Shelter Euthanasia Policy

Shelter Euthanasia & General Policy Overview

The vision of Kitsap Humane Society is to inspire and engage the community to end animal suffering. We accomplish this through our mission: Providing positive life-changing solutions to people and companion animals. We do so by: (1) Accepting, sheltering, and rehabilitating companion animals in need (2) providing humane rescue, protection, prevention, adoption and education services (3) implementing progressive life-saving and life-affirming programs and (4) creatively collaborating and partnering with our region and supporters to build a model humane community.

Euthanasia is not considered for adoptable animals who have been relinquished to KHS or transferred from the various animal controls and partner shelters. Our commitment to the adoptable animals in our care means that we are willing to pursue all reasonable efforts in order to provide for their well-being.

For the purpose of this policy, adoptable shall include only those animals eight weeks of age or older that at, or subsequent to, the time the animal is taken into possession, have manifested no signs 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, congenital or hereditary condition that severely affects the quality of life of the animal now or in the future.

Euthanasia because of lack of space is not an acceptable option. Euthanasia is to be considered only after a reasonable and appropriate pursuit of all other viable options. Euthanasia is only performed when there is a consensus by the Animal Welfare Committee that it is the most humane offering for the animal in question or the only reasonable option to ensure staff or community safety. It is never a decision that is made without the utmost consideration for all of the factors, as we know them.

Animals who are suffering mentally, emotionally or physically may be candidates for euthanasia. Animals with a poor prognosis, protracted painful recovery, incurable debilitating illness, are non-responsive to treatment or if treatment is not reasonably available, are candidates for euthanasia. Animals who are deemed to pose an unacceptable danger to other animals, themselves or the public are candidates for euthanasia.

Each animal admitted into KHS’s adoption program will continue to be evaluated in its entirety, taking into account both behavior and medical conditions. A condition that may not necessitate euthanasia on its own, when present in combination with other issues (such as a medical condition occurring with behavior issues), may lead to the decision to euthanize.

Alternative options will always be reasonably explored for animals initially accepted for adoption but that fail to continue to meet the criteria for adoptability.