It is not uncommon in our profession to see a person taking on a “lost cause.” These are the animals that under, most considerations, would be euthanized. Some people have a knack for these causes; however, with these causes comes risk.
One of the offices of the State Attorney’s Office had a close relationship with a local animal welfare organization. An attorney from that office decided to make an example of a board member of another organization by prosecuting that member for failure to provide adequate care of one of those lost causes.
Looking at the animal, one might agree with the assessment that the animal was beyond care, but anyone knowing the amount of medical care given to the animal would ever conclude that the animal was not being provided adequate care. This is a common charge against animal rescuers. The animal was seized and euthanized.
Fortunately the Courts exercised good judgment and the board member was found not guilty. I think the judge recognized the conflict of interest by the attorneys, but no one could undo the killing of that animal. Reasonable minds might say that the euthanasia was a kindness to the animal due to its condition. We’ll never know if the medial treatment could have turned the animal’s condition around.
Incidents like these are at the heart of our profession: making life and death decisions based on observations, veterinary advice, and availability of funds. We find ourselves constantly questioning the decisions that we are forced to make and there will be a gallery of people wanting to armchair quarterback those decisions.