Euthanasia is described as the merciful, painless termination of a living being’s existence in order to relieve their suffering. That is why it is coined “mercy killing” by some people. This occurs frequently due to a terminal illness or deteriorating health brought on by ageing. Some individuals confuse euthanasia with putting a pet to sleep while under anaesthesia by using phrases like “putting a pet down” or “putting a pet to sleep.” We refer to it as “euthanasia” to avoid any misunderstanding.
The goal of veterinary practitioners is to minimize suffering, even if that necessitates putting an animal to permanent sleep. Veterinarians and other animal lovers believe that it is best to gently euthanize your loving friend if they are obviously suffering, whether from a terminal illness, geriatric condition, or incurable sickness. This will prevent needless suffering that cannot be healed or lessened. However, it is totally normal to let your pet live out its days and die naturally if they appear content and are not in any obvious pain.
Pet euthanasia has been carried out using a variety of techniques. International organizations recommend some, but certain nations consider others to be illegal. The majority of the time, barbiturates (pentobarbitone or pentobarbital sodium) are used to euthanize pets. Barbiturates produce a deep state of anaesthesia and unconsciousness before respiratory collapse.
However, various techniques, like magnesium sulfate, potassium salts, carbon monoxide gas, and even captive bolt shoots, can be used on sedated animals. Strychnine use, electrocution, cyanide use, beheading, drowning, and the use of curariform medications (for example, succinylcholine) are some unacceptable ways that are still practised in some nations (particularly in third-world countries such as ours). (Antonio Ortega-Pacheco and Matilde Jimenez-Coello, Debate for and Against Euthanasia in the Control of Dog Population, 15 September 2011)
The unethical ways of putting down an animal, as much as it is disdainful to say, are still quite rampant, especially in underdeveloped countries. A number of these procedures are cited in Administrative Orders 9 and 13, Series of 2010 and 2011 (Euthanasia of Animals) of the Department of Agriculture of the Philippines. It is evident of the low level of awareness of its people when it comes to accepting and understanding the truth about non-human animals as sentient beings. Others, though aware of this fact, condone these merciless ways for personal gain and convenience. Even coming to the point of justifying their reasoning by legalizing the horrid operations of killing animals for euthanasia. When such ways are accepted by the state as legal, this is no less than an act of “killing (the concept of) mercy” in the minds and hearts of men.
One of the sweetest presents we can give a suffering animal at the end of its life is the calm of a quiet room, a loving embrace from a caring person, and a gentle, painless slumber brought on by a skilled specialist. When an animal receives the right euthanasia medications by injection, it can pass out within three to five seconds.
Compare that to how the gas chamber operates. Its operation will undoubtedly distress you if you have a sensitivity to animal pain. Creatures are put into a tiny, dark box that is occasionally filled with the odors of the animals that came before them, many of which may have urinated or defecated just before they passed away.
Animals may start fighting if they are confined together in the chamber out of fear and desperation. They might be in the box for several minutes while screaming, clawing, and acting afraid. Before eventually going unconscious, they can have trouble breathing or start convulsing.
In the best-case scenario, an animal within a gas chamber takes minutes to lose consciousness. However, it can take much longer if the chamber is outdated or not well calibrated—a common problem for underfunded pounds and shelters—or if the animal is very young, very old, ill, injured, or under stress. In the worst scenarios, the animal’s key organs start to shut down while it is still aware.
For a procedure to be considered completely humane, the animal must not only experience any pain, but also no worry. Animals who are sick, injured, old, or young, who make up the majority of those who are put to death in pounds or shelters, can experience physical pain from gas chambers, but every animal that is pushed into one, experiences stress.
The process of drowning provides the same effects (for pips and hatchlings). Gunshots, decapitation, and sharp blows to the head are all extremely violent processes that clearly present no mercy for animals.
Making the choice to put your cherished pet or farm animal to sleep can be extremely tough as they get closer to the end of their life, whether it’s due to the end of their natural lifespan or a fatal illness. A lot of pet owners and farmers are afraid to ask questions about the decision, the procedure, or what happens to their pet after euthanasia. It’s painful to consider that your closest friend’s companionship is coming to an end, but by becoming more knowledgeable about the euthanasia procedure and preparing yourself for the inevitable, you may make the process of putting your pet or farm animal to sleep easier.
Learn about the euthanasia procedures accepted and allowed by our government and our trusted veterinarian in advance if your beloved pet’s time is running out. And discern well which ones are truly humane.
About the Author: Mariana Burgos is a freelance artist. She is a solo parent for 14 years now because she is wife to a desaparacido. She and her daughter are animal lovers and are active in advocating not only human rights but the rights of animals as well.