Stop Euthanasia of Healthy Animals

Stop Euthanasia of Healthy Animals

4,219 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
Petition to
Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and

Why this petition matters

Started by Jill Thompson

Fight for Freddie (Fernando)

Your support is desperately needed to give Freddie a voice. Please read this account and support ending euthanasia of any healthy animal ever again.

On 28th December, at just 9 months old, beautiful Freddie was euthanised. As the breeder of Freddie, it is unknown what the owners advised the vet but was not given an option to take the puppy back on these grounds.

Less than one day prior, the owner made the breeder aware in writing, that Freddie was not getting along with their other family dog. Help was promptly offered in writing, to the owner, in finding Freddie a new home if things weren’t working out. It must be stressed that had the breeder have been made aware of the owners potential intentions, Freddie would have been collected immediately. Rehoming Freddie was not an issue, the fact that this option was not explored, is. Charity details were passed to the owner as well as preparing to put word out into the French Bulldog community. The owner confirmed contact had been made with the charity and a foster home was being sought. Having since followed this up, it has been confirmed that this sadly did not happen.

Having contacted the vets in question, whilst they could not disclose any specifics to ensure that data protection was not breached, they advised that evidence would not be sought if a dog was claimed to be aggressive. In addition, that a new home would not be sought if a dog was claimed to be aggressive. 'Aggressive' has one meaning but the extremity of this can broadly vary. Is aggression a nip to a dog or human, or, is aggression a lifelong injury, resulting in surgery? What scale of aggression warrants euthanasia? If aggression is not validated by a vet and is based upon opinion (without proof), this will continue to cost animals lives.

Whilst details of the veterinary consultation on 28th December have not been disclosed, the life of a healthy 9 month old puppy was ended. He was not rehomed. From a breeders point of view, and any pet lover, a healthy puppy should not have their life taken from them, unless there is a long term health issue which can no longer be treated. This should be a last resort. Any animal lover will agree that this is barbaric, immoral and was way too easy to do.

The Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Surgeons states the following:

Purpose of euthanasia

8.5  The primary purpose of euthanasia is to relieve suffering. The decision to follow this option will be based on an assessment of many factors. These may include the extent and nature of the disease or injuries, other treatment options, the prognosis and potential quality of life after treatment, the availability and likelihood of success of treatment, the animal’s age and/or other disease/health status and the ability of the owner to pay for private treatment.

Difficulties with the decision

8.6  Veterinary surgeons may face difficulties where a request is made by a client for the destruction of an animal, where in the clinical/professional judgement of the veterinary surgeon destruction of the animal is not necessary, for instance where there are no health or welfare reasons for the animal to be euthanised, or when an owner wishes to keep an animal alive in circumstances where euthanasia would be the kindest course of action.

8.7  The veterinary surgeon's primary obligation is to relieve the suffering of an animal, but account must be taken not only of the animal's condition, but also the owner's wishes and circumstances. To refuse an owner's request for euthanasia may add to the owner's distress and could be deleterious to the welfare of the animal. In these circumstances before carrying out the request for euthanasia the veterinary surgeon should scan the animal for a microchip and check the relevant database if a microchip is found.

8.8  Where, in all conscience, a veterinary surgeon cannot accede to a client's request for euthanasia, he or she should recognise the extreme sensitivity of the situation and make sympathetic efforts to direct the client to alternative sources of advice. 

Whilst comment cannot be made on whether alternate sources were sought as stated in 8.8, we know that Freddie was not rehomed and not given a chance. Freddie’s voice must go on and the law and the RCVS Code of Conduct needs to be changed to include the following.

No healthy animal should be euthanised:

  1. Without any effort of being rehomed, and evidence of this recorded
  2. Without proof that a breeder will not take the pet back, and evidence of this recorded
  3. Without clear evidence of aggression / or a test to evidence this, to be recorded

Freddie deserved a chance and he didn’t get one. There were so many homes waiting for him. Please sign and help ensure that this will never happen to another healthy animal.

4,219 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!