Animals should not be euthanized

To the Editor:

My name is Natalie Coutu and I am a seventh grader at Hollis Brookline Middle School in the neighboring town of Hollis. I am writing to inform you about the amount of helpless animals dying every year from euthanization. Recently, my family fostered a dog that was a rescue from Georgia. When she was placed back up for adoption, we were worried that she would not be able to find a home. Personally, I was worried that she would be euthanized while at the shelter. Animals should not be euthanized.

A large amount of animal shelters euthanize their animals. In a recent find from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or the ASPCA, “Of the dogs entering the shelters, approximately 35 percent are adopted, 31 percent are euthanized, and 26 percent of dogs who came in as strays are returned to their owner.”

The amount of animals being killed is too high and must come down to decrease the amount of animals that could have a home, but are killed before adoption. Every year about 2.7 million animals are euthanized in shelters around the world. For some shelters, the normal recommendation for holding before euthanizing is three days or 72 hours, like the Lied Animal Shelter in Las Vegas, Nev. This amount of time is way too short, and should be doubled, decreasing the amount of assassinated animals. Finally, the amount of animals being euthanized per year is way too high and should be brought down.

When these animals are put to death, it also takes a toll on the shelter employees. Some of them struggle and attend support groups. Others even abuse drugs and alcohol. Other workers, are left depressed, with nightmares and grief, for feeling a helpless animal take its last breath in someone’s arms is truly depressing. One employee that was surveyed after the killing said that she had emotional breakdowns in the euthanasia room because she was witnessing the death of a weak animal. In a survey by social worker Ruth Shawhan, a worker stated, “‘It bothers me to decide to kill an animal just because it’s a black dog and we already have three black dogs waiting for homes.'” This is only one person that has been through this, and others share the same sorrow. Together, Americans can freeze this national dilemma, by stopping the euthanization of animals.

Animals being euthanized is a topic I feel passionate about and think that many people will just overlook. Thank you for your time and I encourage you to look further into this topic. Also, I recommend you to adopt from a shelter, like the family that adopted our old foster dog.

Thank you for your consideration,

Natalie Coutu