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...I've seen a whole lot of related practices that are questionable, like putting the cats to be euth'ed that day into squeeze cages hours before they're injected.

I'd like to hear about all of those questionable practices, please.

What is a "squeeze cage" and what is the purpose of this maneuver?

"The greatest thrill is not to kill, but to let live" James Oliver Curwood, author of The Grizzly King
...Frankly, most don't do pre-injection sedation

Which negates a lot of lethal injection's so-called humane-ness, IMO. ... Whatever method that is used (for whatever reason), it should be applied in the most humane way possible. Unfortunately, it far too often isn't.

The local shelter pre-sedates less than one percent of the dogs. Almost without exception, the killing is quick and apparently painless. I've heard of cases (usually at the vet's office) where things have gone wrong to the horror of all present but I have never seen it happen.

When I worked for the shelter, I delivered dead animals to the landfill: right at 2,000 pounds per week from a human population of only 260K.

Yes, that is far, far too many. The incoming stream of dogs never ends, and rarely slows. Five years into shelter involvement, I still can't believe my eyes.

Practice safe eating - always use condiments.
...I've seen a whole lot of related practices that are ... euth'ed that day into squeeze cages hours before they're injected.

I'd like to hear about all of those questionable practices, please. What is a "squeeze cage" and what is the purpose of this maneuver?

Michael, they're used as a form of restraint for agitated, feral, aggressive animals, to help prevent the attendant from getting stuck, or from sticking the animal(s) multiple times by accident, etc.

The "questionable" part, IMO, is the need to put animals into one for "hours" before they're injected.
It's also one of those situations where using gas might have been the more humane alternative.
There really are no easy answers, or one-size-fits-all solutions, to these matters.
Finding, and then retaining competent people, is a lot easier said than done.

Handsome Jack Morrison
Almost without exception, the killing is quick and apparently painless. I've heard of cases (usually at the vet's office) where things have gone wrong to the horror of all present but I have never seen it happen.

I personally know of two incidences of euthanasia not going as it should at private vet's offices; in one case, it wasn't quick, and in the other, not painless.
The first case was 20+ years ago, with my own dog, Laddie. It was far from quick - he not only didn't die as the vet expected after the first shot, but kept on breathing (just a bit slower) after the second shot. Only on being given a THIRD dose did his breathing and heartbeat stop. The vet got pretty freaked out, although she managed to keep her cool to some extent.
I've never known exactly why it occurred - whether the vet miscalculated the dose or missed the vein (the latter being doubtful), whether the dog's poor circulation (he was a heartworm survivor) affected the distribution of the drug, whether the cantankerous old fart (Laddie, that is) was simply being cantankerous to the last..
And just this past weekend, a co-worker of mine had a horrible experience putting down her 14-year-old Cocker; the vet didn't sedate the dog, the dog freaked out and started thrashing, the vet kept trying to give the shot while my friend's ex-husband started screaming... fortunately my friend was able to assert herself, and ordered the vet to back off, then told her ex to leave the room. She then basically ordered the vet to go get sedating drugs, and eventually the dog was put down more appropriately.
What is a "squeeze cage"

Exactly what it sounds like. It's a crate/cage with sides that can be slid inwards to immobilized the animal; a smaller version of the squeeze chutes used when treating livestock.
and what is the purpose of this maneuver?

To prevent the animal from moving.
...The first case was 20+ years ago, with my own dog, Laddie... And just this past weekend, a co-worker of ... dog freaked out and started thrashing, the vet kept trying to give the shot while my friend's ex-husband started screaming...

I'm very sorry you had that experience, but it is easy to understand why you remember it so well, 20 years later. I had not heard of that scenario before.
Actually, I hadn't heard of the second scenario either.

What I have heard of is the chemical cocktail getting to the wrong organs in the wrong sequence. The animals evidently experience horrible distress. Naturally, the owner does, too. For that reason, the local shelter no longer allows the owner to remain with their dog, during a PTS by request.

A dog's life is too short; their only fault really.
What is a "squeeze cage"

Exactly what it sounds like...

I've not seen anything like that at the local shelter. They stick rowdy cats with a syringe on an extension pole, stuck through a trap of carrier. Obviously, these are not intravenous sticks. In the few of these I've seen, the cat nods off slowly and passes quietly.
If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space.
Lynn, but my point was, that your statement: "Injection is the most commonly used method, by far" is probably a bit of a stretch.

I wonder how much of that has to do with availability of a shelter vet/state laws requiring lethal injection to be given by vets. In the
3 states I've done shelter work in lethal injection was used, but inall of those cases there were vets on staff full time. I know that before the recent legislation change in NC, smaller counties didn't have a vet available, so couldn't use injection because state law used to require administration by vet. Not that I think one method is necessarily better than another.
Lynn K.
What is a "squeeze cage" and what is the purpose of this maneuver?

A squeexe cage is a wire cage with moveable sides so that the cat can be constricted to the point where they can't turn around or thrash. The cat can be injected in the cage, without being handled. The reason the cats were put into squeeze cages hours before euthanasia was largely PR. The shel;ter opened at 10 am and they didn't want the public to see the cats being moved by catchpole from the cat cages into the squeeze cages (then taken into the treatment room).. Euthanasia usually started at noon. That's since changed with a new shelter facility that has more room for permanent cat cages in the treatment room.
Lynn K.
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