What They Don’t Tell You About Putting A Pet Down

Jennifer Anima, Reporter

On December 20th my dog Louis unfortunately was hit by a car near 21st and Arkansas. His injuries turned out to be a broken pelvis and he was taken by Animal Control to the emergency room where he was put down the day after.

1. They make you feel like a bad pet owner
When we arrived at the emergency room our dog seemed to be the “talk” of the day and they were surprised we showed up…. for our OWN dog. The front desk lady called someone on the phone and proceeded to say “Guess who just showed up,”. You don’t know to feel angry or upset because your pet is in pain but you know it isn’t your fault.

2. They make you choose between money and your pet.
Depending on the procedures needed for your pet, the pricing may vary anywhere from $60 to $4000, not including any extra fees. Louis had a severe broken pelvis and surgery alone would cost $3000 on the spot. We had also just paid almost $500 to get him under our own custody again because Animal Control had picked him up. The doctor recommended the surgery but let us know we had little time to decide. We had no idea how we would get $3000 dollars in a matter of hours. After visiting Louis, we decided putting him down was the best option.

3. You’re never “ready”
Before putting any animal down, doctors give you time to spend with your pet before they inject them. The doctor brought Louis in and we spent maximum an hour comforting and talking to him. They told us to let them know when we were “ready” to put him down and in all honesty, even though you say you are you’re NEVER really “ready” to put them down. They also rarely tell you, you might watch them take their last actual breath.

4. You lose a family member
Pets begin to become a great part of a routine in your life, especially when you have had them for a long time. They are there to comfort you when you’re sad. They are there when you’re lonely. Even though you have little to no way of communicating, you feel as though they understand you in ways even family might not. These animals are molded into how your family is and even are the animals you grow with and spend the most crucial parts of your life with. Louis was 8 years old and was the son of our oldest dog Rolex. Louis slept every night next to me, and woke up every day next to me. He wanted to be there for everyone and loved playing.

5. It never feels like the “right decision”
After putting Louis down many nurses, and the other doctors said we were “brave” and made the right decision to put Louis down.  It felt as though they were sympathetically praising us for killing our own dog. In that moment when he took his last breath, you want to punch the doctor for having the ability to take a little innocent life away. Even now, it does not feel like the right decision was made.

6. It doesn’t hit you until well, it does.
For a few days I was extremely upset and felt like doing nothing but crying. The one day it hit me the hardest was the most was the morning of Christmas eve, when I woke up with no dog next to me. I proceeded to take my other dog out and instead I called him by the wrong name and broke down crying all over again. The time when you most expect for it to hit you will never be the actual time it does, it will hit you when simple things that used to happen, don’t happen anymore.