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Witnessing an animal's death
06-03-2012, 12:45 AM, (This post was last modified: 06-03-2012, 12:49 AM by Mantis.)
#1
Mantis Offline
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Witnessing an animal's death
Morbid thread #2. I know this isn't strictly about pets, although I suppose in some cases it could be. This idea came to me after my mother told me about something that happened at her workplace a couple of days ago. She works night shifts and she and her colleagues heard a lot of commotion outside. A heron was at the pond and had caught a fish. Unfortunately for the heron, it was attacked by a couple of crows and pecked until the crows were chased away by the workplace's staff. The heron was hobbling and scared nearly to death from panic. It tried to fly many times but couldn't. A while afterwards, it succeeded, but due to its panic attack it was very dazed and crashed into some walls. After it had succeeded in leaving the garden it was chased by a murder of crows that had presumably been waiting for it knowing it was injured. My mother heard the heron scream many times, and then complete silence. Kind of sad.

More relevant to this forum's topic, I have witnessed the death of a pet. It was back when I was a young teenager. I was waiting at a pedestrian crossing for the light to turn green. Out of nowhere a black Labrador brushed past my leg and hand and ran ahead. I yelled "S**t!", and it was hit by a bus. It literally flew high into the air and landed with a sickening thud. The poor thing was now lying in a pool of blood, a lot of which had landed on my clothes. I was dazed in complete shock. A couple of men ran out from the restaurant behind me. One mopped up the blood and the other carried the dog into the restaurant. Err... Gen068

I guess once that happens to you, you get a little used to it. I've seen a couple of road kills since. It was sad, like when I saw a cat once and a bunch of kids crying. I wanted to carry it off the street but didn't want to get involved in others' business, I guess. Undecided
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06-03-2012, 01:29 AM,
#2
The CatDog Offline
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RE: Witnessing an animal's death
Morbid as it sounds but after awhile you do get used to it. The inside joke of people the live in the area is that we see plenty of armadillos, only they don't move much and they make quite a mess on the side of the road. I've personally hit at least two animals with the car. Both times was unable to hit them.
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06-03-2012, 02:19 AM,
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Fishbone Offline
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RE: Witnessing an animal's death
Unfortunately, like CatDog, I have seen far too many in Florida. The area I live in now is a bit lower on the mortality, but when I lived farther south it was even more common. Armadillos, raccoons, opossums mostly. Plus snakes, birds, bobcats, coyotes, etc... I remember when it was still somewhat common for people to hit Florida panthers. I've already seen a Burmese python hit on a road in homestead.

I have to euthanize a few animals myself as well, and that is never easy. Everything comes to "that time" eventually. That is always sad. Sad
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06-03-2012, 05:31 PM,
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Karenskatz Offline
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RE: Witnessing an animal's death
In Wisconsin it's deer. Seeing hit-by-car deer along the roads is common, and there are some rural areas where it's almost epidemic. If you hit one, you are suposed to report it to the local police or sheriff's dept. Considering you probably need a tow truck for your vehicle, and possibly the paramedics for yourself, you're calling them anyway, but they need to report these kills to the department of natural resources. Sometimes they have to do what's called "field euthanasia" (bullet to the brain) for the deer. If the carcase is fresh and the deer healthy, some areas will let you take the deer home for the cost of a hunting licence, so you can have it butchered and enjoy some fresh venison. Sometimes it might be butchered and donated to a local shelter or food pantry. Or some road-kills might be donated to zoos or wildlife parks. But many times along the highways, I see the carcas laying there waiting for the Highway Dept to clean it up. Worst times are dawn and dusk; visibility is poor and the deer are the most active then. This gives rise to local legends and stories, like the guy who totals his puck-up hitting a deer and the deer gets up and runs off, or the hunter who spends two weeks out in the woods and comes home empty handed only to find out his wife bagged a huge buck with the truck.
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06-04-2012, 02:17 PM,
#5
The CatDog Offline
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RE: Witnessing an animal's death
Where we live I've actually seen the first coyote that was obviously hit by a car. This in of itself is something unheard of. We do have a small pack of coyote's in the area. It's unfortunate that we see more of this but its only going to get worse as we move our suburbs further into the wild. Animals never have a chance against a 3000lb vehicle traveling even at a low speed.
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06-05-2012, 03:22 AM,
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Fishbone Offline
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RE: Witnessing an animal's death
CatDog, what part of Florida do you live in? The coyote thing is just weird. I live in Pinellas county now, and have on and off for a long time, and in the last 10 years, the coyotes in certain parts are almost common. And they never seemed to be there before. For those who don't know, almost the entire county is, suburban I guess I would call it. And they seem to have hunkered down in the larger county and state parks.
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06-06-2012, 03:27 AM,
#7
The CatDog Offline
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RE: Witnessing an animal's death
I live in Dunedin near Honeymoon Island. I've read the stories and heard of people talking about the coyotes here. It's true about 98% of Pinellas is city/suburban. In north Pinellas there is still large areas of forest that they can hide out in. Since the housing crash there is also a lot of abadoned houses and nieghberhoods that can offer them a place to live.
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06-06-2012, 06:07 AM,
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Fishbone Offline
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RE: Witnessing an animal's death
Yeah, I get north, Tarpon Springs & such. I figured you were around here somewhere Big Grin. They're also common in Walsingham, Lake Seminole, & Boca Ciega Millennium parks. I think I saw one late at night on 5th ave S in St Pete coming home from work. It's just weird. I grew up running around in every wooded area in Seminole & Largo, and never saw nor heard of a coyote, now people are hitting them with cars on Seminole Blvd. Sorry, I'll stop threadjacking the topic Smile
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06-10-2012, 04:11 AM,
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jenb128 Offline
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RE: Witnessing an animal's death
I volunteer at a wildlife rehabilitation center, so I've seen quite a few animals die. It was hard the first time it happened - a lady had brought in a cardinal that flew into her car's windshield, and the little guy took his last gasp and died in my hands as we were looking him over. As others have said, you get used to it. It's never easy, but you learn how to deal.

However, it was a completely different situation when I had to have my old cat put down last year (he was diabetic, and the complications had gotten to be too much for him). I stayed in the room with him, but it was one of the hardest things I've ever done.
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06-29-2012, 05:03 AM,
#10
andrew320 Offline
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RE: Witnessing an animal's death
I didn't see it and I wouldn't want to see it period. I love my animals too much and I would go berserk if I see them taking his or her last breath. The pets I had in my lifetime and my fiancee's cats now are quite important to me and it would hurt me to know they're in pain.
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07-05-2012, 05:33 AM,
#11
Andrew Offline
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RE: Witnessing an animal's death
I personally feel that witnessing an animal die can be just as heart-wrenching as watching a human die. I would never want to watch this type of thing because it would be truly heart-breaking for me.
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07-07-2012, 06:09 AM,
#12
laurasav Offline
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RE: Witnessing an animal's death
What a sad topic, but it is part of life, all things dying. I once witnessed a mouse run across the road and get run over by an 18-wheeler. I still recall the sickening little explosion of guts as it got pulverized under the wheel it ran under! Eww! Then I saw a very sad sight of a squirrel that had been hit by a car and it's back end was smashed, but he had his head up looking around. I was horrified and tempted to go back and run over it just to put it out of its misery, but I couldn't bring myself to do it! I doubt it lived too much longer though. Poor thing! I ran over an opossum on a slick winter's night in our neighborhood. I felt so bad, I circled back around. He was dragging himself off into the neighbor's yard. The next day hubby told me there was a dead 'possum in the neighbor's yard (wish he hadn't told me!). The only pet that I witnessed dying was our first parakeet, He died in my hands, with me sobbing my heart out over him. I refuse to be with my pets when they're being put to sleep - hubby has to deal with that.
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07-12-2012, 04:58 AM,
#13
Dani72 Offline
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RE: Witnessing an animal's death
I've held my cats while they were being put to sleep which was very upsetting, but I felt it was the right thing to do for them.

Once when my sons were young they nagged me for a hamster. I made them wait a while until I was sure they were serious about looking after it.

To start with I asked them to sit on the floor to handle it as I was worried they might drop it. One son had a turn and then passed it to his brother to put back in the cage. Unfortunately the hamster crawled out of his hands onto the floor just as the other son stood up, lost his balance and stepped backwards.

That was the end of the new hamster. The boys were heartbroken, each blamed himself, one for being clumsy and the other for letting it go.

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. The boys still remember that as the worst day of their lives.
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07-12-2012, 07:01 AM, (This post was last modified: 07-12-2012, 07:04 AM by ACSAPA.)
#14
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RE: Witnessing an animal's death
I've had an elderly tabby cat die of old age right in front of me, and I found my old dog dead soon after he died.

I wish I could block out the memory of my cat breathing her last breath and becoming rigid in front of me in a curled position on her side. I really wish I hadn't been looking at that precise moment.

I don't know what's more upsetting about losing a pet, the fact that a part of your family is gone, or the reminder that everything dies and we only have one brief life to live on this earth. Cf2
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07-12-2012, 01:15 PM,
#15
TreeClimber Offline
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RE: Witnessing an animal's death
I have had a similar experience as you, ACSAPA, which I will mention in a minute. So, I understand the emotions you experienced.

I think there is a difference between seeing an animal die and finding a dead animal. I've seen my share of squirrels, opossum, and birds that have died, usually hit by cars. There was one Spring where three baby birds died in my yard. They must have fallen out of the nest. It was sad to come upon them. But, I think we come to expect things like this.

Seeing an animal get hit by a car is a completely different experience. It is one that psychologically affects me for a long time.

I have had the experience of having a beloved pet die in my arms. Three years ago, my Lab who was almost 14 became very ill one afternoon. She woke up fine, had breakfast, went about her normal routine. Then, about 2 in the afternoon she didn't look well.

Two hours later she was throwing up repeatedly. I tended to her sensing that something was different this time. Within the hour, she died as I was trying to keep her comfortable. It was numbing and heart wrenching at the same time. I've never had a human died in front of me, but I suspect it is as surreal. Someone who was once alive is no longer and it happens before your eyes. You don't shake that easily.

I must say that it was a relief and a comfort to know that she had died on her own terms at home. She made it easy for me. I did not have to make that decision of when to put her to sleep. Though, I don't think I want to repeat the experience any time soon.
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07-12-2012, 03:52 PM,
#16
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RE: Witnessing an animal's death
It's more sad to hear that your pet died by accident (like car hit) than it die a natural death. During the summer,their are many mosquitoes. As most people do,i also hate the mosquitoes,but i won't kill them. (like using charger bat kill them) I often see my roommate kill them using charger pat. Mosquitoes are pest,so we feel nothing to see them death. But if our family members die,we will feel very sad and plaint that how life precious can be. How miserable we will be if we lose our lovers. Sad
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06-11-2013, 12:51 AM,
#17
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RE: Witnessing an animal's death
I have seen dead animals, but I have never seen an animal die in front of me. Seeing a dead animal is very sad on its own, I can't imagine how hard it is seeing an animal die before your eyes, especially a beloved pet. I have heard a lot of sad experiences from other people, similar to the ones posted here. The saddest ones are where the animal somehow survives, and you know there is no way to help her Sad I really don't know what I would do in that situation. I hate to think about my cats deaths, but when it does happen I hope it will be of a natural cause, and that I will be beside them when it happens, offering them some kind of a last moment comfort.
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07-09-2013, 11:00 AM,
#18
mscuban Offline
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RE: Witnessing an animal's death
I witnessed the slow death of a dog last year at a friend's house. At first I didn't know and was in and out of sleep every time I heard him. I'm hard sleeper but something just wasn't right, and I kept waking up. I got up and finally walked over to the dog because he had come to me plopping down on the floor next to the sofa. I knew instantly something was wrong and I pet him until he calmed down. I went back to sleep and woke up to my friend asking for help to move him. I will never forget what I saw. He was already dead and I felt so awful! As we began to drag his heavy body through the garage opening, his head banged on the edge of the door jam. At that moment, I had a bad gut wrenching moment. It was so unbearable. I don't ever want to witness another death again.
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07-12-2013, 04:25 PM,
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Amalia Offline
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RE: Witnessing an animal's death
This is really a morbid thread and your experience with the Labrador is an awful one. I am glad you got past that, although I am sure you didn't completely overcome it. I know I wouldn't. Having many pets means watching many many pets dieing. This is the only downside I can think of in owning pets. I remember a very sad episode, right before my final exam in college. My cat gave birth before the due date and the kittens were very small, like a finger small. They couldn't feed themselves and even if they would have found the strength to do it, the mother didn't have milk because it was an old cat.

I took all the kittens in my lap and tried to feed them cow milk with an eyedropper. It worked for a while but the next day, after I fed them and I was holding them in my lap so I could keep them warm, they started to pass away one by one. There was really nothing I could do and I tried to blame it on nature, but that didn't help. So I just sat there watching them fading away. My heart was broken. I don't want to go through that kind of thing again or put any of my animals through that so from now on I will have all my old cats sterilized so this won't happen again. Actually I have been doing it since, even if it's an expensive intervention, their health is more important.
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07-25-2013, 03:23 AM,
#20
Death2Housework Offline
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RE: Witnessing an animal's death
Death is a fact of life, but that doesn't mean we're all comfortable with it. I grew up on a farm. I also went through some Vet Tech classes and have done some wildlife rehabilitation. There isn't a single death that hasn't had an effect on me. Death depresses me to an almost unreasonable state. I blame that on working at a Nursing home when I was still in my teens. I have never, however, threatened not to get another pet so I wouldn't have to go through that again. I have pets to focus on life and happiness. When it's their time, I'll be there with them, right beside the Vet letting them know they were very loved.
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07-26-2013, 04:40 AM,
#21
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RE: Witnessing an animal's death
I caused the death of my 17 year old Chipin, Dobie, by using a rug shampooer that had for some reason gotten much louder and shrill (even though not full). Normally, I would put him and my poodle out in the carport while I shampooed, but this time, darkness had set in and it was just for a few swipes back and forth to clean up a spill, so I thought it would be ok.

Dobie jumped around the shampooer looking alarmed, but I thought my sing song voice of, "It's ok, mommy is almost done" would assure him it was ok.

Well I had pushed it probably 5 swipes back and forth, turned it off, heard a small yelp and looked for Dobie. There he was, dead in the hallway, my little boy dog. =(((( I sobbed and petted him for I don't even know how long, praying for him to "wake up". I didn't exactly see him die, but it was still traumatic and still affects me daily, although it's been over 2 years now.

I have not seen other animals die, but only have found them after death. It's very sad, either way.
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08-29-2013, 02:48 PM,
#22
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RE: Witnessing an animal's death
The first aninmal death I witnessed was my own smooth haired fox terrier. I was a toddler when my parents bought her and we grew up together.
She was fourteen and obviously feeling her age. One day my mother and I were in the kitchen and Lassie was laying in her bed.
Suddenly Lassie coughed and tried to stand up, she had blood round her mouth, my mother started to get upset and I could see it was upsetting the dog. I pushed my mother out of the room and closed the door, knelt down and started stroking and talking to Lassie. She settled back and I could tell from her eyes she was saying goodby. I knelt there stroking her as her head went down and she passed away. She knew her time had come and I like to think died as she had lived, a happy dog.
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10-07-2013, 04:56 PM,
#23
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RE: Witnessing an animal's death
The first time I watched an animal die, it was a bird we found in our front yard that had apparently been attacked by a stray cat. We placed it in a shoebox with some towels to help it relax and recover but it didn't make it, and passed away as I was watching over it. It still haunts me to this day, since I watched it happen so slowly and gradually and couldn't do anything to stop it.

On a more gruesome note, I saw a motorcycle run over a small dog and literally pop it like a water balloon. Sorry about being so graphic, but there was no other way to describe it, there was nothing left of the dog. It was a total freak accident, not really anyone's fault - the dog was on a leash and the owner was walking them far enough away from the street. It got excited when it saw the motorcycle and broke loose and darted out in front of it at the last second.
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10-08-2013, 03:32 PM,
#24
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RE: Witnessing an animal's death
Putting my first cat down after 14.5 wonderful years together, on June 13, because he was an experience that I never forgot and I'm not going to. I was a basket case that day, going home from the Vet without him. Holding him to say good bye was better than not doing this. I lost my best friend and closest family member.

My other cat is the love of my life. I got her the following month in July 2012 to help me with my grieving. She's wonderful and we love each other uncondionally. She is my ESA.

When my first cat was living, there was another cat that was struck by a line of cars on the hwy here, in NJ. I remember that she was so twisted that she couldn't cry or meow. I took off from work that day and blocked that part of the Hwy off. I picked her up with a shovel and gently laid her to rest in the Church yard where the pastpr screamed at me that he didn't want it there because it would pollute the Church yard and upset his congragation. I asked him if he was a man of God. He told me yes. I told him that we have domain over God's animals. To not let this baby rest and go in peace was not respecting that. She was a living being with a soul. Not a body that you throw away in the trash. I told him that the Humane Society was coming to pick her up on Monday. He looked at us in shock, then walked away. The baby died in peace, not pain. I still think about her every once in a while.
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10-14-2013, 09:02 AM,
#25
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RE: Witnessing an animal's death
Witnessing the death of a pet is truly horrible. When I was a baby we got a Doberman puppy named Gretchen. We grew up together and I was her mistress. Doberman's are one person dogs for the most part and as much as my dad tried to be her master he could not. Gretchen protected me from everything whether it be neighborhood bullies to a beating from my parents. You could not touch me in her presence and she let you know that!

When I was around 5 years old, I was playing ball outside and the ball went into the driveway of our complex. I went to retrieve it. A car came along that was driving too fast for being in a driveway and almost ran me over. The reason it didn't run me over is because Gretchen saw it, ran to me and pushed me out of the way. She got hit and died in my arms, with me crying and screaming, moments later. I can still see it all these 40 or so years late in my minds eye. It is something I am not likely to forget. To this day I have a special place in my heart for Dobermans.
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