Recently, we asked our readers by poll what they thought about let owners that wanted their pets euthanized when they died (such as to be buried with them).
To take our poll and see the summary of results – go to What do you think about people that want their pets euthanized when they die?
Here are some comments from our pet lovers about this controversial issue: My dog and I had a special bond and she fretted terribly if we were separated refusing food and water until I was home again. Had she outlived me I would have had her put to sleep and buried with me. from past experience she would not have settled with any one else. Posted by Maureen
There are times - such as when there is no one left to take care of the animal - when it is better to have them euthanized than sent to a shelter. Animals know loss and then need someone they know around to help them through it. If there are no other family members or friends who know the animal, it would be very difficult for the animal to be in a shelter with little to no individualized attention. Also, unless the animal is young, the odds of adoption are not great. The poor animal would wind up euthanized anyway, and in distress while it waits.
I do not believe that those pet owners who think their animals should be euthanized for purely selfish reasons are right, but I do not think this issue is "black and white", either. Posted by Parker
Are these pet owners crazy? Nobody wants their kids euthanized when they die. Pets are not kids but are just like kids. I totally agree with Chris on euthanizing relatives who throw out the cat. Don't assume the pets will be miserable when you die. Don't underestimate them. They may be just fine without you even if they miss you. Give them a chance to have a happy life. I agree with Jim on these pet owners being narcissistic. These pet owners need to be smarter. Posted by Manami
How about euthanizing the human when the pet passes? Posted by Amy
Don't be selfish, provide for your pet! my kids would miss me to bits too if i died, but they could go on to find happiness with someone else. im not gonna take THEM with me. im not so egotistical i believe im the only one to provide, love and happiness to my pets. they can be happy elsewhere, in a VERY rare senerio they might pass on from heartache, but would be so rare id rather give them a chance at happiness first without me. but then i value there life as much as a persons. there not a belonging to come with me and my rings. Posted by tombraider000
The owner should have it set up in the will to ensure the pet will live out a happy, healthy life after he/she passes. The veterinarian may be of help - mine works with adopting out homeless/orphaned pets - including placement at nokill shelters if they are 'too old' so the pet may live out its days. Posted by Carol
I don't think one should ever take an innocent life. If the owner can think ahead to provide for the euthanization of their healthy pet, then they can think ahead to provide a different home for their healthy
pet when they are no longer around. I know it may take a while for the pet to adjust, but if placed with someone kind and gentle, I think that it much better. Posted by Charlene
Why would an owner want a pet to lose there life at a time when it isn't time. Humanity has a choice on their destiny whether a owner have there pet euthanized does not mean that animal will spend eternity with their owner. It kind of remind me of the movie "The Wizard of Oz" the scare crow needed a brain. Posted by dvanilla
WHAT is WRONG with people? Why are they so selfish as to kill their dog (or cat or whatever) when it is healthy just so that it can be buried with them? It is always me, me, me. What about the companion animal? There is a very good chance that MOST animals WILL sucessfully bond with someone else. A person would be so selfish, ignorant, unthinking or unfeeling that he/she would deny the animal the chance at happiness and a long life with a beloved companion? The only time such a thing should be considered is if you KNOW for SURE there is no other option. Your first choice should be family or friends. You could plan for the situation in your will. If after the death of the human the animal is one that will definetly not be with anyone else, refuses food and drink, and is totaly inconsolable THEN it would be humane to euthanize the animal and bury it with the owner. Besides, what if you live 20 years after you had the animal killed? What a waste of years of companionship with a devoted animal. What a waste of an animal's life. I, myself, have adopted both cats and dogs that other people either abandoned or gave up for whatever reasons and in all cases we all bonded quite well. Posted by Martha
I worked at a shelter and have seen animals that could be very happily placed in another home. Healthy, friendly, etc. In these cases, putting them down would not be the best thing to do. But I also saw people voluntarily surrender animals for adoption that couldn't adapt to the separation. Some would snap as soon as their owners walked out the door, violently going after everyone when they had been calm before. Others settled into a depressed stupor, refusing food and water, not responding to others. There were some everywhere between these extremes and the happy animals. We tried HARD to save them, taking time to try and make friends with the aggressive ones, bringing the depressed ones home with us to try and force feed them, hug them, show them other people could love them. Sometimes it worked, other times we failed, and they suffered. In those cases, these animals, whose owners were still alive somewhere, but no longer WANTED them, had to be put to sleep. Another cat was a very old guy, whose owner had died. Her family came to her house to claim her belongings, and the neighbors watched in horror as they tossed the indoor cat out the door and into the snow without a thought. He was half blind and arthritic, and had never gone out except in the arms of the old lady who had loved him. The family didn't even bother a glance at him. The neighbors were all unable to take him in to their homes, but took turns feeding him for a week or so until one brought him to us, knowing we'd likely have to euthanize him due to his age. But he was a sweet old man, they couldn't bear to watch him freeze to death alone outside. He tugged at our hearts too and lived out another month and a half living in our medical suite as the 'shelter vet's cat', being given beds, any type of food he wanted, and TONS of love and kisses. He was very happy and loved, but in the end, just weeks later, buddy's body shut down and we had to let him go. Had his owner left instructions for his care, even euthanasia, it would've spared the poor guy the grief, pain and confusion that he suffered for the time he was left to fend for himself outside before coming to us. It was his time, and euthanasia would not have been a bad alternative. I am just glad we were able to give him a happy last few weeks and remind him that he was very loved.
Here is the page for our Bud-man, who I think really is a case where instructions for the animal need to be in the will, and where euthanasia would have been an acceptable option. He's back with his owner now, we were glad to have known him, even if sorry about the circumstances. http://www.catster.com/dogs/518655.
Its a situation that really needs to be handled on a case by case basis. Sometimes a pet who is left behind has a bright future ahead of them in life, and should be allowed to pursue that. Other times their future died with their owner, and letting them join them is what is best. Posted by Beth on