Cartier's Story

Pet Abandonment or Euthanasia - The Right Decision?

Meet Cartier.

Why am I still perplexed by people’s actions after years of rescue? How can anyone in good conscience abandon their 10-12 year old animal companion? To leave him tied to a fence without a note explaining why he is no longer wanted. Not his age, not even his name! How about his medical history? What are his traits? What are his needs? Questions that need answers as shelter employees look for the perfect match when re-homing him.

What is this poor animal feeling? Cartier’s world was turned upside down over night. He is now among strangers. He is surrounded by fellow canines, living in a cacophony of barking sounds. He obviously does not understand why this has happened to him. Where is his family, the people he loves? Where are his doggie bed and his toys? What are his chances of getting adopted? How many individuals out there will welcome an older pet into their homes, and have the compassion to open their hearts to a senior dog?

Cartier is somewhat depressed. His eyes reflect sadness. He is not interested in what is happening around him. He sleeps most of the day. Not to feel the pain of abandonment or to forget his past as he embarks on a new life? He is also a bit frail due to his age.

Are we such a throw away society that our feelings are grounded in the now? This situation does not fit my lifestyle anymore; therefore, I will “get rid” of the encumbrance. Let it be someone else’s burden. What a cowardly act! Rather than ring the animal shelter doorbell and explain the situation face to face, leave this life in a strange place and steal away at dawn, before anyone recognizes you or stops you.

Commitment means to place a person or thing (pet) in custody or safe-keeping. Since we have domesticated animals, we have made our pets dependent upon us to care for them. We must uphold our commitment and cherish them as members of our family until they pass away.

Fortunately, Cartier was tethered to the fence of a no-kill shelter where he will get a second chance. Most animals are not so lucky. Many are thrown out in the streets of their city or dropped off in the country to fend for themselves. I understand that there are valid reasons why a pet may have to find a new caretaker, but before you discard your elderly friend, discuss your choices with your veterinarian. Older pets have a difficult time being accepted by new families, but there are animal rescue groups that specialize in senior animals. After you have exhausted all your alternatives, then maybe at that point, the kindest act is euthanasia with you holding your friend as he goes on his final voyage. You are his last memory when taking his final breath. It is a very difficult and sad decision to make, but also the most loving. Abandonment is never an option.

If you wish to meet him, Cartier resides at the no kill shelter operated by the Humane Society of Dallas, Dog & Kitty City, and is waiting to meet you.