Why are these rescuers catching-and-killing?

We heard this very upsetting news quite a while ago and we feel we must write about it and appeal to the good sense and kindness of these rescuers.

We were told that there are these rescuers who pick up animals from the street, especially young ones, some of whom are friendly and completely healthy. They foster for a short while and put the animals up in adoption drives. Sadly, not all will get adopted especially because times are bad now. Then, they take the completely healthy unadopted animals to the vet to be euthanised.

Now there is a different version, which is even sadder. They pick up young animals from the street and say that since adopters MIGHT also dump them back on the street, why even bother with adoption drives? Might as well just get them euthanised. This means that these rescuers are picking up young animals to be euthanised.

Our appeal to these rescuers: Please get these innocent animals neutered and just return them to the street so that they have a chance to live out their natural lives. Please do not get them euthanised. They are alive. They are young, they are well and healthy. They have a right to live.

But apparently, their argument is this: If we leave them out on the street, they (1) MIGHT be caught by the council, (2) MIGHT be abused by humans, (3) MIGHT get run over by vehicles, (4) MIGHT meet an untimely death.

Yes, all true, but notice that it’s all “MIGHT”? The negatives might happen; yet, they might not.

At least please give them a chance to live out their natural lives, whatever that may be. As long as you get them neutered, returned to the colony and you continue to feed them, that is the best you can do for them. Whatever accidents that may happen, you are not at fault. Living on the street comes with risks, we know this.

By the same token, aren’t we ourselves also living our lives with risks? I mean, I MIGHT get mugged, robbed, run down by a bus when I go out, Does this mean it’s better I get myself euthanised so that all these possibilities won’t happen to me? Is euthanizing me now to spare me all the possible suffering, an act of kindness?

Also, if you catch them and get them euthanised, then how different are you from the local council?  The difference, perhaps, is that the local council usually only acts upon complaints. But these rescuers go out actively to catch…and then, euthanise?

Isn’t this catching-and-killing? Isn’t this exactly what rescuers are protesting against and asking the councils to stop doing?

Here is another option for you to consider: If you are going to catch and you know you are going to get the innocent animals euthanised, then could you please NOT catch them? Please leave them alone. Let them fend for themselves or let other rescuers take them. They are not your responsibility. Please do not make them your responsibility.

But if you are a rescuer, then we would really like to appeal to your kind heart to catch and neuter, return them to the street and continue feeding them. If you need financial aid for the neutering and vaccination, please feel free to apply to us. But please, please, please, do not catch-and-kill.

So, we are appealing to you: Please…if you cannot help them, at least please don’t hurt them. Getting them euthanised is killing them. It is hurting them. They have a life to live on earth. Please let them live it out.

Nobody wants to be killed. In whatever ways. Especially animals. Their instinct is to survive. They WANT to live.

We cannot appoint ourselves as architects of the lives of other living beings.

Please also be aware that there is a possibility you have done too much for too long. You may be suffering from compassion fatigue. Please take care of your own mental health too. Take a rest. Leave the animals alone.

A street animal is nobody’s responsibility. Please do not catch them only to have them euthanised later on because you think being euthanised is better than possible suffering on the street. We have no right to end another completely healthy life.

We also wish to appeal to veterinarians not to euthanise these young healthy animals just because that is what the clients ask for.


So if you are such a rescuer, here’s our appeal to you:

  1. Please reconsider what you are doing. Kindly do not catch-and-kill. Get the animals neutered and if they cannot be adopted, return them to the street and continue caring for them there. But if you must still catch-and-kill, then, please stop doing it. Just stop. Killing is not a solution to the stray problem. It never was and deep down in your heart, you know this.
  2. Please take a good long look at all you have done in the past (before you started catching-and-killing), please ask yourself if you have done too much until you are now suffering from compassion fatigue and you just do not have any energy left in you to even care anymore. If you feel this way, it’s time to take a rest. Please stop doing this work. Take a rest.






One response to “Why are these rescuers catching-and-killing?”

  1. Josephine Tong

    Very well said Dr Chan…..truly agree

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