Words matter. Their meanings matter, and we have to be able to call a spade a spade.
Right now, at this very moment across the country, hundreds of healthy or treatable pets are being killed in shelters. In fact, 9,000 animals will be killed today, 9,000 tomorrow, and 9,000 again the next day. They are not being euthanized: They are being killed. It may not be comfortable to say, or to hear, but we have to be able to speak the truth and call it exactly what it is.
At Best Friends, we strongly believe in the difference in the meaning of the words "euthanasia" and "killing" Here's why.
At our sanctuary and in many programs around the country, euthanasia is defined purely as an act of mercy. This act should be reserved for animals who are suffering an irremediable medical condition and a veterinarian determining that there is no chance of the animal recovering an acceptable quality of life. In a municipal shelter setting, those animals whose aggressive behavior is genuinely too dangerous for him or her to be a candidate for rehabilitation and rehoming can be added to that list.