Would you shoot your dog?


January 2, 2003, 10:47 AM
He continued to look down at the old dog. Candy watched him uneasily. At last Carlson said, "If you want me to, I'll put the old devil out of his misery right now and get it over with. Ain't nothing left for him. Can't eat, can't see, can't even walk without hurtin'."
Candy said hopefully, "You ain't got no gun."
"The hell I ain't. Got a Luger. It won't hurt him none at all."
Candy said, "Maybe to-morra. Le's wait till to-morra."
"I don't see no reason for it," said Carlson. He went to his bunk, pulled his bag from underneath it, and took out a Luger pistol. "Let's get it over with," he said.

Steinbeck- "Of Mice and Men"

A few years back there was a story in our city metro paper about a guy who was arrested for shooting his dog. It turned out that the dog was old and sick, and the guy who used to live in a rural area was euthanizing the dog. The paper tried to make him out to be a Son of Sam murderer, but apparently this was just an urban/rural culture clash. Don't recall what happened to the guy.

So would you/could you do it? Does it matter if you are urban vs rural?

If you enjoyed reading about "Would you shoot your dog?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
January 2, 2003, 10:54 AM
I'd only shoot my dog if there was no other option to relieve her suffering.

Boomer, my lab, was put down a few months ago after his leg was shattered when hit by a car. Our vet euthanizes pets for free. A good thing, as many around here are too poor to pay much for anything.

January 2, 2003, 10:57 AM
Intended to shoot a roommates dog once. Didn't work out. He had a pomeranian (sp?) that was a pain in the butt. Kept tearing up the house when we were away. Came home from work in a bad mood already and found all my stuff scattered about, couple of album covers destroyed.
Took the offending canine out into the country, let him out & chambered a round in my .22 rifle. Stupid dog sniffed the muzzle wagged his tail and smiled at me.
Put him back in the car and went home.

I've known lots of people who put their dogs down when they got old & sick. Not a fun job but a necessary one. Some will say take it to the Vet, it's painless. My wife works for a Vet., usually it's quick but not always.

January 2, 2003, 10:58 AM
I probably would - as long as I'm not breaking any "Discharging a Firearm Within City Limits" law or similar.

I consider it humane to put down a dog who's terminally ill or seriously injured beyond help. It's also economical for folks who don't want to spend the money to have the vet do the euthanizing.

I almost had to put down one of my boxers when he attacked a neighbor's calf and repeatedly tore at it. Luckily, the calf did not die. Issues where a neighbor's dog kills another neighbor's livestock must be resolved swiftly to keep the peace.

Pappy John
January 2, 2003, 10:59 AM
naw... I had to have 2 put down in the past, both by the vet and that was emotionally traumatic enough. What if ,in the moment, something went awry and you caused your companion extra needless suffering along with what they were already putting up with. Whew, now I'm gonna be thinkin about my old dog, Sox all day. That was a tough one to lose.

January 2, 2003, 11:05 AM
Doesn't everybody? My dogs(like me) are needle phobic.:(

Neal Bloom
January 2, 2003, 11:08 AM
When I was very young my mutt Bandit was run over by a car. Shattered its hip. The poor thing was in extreme pain. My father brought out the rifle and handed it to me and said "Its your dog and your responsibility." I had to put it down. I think Bandit knew what I was about to do, but I had to relieve his pain. I have had to put down a couple dogs since but I'll never forget having to kill Bandit.

Now feral dogs I can dispatch with no problem. They are dangerous and can hurt people and livestock. When the dog is part of the family it is different.

January 2, 2003, 11:14 AM
I have shot a couple of injured dogs over the years. As stated, the attachment is too much to shoot an old sick pet of mine. With no alternative, I could do it, but I hope it never comes to that.

January 2, 2003, 11:17 AM
"Its your dog and your responsibility."

As a kid, we heard this a lot..."you've got to shoot your own dog".
I think it was meant as a catch all for the responsibility part of the above quote, but it was also a "literal" thing. Nowadays, with having the vet available, it wouldnt be my first choice, but if its all you can do, then you do it. Even with the needle, its one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, I actually find it easier to loose people.

January 2, 2003, 11:18 AM
Wife suggested it.

But the dog got over her bad case of gas the next morning.

Thank goodness!

(When it's her time to go, I'll probably play the big man, like I've always done before, and take her to the family vet. I dread that day...)

She isn't real keen on vet visits to begin with:


January 2, 2003, 11:22 AM
I had to shoot a neighbors dog once, old dog, part basset. The elderly owner comes and gets me, says "hot dog" just got hit can you come help. When I get there the dogs head is crushed really bad, beyond hope, but the dog is trying to get up and walk. 14 yrs old. Took him out back, 38spl. behind the ear and its over, the neighbor thanked me. My own have all made it to the vet, just old age related euthenasia....tom

January 2, 2003, 11:22 AM
Nope. I won't. Got all the tools & multiple calibers to choose from, but I can't do it.

I paid the vet to put down my last dog - had the girl 14 years. Paid him too much too, but it was emotional enough without having to put the sights on her & pull the trigger. I cried like a baby.

Still miss her too - that was almost 2 years ago.

January 2, 2003, 11:24 AM
A few years back, I was on a date (first date too...) and drove past a cat that had been hit by a car. Cat was in bad shape, and wasn't going to make it, since some parts that shoulda been inside the cat were outside the cat. Cat was conscious.

My date saw the cat at about the same time I did...

I stopped the car, got into the trunk, and fixed the cat.

Date freaked out, since she thought I'd intended on wrapping the poor thing up and taking it to a vet (on a weekend evening) where they'd magically make it all better...

January 2, 2003, 11:25 AM
I'd have no problem shooting a dog as long as it was attacking me or was displaying rabid behavior.

For dogs that are old and sick, vet assisted euthanization. Let them pass on with dignity.

Edit: typo

January 2, 2003, 11:44 AM
I'd use the vet unless there was no way to get to vet in time to save dog. I would not want the poor animal to suffer! I would shoot a feral dog with no problems.

2nd Amendment
January 2, 2003, 11:49 AM
I've done it a couple times. Not pleasant but considering a couple of the vet euthanasias I've seen it's at least as fast. Wild dogs, otoh, I've got no problem with. I was attacked by a pack as a kid and lost cattle to another pack later on. I managed to get away from the first pack and have no idea what ever became of them,. The second pack got its' collective clock punched when they came back for another taste of beef. I don't think they enjoyed the AK taste nearly as much.

January 2, 2003, 11:49 AM
Yeah, I had to do that once to my wife's dog who got distemper (or something) and was going into fits and convulsions.

We were 35 miles from town and the vet, and gas money only allowed once a month trips to town.

I put a single shot .22 right behind her (the dog's, not my wife's) ear. Clean and instant, but I still broke down and bawled when I say the blood spouting out. (just like the russian roulette scenes in "The Deer Hunter")

Really sad part was that it was a young dog. Get their shots!

Oh, the other thing is that up here you ought to be prepared to put down injured wildlife after being hit by a vehicle. Legal to carry loaded gun in vehicle, but IMO it ought to be required!

Mike Irwin
January 2, 2003, 11:51 AM
If I HAD to, to prevent undue suffering and I had no hope of getting her to the vet or saving her life, yes, I would.

Part of my personal contract with my dogs is that when the time comes, if necessary I will make the decision to prevent their suffering, even if it causes me great suffering.

John Forsyth
January 2, 2003, 11:51 AM
I have and would again if necessary. I had to do it to the family cat last saturday. Got hit by a car, broke both back legs and hip.

January 2, 2003, 11:57 AM
What triggertime said.

Animals have an uncanny sense of what your intentions toward them are.

Does anybody think getting shot is painless, even if the shot is to a crucial part of the CNS that will cause death almost instantaneously? Think again.

If you care about the animal, pay a vet to give it a painless "just going to sleep" treatment.

That said, emergencies are emergencies, so do what you have to.

El Rojo
January 2, 2003, 11:58 AM
We eunthenized our old lab about a year or two ago. I think that is the best way to go if it isn't an emergency. We barried him in the back yard. He looked so peaceful when I lowered him into the hole. It would have been a lot harder if he would have had a hole in his head and that thick brain blood all over his black coat. :(

Only in some extreme emergency if you ask me. Even then, it is hard to imagine shooting you wife if she gets hit by a car. You always try to take her to the hospital and no matter how much she is suffering you wouldn't just "put her out of her misery". So why would you do that to your dog? Especially since the dog never nags you and never says she isn't in the mood to be pet. :p Some priorities some of us have out there. :D

January 2, 2003, 12:00 PM
Date freaked out, since she thought I'd intended on wrapping the poor thing up and taking it to a vet (on a weekend evening) where they'd magically make it all better...

So was there a second date?

January 2, 2003, 12:08 PM
If it seemed absolutely necessary. I had to "put down" my mother's cat, about 18 years old and no longer able to eat (not me, the cat).


January 2, 2003, 12:17 PM
Nope. No second date.

January 2, 2003, 12:26 PM
Big on the hard questions, aren't you? If vet was not available, would do what's necessary. The blue shot from the vet works so quickly and painlessly I would be hard pressed to do a better job.

4v50 Gary
January 2, 2003, 12:27 PM
Like Ojibweindian says, only to relieve pain & suffering and yes, I'll cry.

January 2, 2003, 12:28 PM
I once DID have to put my dog down...

Taffy was a TRUE mutt... I got her as a 4 year old kid... and she was my pet for over 20 years (she was euthanized by me, about a week short of her 21st birthday)

she was TRULY a member of the family... and she LOVED my moms Jeep... (it is now MY Jeep)

she was suffering BAD hip displacia by then (her last year was pretty rough)

she HATED the vets office, and WOULDN'T go in without being practically knocked out...

she also was suffering a bit of dimensia...

I had to take her for one last ride in the Jeep (topless rides in January, in Michigan kinda suck, but Taffy loved it!) then bring her home, and put her out of her misery... it was TRULY one of the hardest things I have ever done...

but it hasn't kept me from getting another dog... Molly loves the Jeep too!

January 2, 2003, 12:38 PM
Big on the hard questions, aren't you?

Time on Computer: $25.00 per hr

Camera for Pictures: $350.00

Posted Replies: Priceless

:D :D :D

January 2, 2003, 12:39 PM
I've had to put farm animals down before, and that bothered me a heck of a lot more than killing them to eat. I guess I'd be able to do the same for a dog, but I'd much rather have a vet take care of it.

Gila Jorge
January 2, 2003, 12:49 PM
Only if I absolutely had to. Have had to go to the vet too many times over the past 20 years
with beloved dogs....and it kills me each time. Rabid and strays....no problems. Beloved pets ...just won't do it.

Sleeping Dog
January 2, 2003, 01:04 PM
I put down a cat a few years ago. Terminal illness and the vet wanted too much for euthanasia. I used a .22LR in the closed garage to keep the sound from bothering neighbors (urban setting).

A very sad chore.


January 2, 2003, 01:04 PM
Losing Boomer was pretty hard. It would have been a lot worse to have shot him. Whatever was in that syringe the vet gave Boomer did its job quickly and painlessly.

I now have a Boxer named Emily; a great pooch and I have quickly become very attached to her, despite her sometimes obstinate countenance. No way could I shoot her, unless there was no other possible way to relieve her suffering. And even then, the nightmares would be sure to last for months.

January 2, 2003, 01:17 PM
Id like to shoot the neighbors dog to put it out of the misery of having to live with these people. I’ve thought about going over there and just releasing it.

Its a full grown husky that they keep on a 10 foot leash in the back yard. Never take it for a walk. There is a VERY distinct line between our lawns where the green ends and the brown begins, if you know what I mean.


January 2, 2003, 01:24 PM
Don't have Dogs of my own now, miss them still.

I have put them down, its tough. After a tornado farmer friend lost dogs, showed up a while later--rabies. He and the Mrs. asked me to, a bit tough for them to do. Buried on the farm they loved, roamed and protected. Alongside the family cemetary.

January 2, 2003, 01:26 PM
Only in the event of extreme suffering with no hope for getting better, or if it went Cujo and attacked my family. Most likely, if the need arose, I'd take the beast to the vet and let them handle it.

There was a time when I was about 8 to 10 years old when a dog was hit by a car in front of my great grandmother's house. The dog was in the middle of the road with a broken back yelping horribly. The PD showed up in short order and using a .22, attempted to euthanize the dog. After six shots to the dog's skull, the dog's yelping had evolved into a horrifying scream that to this day makes my stomach turn and the short hairs raise up. The officer finally produced his duty .45 and put the animal out of it's misery. Everyone in my great grandmother's house wash awash with tears and the officer had to come sit on our porch for a while to regain his composure.

Not a memory I'm likely to forget anytime soon.

January 2, 2003, 01:29 PM
I would have to bring mine to the vet or call the animal control officer.

January 2, 2003, 01:48 PM
It would have to be the last recourse!! I still remember over forty years ago when my Uncle Jim had to come over to our house with his .32 and put down (I swear to God) Spot. Although necessary, that was pretty traumatic for a kid. In my adult life, we had to have our cat, Smoky, put to sleep about three years ago by the vet. I never really liked that cat much but it still affected me. Then, we had Smoky and two dogs; we now have three dogs and another cat. The dogs are starting to get up in years and I dread when it's their time.

January 2, 2003, 03:21 PM
No, I guess I don't have the heart to do it.

I would take her to the vet and have her put down, He charges $70.00 which includes creamation and the return of the ashes. I usually let them dispose of the body in the pet cemetary (He said there is such a place and I can visit the site. I never had the urge to do so).

Under extreme circumstances, I'm sure I would do what needs to be done.

January 2, 2003, 03:35 PM
I not only would but have many times. When I worked as an active city police officer (20 years ago), that was one of our duties. We had to destroy the unwanted strays at the dog pound a couple of times a month. We shot them until it became politically incorrect and then we had to give them lethal injections. I assure you the gunshot to the head was a much more humane procedure. No struggle, no physical restraining while the injection was administered.:scrutiny: I have also "destroyed" several personal pets over my lifetime that were suffering. I don't see that taking them to a vet where they are among strangers and frightened is preferable to a quick death at the hands of their loving owners. When I have destroyed personal pets, they felt no pain and were happy when the "lights went out". I feel no shame or guilt for having eased them into death happy. I understand that some others will see my act as uncaring and or brutish but I assure you that it has not been. There is a large difference between ending an animals life by a bullet to the brain and torturing and animal. If anyone believes that shooting an animal is inhumane, you must be against all hunting as well.:confused:

January 2, 2003, 04:14 PM
I would call stubby. :D

I don't see that taking them to a vet where they are among strangers and frightened is preferable to a quick death at the hands of their loving owners

For whatever reasons, my dogs are happy to see the vet. Plus, I would go to jail if I shot my dog in, on, or near my property (city life).

Average Guy
January 2, 2003, 04:28 PM
Of course, there are moments when all I want to do is hose down the back patio...but those two Rotties are just too dang lovable. :rolleyes: Plus the more I work with them, the better behaved they are. Go figure.

The brief answer: If I absolutely had to.

An aside: I think that of the countless cats my family has had, only one died a known natural death. Several just disappeared; my dad shotgunned one (I always thought he was a heartless SOB until, when I pressed him for details, he refused to talk about it); I dropped another off for euthanasia; one was riddled with tumors and had to be put down (my mom is still upset that the vet misdiagnosed); the latest one met a horrible demise in a clothes dryer. No kidding.

Sorta OT: D'ya think Disney would ever make a movie like "Old Yeller" today? (Think perhaps one day they'll edit the movie to give it a happy ending)?

January 2, 2003, 04:38 PM
Blackhawk: On what do you base that destroying CNS thru a major hit to brain stem ect. is not quick . Nothing is "painless" but pain for .1 seconds means what to a dead brain? Dont think magic medicine involves no discomfort. I euthanized dogs one summer as part of working for a very large SPCA, and the ones I have shot since (of my own) suffered less I think.

January 2, 2003, 04:46 PM
I've done it before, when a trip to the vet would have only prolonged the suffering, but it's not something I would do unless needed. Jeesh, all these pet dying post are getting to me. Can't we go back to "What gun is best for space zombie invasions" or something? And just because she has her head in my lap, here's a pic of one of mine that I couldn't bear to be without. Although she usually looks more cuddly than this.

January 2, 2003, 04:49 PM
well, now that I've seen where this thread has gone, I've got to say that a well placed shot ends it pretty quick, the dog I described earlier with the head injury would have suffered needlessly on the way to the vet, and couldn't have been saved. I knew the dog well but it had to be done. My own dogs I've had euthenized made me feel worse, but the vet I have now is very compassionate, she will even come to your house. I did have one dog, a border collie named Jessie, when they stuck the needle in she came unglued, even after a few seconds she made one last lunge for the door, it was pretty bad, fortunately the other 4 we have had to put down were real calm, if they were all like jessie I couldn't do it. Also, my wife and I hold them until it's over, we feel we owe them that, but it is rough.......tom

January 2, 2003, 04:54 PM
My parents had to put both family dogs put to sleep last fall within two weeks of each other. One had developed kidney failure. The other, berift and depressed from the loss of his companion of over ten years, quickly developed a terminal condition of his own and also had to be euthanized. These were the dogs I grew up with - my parents had owned them from the time we moved when I was a young teenager, through college (hometown college), etc.

I've lived in the area my entire life and would visit the parents weekly. The dogs were always "my" dogs as much as they were my parent's, and their loss was heartbreaking.

I can't imagine the trauma I'd incur shooting a loved pet to end its suffering, but I like to think that I would do so if it were absolutely necessary and no other alternatives were available. Then I'd lock up the firearms and spend the next three days living out of a case of vodka.

The closest I've come to euthanizing an animal was when I hit a deer a few years ago. It was still alive and tried repeatedly to get up, was spitting blood, etc. I wanted nothing more than to end its pain but I wasn't sure if it was legal at the time. I wasn't within a town or city but there were houses within a thousand feet.

January 2, 2003, 05:07 PM
Amazing how many "softies" there are among these "blood-thirsty gun-nuts"

Aren't you all afraid we will ruin our reputation among the antis ?

Andrew Wyatt
January 2, 2003, 05:17 PM
It doesn't just include dogs. when i was little (which wasn't actually all that long ago) My pet rat got cancer and had to be put down.

My dad did it, since i was little and he didn't want me to have to see it. If it came down to it, and any of my animals were ill and needed to be put down, i'd do it. we sometimes get called upon to put down animals that aren't ours, like stray kittens who crawl up inside the guts of car engines and get gravely injured when the car starts up.

January 2, 2003, 05:19 PM
"Aren't you all afraid we will ruin our reputation among the antis ?"

They'll just say we hate wasting ammo on animals when it can be used to shoot children and old people.

January 2, 2003, 05:37 PM
The only way I could shoot my dog is if a vet were not available and, given that I live in a fairly large city, that's unlikely.

It's hard enough to watch them "go to sleep," much less watch them spurt blood. Watching our last dog go after the shot was administered was one of the most heart-wrenching events of my life.

January 2, 2003, 06:09 PM
My boyfriend had to shoot his cat last year. The poor thing had been injured badly in a fight, and just getting him back to the house had him screaming in pain. The ride to the vet would have had the poor creature in unimaginable agony. He (my boyfriend) was right to do what he did. But I, being more of a wimp, would probably have caused the animal to suffer terribly in order to take it to the vet. I don't know if I would be able to do that if it were needed.

January 2, 2003, 06:10 PM
No way in Hell! :what: I don't have the heart...

January 2, 2003, 06:25 PM
I couldn't shoot a dog of mine, I think I could however shoot someone elses dog without a problem. For my dog it would have to be someone else shooting it for me. I just couldn't look the poor guy in the eye and kill him.

January 2, 2003, 06:29 PM
And yet...they shoot horses don't they?
:uhoh: Or maybe they stopped because they realize it's not necessary as they once believed..Thank Christ.:)

January 2, 2003, 06:47 PM
If I had to relieve it's suffering, yeah. Wouldn't like it. Not at all. But if the alternative was worse, yeah.

However, vet assisted euthanasia is a much better option, I think. Had to do that not long ago with a good old dog. My pal.

Vet gave her a tranquilizer, then the finish stuff, She just went to sleep. Stayed with her the whole time, talking and petting her. She stuck by me, I stuck by her.

Jesse H
January 2, 2003, 07:06 PM
I couldn't do it for the same reasons I wouldn't put down any other family member.

Yeah, I'm a wimp when it comes to my puppy.

January 2, 2003, 07:11 PM
I've had to put down several dogs in my long life & no matter whether you do it by vet or by gun it just ain't no fun.
I think putting down my kids dogs were the hardest , next was my hunting dogs.
I chose haveing the vet to do it but a gun is better than suffering.
I cried like a baby every time either way. http://users.telenet.be/eforum/emoticons4u/sad/1004.gif

Dang you for bringing up these thoughts.:rolleyes:

Navy joe
January 2, 2003, 07:21 PM
Yes. I agree it's a culture issue, growing up in the country. As a kid we had outdoor cats, some got run over, had to bury them. If you come across a wild or domestic animal that has been hit by a car and is beyond saving, you should shoot it. Same for your pets if necessary. If I had the choice I would talk to the vet and get a sedative to put in their food to put them asleep then shoot them. Or just get the injection they give the pets and do it at home. I imagine that it is a sedative and a heavy load of potassium to stop the heart. Better to give it at home where the animal is happy than to traumatize it with a trip to the vets as its last memory. Death is part of life.

January 2, 2003, 07:41 PM
Have had to do it. Cried each time over the years, however you have an obligation to your friend when the need is really great.

January 2, 2003, 07:55 PM
I couldn't do it unless it was an emergency/only alternative.

I had my cat put down by the vet on Christmas Eve this year because I didn't think he would make it through the holiday without suffering.

January 2, 2003, 07:58 PM
If I ABSOLUTELY HAD to, I suppose.

Though I doubt I'd actually be able to...:(

Serious question: How do you do it? Hold it right up to their head, or at a bit of a distance? How far away should you be?

I ask because If I ever did HAVE to, I would probably shoot MYSELF after seeing my own dogs' blood on me...:( :( :uhoh:

January 2, 2003, 08:21 PM
I have. Bo didn't have a particularly severe injury, but his old body was worn out and he obviously wasn't enjoying life. It was a lot easier than I expected. It was the right thing to do and we both knew it, so I guess not pulling the trigger would have been harder.

I felt vindicated when I read Heinlein's opinion in Starship Troopers that a man, a *real* man, shoots his dog himself and doesn't pay another to do it. Quite the opposite of what everyone says today.

January 2, 2003, 08:24 PM
drjones...I put the muzzle about 2 inches away, just about at the ear, make sure of where the bullet will go if it overpenetrates, slight downward angle. I only did it the one time so I'm sure no expert though. I wonder if glaser or something similar might be the best? Talked about this with a guy I worked with once, a real idiot, he tried to use a rifle, the dog jumped away and he wounded the poor animal, ended up really torturing the dog, I totally told him off....tom

ps...there was hardly any blood, got none on me, I used 110gr silvertip 38spl.

January 2, 2003, 09:52 PM
Had my dog for 10 years now and just found out that he has cancer. I was always of the mind that I'd shoot a dog instead of spending big bucks to fix 'em but when it came down to it, I spent the money and he's getting chemo . Vet says that he'll probably get 2 years or so outta this treatment. This 'ol dog is the best one I've ever had. Figured he was worth a couple $$ for all he has given me through the years.

January 2, 2003, 10:03 PM
Its inhumane to let an animal suffer. Its very inhumane to prolong an animals suffereing by not letting nature take its course. I've seen countless people spend thousands of dollars to keep a pet alive, that in the end has no quality of life. They do it to make themselves feel better and in the end the animal is much worse off. There was a woman on the news the other day with a 10 year old dog that had a brain disease that lost the use of its front legs. She had it hopping around the yard on its hind legs, going face first into the dirt every time. Making a dog live like that is cruelty to animals, plain and simple.
So yeah, I'll do what I can to stop any animal from suffering. Shooting is often the fastest, and most economical way. Its NOT the easy way. But its the right thing to do.

January 2, 2003, 11:31 PM
Just reading this stuff really hurts.

I had the vet put down my Bud 3 years ago. He was my best friend, and my sons companion as a child.

He had lost the use of his hind legs.

The vet prepped him, and brought us in to be with him. The last thing that dog did, was turn to my son and lick his face, then he turned to me, and licked my face, he then turned to the vet, and with a look, as if saying I am ready.

I cried like a baby


January 3, 2003, 12:33 AM
Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Didn't enjoy it...but I had to put it out of its pain. :(

January 3, 2003, 01:25 AM
Have done it both ways and hated both. When burial on personal property, dug grave in advance.

Toughest time was with "Dreamer", a German Shepard wife and I had back in BC (before children). Was our "only child". Climbed fence on night of a full moon and got hit by car in Dallas. Busted up spinal chord, lost use of rear legs. Tried everything from swimming pool therapy to voodoo vets to revive. Around a year and $4,000 later, the dreaded decsion was made.

I asked vet to give Dreamer the shot while laying on tailgate of my pickup truck so I could comfort him there then drive directly home for burial. First injection did not do it. Big dog with very strong will to live. Vet had to go back inside and reload. Shooting Dreamer myself could not have been much rougher. :(

January 3, 2003, 03:13 AM
Had to put my last three dogs down...first one old and in pain, had a stroke, tried to pick her up (fat doberman) to take to the vet but too much pain. Second one old and real sick and HATED the vet, I had to give him the shots for rabies, etc. (big doberman, not friendly like the others). And last, the reason I am telling the story, I poisened snails in the yard next to their yard. The snails crawled through the fence onto their side and died. The dog ate the dead snails and got too sick. All of them sat by me as I dug the hole, put a rare steak in the hole, and when they finished the steak I shot through their blankets so there was no noise, no pain. Just seemed alot more humane at the time. Planted fruit trees over them, there still giving to me...

January 3, 2003, 02:15 PM
I don't think I could do it. Not unless it was the only option.

Take the dog to the vet. If you can't afford the vet then take the dog to a shelter/pound/spca and they will most likely do it for free if you can't afford it.

Of if theres no time feed the dog a bottle of tylenol PM mixed in peanut butter.

January 3, 2003, 02:53 PM
I am crying just reading some of the posts.

My brother is a police officer in Montgomery County, MD and had to shoot a deer recently (it was hit and had all its legs broken). My brother called and said that it took more than 3 bullets (they carry 9 mm Berettas plus he is fresh out of the academy and never had to do that before). I am still upset over it and it was not me shooting and it was not my pet or anyone else's pet.

Just the thought of shooting an innocent creature who has not done anything to you turns my stomach. Now it is million times worse when shooting one of your family members (couple of you made this analogy and I fully agree).

There is no way not to leave room for error and I would not want to hurt my dog even more. Euthanasia all the way.


Rebel Gunman HK
January 3, 2003, 03:14 PM
Just because they are so called "professionals" dosent mean they are humane. I was at the local dump one day in high school, and saw a Humane society, or Animal control truck dumping dog bodies of at a distance. Finished my job at hand and decided to walk over, just out of curiosity. When i finally reached them I was in shock at what I saw. They were still alive! Laying in a pile of garbage, in 90 degree heat. They looked paralized and close to death, but it was obvious they were still alive. I was so mad. I didnt have a gun or anything but there were plenty of 2x4's laying around. I wanted to help the dogs buy clubbing them on the head, just couldmt do it. So I left them. If it were my dog and they were suffering, and they were not going to be able to recover. Id rather do it myself rather than take it to somebody whos gonna killl them for a profit. At least I will know that it is done right, and fast.

January 3, 2003, 03:28 PM
I had to shoot a friend's puppy once, the SOB did not spend the money to get the puppy his Parvo shot. That was really a hard thing to do.

If I had to put one of my two down, I would much rather do myself then take them to the Vet and have some stranger do it.

January 3, 2003, 03:40 PM
A hundred years ago (less than that I suppose in some rural areas) a vet would have done roughly the same thing... That's just how it was done then. We also used to cut off entire limbs at the first signs of gangrene, and we used leeches to cure migraines. Now that we've come all the way to the 21'st "Sentry", there is a MUCH more humane way to send your beloved family pet to his final resting place.

I know Sisco pointed out that it "sometimes" ain't quick and painless, but the vast majority of the time, it is. And how many here have had to do such a deed for an animal struck by a car on the side of the road, and the animal suffered for several seconds, up to a minute or two, before death finally took over. That was the best thing in that situation, because the suffering was immediate and intense. But who here is going to let the family pet get to such a point of intense, desperate suffering before we act?

Rebel Gunman is also correct that it doesn't take a heartless owner to be cruel to animals, but that's the "Dog Pound", not the Vet. Those people make $8 an hour just like the guy at the gate to the city dump and the kid at Mickie D's... They are NOT veterinary professionals, and don't risk their livelyhood as well as fines, penalties, license revocation, etc. for cruel misconduct. They'll just be at the unemployment office next week if they get caught in wrongdoing. The vet's not going to handle an animal that way... If not for the bond that has grown from their years of treating your family dog, or their own personal love of animals in general, at least they'll do it for the fear of civil liability :D

If your pet has been hit by a car, and you just feel so confident in your assessment of the situation that you feel taking them to the vet is useless, then maybe. But if Sparky has been suffering from dysplasia for several months, and now he whimpers and yelps when he tries to stand... take him to the vet and let him go quietly...

January 3, 2003, 04:01 PM
I missed this on my first post... and I had to address it seperately...
I had to shoot a friend's puppy once, the SOB did not spend the money to get the puppy his Parvo shot. That was really a hard thing to do.
I had a puppy once that had parvo when we got her. It cost me $200+ and almost a week in the vet's clinic... But she's 9 years old now, and she and my father are inseperable best friends. You "had" to shoot your friend's puppy because the vet wouldn't have put him down if you DID take him...
If I had to put one of my two down, I would much rather do myself then take them to the Vet and have some stranger do it.
Contrary to apparently popular belief... it doesn't make you a "real man" to "put down" your own animals by blowing their brains out with your .357 magnum! I must sound like a PETA card carrying, mink coat staining liberal right now, but GEEZ that's barbaric... I hunt, I fish, I LOVE to shoot my pistols, but it is not my JOB, my RIGHT, nor my RESPONSIBILITY to kill my dog, or anyone else's dog, in some ill-conceived effort to "end their suffering"!!! I'm sure you're Clint Eastwood, and it's "1 shot, 1 kill" and all that... but in my experiences, animals DON'T always die instantly, even with head shots!

Euthanasia itself doesn't hurt... The one thing your family Vet CAN do that you CAN'T is give the animal some peace and freedom from pain PRIOR to death. The animal is given a seditive prior to the actual introduction of the euthanasia drug itself. In most cases, this will give the animal and it's owner some time alone with each other, free from pain and suffering, as they spend a few moments together to say good bye.

P.S. - If you're taking care of your dogs like you should, the Vet wouldn't be "some stranger". In fact, I think my Dad buys his Vet Christmas presents. All dogs should have the privelige of being cared for and loved as much as my father takes care of his 2 friends...

Malone LaVeigh
January 3, 2003, 05:54 PM
For cats, euthananasia isn't as painless or quick as for dogs. They have to shave and inject in the stomach area. The old tom cat that has adopted me hates the vet and hates to have his stomach touched. I'm not sure what I'll do when the time comes. He's used up a couple of lives since I've known him, pulled through a bad sickness and a bad mauling by a dog. He's tough for being about 15, but he can't last forever.

January 3, 2003, 06:00 PM
Hopefully nature will run its course an you won't have to do anything

St. Gunner
January 3, 2003, 06:45 PM
I had my old lab put down about 6yrs ago now, still miss her. Took her to the vet and it went fairly well, then took her home and buried her next to my favorite tree. They called my wife to inform her that her husband was a basket case and they where to because of all my crying and she better be real nice when I got home. We'd spent right at 14yrs growing up together, hunted ducks on every stock tank, creek, and river within walking distance and a few places that really where not.

But i've had to do some myself from time to time, I used to hunt hogs with dogs and when an injury was to bad you had no other option, sometimes the vet is hours away. Tried to take an older dog to the vet one night to have him put down after a fight with a stray, last thing I heard from him was a God awful squalling and he died in the truck. I started a new policy at that point in time. I tell em good bye, put the barrel to the knot on the back of their head and pull the trigger, they don't have a chance to see it coming. Then I place another round through their chest in case the one to the head missed anything vital and simply knocked them out. I've never had one yelp this way, or bolt because they saw it coming. It is one of the most unpleasant things I ever have to do, but I do it if the need arises. My little girls Pug walked out in front of my wife a year or so ago and I was awakened to come do something. She was mangled and was just minutes from death with the amount of blood she was loosing, I did what I think was the right thing at the time, and always will.

I just hope if i'm laying in the road with my back broken and my chest crushed and death moments off somebody does me the favor. Onslaught its not because somebody is Rambo or the man or anything, its called responsibility to those under us and respect for their pain and suffering. I'm about the biggest softie you will ever meet when it comes to animals under my care, but I will not expect them to suffer for 30-40 minutes more to ease my burden by having someone else bring the end around. Granted if it is a terminal disease and the vet can or will do it, they will be allowed to, I don't think anyone here really wants to.

January 3, 2003, 07:46 PM
It is no fun having to put one down, but St. Gunner is right, it's just something ya gotta step up and do sometimes.
Onslaught...I spent about $400 saving a dog with parvo, I had just got him from a lady I worked with whose husband had bounced him off the fireplace for chewing a shoe, broke his ribs, so she couldn't take him back home. She assured me he had his shots but apparently not, he came down with parvo the next week. I kept him for the next 17 yrs., so yeah it was worth it. Also, I asked my vet about the border collie I described who came unglued while euthenizing her, she said after that she started using a sedative first, it really does help to calm them first, she said she had never seen one react like that. It made me feel awful, she had been my best friend for a long time...tom

Detachment Charlie
January 3, 2003, 08:05 PM
All of you tough, gun-totin' dudes got to me.
Years ago, my best friend and ramblin' buddy, Fagin was nearing the end and suffering. After 15 years, he'd had a good run, but at that time, he could hardly stand.
I'd had other dogs that I allowed the pound to "put to sleep". But putting a faithful animal into a vacuum chamber always seemed not only cruel, but demeaning to the spirit he had shown. Another time, the vet took three injections to put the animal through convulsions before he faded off. (The vet also took $125 for it).
I packed old Fagin into the car, rolled down the windows and drove to his favorite rabbit chasing field. Carried him out to the middle, sat down with him for a lot longer than I thought I would, said goodbye and thanks. He looked a lot more peaceful than I felt.
One clean shot and was gone with no more pain. Big, tough combat vet sat there and cried over him. Dug his grave, burried him, left him in peace.
Am I proud of this, not really. But, I believe it was the best.
Damn, I miss that dog.

January 3, 2003, 08:48 PM
Detachment Charlie

FWIW I think you did the right thing, and Fagin knows that too.

Great signature line (Hokey Pokey):D

January 3, 2003, 09:48 PM
I'd shoot my dog if it was terminally sick or seriously injured or if it ate up some kid. I'd shoot your dog if it bit me or if I saw it running deer. :cuss:

January 3, 2003, 10:16 PM
I have had to shoot a couple of dogs. :(

I have some land up on a mountain (80ft shy of a mountain) down south from where I live. I go down there a couple of times a month to hunt, fish, scout, check on house, etc. People in this small town close to this place have been known to drive up this mountain (dirt road) and drop there old sick dogs off at my gate. It just makes me sick, they won't care for them and then when they get sick they can't take care of that either. So, I do the humane thing and put them out of their misery before the coyotes or mountain lion that lives up on the mountain does it for me. Mountain Lions in Oklahoma? Yep, trust me!

I am a dog owner and have always had dogs. I have two Yellow Labs now. I have had to take my dogs to the Vet before to be put down. So, I suppose I won't shoot my own dogs, but the other situation calls for it.

January 3, 2003, 10:58 PM
Well, I shot a neighbor's dog because it had gone vicious and he wouldn't restrain it. Cornered my wife and firstborn at the age of 6 months up against her vehicle. Would have rather dispatched the neighbor and tried to retrain the dog, but did what I had to do. That said, I still get a big lump in my throat while I watch Old Yeller (at least once a year) and doubt I could ever shoot a dog I owned. I'd have to resort to another method. Of course, until the moment arrives, I'm just guessing. Maybe it would seem like the right thing at the time.

January 4, 2003, 12:22 AM
It is a dog! Yes, I would kill it, then I would eat! The same thing goes for a cat!



Wheels 'n' Guns
January 4, 2003, 06:32 AM
As a young bloke down on the farm (Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia), I had an occassion to shoot my own dog, after he had killed a couple of lambs. My Dad made me do it, sad, I cried, but dog was very old and getting scatty... Some years later I discussed this with my Dad and asked whether I should have got so emotional. He said, "Of Course, no-one likes to kill his own dog, but it had to be done". Then we got to talking about others in his family who had to take such action. He told the story about my two Uncles, Bill and Terry, two of the toughest bushmen I had known. "You may not know", said Dad, "That they have had an agreement for years now, that whenever each had Dog Problems, they always swapped the deed and shot each other's dogs!" Thought long and hard about this and have never forgotten what great mates that made them. (Perhaps one day I'll write a song about it...)
More recently, with Children involved, I've chosen the Vet. option.

January 4, 2003, 08:07 AM
I have to agree with Cal4D4> Our vet does it for free and I doubt I could do a better job. If circumstances require it, then you do what you must.

January 8, 2003, 04:11 PM
Times have changed with gatos. I've had to have three put down in the past year. My wife and I got the cats within months of each other. The first one, Nefertitti, just got old and stopped eating, the second - Samson had kidney failure and the third, Maxi, who was put down this last Saturday, was diabetic, suffered from hypothyroidism and had developed multiple cancer nodes.

Each one was given a sedative while they sat in my lap and minutes later, after goodbyes were said, were injected in their right hind leg. Each passed being petted and fretted over and Maxi purred until the very end. I knew she was gone when she stopped.

For those of you who are bothered by those of us who are willing to put down a beloved pet... I was raised on a ranch in cattle country and animal death is a fact of life for us. Cattle, swine, horses, cats, dogs, coyotes, bobcats, cougars, etc., all die or need to be put down and frankly I've had to put down my fair share. Granted, veterinary medicine has advanced radically in the past few years, but living 50 miles from the nearest soul kinda makes the decision for you. Not easy by any stretch, but unfortunately necessary lest the animal suffer.

There was one instance however when I was told by my mother that my border collie, Speck, had died. I found out shortly thereafter that he had been put down in his prime and having nothing wrong with him. We were dirt poor and it was a matter of the dog eating, or us eating. I've never forgiven my mother for that. Always felt she took the easy way out.

Ya'll remind me to tell you sometime about Thor, my 150+ pound german shepard.

January 8, 2003, 05:33 PM
If no vet available and euthanization was warranted I would do the honorable thing and put him down.

January 8, 2003, 09:09 PM
Have had vet do it and have done it myself. It's not easy but sometimes nessesary.:( Hardest was putting a horse down for a friend because she couldn't afford a vet.

January 8, 2003, 09:29 PM
Sometimes love means doing the hard things, so I'd guess it might depend on the circumstances.

I've already extracted promises from most of my squad mates to put me down if I'm badly hit (missing half body, etc), and have no chance. Whether that means a burst from their M4 or multiple hits with Morphine, only matters to me insomuch as they keep themselves out of trouble afterwards.

John Galt
January 8, 2003, 10:01 PM
The quick answer would be yes, but then again, I dunno...

Funny Story:
When I was about 15 my Dad told me to take one of the cats out and put it down. It was always scratching and biting my Mom when she tried to feed the cats.
My choices were limited to firearms & I didn't want to deal with 12ga. So, I went out and dug the hole, put the cat near it and shot him between the eyes with a powerful Sheridan 20cal pellet rifle. The pellet flattened out and went up and around and exited.

The cat ran way back to the house and hid in the bushes. We didn't see him for awhile. A week or two later my Dad said, "forget about the cat, he's OK now". I don't know if he aquired an attitude adjusment or a frontal labotomy, but he was a good cat after that.

January 8, 2003, 11:43 PM
This thread reminds me of one of the toughest decisions i didn't have to make.

I got my dog Parker, from a crazy lady down the street during my senior year in high school. She was some sort of terrier/goldenretreiver/whoknows mutt. A general pain in the bum, but my bud nevertheless.

I had been laid off from my job almost 7 months earlier when I received a job offer from the other side of the country. However one of the conditions was I had to be down there in two weeks. I couldn't say no, because I had $0 in the bank, and had been living on credit cards, and the grace of my mother for the last 4 months. The problem was that I couldn't find a place to live that allowed dogs, and the job I had to take was a minimum of 25% travel. IOW, I could no longer provide a good home

I went to the MSPCA (Massachusetts, if you were wondering) to see if to try to find a home for her. The problem was they were putting dogs down after two weeks in the shelter, and if I left her there, I couldn't get her back. She was 9 years old, so I didn't think she had a good chance of being placed in that short time frame. I couldn't abandon her to strangers, and have her put down anyways. That would have been 2x as bad. I spoke to my vet and he agreed to put her down if I couldn't find a place for her.

I thought the receptionist was gonna kill me for sure. I was crying while making the arrangements and the 17 yo blissninny working there thought I was being a cruel bastard.

I found a place for her tho, and the last time I spoke to her new family, she was the best dog they ever had :D

If the vet hadn't agreed, and I hadn't found a place for her, I probably would have shot her.

Kinda off topic, but not too bad.

January 9, 2003, 12:47 AM
I had to shoot our kitten a few years back. Darn thing had spinabifida. I walked crooked too. I was going to take it to the vet to get put to sleep, but when it raked my hand that morning just before I woke up (it found my arm dangling off the bed), I felt like taking care of it myself. So after I cleaned my wounds and stopped the bleeding, I dug a deep hole, put it down into the hole and shot it. :( Saved myself from having to pay a vet bill, and I didn't have to miss any work that morning, which made up for the unpleasantness of it all.

As for my dog, I'm not sure. If he got rabies, I would.

January 9, 2003, 12:58 AM

I've shot a couple feral dogs that were fighting with my dog. I have had to shoot a couple of our cats when they were ill beyond recovery. The saddest was my dog of 17 years. She suffered a stroke and was unable to move at all. I put her out of her misery and cried like a baby for the rest of the afternoon. buried her in the garden. Its suprising how much you can love an animal.:(

January 9, 2003, 01:27 AM
I worked with an older Gentleman.
When he was a young boy his dog was old and sick.
his father told him and his brother to take him out in the
woods and shoot and bury him.

The next morning his father asks them if they shot and buried the dog.
They said yes they did it.
Their dad said well his ghost is on the back porch
They had taken him they thought far enough out in the woods
that he couldn't find his way back.
The dog lived for a while after that
And no I couldn't shoot my dog either.

January 9, 2003, 02:13 AM
Damn it. You guys have me all choked up.

I've never had to do the deed. I haven't had a dog since I was a kid. I'm more of a cat person. When it was necessary, my dad was the one to do it.

I remember one time in particular. I had a new puppy, maybe four months old. Cute little mutt, still fuzzy, but it looked like it would be a nice big dog with long hair. Anyway, one day it decided to chase my dad's tire as he was coming home. When I got up to it, it was hollering its head off, just yelping and crying, and trying to drag himself off the driveway with just his front legs. His hips didn't look right, sort of squashed, and one of his legs was broken so badly that the bone was sticking way up out of the fur.

I sat there with that little puppy in my lap for about five minutes. It stopped hollering when I picked it up; it was just sort of panting and whimpering. Then my dad came walking up the driveway carrying his pistol. His voice sounded all strange and he told me to "put that damn dog down and get back to the house" so I did (disobeying my dad was just not done). I started walking and he told me to keep going till I got inside and not to look back. This time I disobeyed him, though; I turned around just in time to see him lining up the sights on that little puppy. So I turned back around and started running, but I didn't make it inside before I heard the shot, and I just burst into tears right there on the front yard.

My dad buried him, and I just sat on the porch and watched him, but he didn't tell me to go inside again. After he got done burying the dog, he walked past me without a word and went back to his room and stayed in there by himself for a long, long time. I didn't figure out until many years later why that was.

One time, when I was a teenager, a deer made a kamikaze run at my car. I stopped to see if I had killed it, and I hadn't. The collision had, however, broken at least three of its legs and I guess it had caused internal hemorrhaging, because it was making this awful coughing, spitting noise, and blood was coming out of its mouth. I wished that night I had had a gun on me, and I think I would have ended it gladly. As it was, I went and got the tire iron out of my trunk, intending on trying to knock it unconscious.

When I got back, I stood there convincing myself that I could do it for about ten minutes, and trying to come up with reasons why I shouldn't, while that deer looked at me with this pitiful look, a look that I think that only an animal that is used to jumping twenty feet at a bound, and who is now immobilized, can give you. It wasn't struggling anymore, just looking at me, and coughing every few seconds. Then it died.

I had been on my way out, but I just drove back home. This time it was me sitting in a room by myself for several hours.

I now have a pet cat. She is my baby. I am devoted to this cat, even though she is a terrible pain in the ***. I can't think of five people I love more than this cat. I keep her inside, because I'm not willing to risk letting her get hit by a car. I know that one day she will die. I only hope that I have the option to ease her passing. I hope she dies in her sleep one day, many years in the future (she's only about six). However, if, God forbid and heavens forfend, she were to run out and get clobbered by a truck or something, and she was suffering, and I knew that she had about another twenty extremely painful minutes of life left....would I do it?

I don't know. I hope I would.

Crap. Now I'm crying. Don't tell my friends. I have a reputation as a big, tough guy. Just keep this between us, k?

January 9, 2003, 05:07 AM
I've been lucky enough to only have to do it a couple of times. I'm one of those people that gets along with dogs better than I do with people. The pain I get in my heart for having to do the humane thing stays with me. Reading some of these posts, brings a lot back...

I grew up AgroAmerican, so it is my nature to be unable to ask others to do what I know I must do.

I also know that Vets know what they are letting themselves in for when they choose their profession, but I'm not going to add to the number of grieving people and suffering dogs that they need to deal with.

Heaven forbid that I ever have to do it again, but if I do, we'll go to a quiet place that we both know, and the pup will be at peace.

If you ever need proof that God loves human beings, pat a dog on the head and look at the love in its eyes.

January 9, 2003, 10:28 AM
I think I could/would only do it if the pet had been injured and was in acute agony.
If it was a case of old age and chronic pain I would go to the vet.

As a nurse, I have seen lots of folks die, and that's tough, but there's something different about a pet's eyes looking up at you, knowing you can't fully explain to them what's happening to them.
(Not like you can fully explain to a dying human what is going on either. But, it is a bit different.)

I did once accidentally run over someone's cat (I know it was a pet due to the collar) and afterwards I saw it flipping around in the road, obviously gravely injured.
Being in town, I couldn't shoot it, so I pulled a u-turn, aimed carefully and drove over its head.

It was nasty, and my wife was kinda shocked, but I felt that it needed to be done to shorten further agony.


If you enjoyed reading about "Would you shoot your dog?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!