3-301: The Implications of Animal Euthanization
By: Jorja Whyte
In a time where human’s societal rights are heavily monitored and critiqued, one issue is commonly overlooked: animal rights. How much precedence should legislation allow for animal rights and how does our sense of morality and emotion become a conflict when deciding laws that not only affect animals but societal functions as well? According to PETA, “In the U.S, more than 6 million lost, abandon, or unwanted cats and dogs enter animal shelters.” Colorado is not immune to this problem with over 177,000 animals flowing into shelters across the state yearly. Many of these shelters are not properly equipped with the resources needed to take care them. Most shelters are forced to choose between two options, euthanize the overflowing animals or allocate them to no-kill shelters. This leads the animals living out their lives in packed cages, which is a perfect formula for an unhappy animal and a waste of taxpayer money.
The discussion of animal euthanization is important but often overlooked by the state government, which may be due to the nature of complexity surrounding the argument. However, this moral issue is restricted by the current structure of animal population control.
This has been an issue that the youth has proven they want to tackle. However, many do so without a full understanding of the implications of waiting periods before euthanizing animals. This year a bill was introduced into the model YIG legislation to “Limit the number of animals put down at euthanization shelters,” by putting a maximum euthanization cap per shelter of “15% of the total species population in a 30 day time frame.” This bill, when enacted, would not give low government funded shelters nearly enough time to prepare to meet those standards. This can cause an even larger deficit in care and maintenance in these facilities.
Furthermore, shelters who have longer waiting periods than the required five day period are unable to accept new animals. Animals are left to suffer or left in the hands of those who do not have the correct information, resources, or ethical agenda to care for animals. Moreover, animals casted out by overpopulated shelters are left to reproduce causing the number of homeless animals to increase. In this case, there are multiple solutions surrounding the moral dilemma of animal overpopulation and therefore animal rights. By promoting the spaying and neutering of household animals the overflow issue can be solved and the issue around euthanasia in shelters can be steadily reduced.