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
  • Nova Pettigrew Music community bands together to raise money for 2-year-old’s battle with rare form of cancer

    Two-year old Nova Pettigrew was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer six weeks ago. Her father, former Deli sound technician and musician James Pettigrew, noticed something was wrong when running turned to walking, then limping, then ...

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Coaches Luncheon Mixon question off-limits at coaches luncheon

    Toby Rowland addressed the elephant in the room even before Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel arrived Wednesday at Journey Church....

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mixon will not participate in practice

    Preseason practice begins for Oklahoma today. Freshman running back Joe Mixon will not be there. The school announced the decision Wednesday night....

    July 31, 2014

  • Sales tax-free weekend set to begin this weekend

    When stores open Friday morning, shoppers may be waiting. Oklahoma’s annual sales tax holiday is slated to run this weekend with the special exemption beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday and ending at midnight on Sunday....

    July 31, 2014

  • Deputies cleared, return to work

    Two deputies involved in a deadly shooting earlier this month are expected to return to work today after being cleared by the Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office. “They (the Sheriff’s Office) gave me their investigation, I ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Randall Lee Sherrill, 34, possession of juvenile pornography · Dewey Leon Kinsey, 37, possession of controlled dangerous ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Tuesday: · 12:14 a.m. burglary report, 3000 block of Pheasant Run Road · 5:58 a.m. larceny report, 3900 block of Journey Parkway · 6:52 a.m. larceny report, 2600 block of ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Candle ruled as cause of house fire

    Slaughterville Fire Department extinguished a structure fire seconds after responding to the call around 2:50 p.m. Wednesday at 10701 Maguire Road....

    July 31, 2014

  • Sam Noble museum welcomes Oklahoma Storytellers

    From Sept. 19-21, Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History visitors can share their museum experiences with StoryCorps, an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to recording, preserving and sharing stories of people from all ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Nova Pettigrew Deli plans benefit Thursday night for young cancer patient

    Two-year old Nova Pettigrew was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer six weeks ago. Her father, former Deli sound technician and musician James Pettigrew, noticed something was wrong when running turned to walking, then limping, then crawling.
    Pettigrew had never heard of RMS, a rare form of cancer that affects nerves and has hampered Nova’s ability to move, but almost immediately, when doctors at OU Children’s Hospital started intense rounds of chemo, he quit his job to be by his daughter’s side.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo