Euthanasia Philosophy

CASPCA values animal life, and prioritizes ensuring an animal’s quality of life remains enriched and good while in our care. When an animal is actively in distress and no changes to environment, medical care, and behavioral care are successful, science shows that prolonged states of distress are more likely to result in permanent and lasting behavioral changes. We believe that if no remedy is available euthanasia, as a last resort, is the most humane outcome.

Our decision-making process involves thorough evaluation, considering the animal’s behavior, environment, opportunities for enrichment, and pathways to positive outcomes. We adhere to best practices outlined by our industry’s most reputable organizations. When gaps in our expertise are found, we contract out to certified experts, and reach out to other organizations and research institutions for counsel. This dedication of precious resources underscores our commitment to making informed, compassionate choices. When all else fails, a panel of staff and management reviews cases, ensuring the most compassionate and timely decisions.

We understand community members desire to provide sanctuary for animals displaying significant aggressive behaviors. Practical challenges, including years-long wait lists for placements, present hurdles. It’s essential to recognize that animal shelters, CASPCA included, are designed as temporary refuges, and have physical and resource limitations in providing extended sanctuary to behaviorally compromised animals.

It’s important to recognize the emotional toll these decisions take on our team. These decisions weigh heavily, and your understanding and compassion are crucial. Your understanding and support can contribute significantly to maintaining a positive work environment and encouraging the team to persevere in the face of challenging circumstances. Our team feels each and every one of our losses intimately and continue to show up for those they can save.