The author of this post is known to Mamamia but has chosen to remain anonymous.
I kill animals. I kill animals that are sick or elderly, poorly socialised, aggressive or scared. I kill fluffy puppies and cute kittens. I have lured thousands of animals into a false sense of security, assuring them they will be okay, before killing them quickly.
My role as an Animal Euthanasia Technician is by far the most emotionally challenging part of my job. Like most people in animal welfare, I started in the industry because I had a desire to help animals, to save them. I had an affinity with animals from a young age; vegan from 14, animal welfare was an obvious choice for me. It’s funny how quickly a bright-eyed animal lover becomes accustom to seeing animals die.
I’ve held over 4000 animals as they have died and killed close to half that number. The procedure itself is quick and generally painless; a handler secures the animal’s head with one hand while holding the cephalic vein with the other. When the Animal Euthanasia Technician finds the vein, the handler releases it and as the Sodium Pentobarbitone rushes through them, the animal dies.
As a euthanasia technician, I get through each day by thinking of euthanasia as just another job; a clinical procedure. I try to think of all the animals I have been able to rehabilitate and save during my ten years working in animal welfare. But sometimes I am unable to suppress the sinking feeling in my stomach and the voice in my head calling me an animal traitor. After all, isn’t that all I am?
I think about Sash, the ten month old Kelpie who jumped a fence. Despite being a young, healthy and a remarkably friendly and adaptable girl, her escaping behaviour saw that she was not suitable for rehoming. She wagged her tail and looked up at me with her brown trusting eyes as I injected her with the ‘green dream’. I think about Lulu, who I had become extremely fond of. I told her it was going to be okay as she trembled in fear.
She trusted me; I killed her. I think of all the dogs that walk to the office where we conduct euthanasia with wagging tails and relaxed bodies, ignorant to their fate. I think of the hundreds of mother cats who watch in fear as her kittens are taken off her to be euthanised, before she is herself simply because there are already too many cats. I think of the countless animals that are relinquished to us for no fault of their own and end up in a body bag because they weren’t coping in the gaol-like atmosphere of the shelter. And I think of the animals that are healthy and happy, but simply not wanted by anyone.