Vet to administer euthanasia in Seattle.
September 6, 2012 7:29 AM   Subscribe

Looking for a vet in Seattle who will perform euthanasia on an animal with behavioral, not physical, problems.

I don't want this to devolve so I'm leaving it at that with no further identifying detail - seeking a contact for a vet who will consider putting down an animal who can no longer be housed due to behavioral issues which have not responded to varied and lengthy treatment. In office or in-home. Cost is not an object, kindness and mercy are.

Vets already contacted who will not perform this service are Lake Union Vet, Four Paws.

posted by tristeza to Pets & Animals (17 answers total)
Response by poster: Please feel free to MeMail me, too, thanks.
posted by tristeza at 7:39 AM on September 6, 2012

Mod note: Very straightforward question, please keep it to very straightforward answers to that question.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:45 AM on September 6, 2012

In addition to independent vets, you may want to reach out to, 1. Non-"no-kill" animal shelters, and 2. Veterinary teaching hospitals. I'm sorry that you have to go through this.
posted by julthumbscrew at 7:49 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

You might try contacting your local pound/animal control to see if they'll do it.
posted by shoesietart at 7:50 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

I find it highly unlikely that any vet would admit to performing euthanasia on healthy animals (aka 'convenience euthanasia'), particularly to a first time caller/client. My family owns several animal hospitals and would never, ever do that. Vets make a moral decision every time an owner asks to euthanize a healthy animal; it's not a matter of having a blanket policy of saying yes. If they've had a long-term relationship with the owner, know that every effort has been made to improve the dog's behavior, seen that the dog's behavior is truly awful, and realize that the dog is unlikely to be adopted or succeed in a new home, then yes, they'll consider it.

A small number of vets (decreasing by the day) will perform convenience euthanasia if an owner is moving, dying, unable to cope, etc., but they're still going to be unwilling to do it for a first time client. For one, there's no way of telling if the client is the dog's true owner or only true owner. Plus, no vet wants to develop a reputation of being willing to euthanize any animal.

How about an animal shelter? If your dog is dangerous, they will put him down immediately. If he's not dangerous, he'll have a chance to be adopted by another family within X days, and if not, he'll be put down. If you provide extensive information about his behavioral problems, then it's unlikely that another family will take a chance on him. Yes, it's a bit more convoluted and drawn out, but it's more ethical.
posted by acidic at 8:00 AM on September 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks - the problem with the "kill" shelters is that one must impound the animal there for a number of days-to-weeks before they will put it down, which the animal's humans view as imposing suffering on the animal. The goal here is no suffering.
posted by tristeza at 8:01 AM on September 6, 2012 [4 favorites]

I have been in this exact situation. Most vets will want to confirm the animal's behavioral issues before euthanasia.
posted by pentagoet at 8:14 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

I doubt this is about a dog who is a known unprovoked biter, because I know more than a few vets who would euthanize a repeat biter, especially knowing that the animal has not responded to repeated treatment.

If this animal is healthy, especially if it's on the younger side, it's going to be harder to find someone. Did the animal's regular vet have any opinions on his/her colleagues that might be willing? Do the animal's owners have the vet records showing an extensive history with treatment attempts? I doubt you'll find a reputable vet who will euthanize an apparently healthy animal without any medical history or context.
posted by crankylex at 8:16 AM on September 6, 2012

The vet or trainer who has worked with you on fixing these behavioural issues, why won't they do it or help you find someone? You're going to have a lot of trouble finding a vet who will look at a new client who comes in solely for euthanasia of a healthy pet as a reasonable client, even if it is in fact the right move for this animal.
posted by jeather at 8:18 AM on September 6, 2012

Call a large need rescue, something like pit bull or German shepherd. They'll have gone through this and can advise you. Also a rural vet practice is likely to be a lot more pragmatic about this kind of thing, IME.
posted by fshgrl at 8:46 AM on September 6, 2012

I realize this is going to be a highly-unpopular opinion, but you CAN DIY this (and in a peaceful way, too), if you think you'd be up for it. If you want to share more details, MeMail me.
posted by julthumbscrew at 9:00 AM on September 6, 2012

When I needed a dog euthanized, I checked with our vet who wanted to charge us $100. To kill my dog. That didn't sit well with me. The Humane Society here in Fort Worth does it for free; I gave them a $50 donation. Granted, there are Special Snowflake circumstances in this case.

Maybe the Humane Society was one of the "kill" shelters you contacted; if not, it may be worth a call.
posted by Doohickie at 9:22 AM on September 6, 2012

I'm sorry that this is going to sound awfully insensitive, but it's really not meant to be:

Do you know any farmers, hunters or rural-dwellers? Because that's what a farmer's hunting rifle is for. Your pet wouldn't suffer if the person knew what they were doing, and folks are usually pretty realistic about this kind of thing. Sometimes it's neccessary.

I am so, so sorry.
posted by windykites at 9:51 AM on September 6, 2012 [3 favorites]

I'm with windykites-- euthanasia-by-bullet is common in zoos (not to say frequent) for large animals and the procedure's the same for any animal: hit the brain stem, and life is interrupted instantly and painlessly.
posted by Sunburnt at 10:28 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Dr. Bob Hogan

I do not know how he'd respond to your request but I can tell you from recent personal experience that he is incredibly kind, caring, and responsive.
posted by donovan at 10:55 AM on September 6, 2012

I'm a vet, but not your vet (blah, blah, blah). I have a couple former school mates in the Seattle area, if you want to me-mail me I can track down their office numbers. Unless there are very unusual circumstances, almost all vets will do a euth on a dog, if for no other reason than to prevent the at home DIY 'solutions'.
posted by Nickel Pickle at 11:31 AM on September 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm going to trust the poster in that this is not a 'convenience euthanasia' she is talking about. If Dr. Hogan or Nickel Pickle's vets don't work out, write a letter detailing what the dog's issues are and what you have done to remedy it, with supporting contact numbers/testimony contacts, if you have them. Most vets understand that there are animals that have serious issues and for the good of society and the welfare of the animal, may need to be euthed. It's a hard decision, but not every animal can, or should be, saved.
posted by BlueHorse at 1:08 PM on September 6, 2012

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