Birds in a sunset
Kathy Milani/The HSUS

We all share the goal of ending euthanasia, and The HSUS works tirelessly to prevent pet homelessness, promote spay/neuter education, and encourage adoption from shelters and rescue groups. When the decision is made by a shelter to perform euthanasia, it must be performed with the same skill and compassion that we would expect to see if we brought our own suffering animal into that facility or to a veterinarian for a final act of mercy.

When the decision is made that euthanasia is the only option, it is critical to ensure it is performed as humanely as possible. Direct injection of sodium pentobarbital (referred to as euthanasia by injection, or EBI) is the most humane method available because it causes rapid loss of consciousness and an immediate inability to feel pain. Other methods—such as carbon monoxide gas chambers—that cause distress, fear, or pain in the animal, are not acceptable.