database showing who still has space and who does not being a good idea. I also think someone needs to get the RSPCA to pull their fingers out of their arses and start spending some of the millions they have stashed away in the bank helping dogs like this instead of leaving it all down to smaller, poorer rescues.

HoneyDragon Thu 18-Oct-12 14:32:31

I have a huge bias with this op, I'll be honest now and risk a flaming myself.

The area where I used to live was very rural, but oddly similar to Dooins, in that a LOT of dogs seemed to dumped there.

My friends daughter was a vet. Her boss was renowned for his all round amazingness and lovliness.

But was adamantly against rehoming "problem" dogs. If a dog was brought in to be PTS, than that dog was PTS. His reasoning was it would be PTS by the local pound so why let it suffer.

My friends DD thought she could live with this as part of the job. Turned out three years later that she couldn't live with it at all sad

So no I'm not going to flame the op. But until all vets are good vets, until it is law that you cannot pts sleep a healthy dog on the say so of the owner or a vet being paid to do it. Whilst people who should be saving animals are killing them for no good reason, I still can't bring myself to have a go. I just can't.

The whole situation is utterly fucked up.

pigletmania Thu 18-Oct-12 14:42:05

Do you think the op loves killing healthy dogs for kicks hmm. No because as a professional she knows the situation is dire and there isent the space for them, it's not just one dog I am sure she had many dogs like this come to her. We have no ets at the moment but don't rule out a small dog in the future when the kds are teens and we can look after it better

Blackballoon Thu 18-Oct-12 14:43:11

Honeydragon A vets job isn't to save animals, it is to ensure good welfare of an animal. There is no welfare issue in putting an animal to sleep. There are plenty of welfare issues when they refuse so an owners decides to smack a dog over the head with a spade because the vet won't put it to sleep! And yes I have seen that happen!

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 18-Oct-12 14:51:55

I always wanted to be a vet, until I learnt this would be part of the job, then I realised I couldn't do it.

It's not fair that vets are expected to do this. I know some don't. Some do as I said earlier and keep the dog in the 'back room' until later, upon which rescue space is sought. Some even have a list of short term foster homes they can use or direct contacts within rescues.

I still don't think you can or should place the blame on the vets themselves. They did not go into the profession because they don't care. In many cases their hands are tied by their employers.

Plus by blaming the vets you are taking away the emphasis from where it should be: The breeders who sold the puppy under false pretenses just to make a quick buck; The first owners who bought the puppy without doing their homework and then did nothing to train it; The second home who 'rescued' the puppy and then allowed their toddler to torment and still did not seek behavioural help or attend training.

HoneyDragon Thu 18-Oct-12 14:53:23

That's why I am in favour rather than against the ops actions.

However. I don't think it should have to be down to the vet in these cases because it's not bloody fair on them! Why should they have to be in that position?

The op had to decide there and then. Perhaps a different vet would have had the provisions to assess the dog and find a rescue centre but I doubt it very much.

Like I said it's a fucked up situation.

HoneyDragon Thu 18-Oct-12 15:01:28

And if that comment was aimed at me Piglet, I think all my post indicate I don't think it's done "for kicks".

And also my friend thinks if people were responsible for their pets, than she would still have her dd.

Polyethyl Thu 18-Oct-12 15:03:50

Posts like these only add to my nervousness. I'm a siamese cat lover, but I don't have one, because I live in a London flat and work full time. My husband wants a Labrador - one day - and I Just don't know one could possibly be happy with us. I certainly am concerned that if we ever tried it, our experience would be as unsuccessful as these people were.

Jins Thu 18-Oct-12 15:06:34

Honeydragon sad

pigletmania Thu 18-Oct-12 15:07:45

No honey it was flatbread sorry smile

achillea Thu 18-Oct-12 15:08:19

I've been thinking about this today and I do think that easy euthanasia will be encouraging a lazy attitude to dog ownership. But rehoming does a similar thing - people know that they can just hand them back when the going gets tough.

I think if you decide you can't cope with a dog there should be rehoming options but people should have to pay 'dog mainenance' as they do with children, until the dog is safe enough to be rehomed.

But in the real world, there just needs to be a lot more education and more incentive for attneding dog training classes.

theodorakis Thu 18-Oct-12 15:30:47

Anything that takes the responsibility away from the owner could be seen as encouraging. What's the alternative though? Anyone who gives up their dog gets 50 lashes?

achillea Thu 18-Oct-12 15:58:40

Exactly theo, there is not much of an alternative but when I was young this didn't happen. I think an age limit of 21 to own a dog or walk a dog on your own would also help. So many people buy dogs for their teenagers and kids, they walk them for a week and then give up.

Making kids feel safer on the streets would also help. Most of these young people buy them for protection - same reason as they carry knives. Not right in this day and age.

Alleviating the problem of young people owning dogs would make space in the rehoming centres for the dogs where there is a genuine reason to rehome, (such as a problem relating to children).

Jins Thu 18-Oct-12 16:06:27

Seriously? An age limit of 21 to walk a dog on your own?

My DSs have been walking our dogs alone since they were 11 or so. It's been a huge part of growing up and gaining responsibility. DS1 (18) still walks 'his' dog every night.

The vast majority of people are sensible responsible dog owners. A small minority are thoughtless, selfish, horrible people

theodorakis Thu 18-Oct-12 16:24:48

I couldn't manage without my young slaves to do the walking but I wouldn't allow them to walk a dog who wasn't safe.

If it's your Yorkie who gets ripped to shreds in the park that minority number doesn't matter.

Blackballoon Thu 18-Oct-12 16:30:41

I have been walking my family dog since I was 11. Taught me how to be a responsible dog owner.

QuietTiger Thu 18-Oct-12 16:55:19

I think one of the massive problems is that people get pets without any thought as to the consequences of their actions and the level of work involved.

An example.

On Friday night, out of the blue, I had a phone call from a farmer friend asking if I wanted a 10 week old Welsh Sheep Dog out of working parents - mum is an International sheep trials champion, from fantastic lines, dad is a working sheep dog who is winning nursery trials. I said we'd have one. I picked him up on Sunday. This was a spur of the moment decision after me asking DH "can I have a puppy?". DH said yes.

Now, on that one paragraph, you'd think I was completely irresponsible. Getting a dog on the spur of the moment without researching the breed & its needs.

Honestly, I had actually forgotten how much work a pup is. It's like having a baby in the house - he needs constant supervision and clear boundaries. He's into everything and he's already, at 10 weeks, showing herding behaviour. He is as worky as hell, and it is a challenge. In the last 4 days, there have been a couple of times where I've wondered, What the hell have I done? Especially after last night when we had an explosion of puppy poo all over his crate.

Now in reality, I know EXACTLY what I am doing. All that has actually happened with DH & I, is that we have got a working sheep dog puppy 6 months earlier than we planned out of working lines that we've been waiting for a pup from. (We had planned for summer next year). I'm home all day (within reason) and DH is in and out of the house when I'm not here. Pup is going to be trained for a job (sheep work) because we are farmers, DH has had working collies all his life, we currently have 2 other collies (having lost one in January this year to old age) and I have back up advice through a specialist Border Collie rescue in an emergency, because of my links with the people who run it and my rescue work.

If I am finding it a "challenge" and I know what I am doing with my specific breed, compare that to Joe Bloggs who sees a BC puppy advertised on Gumtree for £150 and "thinks it's cute" so gets it. Knowing nothing about collie behaviour or it's needs, he takes it home for the kids. 6 months in, the collie is exhibiting normal collie behaviour - it's herding the kids & nipping them to make them move, which is what happens when collies are working sheep, they nip at the sheeps legs and bottoms to make them move. Nipping is part of a collies working instinct. It’s there. It’s instinct. BUT, because Joe Bloggs doesn't know what he is doing, that dog is labelled aggressive. "It BITES the children".

That person then wants to pass on responsibility & "get rid" of the dog. However, all rescues I know (and that's a lot), have a priority list. For e.g. The Rescue I work with most will take Pound dogs & dogs in immediate danger first, dogs with other rescues next (and before anyone comments on this, if a collie comes from an all breed rescue, it means a space is created in that rescue for another dog of what ever breed so creates a rescue space) and finally last of the list, owner surrenders. That happens in rescues ALL over the country. They have differing priorities, but they operate a priority list and some rescues cherry-pick, because they don't want to clog their spaces long term - it means that they can't help more animals.

There is NO rescue utopia. Certainly not for "dogs that bite children". "Aggressive Dogs" are on a one way ticket, simply because they clog rescue spaces. Remember that young collie who herded and bit the children earlier in my post? He was lucky he ended up at a breed rescue who understood his behaviour, but thousands don't.

Education is the absolute key. You'll still get the morons, but a LOT of people are just misinformed. Education can change that.

Education can change this, but we will still get the eejits who think that GSD/husky/Sharpei/SBT or whatever 'in' breed is around who buy/breed/sell all over the place unless some sort of legislation is in place and enforced properly - and even then it will be ricky.

I was out with a friend and between us we had a Duck Tolling Retriever, GSD, and a black lack and collie. He was walking a Sharpei, we said hi and he told us he had Sharpei pups to sell - if we knew of anyone to let him know! angry

3 out of the 4 working dogs we have do obedience and agility - the only reason the other doesnt is because he is nearly 15 years old! I dont have dogs as a status symbol.

So now, somewhere near where I live there will be a whole bunch of dickheads with Sharpei pup because they look cute. AARRGH

LtEveDallas Thu 18-Oct-12 17:18:54

QuietTiger, great post. My Mutt has collie in her and tries to 'herd' the local kids. We've had a couple of angry parents because of this, luckily we've been able to explain and show them, but as a result we no longer let her 'go out to play' with them (they used to call for her!) and now she satisfies her urges by herding our new rabbits! Great for getting them back into the hutch at night smile

HoneyDragon Thu 18-Oct-12 17:19:01

Our current puppy ownership scenarios are almost identical.

Our Lab passed away unexpectedly on the Wednesday. Fate intervened with a rescue of Lab pups with the rescuer wanting experienced owners.

By Sunday I'd been home checked and had a puppy. Like babies, the stuff I'd forgotten was waaaaaay more than the stuff I remembered. Now I do adore her, and I knew this one would be work from what I'd been told, and she is.

If she had been my first dog I'd probably be thinking I was hopeless, she was hopeless and I should give her to someone who knows what they are doing.

However, I do know better. I know to post here and ask for advice from people who do know their stuff grin

Education and support is the key, how many threads have we seen on here where the op is at their wits end with a young dog. Once they know they have some support and help is out there than suddenly it's not a huge mistake, and the lovely dream of a family dog is acheivable again.

Flatbread Thu 18-Oct-12 17:22:47

It is absolute nonsense that vets don't have a responsibility to be judicious about killing dogs.

It is amusing to see the double standards and bullying alive in this thread though. I have no idea how my pups are relevant to this discussion. I considered private homes (not selling), talked to three dog organizations, visited their facilities, asked what vetting they do in selecting owners, proportion of returns, policy for any return dogs and then made my decision. Interesting too, that all three place had seperate sections for puppies (so not taking ip space in the normal kennel) and in all three these were almost empty, with a waiting list of potential owners. Each was keen that I choose them and I got multiple callbacks to urge me to give my pups to them.

But why let facts get in the way of a public bullying opportunity. Of course it is the done thing to personally attack, make unacceptable comments about my gorgeous, well behaved dogs. Try that in any other part of MN about people's children and you will get lynched. Bullying is not acceptable, except when it comes to dog-related topics.

It is unbelievable that you all think it is ok to kill dogs irresponsibly. Of course the vet is complicit. If a doctor aided selective abortion or anything else that harmed children, they would be a huge public outcry. But apparently if vets are willing to kill healthy dogs at the drop of a hat, if is all for the best. So much for rescues being full, eh?

You guys are seriously nuts and could care less if you agree with me. LtDallas is seriously unpleasant and if anyone finds that her comments are not personal attacks and constitute acceptable forum behaviour, then I am sorry you have no idea of how to behave on a forum.

It is also interesting that I am attacked for having puppies and homing them to caring families, without any payment. But people who are willing to kill young healthy dogs for payment are supported and encouraged. Glad I don't share your twisted values

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Thu 18-Oct-12 17:28:04

Oh give over Flatbread. If you think you're being bullied, report the relevant posts to MNHQ.

HoneyDragon Thu 18-Oct-12 17:28:12


Can you link to the thread you are reading please?
I don't think you can e referring to this one?

Flatbread Thu 18-Oct-12 17:39:07

And to finish the rant, it is in bad form to call people liars. I have no interest in lying, have no desire to meet most if you and have absolutely no interest in your life.

I think people who call others liars are themselves fibbers and hence see the world in that light.

Anyway, none of this will be of any help to the poor young dog who lost his life because noone could be arsed to help his cause.

If you know of any dogs who need rehoming, please do call around. Inspite of the chorus here that all rescues are full, you will find many that have space for a dog, especially a young, healthy one. Do not be apathetic and let them die, because it is easiest all for the 'best' sad

LtEveDallas Thu 18-Oct-12 17:42:20

No, it's bad form to lie.

pigletmania Thu 18-Oct-12 17:43:06

Great post quiet, there is no puppy utopia. Those dogs that people like the op put down are probably those who are unhomeable that show signs f aggression, therefore more likely to languish I rescue centres being Pts anyway. So the dog that op ut wn would orobably bern unhomeable

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 18-Oct-12 17:44:52

No-one is encouraging the killing of healthy dogs Flatbread. It is just not fair to blame individual vets. Blame the system as a whole by all means, but blaming OP is not on.

Whether you or I would have done the same thing is irrelevant. We were not there to make that choice and imo it is a choice that vets should not have to be held responsible for.

I'm not sure that there is a simple or easy answer to this. Of course having dogs pts for solvable behaviour issues is abhorrent, but if all vets refuse, where would that leave the dogs whose owners simply refuse to have them in the house any longer?

Rescue spaces unfortunately are hard to find. They are even harder to find once a dog has been given the label of being a 'problem dog'.

I'm not sure I'd welcome the alternative, unless there was a clear system in place to help these dogs and atm there is not.

I do fear that the dogs would be dumped or people would take the death of such dogs into their own hands.

NapaCab Thu 18-Oct-12 17:45:33

There are too many dogs - that's the problem. Dog-owning is portrayed as a lifestyle choice that anyone can have when the reality is very different. It is almost like having a child or a baby in terms of the need to be home to take them for walks, train them and manage different breed needs. I thought about getting a dog while I was having trouble conceiving but once I asked a dog-owning and knowledgeable friend, I realised it was a hell of a lot more work than I imagined and put plans on hold for now.

Now I meet dog-owners all the time when I'm at the park, many of whom seem clueless about how to handle their dogs and I wonder why more people don't just do their research before getting a dog and take it more seriously.

pigletmania Thu 18-Oct-12 17:46:27

Meant so the dog that op out down would orobably have been unhomeable

LFCisTarkaDahl Thu 18-Oct-12 17:46:37

Your dog shouldn't have had pups, it's that simple.

You haven't given ONE reason why you think its ok your dog had pups - and that's because no responsible dog owner lets their dog have pups.

It's just completely unnecessary with the tens of thousands of dogs without homes.

It's utterly shocking to me that you are calling the vet irresponsible, you have no evidence for that. And the comment that she killed it 'at the drop of a hat' is just pure nastiness and there's no justification for your sly, hectoring, nasty tone to the OP.

pigletmania Thu 18-Oct-12 17:49:39

Too right LFC flatbread should look closer to home before passing judgement

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 18-Oct-12 17:52:25

No the dog wouldn't have been unhomable Piglet, there are homes and foster homes out there, the difficulty is in finding a home that is not already dealing with the last dog who was left untrained and badly handled and given up because of 'aggression'

Homes and rescue can be found for almost any dogs no matter how bad their behaviour issues are. No dog is un savable, the issue is there are just too many dogs like this to have the perfect foster home just lined up ready and waiting for when the vet calls and most owners are not willing to wait for a space to be found or to become to available.

Jins Thu 18-Oct-12 17:53:40

Flatbread here's a link to the Vet's Code of Conduct

This is an important bit

On occasions, the professional responsibilities in the Code may conflict with each other and veterinary surgeons may be presented with a dilemma.

In such situations, veterinary surgeons should balance the professional responsibilities, having regard first to animal welfare.

The OP set out exactly one of these dilemmas. First regard has to be given to animal welfare. It does not say preserve life.

I couldn't give a fig how many puppies you've bred or how wonderful your dogs are and I have no interest in bullying anyone. However you are arguining a case that does not exist. Attacking the veterinary profession in this case is just stupid

Blackballoon Thu 18-Oct-12 17:53:55

flatbread so you bred your dog and then rehomed them via a rescue centre? How is that being a responsible owner? No matter what you say, you have added to the problem. So you didn't take payment for them? So what! You still added dogs to the system. Hypocrite.

dooin I have had kennels built outside for emergency dogs that cant come in the house... havent had to use them yet - apart from when I am floor washing for my 2, oh and the cat has taken residence in there as it is warm and cosy.

I know that I will have to, am dreading that day, because it means all other available foster families cant/wont take a risky dog.

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 18-Oct-12 18:04:43

I don't have the space to do that Jax, I am the idiot who lets them into my house grin

I don't take truly dangerous dogs because I have children and a cat, but I am willing to work with the ones who others class as dangerous like the puppy who will bite you if you grab it's collar (just take the collar off you numpty) I would happily take in a dog like the one OP, but my home has no room atm.

achillea Thu 18-Oct-12 18:07:26

Jins I'm thinking of a way to prevent the youths hanging about with dangerous dogs and don't know how to handle them - a 21 year age limit would prevent them owning dogs. On the other hand a lot of them get a lot of love from their dogs that they don't get from anyone else. I have heard them saying that it gets them out of the house etc, so I'm backing off the minimum age idea now! But someone has to take responsibility for the dogs 'owned' by under 21s.

Jins Thu 18-Oct-12 18:07:32

We've kept every animal we've taken in so far blush

Flatbread Thu 18-Oct-12 18:10:38

Dooing, I am not blaming one person. But a system which allows a young, healthy dog to be so easily put down. OP said he was adorable and had no real behavioural issues, clearly a dog who could be rehomed to an experienced owner.

I think I just object to a mentality which says dogs are commodities, and vets who kill healthy pets are perpetuating that belief, whether they like it or not.

In the US, for example, if you want an abortion, in our area, atleast, the doctor will have multiple sessions to make sure that is the right decision (I know this because a friend had to make a difficult decision regarding a foetus with heart problems). This is because there is no clear answer and a decision to kill cannot be taken lightly.

Why can't our code of conduct for pets require at least some level of counselling or advice? Say that you need to have a three day reflection period, contact dog support groups, before you can kill a healthy dog?

Why kill within a 20 minute meeting...surely a living being deserves more consideration than that? sad

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Thu 18-Oct-12 18:15:58

Flatbread, you have the cheek to criticise the op when you are one of the irresponsible breeders who contribute to the problem. That is hypocritical. In fact I don't think I've ever read anything more hypocritical on MN.

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 18-Oct-12 18:20:20

Finally something we agree on shock <faints>

The system is bollocks. This country's whole attitude to dog ownership and welfare is bollocks. Things need to change.

I just wish I knew a simple way to change things because I honestly do not think that simply telling vets to longer kill healthy dogs is the right way. I would worry about 'backstreet' vets setting up to fill the gap.

LaQueen Thu 18-Oct-12 18:21:44

How heart-breaking sad

I love dogs. I grew up with them. My Mum bred them for a short while. I've never once felt scared by a dog, no matter how big, or how boisterous.

But I hate my SIL's dog, even though I know it isn't the dog's own fault. They bought him as an ickle ball of he is a very large dog, and of a breed of working dog that needs significant amounts of exercise, twice a day.

Plus, this dog is untrained, and goes berserk when you visit, leaping around, barking, jumping up. It barks at just about everything and anything. It used to frequently bump into our DDs when they were younger, and knock them over.

He isn't remotely agressive, but the dog thinks it's the alpha male, and does as it likes. My several attempts at getting him to behave properly have been met with hurt looks and tutting, and the implication that I'm being cruel to him hmm

It infuriates me that this dog isn't properly trained.

LtEveDallas Thu 18-Oct-12 18:22:23

Yep, I'm probably unpleasant, I accept that. I'm afraid I am infuriated that Flatbread posts, forgetting all her previous behaviours.

Flatbread, you may well have had a point on this thread, but your past posts, your previous actions, your posting of the opposition view on numerous DH threads means that your point gets lost. I see you as nothing more than someone who holds grudges and purposely stirs up trouble and derails threads. That is my personal view.

I don't believe or choose to listen to your posts on this thread because I am not convinced you actually hold those views - I believe your previous postings have been opposing views for the sake of it, so I cannot take you seriously. Ever heard of the boy who cried Wolf?

Your puppies are relevant to this thread because it is people allowing their dogs to breed 'accidentally' that help to endanger other dogs. Can you not see that?

Blackballoon Thu 18-Oct-12 18:22:53

Lovely idea flatbread but the situation in this country is just out of control. People don't give a shit about animals. They beat them, starve them, dump them on the side of the road.....

It needs to start at the beginning of the chain with the people breeding these dogs and people realising what they are taking on. We can save as many dogs as possible but it isn't going to stop the problem.

A vet saying no to euthanasing a dog is not going to help the situation. It's a sad fact I'm afraid.

ToothbrushThief Thu 18-Oct-12 18:23:12

Why do dog threads bring out the very worst in some people. Breeding more dogs when we have so many dogs without homes is hard to justify.

NapaCab Thu 18-Oct-12 18:23:13

If the vets don't put 'problem' dogs to sleep then owners who don't know any better will take matters into their own hands but be less kind about it.

I grew up in a rural area and pets were less common, most dogs were working farm dogs. There was no local RSPCA equivalent or rescue home although there was a pound for strays. If a dog or cat had a litter with no home for the pups/kittens, they would often just be drowned in a river. When paddling with a friend in a local river once, we saw the dead bodies of some Golden Retriever puppies float by. That's the kind of thing people will resort to if vets don't provide the service of humane euthanasia.

The solution really is to stop irresponsible breeding and stop portraying pet ownership as something anyone can do, regardless of the dog or owner's lifestyle.

honeytea Thu 18-Oct-12 18:26:47

I feel like the purpose of a dog is to be a companion to a human or a working dog, if there is no human that wants/needs tge dog and that leads to the dog being put to sleep I can see it is a waste of life but not any worse than if you buy a chicken and don't cook it in time and throw it away. A dog is only an animal, they are not people, I don't understand why there is a more emotive reaction to a wasted dogs life than a wasted chickens life. I understand that people live their dog but that dog was not your dog it was just a dog.

In a world where children die everyday because of dirty water it amazes me that people worry about the death of an unloved dog.

crazyhatlady Thu 18-Oct-12 18:29:39

I don't really get why this particular case is so upsetting, op mentioned this dog had shown 'occasional aggressive tendencies'. At least these owners had the decency to have the dog pts in a humane manner, there will be many who will simply deal with it themselves rather than stumping up the cash.

Incidentally there are way more animals pts due to owners not being able to afford vet fees than any other reason.

pigletmania Thu 18-Oct-12 18:42:24

Now I agree Wth you flatbread but the op is not the only vet doing this, its quite widespread. People should hav a licence to own a dog

Flatbread Thu 18-Oct-12 18:47:11

i think people who have children, especially multiple children are incredibly selfish and irresponsible. Your children are a problem. , endangering and killing other children by hogging up our shared resources. god knows we have enough overcrowding on our planet.

So don't go around hypocritically about my dogs. i find it offensive that anyone can dismiss our pups as a problem. They are not a fucking object, they are living beings bringing joy to families who were ethical enough to wait for them, instead of going to a breeder

Probably a lot more joy to others than your equally unnecessary children, I might add smile

nancerama Thu 18-Oct-12 18:49:22

YANBU. Some stupid irresponsible idiot advertised her 8 week old Springer Spaniel for sale on our NCT Facebook page this week. She didn't realise that it would be too much hard work looking after a puppy and a baby... What the hell was the breeder doing allowing them to take a dog they had no clue how to care for?

pigletmania Thu 18-Oct-12 18:50:42

We wiypuld love a dog but not til our young children are teens, we have to do a lot of reasarch into the breed of dog. Prbably get one from a rescue.

HoneyDragon Thu 18-Oct-12 18:54:58

<<bangs head>>

Right the threads got to that ridiculous point where dogs and children are compared.

Men, Women and children are butchered and murdered every day. Because some people think that's ok. Then the people who try and stop these atrocities are called baby murderers, and professional killers.

Dogs, Cats and Horses and other valuable worthwhile animals are butchered everyday because some people think that happens everyday. The people who try and stop these atrocities are called zealots and /or murderers depending on which organisation they work for.

But at least the zealots and the baby murderers are bloody trying to do SOMETHING.

One person has posted on this thread and said they are not going to have puppies, so that's something.

NO LIVING CREATURE IS UNNECESSARY. But that doesn't stop the being treated that way.

you can be for dogs and humans.

HoneyDragon Thu 18-Oct-12 18:58:07

^apols for ranty spelling/grammar mistakes I'm sure you get the gist

honeytea Thu 18-Oct-12 18:59:53

but why specifically dogs and not all animals, im sure more beef/poke/chicken is wasted eah year than dogs are killed but we don't start sobbing when we throw away out of date sausages.

honeytea Thu 18-Oct-12 19:00:25


missymoomoomee Thu 18-Oct-12 19:00:39

Yes I had 8 children and then palmed them all out to homes that would have taken other needy children in if it wasn't for my selfish behaviour using up resources from already struggling charities....good argument flatbread hmm

pigletmania Thu 18-Oct-12 19:01:17

sad whilst throwing sausages in the bin [ grin]

theodorakis Thu 18-Oct-12 19:02:12

I agree Honeytea. My personal bugbear is when people do things with meat on tv. On brainiac they blew up a frozen chicken for a laugh. That chicken was killed for a bunch of twats to toss it about and then blow it to pieces. I was really upset. Is life so disposable?

Flatbread - your puppies took up puppy spaces at the Dogs Trust - so they may have had to turn away other puppies, because you let your dog have puppies.

And the rescue places you knew existed in Scotland would only have been of any real use if the OP was near them - for all you know, she could be in Cornwall - so was she supposed to a) ring every rescue in the country and then b) drive the dog maybe hundreds of miles to get them to the rescue?

HoneyDragon Thu 18-Oct-12 19:22:11

I agree with the second sentiment Honey (writing that feels weird grin), and see your point about the first. But this thread is about a dog, so focuses on dogs, but cats have been mentioned too and I think had the thread been allowed to develop as it was than it would have gone further into animal welfare. But FT wants to talk about her puppies.

I do think FT has made some valid points too, but they are overshadwed by her insistance that her situation is somehow different. If she had said do you know what, I fucked up I have been that burden, it would probably make her come across as genuine, rather than out to wind up a couple of posters she doesn't appear to like.

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 18-Oct-12 19:23:57

Rescues will often have a network of transporters who will arrange the trip to rescue no matter how far, often broken down into parts, i.e one rescuer will do the first 50 miles then hand over to a second, then a third and so on.

But still it relies on the vet having the contacts and the owner or vet surgery being willing to wait for transport to be arranged.

I do think more vets could do more to help dogs placed in this situation, but we do have to remember that rescue spaces are not infinite. There has to be a limit and this does mean that dogs will be killed for no good reason. The only way we can change this is if public attitude changes and bybs and puppy farmers are no longer funded or are outlawed.

LookBehindYou Thu 18-Oct-12 19:56:09

Rescue places are full to bursting of dogs that have been fucked up. They are not easy to rehome to people who have the skills to rehabilitate them and there are far too many people who want a big dog for all the wrong reasons. It is horrific that a healthy dog was pts but I think you are aiming all your anger at the wrong person Flatbread.

Flatbread Thu 18-Oct-12 20:23:32

Yes I had 8 children and then palmed them all out to homes that would have taken other needy children in if it wasn't for my selfish behaviour using up resources from already struggling charities....good argument flatbread

Yes, your behaviour is selfish. There are a lot of children needing care. You should have adopted instead of having your own. It is selfish behaviour.

And no one should have any children till all the ones for adoption find families, ok?

And your children, personally, are responsible for all the ills any other children are facing in the world. Every death of hunger in Africa or else where can be placed at your child's door. Because you contributed to overpopulation and you should have saved a child, instead of having your own. You have absolutely no right to be concerned about world hunger or treatment of children in care, because you have contributed to the system by selfishly having your own.

And every time your child stuffs his face with extra food, they are directly causing a child to die of hunger somewhere. The world would have been a much better place if your child had never been born. You are a hypocritical horrible person who eats children for breakfast.

Ok, sounds a bit ridiculous, right? Well, that is the same crap you are throwing at me.

To somehow label my pups as problems because I responsibly homed them through a charity is absurd. People want dogs, and they need to be born, unless we just want an aging dog population. I would much rather people got puppies like ours, rather than encourage breeders who sell pups to anyone and do so year after year. An ethical person will give their dogs to a dog centre, just as an ethical person will get their dog from a care centre. Cuts out all breeding for profit, and ensures dogs are matched appropriately to families.

caniscantanymore Thu 18-Oct-12 20:26:35

I'm very tired, very smelly and not a little frustrated but once I've had a bath I'll come back and respond to a few points if I may.

Blackballoon Thu 18-Oct-12 20:36:06

Oh in that case then I am going to start breeding dogs because I would love to have a litter but I won't be causing a problem as I won't sell them but give them to a rescue centre. Biggest load of rubbish I have ever heard!

Flatbread Thu 18-Oct-12 20:40:18

Lookbehind, I am not angry at the OP. My main point is that we need to put some system in place which does not make it easy or routine to kill a healthy dog.

I am horrified at some of the stories here. People putting their healthy dog to sleep because they do not want to pay kennel fees, or a dog chewed their rug or because they cannot afford vet fees anymore.

Surely we can have a system in place which makes it much harder to kill a healthy dog? Maybe rescues can work with vets to provide training and counselling services which have to be attended by the owner before a healthy dog can be pts? And the cost borne by the fees for euthanasia...

Human doctors guide our thinking and we think that if they are willing to do x or y, then it must be kosher, because a doctor is the professional making the decision. Same, to an extent, with vets. If people find that their vet is willing to kill their dog, without much ado, then they will think that it is perfectly ok, because the professionals have condoned it, so as to speak.

Blackballoon Thu 18-Oct-12 20:49:10

And what about the cases where you beg the owner to sign it over to you so you can rehome it but they refuse? You can't blame the vet. As said before, the owners need to start being responsible for their pets. This needs to start with the breeders!!

Flatbread Thu 18-Oct-12 20:50:59

Anyway, off to bed now. Have a long day tomorrow and then travelling again.

This thread has been so depressing, on so many fronts. Just given my dogs an extra long good-night hug and cuddle.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Thu 18-Oct-12 20:58:47

I agree that you start with irresponsible breeding and selling of dogs. There are far too many unwanted dogs in this world. You don't vilify the poor vet at the end of a very sad process.

I would ban the sale of live animals on Gumtree etc for a start.

purplepansy Thu 18-Oct-12 21:38:41

Oh I am sorry, but I just LOL at 'unless we want an ageing dog population'!! Have this image of doggies with zimmer frames, glasses and false teeth. There is no shortage of dogs, there is a shortage of good homes.

tazzle22 Thu 18-Oct-12 21:43:42

it is only in utopia that we will be able to have a situation where every single dog will find the home it needs exactly when it needs it... and where every vet has the time, knowledge and experience to be able to magic up a place each and every time an animal is suddenly brought in in such circumstances. It is not an isolated instance and it sounds like canis you halready ahd knowledge of what was available localy ......

oh and of course for anyone criticising vets.... dogs are of course only one species... it a massive database that would be required to cope with all possible species needing urgent homes there and then and every single time. Of course often vets can and do do above and beyod the call of duty for animals and their owners.... and when they cant are upset !!!

waaay back someone said ( sorry cant find now I have read aaaaalll todays posts..might even have been FB but dong know ?)
"In some way aren't vets who willingly put a healthy young dog to sleep, allowing owners a 'get-out' clause from taking their responsibilities seriously?"

some rescues could even be said to be giving breeders a "get out clause" for taking their responsibilities seriosuly... spending vast amounts of time and money taking on breeders cast out breeding bitches and puppies past the cute stage not able to be sold when space needed for the new babies !!!! NO.... just spend some time on rescue forums to see that pattern.

Am I saying that they should not take on these poor souls... no I am definately not , but just making the point that its not that simple !!!!!!

There are just not enough knowledgable homes out there for all the dogs with issues..... and unless you have seen individual dogs you dont know whether one that is described as needing a home without children has just growled to warn of invading / teasing / abusive kids .... or whether it is a full on snarling / lunging and any passing child. Any rescue centre will have to fully assess any dog said to have growled at a child to see which is which... and given the difficulty in rehoming such dogs some centres are reluctant to take them on just a phone call especailly if the situation is deemed so serious the owner thinks its so bad he cant have the dog in the home at all that night !!!

My own gsd was the more "serious" end of the spectrum... lunging at children ( or men in black ) with teeth bared but so stressed out by kennel life she was knawing her own leg. They had run out of suitable foster homes and three previous possible adoptions had failed. I was out of their normal catchement area but heard about her.

It took time, tlc and training but this wonderful dog is now cuddled by my grandchildren and will sit quietly to greet others, she can now be safely off lead, has good recall / stays etc and is such a joy. We could never ever leave her in a kennel and on the odd occasion we can afford a holiday it has to be in accomdation that takes dogs ! She will never be moved on, ever !

mrsminerva Thu 18-Oct-12 21:52:00

It should be harder to have a pet, it should not be a casual purchase.

mrsminerva Thu 18-Oct-12 21:54:57

And we are a society that routinely eats animals. We need perspective here.

purplepansy Thu 18-Oct-12 21:55:53

mrsminerva totally agree - it is so depressing to go onto gumtree or preloved and see all the dogs being rehomed 'through no fault of their own, I just don't have time to train them' variations. Sigh.

mrsminerva Thu 18-Oct-12 22:07:26

Many people should not own dogs IMHO as they do not understand firm but fair love. I mean being in charge and they are lower members of the pack so they do as you want rather than being able to do what they want which is where the trouble starts. I have had much loved dogs over the years and they have never been in any doubt of their status in the family structure, they have been loved but they are subordinate. We saw the OPs scenario when a puppy my dog(bitch) had was given to neighbours (2 elderly ladies) who spoilt him until he bit and then the poor boy was put down. We didn't find out till after and I am sure we could have sorted the little guy out in a week or two.

caniscantanymore Thu 18-Oct-12 22:19:18

That's better smile

Right, I'd really like to address a couple of points.

Most importantly one that Dooin made about euthanasia for behavioural issues. In principle I completely agree that it is generally unnecessary - of course I don't routinely euthanase dogs who growl at children. I attempt to educate the owners and help them to access appropriate support, while offering fire-fighting advice to keep themselves and their family safe in the meantime. But I can tell you, it's an uphill struggle, against a massive tide of Cesar Millan-ism and dreadful ignorance.

The above course of action was not available to me yesterday and even if it had been it would not have been the right thing to do. In that home, with their situation, the dog was a risk to the children and advice was not sufficient.

Flatbread has been the main voice of criticism of my actions, I think because she feels my actions yesterday were unethical.

I could argue that in fact they were perfectly ethical because they prevented risk to humans, prevented further emotional damage to the dog, reduced the pressure on rescues, and of course dogs are a possession in the eyes of the law and so what the owner wants is what goes ... loads of reasons there for my actions being A-OK, sleep-soundly-at-night, totally justified etc.

However, I totally agree with Flatbread that it is ethically diabolical to take the life of a young healthy dog with, in the right hands, great potential and a lot of life ahead of it. It stinks. It disgusts me. It is abhorrent, vile and wrong.

But dogs don't have any concept of ethics. They don't know about morality, about right and wrong, about the ifs, buts, maybes, whys and wherefores. That puppy only cared about its needs - food, comfort, health, interaction and security. And those needs were not being met, as evidenced by its deteriorating behaviour. In the total absence of another option I did what was right for that dog's welfare, which is an entirely discrete concept from ethics, despite the constant confusion of the two by an ignorant public.

Without going into the minutiae of this specific case, because this is about much more than a dead puppy and a sad vet, I have good relationships with local rescues. I have numerous contacts who can take dogs in when the shit hits the fan. Which is why I knew that at the time there was no room at the inn. Foster dogs are already being moved between foster homes here, to alleviate personality clashes between arriving dogs and existing ones - a situation which I am uncomfortable with as it adds further trauma into the mix for these poor bemused creatures.

I don't want to get drawn into the details of Flatbread's contribution, because I believe it detracts a bit from the discussion, but it does so neatly encapsulate the problem that I can't say nothing. Those who see nothing wrong with yet another litter of pups being churned out are clearly failing to grasp the enormity of the problem they are causing. Such a fundamental lack of understanding means that further argument is pretty pointless - it would be like trying to teach a retriever the offside rule. We can toss the football around but we will never get them to see sense.

I can sleep at night. I hated what I had to do but I knew it was the right thing. I won't beat myself up about it, and I have broad shoulders. Sadly, as Honeydragon has seen, not everyone manages to sustain a positive frame of mind in this profession (see link about research into the high suicide rate among vets) - I know of two colleagues who have taken this final course of action sad

Anyone who can see what a burden is carried by those of us at the sharp end, and then still accuse us of being responsible for the problem, well, I have no words for them.

caniscantanymore Thu 18-Oct-12 22:25:09

mrsminerva with respect, you have just beautifully illustrated my point. Dogs do not bite because they don't know their place in "the pack". This "pack" does not exist. It probably bit because it was stressed out, or because someone punished its (perfectly reasonable) warning growl with a smack ... the suffering inflicted on this most forgiving of species because we humans are seemingly incapable of grasping basic information about their motivation makes me despair.

HoneyDragon Thu 18-Oct-12 22:42:12

canis sad

Thank you for coming back.

I agree with your last point. There is a man I have seen twice now with a gorgeous 8 month pup. He lets it off the lead to play and every time it growls or barks at another dog being rough, he tells it off and smacks it sad

I've tried pointing out that its normal doggy behaviour and how rough the other pups play (bity face, ear tugging, ham stringing etc), but he thinks as he has dc's the dog shouldn't growl or bark. In other words, he's teaching the dog that if it feels it has to bite it should give no warning. sad

pigletmania Thu 18-Oct-12 22:42:29

Cani thanks for coming back to us, sad sad situation

Canis, I've followed this thread with interest.

I'm a dog rescue volunteer, and in general have nothing but praise for the veterinary profession. I could recount numerous examples, too many to list of vets who've undercharged for rescue work, "forgotten" to send in bills, and have often ensured that dogs brought in for PTS are in fact funnelled into rescue.

A recent paper I saw in one of the vet journals said that vets typically faced this type of ethical dilemma, on average at least once a week. sad

As you and other vets have previously posted, this inevitably takes a toll, sometimes in very tragic circumstances.

As a vet in this circumstance, you were at the end of a long chain of circumstances, yet were being asked to take action that less responsible actors had dodged. The only comfort you and others can take is that you have made the effort to ensure this animal met its end with peace and comfort and without fear. As a rescue volunteer I have seen far too many dogs (especially greyhounds, which is what I mainly help) not be given even this comfort.

Please don't let the words of one cruel poster touch you, and I hope you and so many other vets will continue to do all the good work that goes on each day, quietly and unsung; many people do appreciate and respect the work that you do, not least the fact that you have to regularly wrestle with these issues.

You sound like my old vet. She is an amazing vet.

I have two rescue pooches one 11, one 4 - in between I rescued two more and had to have one euthanised at 7mths due to serious Mega-Oesophagus and constant infections despite spending thousands on every treatment going. The other was a mistreated incontinent old lady with a heart murmur. I paid for surgery to remove the most awful bladder stones, and in two weeks she was dry. She died a year and a half later, no longer scrawny, in her sleep on a sofa. We packed everything a dog's life should contain into the times with had with those pooches. Holidays, beaches, toys, fun, love.

My vet actually phoned me about pooch 2 - badly broken shoulder, fixable, the owners asked her to amputate the leg of a four month old pup because it was CHEAPER. Lovely vet took the dog, arranged for DT to cover costs, and rang me to ask if I wanted her once her surgery was done.

It was the second time in four months that my lovely pooch had been in with a broken leg, first time it was a simple fracture, the second massively complex. There were doubts over how it happened. The owners clearly didn't give a shit - who asks a vet to amputate a leg that can be saved on a puppy with it's whole life ahead of it - because it's CHEAPER?!

There are some disgusting people out there. Thankfully there are also some lovely people like my old vet. She rocks.

Sounds like the OP does too smile

ThisIsMummyPig Thu 18-Oct-12 22:57:54

You are a wonderful person doing a job which has a shitty side. I have absolutely no idea why you thought you would be flamed for being upset about the shitty side.

I feel for you.

simplesusan Thu 18-Oct-12 23:02:20

Op- You did the right thing.
I am constantly amazed at the number of people who seem to have shit for brains when it comes to animals.
Don't get a bloody dog if you cannot walk and exercise it twice a day, every day. It's not rocket science.

Charityvet Thu 18-Oct-12 23:12:49

I am a vet and luckily have worked mainly in charities for my career.
It makes it easier to take dogs in, I accept that.
But it is bloody hard, really bloody hard to kill animals.
You only do it when you genuinely believe it's the right thing to do.
I have been confronted with the same situations in my work, and it is really really hard to make the decision to kill, based on what the owners say.
So, if this dog has growled at a child, and you send it home with the owner and tons of behavioural support.. And it fails.. That failure could be a child injured or killed.
And you, as a professional would be partly responsible for this.
( this did happen to a colleague of mine)
You are damned if you do and damned if you don't

And we don'T always have the answers
I was going to suggest that the OP work out a strategy with the boss where they will keep a dog like this in for a few days and then decide IF it is poss to get into a homing centre etc, but it looks like there is already a link to rehoming and fostering services.

It's just so crap and we pick up the bits day and day out.
You would not believe some of the things I have heard owners say over the years to justify their bad management of their pets..

So, OP, you have my sympathy and it is fucking hard..
After my first charity job, I did it for 3yrs, I had compassion fatigue and burn out and I had to stop as I was beginning to hate the clients. There was so much chaos and neglect and ignorance.
After a while, I realised I bloody loved the work and I got into a better frame of mind and am now one of the most calm and unflappable people you hve met! I learned to be more laid back.
But it still makes me very sad when lovley young animals have been "ruined" by their owners.

I also wanted to add, in a non-bullying way, flatbread, the charity who took your puppies weren't pleased you gave them the puppies.
They were managing the situation and treating you politely, but were just doing their best for the dogs.
They won't have cheered when you brought them the dogs, even if they encouraged you to hand them over. They were just deling with the problem and getting on with finding good homes for them. They had a puppy unit because it is a necessity, not because they're hoping for lovley fluffy puppies to rehome. Believe you me, they will have treated you with respect because that is the professional way to behave, but not because they were delighted to have puppies.
If there is a list of people who will only have puppies, they will attempt to persuade them to have the juveniles and young adults, but stick them on a list fo when they do get puppies as there is always the next litter from and irresponsible person.
I have worked in all 3 of the main animal veterinary charities ( tho not the DT.. I volunteered for one of their projects) and have extensive knowledge of shelter policies and medicine and have recently become a trustee of an animal charity.
And I am sure as I can be that the people at the DT weren't pleased.

Anwyay, life isn't always how you'd hoped it to be, and it is grim grim grim to kill physically healthy animals because their behaviour is an issue.. But sometimes it is the grim and awful truth that we are left picking up the bits from some very ignorant people
Btw I don't buy, and have never bought the argument of if I don't kill it, they they will do it harm. I couldn't work on that premise, though I know people do.
I think that people Are responsible for their own actions and I will tell them what will happen if they are found to be cruel to their pets.. I don't euthanise under those circumstances.
But, I have a better back up than most, so I accept I have worked under different circumstances from the OP.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Thu 18-Oct-12 23:20:37

I don't want to get drawn into the details of Flatbread's contribution, because I believe it detracts a bit from the discussion, but it does so neatly encapsulate the problem that I can't say nothing. Those who see nothing wrong with yet another litter of pups being churned out are clearly failing to grasp the enormity of the problem they are causing. Such a fundamental lack of understanding means that further argument is pretty pointless - it would be like trying to teach a retriever the offside rule. We can toss the football around but we will never get them to see sense.

Yes. But she'll never see it - she's given her dogs an extra hug tonight. I'll give my rescue dog (stray-rescuekennels-foster-newowner-kennelsagain-foster-then finally us- his forever home - an extra hug too.

The world doesn't need more unplanned litters of pups.

HoneyDragon Thu 18-Oct-12 23:26:13

I am going to shamelessly hijack this thread.

Why does my vet want to wait till my dog has a season before spaying. She is a Lab, he says her size is an issue and a chance that she may go into season as early as 6 months - so could be close to being in season when they operate and make it harder??

I really don't want to keep her excersise limited for 28 days or risk a dog getting in sad, my last Lab was done before she had a season.

A few years back we were at the vets with our moggie.
A man rushed into the waiting room:
"My dog has just been 'got at^ (mated) .How much to terminate the pg?"

The vet nurse asked him a few questions and told him it would be £35 (I'm assuming this is the injection that's been mentioned)

He then asked "How much for a life termination"?
The vet nurse was shock and clarified "What, you mean PTS"?

This was exactly what he meant. The price was also £35.

He nodded and left to weigh it up.

Injection to prevent pg or PTS his dog. How much did the price sway his final decision?

caniscantanymore Thu 18-Oct-12 23:38:46

Honey, I am going to bed now so I'm going to cop out of answering this one! From a quick search this old thread contains some discussion. My personal opinion is that I like to wait until after a season, but I do not rigorously apply this to all cases as for some people this would be inadvisable <diplomacy fail>

Discuss with your vet smile

caniscantanymore Thu 18-Oct-12 23:39:09
pigletmania Fri 19-Oct-12 06:44:55

70lisa shock what a wanker. He should have a lifetime ban on keeping pets. Thanks for your post charity what a very helpful insight. Please take note flatbread

HoneyDragon Fri 19-Oct-12 07:13:46

It's ok grin
I didn't want professional advice, just wanted to know what others had been told/done.

LtEveDallas Fri 19-Oct-12 07:36:33

Morning Honey smile

We had MuttDog done smack on 6 months as she was constantly around complete boys. Vet didn't had a problem with it, said it was better than having a litter of unwanted pups. She was done before first season.

RottDog was done after first season, and I wish she had been done before. I know anecdote +/= data but I think going through puberty was part of what has made her the barky / sulky teenager I know and love.

Given the choice I would always spay before first season. Even if Mutt wasnt around complete boys I would have said she was.

HoneyDragon Fri 19-Oct-12 08:18:13

Hmmmm see I'm confused as its the same vet that did Dragon Dog at 6 months.
As it turns out I may not be able to do it till January when she'll be 9 months anyway sad, when she's 9 months.

<<mutters about stoopid 42 day invoicing>>

HoneyDragon Fri 19-Oct-12 08:19:17

When she's possibly had a season?

Not 9 months again blush

Is it to do with size? I know that when I had Jas neutered at 6 months the vet was happy to do it as he's a small dog, but said it was preferable to wait for a bigger dog to achieve it's full size before neutering/spaying. Something to do with bones? <might be making that up, but has vague recollections>

Jins Fri 19-Oct-12 10:20:51

My vet prefers to neuter before the first season if possible because of the reduced risk of mammary tumours (but I think it's to reduce the risk of pregnancy on first heat)

Honeydragon - our vet advised us to get ddog1 spayed before her first season, as the benefit that it confers in the reduction in the risk of mammary tumours reduces with each season - you get 75% of the benefit after the first season, 50% after the second, 25% after the third, and none after the fourth and subsequent seasons - or so my vet told me. For that reason alone, we had ddog1 spayed before her first season.

Ddog2 came from the Dogs Trust, and was spayed by them before we rehomed her (I believe it is their policy to spay or neuter all the dogs they rehome). She had already had at least two litters of puppies before being rehomed to a family with young children living in a flat, who couldn't cope with her and her neediness (she is quite a clingy dog - very affectionate but easily unsettled still), and put her in the Dogs Trust.

HoneyDragon Fri 19-Oct-12 12:57:38

Think ii'I call on Monday and try and find out why they've changed.

SrirachaGhoul Fri 19-Oct-12 19:29:47

Both my dogs were done before their first season; it's standard here.

charlearose Fri 19-Oct-12 22:34:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

charlearose Fri 19-Oct-12 22:38:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

charlearose Fri 19-Oct-12 23:09:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

margaretrose Fri 19-Oct-12 23:42:24

Is awful, do agree. However, also feel v sorry for all the nurses who have to throw away viable babies/foetuses every day, often seeing the same client repeatedly over a year. Why are we so able to grieve for meaningless deaths of animals but not humans? Am not rabidly pro-life at expense of women's sanity and health but have seen first hand how awful it is for staff to see terminations being used as birth control. If it was puppies or kittens there would be an outcry.

ToothbrushThief Sat 20-Oct-12 06:51:44

It's to do with people's perception of 'life' Margaret.
What constitutes a life and who decides if it should be continued?

Huge emotive subject.... Not going there.

I agree with your point, staff working in that role possibly find it distressing

crazyhatlady Sat 20-Oct-12 07:46:23

honeydragon the main reason for not neutering a dog that may be coming into season is that the uterus becomes enlarged/engorged increasing the risk of haemorrhage. However larger breed dogs often don't have their first season until nearer 1yr old so 6 months is usually the best age for neutering. It's also true that neutering before the first season massively reduces the risk of mammary tumours.

HoneyDragon Sat 20-Oct-12 08:22:06

Thanks crazyhatlady.

I'm definitely going to have a word. Especially as the vet originally gave me a price for a Labrador to be spayed at her puppy checks.

When I went in to discuss when to get it done they looked at last recorded weight on the pc and said she would class as a large breed and put the price up by £100! confused

Jux Sun 21-Oct-12 14:51:42

That's interesting, crazyhatlady. When I was a child (getting on for 50 years ago), I remember being told that you had to let a cat have its first season before spaying.

crazyhatlady Sun 21-Oct-12 21:31:23

Yeah that was the thinking back then before advances in medicine/research. Some older vets may still believe this to be the case but i doubt it.

socharlotte Mon 22-Oct-12 09:11:33

YABU.You are a vet.You should no that animals are fundamentaly diferent to people in that they live purely for themselves and in the here and now.That puppy wasn't looking forward to going to university, getting married having puppies of it's own.It makes no difference if it's life ends today
Thousands of lambs and calves are slaughtered every day, do you get emotional about each and every one of them.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 22-Oct-12 19:48:45

canis your post was really moving and highlights why people should really carefully consider getting a dog including the breed.

socharlotte your charming views are not just limited to autism then. Yes OP is a vet,it shouldn't have to be her job to pts healthy animals because of feckless people. Can't really compare a calf to a dog,if one is being reasonable...calves are kills for food. Wakey Wakey.

Flatbread the way express yourself makes you sound like a closed minded zealot.

pigletmania Mon 22-Oct-12 19:52:02

Socharlotte another of your charming views

pigletmania Mon 22-Oct-12 19:53:07

Think charityvet gave flatbread food for thought

Jux Mon 22-Oct-12 20:47:05

Thanks, crazyhatlady. Unless you have friends in every profession, it's hard to keep track of the changes brought about by research. I expect I have loads of defunct, worthless information hanging over from my childhood....

Hope this thread has gone some way to making some people think a bit more carefully about their responsibility towards creatures who rely on us for their care.

ILiveInAPineapple Mon 22-Oct-12 23:14:26

OP I cried reading you post.
I bred chihuahuas for ten years before my current career, and my parents for thirty years before that.
I know the lengths I and they went to in order to ascertain that our pups went to good homes, and we also, on a couple of occasions took dogs back when the circumstances of the owners meant that they could no longer care for their dog.
It devastates me to know that this is going on, with the regularity that it seems to be.
I don't know what the answer is but I do know that you did the right thing for that dog. I have four chihuahuas now and I know that it would be dreadful for them to move from pillar to post, they would not understand what was happening to them, and I would hate to think of them in a kennel waiting for someone to rehome them.

I really feel for you. It's a bloody tough and nasty part of your job :-(

GoSuckALemon Mon 22-Oct-12 23:29:44

This is horrible but why didn't the vet refuse to PTS? A rescue somewhere would have taken him. I don't think they tried hard enough to find a rescue. A vet practice is a business and PTS brings in money.

Toocber Tue 23-Oct-12 00:03:15

Vets aren't all they're cracked up to be.

Toocber Tue 23-Oct-12 00:03:51
LtEveDallas Tue 23-Oct-12 05:35:03

A 3 year old story written by an ex Vet to promote his book?

OK <<sheesh>>

Toocber Tue 23-Oct-12 13:51:45

"A vet is under no moral or legal obligation to perform a service merely because a pet owner wants us to."

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 23-Oct-12 18:08:10

Gosuck Toocber might I suggest you actually read the entire thread?

ThePlatypusAlwaysTriumphs Fri 26-Oct-12 22:59:01

I've just seen this and as a vet myself can totally empathise with the OP.

gosuck- the problem is that if the vet refuses to PTS the dog, what will hapen to it? I have sometimes refused to pts a dog, but it doesn't mean that dog went on to live a happy healthy life with a better owner, and that also plays on your mind. A lot.

canis I just keep repeating inwardly that this is not my fault. Someone else created this mess and expect us to clear it up. It's truly shit, and you have my sympathies. I had a similar situation last year where a young couple with young children bought a dog from someone on gumtree. Apparently it was "great with other dogs and children". But of course, it wasn't. The young couple took fright when it started going for other dogs and growling at their children. I advised they contact the guy they got it from. Surprise, surprise he wasn't answering his phone. I tried every rescue available, to no avail- the rescue centres/ charities are on their knees with the amount of dogs they are expected to take on because idiots have taken on a dog that they are completely unsuitable owners for. The upshot was that they really didn't want the dog in the house- the female partner had moved out with the kids to her mums because she didn't want them round the dog. The dog didn't come across as particularly aggressive with me, but how would I feel if I forced them to take it home and it did bite one of the kids? Where does that leave me?

Please don't take the high ground until you have been there. It's crap. As for vets make money from pts, that is a horrible thing to say. Most of us love animals and have pets of our own, support owners through euthanasia and care about the animals we deal with (as shows in canis post) The profit on pts is minimal, and not worth caring about. It's not even an issue.

There is a huge problem where I am with people taking on puppies (and yes, paying hundreds for "designer" breeds that they haven't researched) and then rehoming them within the first year. I can often spot them at the first vaccination, but what can I do? It's horrible and demoralising, and it makes me very frustrated. Why have a sled dog if you live in a 3rd floor flat and work 8 hours a day? That dog needs to run! Don't get a border collie and then moan to me about it's bad behaviour (aka herding instinct!)- it's a collie, that what it does! Yes, madam your puppy isn't toilet trained yet- because it is only eight weeks old!

And yes, the people who can pay ££££ for a designer dog are stony broke when it comes to paying for a behaviourist/ vaccination/ dog walker. Some people's attitudes to animals are completely unrealistic and warped. It's ignorance that leads to the death of thousands of unwanted dogs every year, not anything the dogs have done.

Ghouljamaflip Fri 26-Oct-12 23:30:07

canis its shit and no you shouldn't have to do it but at least the current owner stepped up and took responsibility.

As an ex-dog warden I've seen the other side where an owner doesn't take responsibility for what happens to their dog when they've had enough. I lost count of the dogs I picked up which then weren't claimed within the 7 day time frame - 7 days which I spent trying to find a rescue centre place just in case no one came forward. The lucky ones found a place somewhere in the country, the unlucky ones didn't. I drove miles in my own time to take a dog somewhere to give it a chance. The sad fact is that there are too many dogs and not enough spaces in kennels. And if you have a dog you need to re-home, for whatever reason, if you contact a centre you will be asked to hold onto the animal until a space becomes available.........but it never does cos the strays get there first. So it then becomes a choice between having it pts or dump it on the street sad

Then there were the ones we found in the canal or river with a brick round their neck.......the newborn pups stuffed soaking wet in a plastic bag and left in a bin.......the 2 beautiful girls found dead in an abandoned car.....the gorgeous gsd hung by its lead in the woods........I could go on.angry No evidence of owner or anyone to link them to.

It would be wonderful if licenses would have an effect but tbh it won't. We can't ensure that all drivers on the road are licensed let alone insured. Breeders continue unregulated simply because its too easy - you don't need any fancy equipment or specialist knowledge and many see it as an easy way to make money, perpetuated by those who are so desperate for a new puppy that they will get one by mean fair or foul.

Until the general public are educated about the realities of owning a dog and the horrors of un-regulated breeding its never going to change and people like the op will be faced with these decisions. I wish I knew how to change it....sad

SherlustHolmes Tue 07-Jan-14 16:31:54

This is old but it needs a bump.I think this needs a bump. I

SherlustHolmes Tue 07-Jan-14 16:32:47

You get the idea.

LaGuardia Tue 07-Jan-14 16:39:03

I never ever met a vet who was broke and drove a crap car. My heart bleeds for the OP. Not.

Greenkit Tue 07-Jan-14 16:41:23

Well this made me cry

SherlustHolmes Tue 07-Jan-14 16:42:50

LaGuardia you do realise that most vets are employees and do not stand to benefit directly from any of their work?

MrsPixieMoo Tue 07-Jan-14 16:43:45

thanks poor you, what a terrible day. Have PM'd you.

This is a zombie thread. Its 2 years old.

SherlustHolmes Tue 07-Jan-14 16:48:24

Binky the problem described is worse than ever.

Its still a zombie thread, Mrs Pixie has sent a PM so someone whos going to wonder WTF.

Why not start a new thread, link this one and explain what the issues are

SherlustHolmes Tue 07-Jan-14 16:54:43

Does it matter, Binky? Honestly posters like you make me think there must be special posting rules I've overlooked.

Sherlust, zombie threads usually just have a few people that read the post and the whole thread, look at the date of the thread and never post so it just disappears. If you start a new thread then more people are likely to read and comment.

why would you resurect such a distressing zombie thread and then start pming people.
pity the poor op reminded of this after such a long time.

CalamityKate Tue 07-Jan-14 17:01:19

What a fantastic post but I'm so sorry you had cause to write it sad

SherlustHolmes Tue 07-Jan-14 17:02:06

I got the distinct impression the OP had a point to get across. It's a valid one I think.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SherlustHolmes Tue 07-Jan-14 17:15:25

Sorry Binky, I didn't think about it like that and it's a fair point. I've started a new thread.

LessMissAbs Tue 07-Jan-14 17:23:01

Thanks for posting this. This is the side you never hear of and should be heard more of. Sadly, the people who buy these puppies create the market for them to be bred in the first place.

When you buy an animal, you should consider how you will care for it all its life. If you buy a puppy and think you will have to get rid of it when you have children in two years time, don't buy the puppy in the first place - its not a toy to be played with for two years then discarded.

This was one of the more responsible owners too.

I feel for you though having to do this part of your job.

bluebeanie Tue 07-Jan-14 20:40:31

That's so so sadsad

Piercy Tue 07-Jan-14 21:44:45

When you stop caring that's when you know you are in the wrong job


coco44 Tue 07-Jan-14 21:51:32

YABU in my opinion
but there we have the difference between large animals vet (me) and small animal vet (you).

kali110 Tue 07-Jan-14 22:14:15

Thats so sad

bellasuewow Tue 07-Jan-14 22:19:17

Well said op agree that you should send this to a newspaper and post elsewhere online.

Dinnaeknowshitfromclay Tue 07-Jan-14 22:45:43

I've been a vet nurse for thirty years and I find it gets harder not easier tbh. Not helping I know. I PTS a particular dog two weeks ago and I cry at night over it still! I just want people to stop breeding so many dogs. At this time of year there is always the 'before Christmas clearout' and the 'after Christmas clearout' and we are currently in the 'New Year clearout' phase and (sorry TMI but a fact of life) running out of doggie body bags for them. Stop breeding dogs, get them neutered. The veterinary profession has a hellish high suicide rate and the content of this post is a snapshot of why. Thanks for posting this Caniscantanymore, I am right there with you.

PerpendicularVince Tue 07-Jan-14 22:58:09

I agree with hobnobs, what is the point of resurrecting a zombie thread and quite possibly distressing the OP?

Jellypoppingcandy Tue 07-Jan-14 23:19:48

This is so sad, but no one would have taken the dog on so you did the right thing. Daisy- my cat - is purring & slobbering on me as I type . She's old, frequently poops under furtniture & scratches the sofa. I have had her since she was a six week old feral kitten And I adore her . I adore dogs too but can't have one due to work and family commitments. Before taking on an animal we need to be clear what it involves and whether we are up for the comitment.

WaffilyVersatile Tue 07-Jan-14 23:38:41

I bought our beagle when she was 6mnths old from a woman who wanted to have her put to sleep because she was "out of control and had to be locked in a conservatory for 10 hours a day"

I paid £100 for her and begged my sister to pick her up (she lived 100 miles closer than me and we were about to move from a flat to a house) and 8 years on she is still a much loved part of our family. Sometimes (most times) its not the wrong dog, its the wrong owner. I was reckless and bought her because I felt an emotional attachment and in hindsight I was stupid (we had a 4yr old and a baby at the time)

On the way to this point she has eaten walls, flooring, a beagle shaped hole in a door, a pair of 3 hour old £150 boots, a few sandwiches, several steaks, a birthday cake and 80% of a fireplace and I have to hold my hands up and say that I still wouldn't trust her off leash (I have a looooooooooong leash) but we love her dearly and in return she no longer jumps up so high that she headbutts us and has stopped trying to sit on our heads when we are on the sofa. Fair deal really..

in all seriousness she really was a nightmare when we got her but the lesson the kids have learned is an important one to me and more than worth the work alone.

Tulip26 Tue 07-Jan-14 23:53:02

God, this post is making me so sad. I love my rescue dog so much. When will people get it into their thick skulls to research the breeds?

falulahthecat Wed 08-Jan-14 00:20:56

Could you not have found a rescue for him? Or a foster home with someone who deals with aggressive dogs? As he was a puppy it could've possibly been trained out of him if placed with the correct people. I know it's not part of your job but had the current owners tried this? :/
Just seems so awful. I'm sorry you were put in that position, I'm sure that's not what you thought you'd be doing when you decided you wanted to be a vet. xx


what is the difference between Large Animal and Small Animal vets?
I know vets prefer to specialise. Our local small animal vets didn't treat horses for example .
Do some vets actively dislike some animals (or their owners? )

I drive miles to take my guinea-pigs to a Guinea-Pig clinic because I don't want them treated by a vet who thinks they are annoying scraps of fur that squeak.

Do large animal vets refuse to put an animal to sleep?
Or are you implying the OP is too sensitive?

GimmeDaBoobehz Wed 08-Jan-14 00:53:38

This kind of thing breaks my heart.

Poor dogs -

Selfish owners.

PiratePanda Wed 08-Jan-14 01:04:03

:-( This is so sad. This is exactly the reason why we don't currently have a dog (or a cat), even though we'd like one - our work schedules are too crazy and our house and garden too small for most dogs.

My DM said she knew my first marriage was over when she heard that my XH's first action when I suggested we separate was to send my cat to a cat shelter.

PiratePanda Wed 08-Jan-14 01:05:38

Oh great. Zombie thread, and no warning.

carovioletfizz Wed 08-Jan-14 09:05:59

Old thread but still very relevant. I have shared it on Facebook on the animal welfare/vegan group I am part of.

This is a thread from late 2012 and had about 17 pages of responses and the absolute worst thing is that nothing has changed since it was posted. People still breed dogs, people still buy dogs from brainless back yard breeders and justify ridiculous reasons for not rescuing a dog and people still don't neute dogs. Nothing is changing and that makes me really angry.


fluffyraggies Wed 08-Jan-14 11:14:46

Where's the MN zombie thread warning for this one then? Red writing above the message box. Does it have to be reported?

It was there on a zombie thread the other day - it caught my eye and stopped me posting.

Marylou2 Wed 08-Jan-14 11:42:48

Poor poor you OP.I don't know what to say. I despair of some people and the life choices they make.I'm so sorry this happened to you.

Whatwouldmumdo Wed 08-Jan-14 12:55:00

This is so sad

troubleinstore Wed 08-Jan-14 13:58:40

Well done you for have the gall to post this .... I had a similar conversation only just this morning with a friend about adopting from rescue centres instead of paying silly amounts for 'designer' mongrels.
I can only sympathise with you and your horrible situation. At least the dog was treated in a dignified manner and not locked up, abused, starved or just left out on the streets.
All round this is heart breaking. sad

melika Wed 08-Jan-14 14:15:05

I love dogs and it really has upset me that you have had to do this. I have a 13 year old mongrel who I know I will have to see to the end, but this is a healthy dog that somebody could have took on. I have a niece who 'gets' through dogs like a new fashion and everyone of her dogs have been uncontrollable and mental. She gets rid when she's had enough. I think people should be properly assessed before taking on a dog. I don't blame you, it's your job but there should be something done about it.

D0oinMeCleanin Wed 08-Jan-14 14:28:23

Yes it's a very old thread, but it is still very relevant. Nothing at all has changed and OP, if she is still working in the same profession will have had to make that same, awful choice again and again since this thread.

Reading it back, I can see we had who is still known as puppy with us at the time, he has happily been in his forever home for about 18 months now and is doing very well, but still steals the occasional shoe grin. Since then we've had a few retired or failed greyhounds and two more puppies whose owners just did not think hard enough before taking on an active young puppy. Both have now been rehomed. The first one was over a year old and had never been walked outside on a lead because they couldn't manage her hmm They loved her though confused

The pattern will keep repeating until something changes.

Halloweenjunkie Wed 08-Jan-14 15:23:44

I'm more of a cat person myself, but I'm sitting here crying after reading your post. No flaming from me at all. We live in a materialistic society where people have to have the 'right breed of dog' to fit in (or so they think they fit it) - be it a staffy or one of the 'designer dogs' that cost thousands. What people forget is that each breed of dog comes with it's own temperament and more importantly each of these dogs is a life, not a designer statement. So sad, but I have no idea what the solution is other than to restrict breeding/selling of puppies and/or to bring in dog licenses to ensure that people are able to care for dogs properly - which most people would view as too 'controlling and being in a nanny state.

Sandancer Wed 08-Jan-14 16:23:44

I've shared this on some of those facebook pet selling pages which I browse with my mouth wide open. People are selling cross Beagles and cross Pugs with silly names for over £1000 while Huskies and other high energy type breeds are selling for £50! Madness!
I doubt anyone will take much notice...

SecretJewel Wed 08-Jan-14 17:02:53

Sobbing your heart out? Jeez, man. It's a dog. It had no idea what you were going to do to it, and it's got even less of an idea what you did now.

QuietTiger Wed 08-Jan-14 17:04:36

I've shared this across FB, because it is so relevant. As a collie owner, the number of people I see getting collies because "they train themselves" is scary. At 5 months, when they are becoming herdy, busy, nipping the kids because the people getting them didn't bother to research the breed, they end upon the scrap heap. As do the staffies, huskies, and all the other fashionable breeds.

I have a crossbreed mutt too. She is very, very cute and a total accident. She's small and quirky and I've lost count of the number of people asking me what she is and "where can they get one?" as a designer dog. I feel your pain OP, even if this is a zombie thread.

Heartbrokenmum73 Wed 08-Jan-14 17:11:01

SecretJewel - you sound like a real people person, so very compassionate and caring hmm

UriGeller Wed 08-Jan-14 17:19:24

Im very appreciative of the work you do OP.

I'd rather not see so many dogs about. Funny looking dogs which labor to breathe, dogs with genetic weight bearing problems. Dogs whose characteristics are bred to suit fashion rather than ability, those with inherited behavioural problems and poor mental health.

I'm not a dog person at all. In fact, I would prefer it if there were far fewer of them in the world, but each one in the hands of someone who truly loved it, disciplined it, understood it and cared for it properly.

What is to be done about this?

tiredoutgran Wed 08-Jan-14 17:26:20

Horrible for you BUT there are far worse things than death! I would never rehome one of my animals if I couldn't keep them for whatever reason. This is not because I believe nobody could care for them as well as I can but because I could never guarantee their future and would not take the risk of them coming to harm. It happens so often where animals are passed around from one home to another, each home progressively worse than the last despite the promises. I would prefer that mine were PTS whilst happy in my care and I wouldn't have to worry if that 'perfect' home turned out to be not so perfect/secure after all.

My daughter has a dog that came to her at a year old, she is his 5th home in that time, he has major problems, the children are not allowed near him at any time. I believe that he should be PTS following him biting her nastily in frustration after she stopped him attacking a passing dog, she has managed him really well to that point but it is getting too difficult to keep herself safe and has gone beyond being reasonable and giving him a chance.

It would take a lot for me to part with mine as they are all homed for life but if the circumstances arose I would be hoping my vet would support me rather than judge me for my decision. I don't mean that against you as I understand your feelings but if that family had rehomed the dog and it killed or maimed a child it would be terrible.

One of the saddest things (IMO) is there are two ends of the spectrum.
You'll get the people who keep an animal going, with surgery, with medication , long past the time when it's life is happy or even tolerable, because they , the owner cannot bear for it to go.
They are thinking about how they will feel, not this poor creature who has yet another day to get through.

Then the ones who are quick to get rid. To fob off their responsibilty, either to whoever will take the animal , or to a vet who will put it to sleep.
What a lovely phrase.
In my day, an animal was "destroyed". I think in some cases, destroyed is nearer the mark.

The day the OP stops caring about the animals she tends is the day to stop.

Iwannalaylikethisforever Wed 08-Jan-14 22:22:28

I cannot believe this made me cry, I want to hug you, what a horrendous experience ...
Ps I dont like dogs much having been bitten twice.
Once was very frightening.

jaabaar Thu 09-Jan-14 02:20:29

Omg, so sad.

superstarheartbreaker Thu 09-Jan-14 02:29:28

I do wish people would think before they buy animals. I dont think that rehoming is bad though; totally necessary if circumstances change.

superstarheartbreaker Thu 09-Jan-14 02:31:55

Why iscrehoming a bad thing???? If vetted properly it can be for the best. Some owners suit certain breeds better than others.

Joysmum Thu 09-Jan-14 02:47:17

I actually don't think you're focussing on the right cause if the problem.

The cause if the problem is the indiscriminate breeding of animals and owners failing to have their animals neutered.

It angers me beyond belief that any old tom dick or Harry can decide to have their pet mated because they want it to have cute babies. There are far too many animals for the finite number of homes available.

I wish there was a way to license any one wanting the breed animals and massive fines for anyone who breeds animals without being licensed.

I only have rescue cats. I will not go to a breeder when there are so many animals who need a good home.

I also have ponies. In the New Forest there are foals going for peanuts at the sales, if indeed they sell at all. It disgusts me that with so many perfectly healthy animals who can't find homes, why are people adding to the problem just because they wants babies or to try and make a few quid selling them on. You people make me sick angry

Sunflower49 Thu 09-Jan-14 02:52:39

This post is the reason I never followed my childhood dream of being a vet. I am so , so sorry sad
If you need someone to talk to, feel free to pm me xx

Sunflower49 Thu 09-Jan-14 02:56:09

Sorry just noticed zombie thread!

UriGeller Fri 10-Jan-14 16:38:53

Yeah but Sherlustholmes bumped it intentionally. Imagine how many dogs the OP has had to put to sleep since she wrote the post. shock

MissFenella Fri 10-Jan-14 19:50:41

this post is doing the rounds on facebook too

Loopylala7 Fri 10-Jan-14 20:44:13

sad soo sad