Sample Letter to Editor About Traumatic Pet Euthanasia

Warn others about what can happen at clinic or home

Dear _____
An animal or pet euthanasia can become a horror show.  And the effects of those that do so in the home can be especially persistent.
When my mother died, I kept caring for her elderly cat. We became companions. Incompetent vet treatment of her diabetes resulted in many invasive procedures always preceded by the forceful grasp of the nape to restrain the patient and protect the vet. This became her warning. She began resisting. Soon, she became untreatable without sedation which also required naping...a vicious circle! When she stopped eating and declined rapidly, a home euthanasia, (peaceful death), was planned, but not carefully enough. She died horribly after I failed to redirect or stop a last familiar, yet unexpected forceful naping, quickly followed this time by painful sedative injection. Her reaction to both was agonizing. Released by her attackers, she staggered dutifully toward her litter box all alone until I rushed to hold her up as she vomited there due to the drug and/or stress, still trying to be a good kitty even in the last conscious act of her life. She deserved much better as do all of our animal companions. (Accounts of other failures are online at "Pet Euthanasia Gone Wrong.) Neither technician nor vet indicated this was unusual as investigation confirms. Use of low stress handling throughout her treatment could have prevented her resistance because it doesn't use force!   Distress and/or pain would've been greatly reduced or eliminated if the euthanasia had been performed in accordance with the principles of the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy.
If you have a pet euthanasia approaching, investigate all options, including hospice. Plan carefully. Visit Consider a visual recording. Be ready to intervene to redirect or stop the procedure. Cost of failure is indescribable.

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