Updated Euthanasia Policy: Unanimously Approved by the Board of Directors on 12/28/17
Griffin Pond Animal Shelter provides a lifetime commitment to all animals that come into our care by arranging for a foster home until they are adopted into their permanent home and caring for them in the shelter environment. While we do not euthanize any animal for time or space, unfortunately, there are some instances where euthanasia is the best or only humane option for an animal in our care. Each animal is evaluated as an individual and assessed under the circumstances as a whole. Euthanasia is only considered after an appropriate investigation of other viable and reasonable options. The following outlines the circumstances in which we consider euthanasia for an animal in our care, how that decision is made and carried out.
Circumstances that may require euthanasia
Griffin Pond Animal Shelter only considers euthanasia as an option for animals that are suffering mentally, emotionally or physically and have a poor prognosis; are experience unremitting pain or mental suffering that cannot be reasonably alleviated; or pose danger to other animals, themselves or people. Euthanasia is not an option we take lightly and it will be done only when it we have determined that is the only humane option for the animal.
After consulting with a veterinarian and following his/her recommendations, we will consider euthanasia for an animal who has a poor prognosis, will have a long and painful rehabilitation process with little chance of a meaningful recovery, has an incurable debilitating illness or is not responding to the available treatment.
If an animal has a history of unprovoked biting and/or is exhibiting aggressive behaviors that pose unacceptable risk to other animals or people, we will consult with two trainers and the Animal Welfare Committee. If the behavior expert and committee determines that the animal is unable to be rehabilitated and will continue to pose a threat to others euthanasia will be considered. In our opinion, if an animal is so aggressive that a behavior expert determines that it poses a danger to other animals and/or people, life in a sanctuary is simply not a humane option. We will not transfer an animal to another rescue group or shelter to avoid the difficult decision of having to euthanize for a behavioral issue.
How we make the decision to euthanize
For medical cases, we will defer to the judgment of our veterinarians in making euthanasia decisions. For behavioral issues euthanasia will be performed only after the recommendation of two trainers, the majority vote of the Animal Welfare Committee. All euthanasia decisions will be clearly documented. The Board of Directors will receive a comprehensive report outlining all steps taken and trainer recommendations upon which the decision was finalized.
How the animal is euthanized
The foster provider or another representative from Griffin Pond Animal Shelter will be responsible for taking the animal to one of the organization’s partner veterinarians for euthanasia or when necessary the veterinarian will come to the shelter for euthanasia. Whenever possible and appropriate, the foster provider or other representative from Griffin Pond Animal Shelter will remain with the animal during the entire process. We believe all animals deserve respect and loving care through their final moments.
Animal Welfare Committee Members