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Euthanasia Economics 101: How Supply & Demand Bankrupts Morality

Updated: Jul 17, 2023

A Pet Parents' Dilemma, consider this:

The young couple came into the vet's office to have their two-year-old dog euthanized. The reason: they now had a child, and the dog was acting aggressively. The vet examined the dog and found she was healthy and in need of no treatment. Instead of euthanasia, the vet recommended they participate in some dog training classes, gave suggestions on introducing the dog and child safely and securely, or surrender the dog to a rescue group for that breed.

The couple was pursuing euthanasia because it was both convenient and economical.

"Economic euthanasia" is the term used to describe situations where animals with treatable conditions are euthanized because owners simply can't afford or choose not to provide the treatment needed.

Consider this:

The vet met the woman in the exam room. Their family cat had been diagnosed with diabetes a few years back. The cat looked great during the physical exam but had been drinking excessively and urinating outside the litter-box. The vet ran bloodwork, confirmed diabetes, and talked for a LONG time about a treatment, ways to control costs, methods to make the cat comfortable and stable.

The owner thought about it for several days, then tearfully said that she and her spouse could not afford treatment and they wanted to have the cat euthanized "before she started to suffer."

That same woman came back into the vet's office a few weeks later with three new kittens. And although she stated she couldn't afford to treat her aging cat, monetary priority was given to the new kittens who were to be spayed and declawed (an elective and controversial procedure).

What say you?

These are just two of the many decisions being made by pet parents every day. Along with their veterinarian, sometimes heart-wrenching and humane choices have to be made to euthanize, but tragically the trend toward economic euthanasia is growing.

Cute Puppies Grow Up To Be Old Dogs

When adopting a pet, it's important to remember that they need food, water, shelter, and love. They also need vaccines, medical exams, and treatment for illnesses. Pet parenting is not an inexpensive undertaking and certainly something to consider before adopting.

For many of us pet parents, we put forth a conscientious effort to offer family members the best quality of life possible. Sometimes, our hearts are broken — not by what was preventable but by the unpreventable, such as cancer or severe arthritis. Still, if you've had a companion canine in your life, you know the rewards are worth every penny.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." ~Benjamin Franklin

Economics 101 is the study of how society utilizes limited resources. It plays a significant role in our everyday decision-making and influences our pet parenting actions. When it comes to healthcare, prevention positively influences later-life conditions such as obesity and gingivitis. When untreated, these health issues may lead to decisions for economic euthanasia.

Now Consider This

The word euthanasia comes from the Greek words meaning 'good death." Animal shelters are the most prominent practitioners of euthanasia economics.

As reported by, national statistics reveal:

· 90% of animals euthanized are without pain or life-limiting conditions.

· 93% of Pit Bulls will not survive a shelter life experience

· 4,000 animals euthanized daily

"Frankly, I fail to find anything morally 'good' about this practice." ~Rhonda Minardi, LGCR Founder

As a 501(c)(3) animal welfare organization that embraces not only the value of life but the quality of life, we reject shelter euthanasia's systematic practice due to economics.

Living Grace Canine Ranch is an all-breed-inclusive senior dog sanctuary and the largest of its kind in Texas. We believe an old life is a valuable and worthy life, deserving of respect and love. Located in the heart of Texas on 5-acres of rolling ranchland, senior canines live an enriched life experiencing human compassion, medical and emotional care at its best.

On average, 125,000 healthy sheltered animals' lives are terminated annually due to economics. If you feel that an alternative solution is worthy of your support, please donate today or visit

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Matthew 11:28


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