Euthanasia policy

A grey and white cat sits in her bed and looks towards the camera

Does Blue Cross put pets to sleep? 

We strive to make sure that no healthy animal in our care is put to sleep simply for want of a home. However, there are circumstances in which we do have to make the difficult decision to euthanise a pet. Sadly, taking the responsible decision to put a pet to sleep is a tragic but unavoidable part of animal welfare work. 

What are the reasons why Blue Cross would put a pet to sleep? 

  • The pet has a serious injury or illness which, despite treatment, would make their quality of life unacceptable
  • They have an infectious disease which poses a serious health risk to other animals, either at Blue Cross or to the local community if they were rehomed
  • They have a severe behavioural problem which could make them a danger to staff, potential new owners, the public or other animals 
  • The pet is an illegal dog under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 so it would be against the law to rehome them

Who makes the decision to put a Blue Cross pet to sleep?

Pets that come to Blue Cross are fully assessed by a vet, an experienced member of our behaviour team and the staff that are responsible for the pet’s day to day care. It is a team decision to put a pet to sleep, which is not taken lightly, and is only made after a thorough assessment has been carried out. 

What is Blue Cross doing about the growing problem of unwanted pets? 

We take in more than 7,500 homeless pets every year and many of these are stray, dumped or abandoned. We are working hard to tackle this problem by encouraging pet owners to think carefully about getting a pet, to microchip, neuter, train and socialise their animals properly and to rehome them responsibly if they have to make that difficult decision.