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Confessions of a Euthanasia Technician

We do it because we care

We’re drowning in cats too. I dread kitten season. I can not even look at a kitten (even one on a greeting card) without feeling a little sad.

-anonymous, Kentucky

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Yesterday we sent 10 cats to [another shelter] to make room for the 20 that were waiting in stray.  Today we are full again.  I’m drowning in cats.

-anonymous, California

Kitten season – the warm times of year – is when we get kittens at the shelter in droves. And yes, they have to be euthanized. There are not enough homes for the literally dozens that we get each day. But what really gets me are the people who let their cats have one litter so that their kids can experience it, and then they bring us the kittens when they are weaned. Every time I get some clueless parents walk in to drop off a box of kittens saying, “Oh we just wanted the kids to experience the miracle of life”, I always want to just say, “Oh yeah? Did you want the kids to walk the kittens back to the Euthanasia Room with me so that they can experience the miracle of death?”. If I had a dollar for every person who dropped off kittens with that excuse – I could spay/neuter cats across the nation!

-anonymous, California

Today you came in to say that you would like to “donate” your cat to us. Thanks buddy – that’s just what we needed was another cat. What a nice way to say that you are giving your cat up.

-anonymous, New York

Today you dropped off your two, adult, American Bulldogs. You said that your wife was in labor so you guys couldn’t keep them anymore with the new baby coming. When I told you we had no room and that they would have to be euthanized because they were an owner surrender, and not a stray, you got mad at me! Do you think I want to euthanize your dogs? You had 9 months to find them a new home. Why did you wait until the day that your wife went into labor to bring them to us?

-anonymous, California

Those who work tirelessly advocating for animals, are usually the last ones to advocate for themselves. Remember to use that strong voice for yourself as well.

The day that I stopped feeling personally responsible for all of the lives lost at the shelter, was the day that an enormous weight lifted off of my shoulders. Remember that it is one thing to be sad about the circumstances you face each day, but an entirely different thing to feel guilty. Guilt is what eats at your soul!