Is shooting dogs ever humane?

I know that many of you were very shocked when I blogged about the ten German Shepherds that had been shot by the RSPCA using a captive bolt method.
Hats off to Many Tears rescue for a really comprehensive covering of this issue on their website. More than 4,000 people have now signed their petition and I'd urge you to have a read.
Here's the link to the online petition.

Here's the wording...

I believe the practice of the RSPCA shooting dogs with a captive bolt gun to be banned. We feel that this an inhumane way to kill an animal and should not be recognized as an acceptable means of euthanasia painless death designed to cause minimal pain and distress)for companion animals.

My own unscientific research made me question if captive bolt could be a reliable way to kill dogs humanely. A friendly vet retold an anecdote that made me very worried about it. While working in the Middle East he came across a relevant case. A large dog had growled at his owner and that owner decided to shoot his dog in the head with an AK47. Half the dog's brain appeared to have been blown away and the dog's body was left in the desert. The next morning the dog woke up and ran away. An ex-pat brought this poor dog to the vet's surgery and my vet friend patched him up and the dog lived on successfully for many years despite his enormous injury. The vet explained that dogs have such large frontal sinuses it is quite possible to miss the cranium completely and that without sedation it would be very hard to accurately shoot a large dog fatally in the head with a captive bolt.


Family Cornish said…
That's really scary! And very interesting about the make-up of a dog's brain. Thanks for the biology lesson!
Chapstaff said…
Really - I didn't realise that about a dog's brain.

Someone I know had a pet Jack Russell he used to take shooting with him, but as the dog aged he became very stiff & in the end stopped eating. The dog was terrified of the vet, so the man took the dog into the woods for one last time & let him have a good old sniff around, then put a bullet in his head.
He said death was instant & he carried his body home & buried him in the garden.

I was totally shocked at his action, but he said it was common among the shooting fraternity.

It is also illegal.
jo siemieniowski said…
the only humane way to put a dog to sleep is by way of the vets, I find this whole issue of shooting a poor dogs brain out to be barbaric! when I worked at a vets we had a rather peculiar way of dealing with dangerous dogs, the owner would pull on the dogs lead while closing the door, that way the dogs head ws pinned close to the door, we would then put a tranquilizer into the dogs rump. and release the door, when thedog was calmed we would then be able to hold his leg while the final injection was given, very affective and better thn blowing the poor dogs brains out.

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