North Carolina: If you’ve been following the Robeson County Animal Shelter’s fight to keep the “heartstick” as its main method of killing pets, you will probably be as surprised as I was to learn that they have suddenly given it up:
The Health Department last week quietly changed its euthanasia policy at the Robeson County Animal Shelter, conceding to animal rights advocates’ demands to euthanize intravenously rather than with heart stick.
This is good news although the shelter is still threatening to open hours later than its usual time of 10am (yo, that’s already late) to allow for extra killing time needed for IV injections.
Then there’s this troubling bit:
The intravenous method will cost less: The Health Department will no longer have to purchase ketamine, a sedative.
An animal cannot be sedated during intravenous euthanization because sedation reduces blood flow, which collapses veins so they’re more difficult to find. Instead, one worker holds the animal, and another finds a vein to inject a shot sodium pentobarbital.
I’m not a Vet but I thought one of the advantages of ketamine was that “[i]t can block nerve paths without depressing respiratory and circulatory functions” – is this incorrect? Also, what about all the Vets and shelters who give a sedative prior to the IV injection – are they doing it wrong?
We have been lead to believe that sedation followed by IV injection is the most humane method of relieving suffering via euthanasia. If the Robeson County Animal Shelter knows different, I wish they’d share with the class.