In rescue, sometimes you come across tough cases – animals who go months, sometimes years, before finding a forever home. It’s always sad. Less so when the dog is in foster care, but always unfortunate when they’re in a shelter or boarding situation.
It’s obvious these animals want nothing more than a warm bed and human companionship, but sometimes it’s a long time before they get it.
However, those who make the argument that these animals would be better off dead (PETA, for example) are horrendously misguided.
PETA believes, for instance, that bully breeds are better off dead because they’re so often mistreated, abused or used for fighting. But this reasoning is fallacious and sadistic. The Vick dogs prove that even animals abused beyond belief are still capable of recovery. But according to PETA, “We can only stop killing pits if we stop creating new ones.”
This is a ludicrous mentality for an organization supposedly dedicated to animal welfare. Even the dogs who have faced the worst kind of hell still demonstrate the will to live.
Think about human beings. Foster children, for example. Few would argue that it isn’t worth the temporary sadness or hardship that comes with being a foster child to reach the end goal of adoption (not to mention the goal of growing up).
Or prisoners. They endure months, years, sometimes decades of incarceration before earning their freedom again. But would they rather be dead? I think not.
The same is true for animals. If they could communicate their wants, undoubtedly they’d tell us they’re willing to endure a less-than-perfect situation in order to reach the light at the end of the tunnel. We do them a grave injustice by ever assuming otherwise.
Who are we to judge an animal’s level of “suffering”, and make the irreversible call to kill them?
God knows the concept of “suffering” is subjective. Some would argue that an animal in boarding for a month is “suffering”, and should be killed to alleviate it. Or that an animal who has suffered abuse should be killed rather than rehabilitated. I would absolutely disagree. We’re not the ones who should be making life and death decisions based on these arbitrary concepts.
Truly, only in a case of extreme and incurable pain or illness is an animal EVER better off dead.
Death is final. That life is gone forever, with no chance for redemption; no chance for love; no chance for a happy ending. They’re simply gone. As long as they’re alive, they have a chance. And each and every animal deserves it.