Some of you may have been following the story of “Oreo”, a Pitbull mix in NY who survived terrible cruelty thanks to the care of the ASPCA. On Friday, the ASPCA euthanized her due to aggression:
Because adoption was not an option, the ASPCA looked at placing Oreo in a long-term resident facility. However, because of the aggressive behavior displayed, it is almost certain that Oreo would have lived out her entire life in seclusion from other dogs and people. Her contact with the outside world would have been minimal at best. Her quality of life would have been reduced to virtually nothing. Thus, we arrived at the painful yet clear decision to humanely euthanize Oreo.
I don’t know that I disagree with euthanizing a dog with extreme aggression, especially when extensive rehab efforts have been made as in Oreo’s case. But it is hard to support the decision to euthanize when a reasonable alternative exists. Pets Alive, a no kill shelter in NY with a proven track record regarding difficult dogs, had offered to take Oreo:
We offered to take Oreo to our facility and work with her. If she was adoptable we would adopt her out. If not she would live at the sanctuary for the rest of her life. That’s our standard offer.
As an outsider, it seems to me the ASPCA should have at least considered the offer and taken a tour of the facility where Oreo would live. This would give them a concrete idea of her potential quality of life, rather than the assumption they were basing their decision on. By refusing to consider the offer, the ASPCA comes off as irresponsible to my mind. The ASPCA must be held to a very high standard due to their size and influence and they must set an example for preventing cruelty to animals, like the name says. I can’t see how they’ve met this burden or fulfilled their obligation to Oreo by refusing to consider a reasonable alternative to her death.