Pet Euthanasia: Where Grief & the Law Collide.
How to make a sad time less stressful for all.
Vets are giving the legal trust to be allowed euthanise an animal.
That Trust requires that we ensure that all the legal check marks have been done before we put the animal to sleep.
Dead is Dead: there is no coming back: so please understand that there are occasions when a Vet Must decline/postpone a request to euthanise.
The main reason a vet will decline is if You bring someone else’s pet to a vet, and You are Not the legal owner and you have No proof you have the Owner’s permission, then your request will be Delayed (not refused) until the owner have been contacted and/or proof provided.
It does not matter if you are the owner’s wife, child, brother or neighbour. The law requires the Vet does due diligence and has proof of the owner’s wishes.
If you additionally then attend a vet clinic that is not the vet you have been seeing for the previous several years, wherein now there is no active file on you or on those pets and where that vet and the staff cannot identify YOU, then your request will be denied. If you also happen to bring TWO animals- especially if unrelated ie like a cat and a dog as both unlikely to be simultaneously be in need of urgent euthanasia-then you will absolutely be made to produce the correct paperwork and identification.
The vet is required to do the right thing by the animal and the rules. This need to prove a request is genuine and legal and is done to protect ALL owners and All pets.
The overwhelming vast majority of times, the request and person are genuine. I am of the belief that everyone who has ever presented a pet to our clinic at Oak Flats has been totally genuine and acting with the legal owner’s permission.
But the law is there for a reason. There is a tiny percentage of malicious neighbours, spouses, siblings, children etc who will use the life of a loved pet as a means to inflict pain on another person. Consequently, there are rules in place to protect Everyone from the horrible discover of finding out that someone had your beloved pet euthanized without your knowledge and consent.
We all have to play our part in animal protection and understand Vets need proof, not just hearsay that somone is acting on the owner’s true wishes. Yes, it is so distressing if you arrive at an unknown clinic and they refuse what you alone know is a genuine request; but please don’t shoot the messenger or lash out at someone operating within the law at their workplace. Once exceptions are made, then protections drop and ALL animals are at risk.
Please understand that no matter how bad everyone is feeling at the request being postponed/denied; the alternative-where the request was not genuine and for which there is no turning back of time-is too horrific to consider.
Can an individual vet make this process less distressing than some: For sure.
Will a client at times by genuinly offended by a particular vet’s bed side manner? For sure.
This is a hugely charged emotional event and All feelings are yours and they are valid.
However, If you leave such an event feeling it could have been handled better; please make an appointment to revisit your particular vet clinic at a later date to discuss your concerns. No one goes to work intending to do a bad job: but if there are occassions when people can learn and where your personal calm feedback could help that person better address your concerns and so help them better help the next person in a similar situation-then isn’t that a good way for everyone to heal and move forward?
Hope this information helps all owners not just our clients.