The Norman Transcript

Local news

February 14, 2013

How do animals feel about euthanasia?

NORMAN — Dear Dr. Fox: In your dreams or in working with sick animals as they pass on, have you ever gotten a sense from them of how they feel about humans ending their lives when they are ill?

Although we rationalize it as the most caring and compassionate thing to do, do we really have the right to do that to other beings? How do the animals think and feel about it?

— R.B., Philadelphia

Dear R.B.: In my experience euthanizing animals and my limited experience with hospice care for humans, fear is the biggest issue. People and animals who know that they are going to die and are not at peace or feel insecure need all the help that caregivers can provide to make the transition as smooth as possible.

I have met all my beloved deceased animals in my dreams. Some of them did not have smooth exits, but all of them are shining with happiness now. While that could be my own psyche helping me feel good, I believe that there is irrefutable evidence of life after life.

I contend that it is our duty to liberate animals under our care from intractable, incurable suffering. They have ways of letting us know they’re OK once we get through our own guilt, anger, helplessness, depression and other feelings that can sweep over us when we relive the events leading up to the time when a humane death — euthanasia — is administered.

In some instances, animals, like people, and their loved ones are blessed with an easy passage, dying in their sleep or in the arms of their loved ones without any anesthetic or pain-, heart- and brain-stopping medications. Empathy and compassion must take precedence over extending life at all costs.

I hope that this response helps answer these questions. I must add that some people have not come to terms with accepting death and do not appreciate the emotional exhaustion and ethical burden on many caregivers, as evidenced when they berate me for suggesting to readers that they should have their animals euthanized.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • N7 Sooners come together to serve Native American youth

    Whitney Wofford has faced some tough competition as a part of the Oklahoma tennis team. However, on Wednesday, Wofford may have taken on her biggest and most rewarding competition yet at the Sooners For N7 event at the Oklahoma football ...

    April 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • Is Okla. backing off accountability?

    One by one, K-12 education reforms passed in previous years by Oklahoma lawmakers are being targeted for weakening or repeal....

    April 19, 2014

  • Hope Trunk travels to Norman

    The rustle of paper could be heard as students meticulously folded one crane, then another and another Friday afternoon. After reading the inspiring story, “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes,” Cleveland Elementary School fifth graders ...

    April 19, 2014

  • Congressman Cole reflects on recovery

    Congressman Tom Cole’s home in Moore was not hit by the May 20 tornado but it came pretty close. His wife has made it clear she wants a saferoom, he said. In a visit to the Transcript on Friday afternoon, Cole talked about tornado ...

    April 19, 2014

  • Gaylord to get $35,000 grant for poverty project

    A team from Gaylord College is among the first winners in a national competition to fund innovative news experiments that serve communities, the Online News Association has announced....

    April 19, 2014

  • Garage sale to benefit Team Jamie’s Crew set

    A garage sale to benefit Team Jamie’s Crew will start at 9 a.m. today at 1510 Melrose Drive....

    April 19, 2014

  • Singing Sooners show set

    The University of Oklahoma School of Music presents the Singing Sooners Spring Show at 8 p.m. Friday, April 25 in the Sharp Concert Hall, Catlett Music Center. Jim Graves and Stephen Ziegler serve as directors for the group....

    April 19, 2014

  • Easter event planned Sunday

    The Firehouse Community Outreach Disaster Relief Center, 800 S. Santa Fe in Moore, will host an Easter Eggstravaganza at 10 a.m. on Sunday....

    April 19, 2014

  • Little Axe students eligible for GEAR UP University

    Little Axe Public School students entering the ninth-12th grade in the fall 2014 are eligible to apply to GEAR UP University, a summer academic and leadership program available only to 24 state school districts during June 2014....

    April 18, 2014

  • Chamber Banquet During annual banquet, Chamber of Commerce promotes moving Norman forward

    Amidst the backdrop of music, dancing, dinner and fellowship, business leader Mike Fowler announced that the time for a quality-of-life initiative in Norman has come. As incoming Norman Chamber of Commerce board chairman, Fowler and ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo