Pet Euthanasia when SHTF?

Enjay

New Member
Unfortunately our older dog is beginning to wind down and taking her with us in a SHTF scenario is no longer feasible so I'm looking for the best way to put her down if we have to bug out. There doesn't appear to be a lot of information available online about how to shoot a dog humanely though.
With the farm animals we drew an imaginary X from eyes to ears and aimed for the middle of the x, I found this to be extremely fast and it appeared painless for the animals. Does this same principal apply for dogs, only performed on the top of the head? Handgun? .22? Shotgun? FMJ or Hollow point?
I feel guilty just thinking about this, especially since she's breathing on my knee waiting for me to notice her, but I think the information would be good to have because as long as we keep pets post-shtf there's a risk something could happen to them and I know that I couldn't stand seeing them suffer.
 

C_Carson

New Member
I applaud you for thinking ahead "just in case." I've never had to put an animal down, but I've always thought the forehead or the back of the head were the quickest. I'm sure any type of gun would do the job, but I'd probably use a handgun, with FMJ if I had to choose. Again, I don't have any experience in this, but it's something I've considered as well.
 

Enjay

New Member
C:
I agree, I think a handgun in this case is probably the best choice for us. I don't believe that a shot to the back of the head is the best choice because I was always taught to shoot from the front, that way if the bullet exits the skull it will wind up in the body, although this website has slaughter point illustrations that contradict that for sheep and goats. http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/animal-w ... m#appendix
I have personally dispatched goodness only knows how many chickens and other poultry, although I didn't shoot them, and I have shot a day old filly, a calf that was hit by a tractor, and a couple of hogs that were butchered.
When I worked at the ASPCA I did euthanize a few dogs and cats (they required everyone to be trained in euthanasia) but that was with pentobarbital.

Dirk:
Thanks for the input. Do you remember if the hogs dropped immediately or did some of them step off before they went down?
 

Dirk Pitt

New Member
Enjay said:
Dirk:
Thanks for the input. Do you remember if the hogs dropped immediately or did some of them step off before they went down?
I don't recall any that didn't just drop, but I couldn't swear to you that it didn't happen. But it looks like you got it figured out.
 

PCShogun

Member
I have not read your document link but this really struck me hard as it is something I've never thought of.

A brain shot is almost always fatal when it transits from right to left, not so front to back.This is a fact for the human brain, and I would bet it is the same for an animal. Therefore, I would recommend that the round be placed in the ear, not between the eyes. This will guarantee a quick passing of your beloved pet and / or any not so beloved 2 or 4 legged animals you manage to get your hands on and cannot take with you.
 

Enjay

New Member
Dirk:
Thanks! I was curious because the pigs always seemed a little more difficult to get down right away.

PCSogun:
I hadn't thought about this until our dog started getting to the point where we couldn't keep her comfortable in a bad situation. I feel kind of guilty just for having thought of it. I hope and pray that the world holds together and that the vet can take care of this for us, but in case it doesn't I feel that I should be prepared.
Through the ear seemed like it should work too so I did a bit of research into why "they" don't recommend a side shooting presentation but couldn't find anything specific. I do believe that bullet control is one reason, from a front position the bullet is more likely to travel into the animals body rather than exit it. I also scrutinized many pictures of dog skulls and a few mri's I found online and came to the conclusion that while that shot will probably work if she is incapacitated given the choice I would prefer the front shot detailed in the pdf. Here's a link to the mri's that I found most useful. http://www.sciencephoto.com/search/searchLogic.html?searchstring=dog+mri&country=67&matchtype=fuzzy&media_type=image&license=both&image_channel=5
My reasoning is that when I palpitated the back of Shae's head and ear, by my best guess the path it would take would hit about the last inch of what feels like the back of her skull. However, she's quite heavily muscled so I don't know that I can get an accurate feel for where her skull actually is. I can't feel her neck vertebra at all, it's all solid muscle. To me, in this instance, with this dog, that is too narrow of a margin for error. Using the guidelines in the pdf the brain presents itself as a target that is approximately 2 inches wide and 3 inches long in a dog of her size, so I believe that it's more likely to be successful even if my aim is off a little bit. If I had to shoot from the side I would probably aim just in front of her ear rather than in it.
Thanks for the input, I really appreciate it. I learned a lot of things both in my original search and in the one prompted by your thoughts.
**Edited to add**
I wrote all that and forgot to mention that the pdf recommended that the shot be placed on top of the head (what I think of as the dogs' forehead) just to the side of the point where an x drawn from the ears to the eyes crosses. Not directly between the eyes, from what I see that would go into the sinus cavity. Thanks!
 

Shrapnel762

New Member
I have to dispatch possums quite regularly. I use a .22 pistol, top of the head- staight down. They flop around quite a bit for about 15 sec. I couldn't imagine doing that to my dog. I'd inject him with Bananmine (horse sedative) if I had to do the unthinkable
 
With an animal that I have no attachment to I would put it down with the minimum caliber I thought required.

With an animal that I love like a member of my family I would use the maximum caliber I have available and only in extreme circumstances, not simply for weighing me down. They would have to be dying already or in excruciating pain before I would consider pet-euthenasia, the same for my wife or children.
 
Top