Companion Animal Care Articles from

Who Decides?

From Nathan Winograd
July 2022

The role of shelter veterinarians, shelter directors, law, and public policy in decisions that cost animals their lives.

Cat at vet

Over the last few months, I have received a number of emails from shelter directors through The No Kill Advocacy Center reporting that staff veterinarians are pushing for policies that would increase killing. This includes demanding the ability to “exclusively dictate all euthanasia,” “restrict foster care,” and “limit treatment options.” They claim their decisions on these issues should not be “subject to review.”

In many ways, the problem is not new. The veterinary profession tends to be overly cautious, suspicious of change, insecure and thus hyper-sensitive about jurisdiction. (In private practice, they are also concerned with protecting profits). That is why industry lobbyists historically opposed municipally-funded spay/neuter clinics, expanding the abilities of veterinary assistants and veterinary technicians to do work traditionally done by veterinarians, SPCA-run wellness clinics, and telemedicine.

Likewise, the veterinarians I supervised at the San Francisco SPCA in the 1990s consistently complained about new programs and expansion of existing ones as part of our nationally-groundbreaking No Kill initiative — programs that reduced killing to national all-time lows, ushered in the No Kill revolution, and are now industry standard.


Please read the ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE.

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