The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
3 Points

Should animal shelters euthanize animals who have been at the shelter for a long time?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/15/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,518 times Debate No: 73530
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (15)
Votes (1)




I think that putting animals down that haven't been adopted yet is cruel. They deserve to live and have a chance of finding the perfect forever home. Animals at the shelter are there to find loving homes, not to die before they can. Animal lives are precious things.


I believe that animal lives are precious. I am the owner of two wonderful dogs, one of which was adopted from a shelter days before being euthanized. The amount of joy and life the adopted dog (named Rocky) has given me makes it unimaginable to think he may have been killed. However, I still support the idea of euthanizing animals that have been at a shelter for an extended period of time. My reasoning is threefold:

1) Sometimes, euthanizing an animal is in the interest of the animal itself.

Take for example the Toronto Humane Society Shelter.
(I am posting the link not to save myself time, rather to provide evidence for my claims.) link: Essentially, this shelter had an astronomically low rate euthanasia rate of 6%. However, because of the mission to euthanize as few animals as possible, animals instead suffered and died slow, painful deaths from diseases and lack of care.

This example shows how in certain cases, euthanizing an animal actually benefits the animal by saving it years of small cages, inadequate care, and eventual death. Even though I love Rocky like a brother, I would much rather see him euthanized instead of painfully suffering.

Although animal shelters like Toronto Humane Society are relatively uncommon today, if euthanasia is banned, their model will become the norm.

2) Not all shelter animals will make preferable pets.

I can use my own shelter dog, Rocky, for an example of this. When Rocky was adopted, he was extraordinarily skittish and uncomfortable around people. Sometimes, he even takes a snap at unsuspecting visitors. Luckily, Rocky weighs less than 15 pounds, so he can"t really injure someone. But let"s say Rocky was bigger, say 50 to 75 pounds. At that size, the damage he could create would be exponentially greater, enough to seriously injure someone. Many shelter animals are this size and have abuse/people issues. Sadly, not all animals that reside in shelters are suitable pets.

The impact of this example is that there are reasons why some animals aren"t adopted. In addition, a human"s life should be valued over the life of an animal. We don"t want to endanger people, especially small children, by unintentionally adopting dangerous animals.

3) Euthanizing some animals will in turn help the legitimate animals faster.

One of my close friends worked at a local shelter this past summer. His passion for animals is easily twice as much as mine, as evidenced by his choice of work. Nevertheless, at summer"s end, he and talked about the idea euthanizing animals. Long story short, in addition to the reasons I provided, he mentioned that euthanasia was essential to the well being of animals because is helped the "good" animals find homes. In other words, by disposing of the potentially dangerous and unwanted dogs, it increased the attention and quality of care the "good" dogs received.

After reading these points, there are 4 primary ideas I want the reader to understand:

- I care deeply for animals.
- Although animal lives are important, human lives should be valued higher.
- Sometimes, euthanizing animals benefits the animals.
- Euthanizing animals can help give great dogs to great homes.

With these thoughts in mind, I encourage you to vote Pro to improve the lives of animals and humans alike.
Debate Round No. 1


I agree that some animals may not be suitable for adoption, but that doesn't pertain to my issue of animals that have been there for a long period of time and haven't been adopted. They deserve as long as it takes to find good homes. I believe that those animals need to be sent to foster homes to be taken care of if they don't get adopted. Maybe the people who foster the animals will decide to adopt them. All animals that are in need of a good home that aren't dangerous deserve a good home.


If you want to improve the lives of animals and humans, euthanasia is a surefire way of achieving that. Please review my arguments and examples that went unaddressed.
Debate Round No. 2
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Diqiucun_Cunmin 3 years ago
I can't say I 'find' my arguments somehow, but I think about the logic of the motion. Are there any conditions for this motion to stand? From what perspectives can I look at this issue? I generally think of the logic of my arguments, then look for evidence. Sometimes, when you read more on the matter, you can work the other way around and derive arguments from evidence.
Posted by Shadowmaster 3 years ago
You actually have some decent arguments in your previous debates. No where near the worst on the site. May I ask where you find your arguments?
Posted by Diqiucun_Cunmin 3 years ago
I'm sorry if I sound like I'm nit-picking. It's not my intention to do so and I just wanted to improve, myself, by looking over others' arguments critically. ^^ I'm a poor debater myself, probably among the worst on the site haha.
Posted by Shadowmaster 3 years ago
@Diqiucun, no need to feel harsh. It was my own fault that I ran out of time.

I think you actually cleared this argument up for me - apologies for being unclear.

As you said, Hannah had 2 points:

A: A superior alternative to euthanasia (foster homes)
B: It is cruel to euthanize animals.

My point 2 was in response to her point A. Essentially, some of these animals may not be suitable for foster homes/pets. Also, point 3 is loosely linked to this idea because we would want foster homes taking care of the 'good' animals instead of ones with a low likelihood of adoption.

My point 1 was in response to her point B. Basically, long term suffering or a quick death. The voters will decide which is crueler because it is certainly a subjective thought.

I do apologize for being late and unorganized. Great debate overall!
Posted by Diqiucun_Cunmin 3 years ago
I think the most important problem that made the points unconvincing debate, on both sides, is not that the lack of sources to back up the arguments, but that the explanation provided for the argument was not convincing enough to support the motion. Since the motion is 'SHOULD' animal shelters euthanise animals, if there is a superior alternative - foster homes - then they certainly shouldn't be euthanised, but I don't think Con has explained why foster homes will, in the end, be *more beneficial* to the welfare of the animals than euthanasia. It also has to be a feasible solution; if it can't easily be carried out, then euthanasia can be justified because the alternative is not viable. Con has only described foster homes and said the animals 'deserve' such treatment without providing sufficient reasoning to back up the argument, IMHO.
Posted by Diqiucun_Cunmin 3 years ago
Darn, I meant this: I believe there is not necessarily such a relationship because of the excess SUPPLY for such animals - the quantity supplied is right of the quantity demanded - even at zero market price.
Posted by HannahC2002 3 years ago
@Shadowmaster: Yeah if I had done a debate on politics and didn't use sources I would be in trouble lol
Posted by Diqiucun_Cunmin 3 years ago
@Shadowmaster: Sorry if I came across as harsh. I understand you couldn't address it; I believe there was only half an hour left for you when I posted my comment. I do think you needed to state explicitly the relationship between undesirability and staying at the shelter for a long time (I believe there is not necessarily such a relationship because of the excess demand for such animals - the quantity supplied is right of the quantity demanded even at zero market price).

As for Hannah's arguments, yes, they were also unfounded. She mainly had two points: That there is a superior alternative solution (foster homes) and that it is cruel to euthanise animals. She could have argued the latter from a deontological point of view, for example, if she believes killing is always wrong, but she also failed to do that. She also didn't provide evidence that foster homes are feasible, or that they will have, overall, a more beneficial effect on the animals than euthanasia would, so it isn't convincing enough for me.

If I had voting rights (which I don't, as I don't come from a country with phone confirmation and I haven't asked airmax yet), I'd put a tie for arguments because Hannah had two valid but baseless arguments, while Shadowmaster only presented one that was valid IMO. The first point clearly supported the motion because of 'years of cages' directly responds to 'a long time', but without stating explicitly that animals which have been at the shelter for a long time are usually undesirable, I wouldn't be convinced, as a member of the audience, that these arguments are valid.
Posted by Shadowmaster 3 years ago
Hannah, no worries. Sources are only necessary when you try to make a specific point or a point that may seem untrue. Using logic and reasoning is completely okay in most circumstances.
Posted by HannahC2002 3 years ago
I'm sorry that I didn't use sources I was just using what I know and I just didn't take time to find sources. And I'm sorry about the extremely short response time. Next time I'll make it longer. And now that I read your comment, Shadowmaster, I see how your arguments would pertain to my topic. I apologize for misunderstanding.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Lee001 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro is the only one who made a logical argument. Con didn't rebutt anything.