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Recommended Caliber For Euthanizing Farm Animals or Pets

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by twofewscrews, Nov 27, 2021.

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  1. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Member

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    I had to put a dog down once. I used 38 special JHP. Very quick, but I hope to never do it again.
     
  2. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    I trapped for years and dispatched fur bearers up to coyote size by using a stick. Bullet holes devalue the hide. For farm dogs and cats that had to be humanely dispatched I used a .22 long rifle. Anything larger makes a mess.

    I did carry a .22 pistol for skunks.
     
  3. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    A 22lr to the back of the head would do but I would prefer a .38, .357 or 9 MM. I sold a 22 Magnum to a guy to kill goats because the 22 LR wasn't enough. But I think it is worth it to have a vet do it and also have it cremated. I have done it and could do it but I don't like it and the family is too sensitive.
     
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  4. sota

    sota Member

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    is legal for mere mortals to possess the necessary drugs to humanely euthanize their own pets?
    we have an aging cat with lymphoma (diagnosed in june, nearly died at the vet ER, been on steroids for hospice care since then, old girl is a fighter, even caught a mouse in the house recently and killed it!) and the trip to the vet for the last day will be hard on her. home euthanasia services are expensive around here ($600+) and not to be a cheap bastard but i'm not interested in paying that much (vet is less than half.)
     
  5. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    I've had to put down pets and livestock when there was no other option. No vet open, animal suffering etc. Putting an animal down with a bullet should be your last resort if you can't get a vet to do so humanely. I haven't used a 22LR to do the deed. I would not like to rely on a small bullet to do the job humanely and quickly. Most of the time I have been in this situation, I used a 9mm with a carry hollow point round. But I have also used 30-30s, 556, and even a 12ga with 00buck. Go for the head or the heart, whatever you can hit safely.
     
  6. rust collector

    rust collector Moderator Staff Member

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    My old law partner was a trapper, and used a trapper's shovel or 22 shorts to dispatch critters caught in leghold traps. Once I was shadowing him out in the field and he decided it was my turn to deal with a trapped furbearer, so he handed me a cheap 22 revolver loaded with shorts and suggested I shoot the badger behind the ear. We split up and while the badger's attention was on Chuck, I followed instructions. Dead badger, thank heavens.
    I have euthanized a couple housecats whose owners wanted them gone. That was not terribly difficult because the cats were ornery and I had no attachment to them. I did not want them released to prey on birds and other critters. Nine millimeter FMJ slightly above eyes was effective, although their legs moved convulsively. All cats are killers, but dogs deserve better. Vets are well worth the cost.
     
  7. Seedy Character

    Seedy Character Member

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    The Humane Euthanization Society is very efficient and prolific at reducing the animal population.
     
  8. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    I'm sure we have one right down the street.
     
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  9. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    I feel your pain. A 22lr placed correctly works. A carry pistol works also. Shot placement is everything.
     
    BrazilianSnowMan likes this.
  10. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    .......it's not an easy thing to do.
     
  11. earplug

    earplug Member

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    Have shot a number of dogs for various reasons. .22, 380, 45 ACP, 12 GA. and my only suggestion is do it in daylight. Friend shot a dog while I was holding it and botched the job with a 380. Muzzle flash made a follow up shot difficult.
     
  12. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    Our property is beside a fairly busy country road, and it seems to be a favorite location for cowards (because I won't use a stronger term here on THR) to drop off their unwanted, and often pregnant, cats. The cats usually don't last over a couple of days before we see them dead beside, or on the road. However, probably 20 times in the 42 years that we've lived here, we've seen a cat trying to drag itself across the pasture.
    At any rate, a 22lr in the back of the head from my old Model 63 Smith puts the cat out of its misery real quick. I guess you could call the pasture to the east of the house our "pet cemetery," but those cats (including a couple of feral ones) were never our pets in the first place.
     
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  13. BrazilianSnowMan

    BrazilianSnowMan Member

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    My 5 years old rottweiller ate rat poison at night and I found her in the morning, convulsing a lot.
    I shot her 2 times with a 22 carbine a couple inches above the line of the eyes.
    She died alright, but I still carry that in my heart to this day.
    A mans gotta do what a mans gotta do,
    but to kill my best friend like that, in cold blood....
    I'll never have another dog in my life.
     
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  14. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    The house we lived at for many years was 100 yards from a bridge. A bridge seems to be a traditional place for worthless people to get rid of unwanted animals.
     
  15. lilguy

    lilguy Member

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    Shot a small pet when injured by coyote, never again. We have a 24 hr vet 20 mins from house. I travel now. My wife’s horse she had since very young was down when we came home one evening. She was close to 30 years old and we could not, I could not, shoot her. We covered her with a blanket and strayed with her until the vet came in the morning.
     
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  16. WheelGunMan

    WheelGunMan Member

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    I put down a pet dog once using a .22LR in a Ruger 10/22. The shooting part was easy...the hard part is the remorse one feels after doing the deed. I've used my .22WMR rifle on hogs when a 22.LR would've sufficed. Had one turn his head once just when I squeezed off the shot..went through his eye and out his ear missing the brain.. and it was off to the races. Took quite a while getting another shot into her with the other pigs clamoring around lapping up the blood. The guy that processed my pigs would use a cable around their neck to pull them out of the trailer one by one and let them walk around in his processing room (12' x 12') and had a single shot .22LR rifle that he'd wait for the right moment and shoot them in the head at point blank range. The walls were cinder block and the floor was concrete..I asked him if he was concerned about ricochet...he said not really although he'd occasionally have one whistle by his ear... total idiot.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
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  17. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    All the hogs I have seen slaughtered were done so with a .22 LR. If the shot placement is right death is instant.
     
  18. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    I'm sorry BrazillianSnowMan. That must have been unimaginably hard.
     
  19. Sniper66

    Sniper66 Member

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    With a trusty 410 single shot, my dad dispatched stray dogs and our own wayward pets that ate our chickens. It worked fine too many times to count. But, I couldn't do it. A visiting vet and a needle sounds best to me.
     
  20. Steel Horse Rider

    Steel Horse Rider Member

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    I grew up on a farm with sheep, chickens, and cattle so we seemed to attract a lot of dumped dogs. I was the designated dispatcher and used a Remington bolt action .22. Prolly killed at least 6 dogs with head shots from 10 yards but I don't know if I could do that to a pet. However, if it was a biter I don't think it would bother me.
     
  21. Sniper66

    Sniper66 Member

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    Oh...also wanted to support your decision. A friend of mine consulted me a year or so ago about her dog who bit her kids several times. Her kids were small and her dog was large, so the bites were not gentle nips. I suggested getting rid of the dog. She declined and ended up losing friends when her dog bit their kids. She almost lost me as a friend when I told her how damn stupid that was.
     
  22. Officers'Wife

    Officers'Wife Member

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    Personally I use a 32-20 for cattle. I have been fortunate enough not of have had to euthanize a dog or cat. Quite frankly if I had to I would most likely take it to the vet. I am very fond of my animals.
     
  23. Swampman

    Swampman Old Fart

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  24. twarr1

    twarr1 Member

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    I’ve had family cats euthanized by a vet and they seemed to just fall asleep. So when my horse, that I considered my best friend, had to be put down after nearly severing her hoof in a high tensile fence, I decided to call a local well respected large animal vet. I couldn’t bring myself to shoot her. The vet said she wouldn’t feel a thing.
    Never again.
    After the second, lethal injection she thrashed on the ground for a good 3-5 minutes before finally succumbing. I made a vow then and there, if I was ever in that situation again I’d summon the resolve to use my 357 magnum, incredibly difficult as it would be, rather than submit a beloved animal to such a cruel death. I’ve not been in that situation since and I’m sure I never will again.
     
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  25. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    We've raised livestock and they were all euthanized as humanely as possible at contact range.
     
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