We have been going over what to post about the euthanasia clinic today.
Of course the first thing is to thank the amazing and kind donors and volunteers and of course Dr Gillen all of you are truly compassionate.
We don't want to post pictures of the horses because it feels wrong to exploit what happened and disrespectful to the horses and their owners.
It was an emotionally draining day for several reasons and we don't want to pass those feelings on to anyone but we do feel obligated to report what took place.
We did take a few pictures but we were more wrapped up in taking care of the horses than documenting the day. It is not easy for horse lovers to do this Nobody wants to do this. Some of us used our vacation days or rearranged our schedules it isn't easy but it is something we feel strongly about, are glad we can offer to help end suffering for the horse and owner and want to be sure is handled correctly.
It was decided to just state the facts of what happened without trying to stir anyone up emotionally.
The vet made it very clear he was NOT going to put down any horses out of convenience to the owners or to the rescues, only horses that truly need relief from incurable conditions. Which is our stand as well. This clinic is to end suffering only not resolve financial issues.
5 horses were evaluated by the vet this morning. There was a stall and trailer ready in hopes that a particular horse was going to be fine even if just a pasture pet, but it turned out she was the worst off of the group. This was a real disappointment to hear. She had advanced arthritis causing lameness pain and an inability to balance. It was very obvious when she moved and after the vet tested her and evaluated her it was very clear this horse was not healthy and ride-able as we were told.
These were the guidelines from the AAEP and actual questions from our application
Guidelines for Recommending Euthanasia – The following criteria should be considered in evaluating the immediate necessity for intentional euthanasia of the horse to avoid and terminate incurable and excessive suffering:
1. Is the medical condition chronic and incurable?
2. Does the immediate medical condition have a hopeless prognosis for life?
3. Is the horse a hazard to itself or its handlers?
4. Will the horse require continuous medication for the relief of pain for the remainder of its life?
5. Will the medical condition result in a lifetime of continued individual confinement?
Each horse that was accepted and put to sleep met the AAEP guidelines and and the vet's own strict guidelines. Each horse was treated kindly, fussed over and everything was done so calmly that each horse passed on without any issues. They did just appear to go to sleep peacefully and although incredibly hard for everyone there , including the vet, you did sense the relief as each passed. The vet report will be attached below.
The following codes and laws are also something we want people to understand as there is talk of rescues putting down animals needlessly. We pledge that euthanasia is only done as last resort , under recommendation of a vet and with kindess and respect to the owner and horses.
California Civil Code
1834.4. (a) It is the policy of the state that no adoptable animal
should be euthanized if it can be adopted into a suitable home.
Adoptable animals include only those animals eight weeks of age or
older that, at or subsequent to the time the animal is impounded or
otherwise taken into possession, have manifested no sign of a
behavioral or temperamental defect that could pose a health or safety
risk or otherwise make the animal unsuitable for placement as a pet,
and have manifested no sign of disease, injury, or congenital or
hereditary condition that adversely affects the health of the animal
or that is likely to adversely affect the animal's health in the
(b) It is the policy of the state that no treatable animal should
be euthanized. A treatable animal shall include any animal that is
not adoptable but that could become adoptable with reasonable
efforts. This subdivision, by itself, shall not be the basis of
liability for damages regarCalifornia euthanasia laws.
Business and Profession Code, Section 4827(d), and in the California Code of Regulations, Section 2039.
“(d) Administering sodium phenobarbital for euthanasia of sick, injured, homeless, or unwanted domestic pets or animals without the presence of a veterinarian when the person is an employee of an animal control shelter and its agencies or humane society and has received proper training in the administration of sodium phenobarbital for these purposes.”
BITS volunteers and board members do not perform euthanasia they are done by a licensed vet at each clinic to be sure the animal is given a proper medical evaluation.We appreciate the vets who understand the need and volunteer their time We would prefer to rehabilitate , retrain and re-home a horse but we also have to do what is right for the animal and in some cases all we can do is spoil them for a few days and relieve their pain.