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      Euthanization for pets

      Putting our pets to sleep can be downright heartbreaking and something no one likes to think about.

      Sometimes there is nothing you can do, and euthanizing them is the only way to ease their suffering.

      But sometimes, there is hope for the animal to recover, or to be integrated back into society, if they're considered dangerous.

      "Euthanaisa is unfortunately a topic that I deal with clients on an almost daily basis. A lot of people want to know when is the time for them to put their pet to sleep," said Dr. Jack Rauch, Veterinarian at Negaunee Veterinary Clinic.

      But when is it the right time? Is it ever the right time? Do you even need to?

      All of these are similar questions Dr. Rauch says he gets from clients all the time.

      He says no answer is the same for anyone, and most answers to those questions are based on how old the animal is, their quality of life, and if there are any terminal illnesses involved.

      "I look at their quality of life. Certainly if we have an illness that certainly we can't cure, for instance an animal with cancer that may be in a lot of pain, we can try some alleviation of the pain. But if we can't do that, certainly their quality of life would be minimal," said Dr. Rauch.

      Dr. Rauch says an owner is ultimately the only one who can make the decision to euthanize their pet, which is done by injecting the animal with an overdose of an anesthetic.

      There is no pain for the pet, and it stops the heart within minutes.

      The Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter of Marquette County is a no-kill shelter.

      This means that they never put animals to sleep unless they are terminally ill and suffering, or are considered dangerous after extensive behavioral testing is done.

      "Part of being a no-kill shelter is there's a lot of equations to the process. And one of the first things is being part of the community, getting your animals shown in the community, and being very open with the community," said Ann Brownell, Community Outreach Coordinator for UPAWS.

      Some of those equations that allow UPAWS to be a no-kill shelter are the many partnerships they keep with other shelters, the abundance of volunteers that help out, and foster care for pets.

      "Thank goodness for our foster homes, because when we get very full of animals, maybe we get a mommy in with kittens or puppies, our foster homes are phenomenal. They can get out, they can be out into homes and get shown that way also," said Brownell.

      Again, euthanizing a pet is never an easy choice to make.

      If you're struggling with the decision, or just want to know more , check out these links: