A pet is euthanized by injection but doesn’t die. This happens. I don’t know how often but sometimes it makes the news.
This Rottweiler was non-euthanized at a veterinary clinic. The owner said he couldn’t bring himself to have the dog put to sleep a second time.
A dog named Gabby was non-euthanized at a shelter in Indiana, stuffed in a barrel full of dead dogs and placed in a freezer for 4 days. After Gabby was found alive, the shelter ordered her to be killed again but an ACO refused and removed her from the shelter. That same ACO also reported to the media that Gabby was not the first non-euthanasia at the shelter.
Robeson Co Animal Shelter in NC was reportedly sending non-euthanized pets to the landfill but the contracted killing vet would re-kill any survivors.
This week, a story was widely circulated about a non-euthanized puppy from a litter of 5 killed at a shelter in Oklahoma. The surviving pup, named Wall-E, is 3 months old and now has hundreds of potential adopters inquiring about him. The many stories about Wall-E have centered around his miraculous survival. And while I am thrilled that Wall-E is alive, I want to focus on a few other points in the story which seem to have been largely overlooked.
Per a vet, “[t]he puppies were selected to be euthanized because of illness, as well as overcrowding due to limited shelter space”. And yet, the ACO who found Wall-E walking around the trash bin that contained his dead littermates describes the discovery with the words, “He was just as healthy as could be”. On a webpage created for Wall-E, it says, “He is a delightful Pup, about 3 months old, is surprisingly healthy except for a heavy infestation of Hookworm for which he is undergoing treatment”. So let’s be clear here. Wall-E was not medically hopeless and suffering and the notion that he was “selected to be euthanized because of illness” is obviously false. It makes me wonder if the 4 littermates were just like Wall-E.
Hookworm infestation is not uncommon for stray puppies. Mulder was diagnosed as having hooks when she came to us. I gave her some medicine. All better. If she had been taken to this shelter though, it sounds like they would have just killed her.
A Petfinder posting for Wall-E says “We have NEVER had the problem (or BLESSING) of more than one family wishing to adopt a dog. Most of our dogs do not get this chance or opportunity even ONCE.” Well first off, I bet Wall-E’s four littermates would have been snatched up right quick by all these folks reaching out to help Wall-E. Gee, too bad you killed them all. Secondly, if “most” of your dogs do not get a chance to be adopted, maybe it’s time for some changes, ya think?
Perhaps the idea of a facility which kills entire litters of treatable puppies suddenly becoming a no kill shelter seems far fetched. On the other hand, miracles do happen – and they appear to be happening at this shelter right now. Hundreds of adopters applying, puppies coming back to life – why not seize the opportunity to put in the work to make saving all the healthy/treatable pets there an everyday occurrence? This shelter may have accidentally, miraculously, been given a unique opportunity for lifesaving. Will they take it?