What is your euthanasia policy?

Our euthanasia policy

We give homeless and vulnerable pets the chance of a positive future, who would otherwise have nowhere else to go. Our non-selective approach means that we deal with a wide range of pets, and as a result we receive some with serious medical conditions or behavioural problems.

We do all we can to help pets overcome serious medical conditions, severe behavioural problems, or both, but sometimes a decision has to be made about putting them to sleep. Such decisions are never taken lightly or in isolation. Our team of experts assess each pet’s quality of life and, for those with behavioural problems, the risk to other pets and people.

We recognise that animals are sentient beings, and has the view that quality of life is more important than quantity of life. The charity believes that animal health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

We review the emotional and physical needs our pets have when we receive them into our care. If the pet cannot be safeguarded, it will be assessed and reviewed again. If they are found to have untreatable or serious medical problems, or behavioural issues so severe and extreme that we believe we will be unable to safely rehome them, then euthanasia will be considered.

Decisions will be made in a timely fashion, in order to prevent prolonged physical or emotional suffering in line with our Animal Care Policy.

The charity will not knowingly put the public or other animals at risk by rehoming animals considered as a potential threat to safety.

If a banned type of dog is identified, we are legally obliged to euthanise in order to comply with the law, taking required advice from the police. There are four banned dog types in Great Britain under the Dangerous Dogs Act:

  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro

All pets are euthanised humanely and with empathy in accordance with the Animal Care Policy and current Veterinary practice. All pets euthanised at Woodgreen are cremated.


If a decision is contested, the matter will be referred promptly to the Director of Care and Veterinary Services. Where appropriate, the matter may be referred to the Pet Services Committee.


This Policy will be reviewed biennially by the Pet Services Committee.

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