Stop unnecessary euthanasia in animal shelters

Stop unnecessary euthanasia in animal shelters

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Suvi H. started this petition to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and

We would like to call your attention to something called kill shelters. These are animal shelters where the animal is euthanized after a certain period of time. We believe that this is very unjust. What this petition asks for is a law installed by the European Union, American Government and every other organization that has the power to ban kill shelters, and replace them with no-kill shelters to do so. No kill shelters still euthanize animals, but only if it is in great and incurable pain, or for dogs that are very dangerous and pose a threat to the public, with no chance of being ‘tamed’. In no kill shelters, at least 90% of the animals have to be saved. We believe that it doesn’t matter if the animal is old, blind, deaf, has missing limbs, or is traumatised, it should deserve to live.

We know there is the argument: ‘but there is no place left in shelters, if they aren’t adopted they just take up space and waste resources’. But there are plenty of solutions. There is such a thing called a temporary home, where volunteers are willing to keep an animal in their own home until it is adopted. They can also be placed (in case of dangerous dogs) in animal rehabilitation centers, where they are ‘tamed’ and ‘domesticated’ to be available for adoption again. There are animal sanctuaries, where animals that are very unlikely to be adopted (aggressive dogs, old animals, etc.) are kept in very comfortable conditions in order to have the best life possible. 

Do you really think it’s ethical to euthanize animals just because there is no more space, or because they are aggressive, or because they are blind?

The best comparison for this is an orphanage. Imagine an orphanage where if you were blind or deaf, you would be killed. If you slapped a friend for saying something stupid, you would be killed. If there is no more place for new kids to come, you would be killed. If you grew up to be an adult and no-one came to adopt you, you would be killed. Wouldn’t this be inhumane and disgusting? Wouldn’t people revolt? Well that’s exactly what happens to cats and dogs around the world. In some places, it’s worse. 

**There is a statutory holding period, which is an amount of time where a pet is held in a shelter for the original owner to get it. Many shelters euthanize the animal directly after. In some parts of the US, the animal is held for only 48 hours before being euthanized. 

*Out of 29 European countries surveyed in the winter of 2006-2007 by the World Society for Protection of Animals (the Azerbaijani Republic not having stated their results in legislation), 3 (10.34%) of countries ban euthanasia completely in animal shelters (except for the case of a grave disease), and are kept in the shelters until they may find a home (In Greece, they are realeased after neutering). It states that “In countries where euthanasia was permitted, ten countries euthanised strays that had not been re-claimed or re-homed after the statutory holding period. Whilst two countries euthanised all animals immediately upon their capture and therefore not giving owners sufficient time to re-claim their animals.” All of this shows why this is a problem not only in the US, but in Europe as well. The countries used multiple different methods of euthanasia, some worse than others. Some countries shot the animals, some used poison ivy, seven countries did not state the method of euthanasia. The remainder said that an overdose of barbiturate was used. In nine countries, T 61 was used, worryingly in three of these countries the use of a sedative was not mentioned. 

****In Belgium, euthanasia law for humans (simplified) state that:

The patient has to be able to take the decision of whether or not they want to be euthanized; The decision can’t come from exterior pressure, it has to come from himself; The patient has to suffer from a grave incurable disease.

And there are other conditions for the doctor to follow in order to euthanize a patient.

Why could similar laws not be implanted for animals? Of course, an animal can’t make a decision, but the animal should suffer from a grave incurable disease to be euthanized. We interfere with the lives of  animals to such an enormous extent where we think we can decide when an animal wants or does not want to live.

***Surprisingly, animal organizations we think we can trust kill animals in animal shelters at an extreme level. Peta, for instance. The website ‘PetaKillsAnimals’ managed to find reports  ‘by filing public records requests under Virginia’s sunshine laws with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.’ What they found was shocking. Every year, the number of animals euthanized was above 50%, with the year where they euthanized the least amount of animals was 2019, where the amount was 65.5%. The years where they killed the most animals were 2006 and 2009 with 97.3% and 97.4%. It’s only in the past couple years that Peta started decreasing the amount of animals euthanized, but it is still a huge amount.

There are still all of these things happening today around the world. So please sign our petition and help the poor animals. Please also share this petition with friends and family and encourage them to sign it. And very importantly, DO NOT BUY ANIMALS FROM BREEDERS, ADOPT THEM FROM SHELTERS.


*In the WSPA’s (World Society for Protection of Animals) document ‘International Stray Control Practices in Europe’ in point 3.4 : Euthanasia, the math is inaccurate. The percentages and the amount of countries described do not match, but once we checked table 8 on page 21 and 20, we wrote our own percentages, based on the results. This is the reason why what we wrote may differ from what is written on point 3.4 .  The reference for it: 

Tasker, L, ‘Animal Control Practices (Europe)’, World Society for the Protection of Animals, 2006-2007, 3.4 Euthanasia, table 8,, accessed 30 November 2021

**Wisch,  R,  ‘Table of State Holding Laws’,  ‘Animal legal and historical  center’, 2017,, accessed 30 November 2021  

***Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Online Animal Reporting, obtained by, year 2006, 2009, 2019,, full article on accessed 30 November 2021

****Loi relative à l’euthanasie, Moniteur Belge, 28/05/2002,


By Suvi Hornig & Eliza Varga

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!