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The Humane Society of Monroe County MI (HSMC) is a no-kill shelter, meaning that we do not euthanize due to time or space constrains, reserving euthanasia for animals who are suffering mentally or physically, terminally ill, or considered dangerous to themselves, other animals, and/or humans.

HSMC is committed to the preservation of life and to the objective use of approved methods of euthanasia, when appropriate, guided by medical standards and a reasonable interpretation of the definition of the purpose behind euthanasia. Factors contributing to the euthanasia of any animal include quality of life, and risk to the health and safety of other animals, including people. The Humane Society of Monroe County resolutely affirms that it will not euthanize for reasons amounting to insufficient operations capacity such as space, manpower, and the like.


The staff and Board of Directors of the HSMC recognize that the subject of euthanasia is emotially charged and, at times, difficult for any reasonable person to reflect upon. We also recognize that the subject is a 'moving target' and requires both reflection and open discussion in order to minimize its practice.


Given the sensitivity of the practice of euthanasia and the organization's requirement to maintain transparency and objectivity, the euthanasia must be approved by:

  •  The Executive Director

  • The Veterinary Doctor

  • The Shelter Manager

Euthanasia may occur at the Humane Society of Monroe County due to the following:

  • Deteriorating medical or behavioral condition that is causing suffering to an animal. If the HSMC Staff determines that a pet is suffering from medical conditions that are not to be medically treated to maintain a comfortable and quality of life. Should outside opinions of the medical state of a pet be needed, the HSMC Veterinary Doctor will consult with the other Veterinarians to make a final determination on the pet's state of health. If a pet is treatable, HSMC will attempt to do everything possible within the HSMC resources to properly treat the pet to manage the animal's medical condition to live a comfortable and safe life.

  • Behaviors that are beyond management that are deemed unsafe to other pets, people, and to itself as recommended and agreed by appropriate signatures by the Shelter Manager, Executive Director, and Veterinary Doctor.

Standards of Operation

Each animal admitted into the Humane Society of Monroe County will be evaluated initially at intake. Pets placed in the organization's adoption program will continuously be evaluated for medical behavioral considerations.

Evaluations are intended to identify:

  • Animals who are suffering mentally, emotionally or physically.

  • Animals with a poor prognosis, protracted painful recovery, incurable illness, and/or are non-responsive to treatment or who suffer from an affiliction in which treatment is not reasonably available.

  • Animals who are deemed to pose an unacceptable danger to other animals, themselves or the public.

  • Animals who have a condition that individually may not necessitate euthanasia, but that contribute to escalate other conditions that, in total, warrant euthanasia.

If the animal poses an immediate or serious danger to animals and/or people, alternative options will not be considered.

Definition of Terms

Medically Necessitated Euthanasia
Animals who are suffering from a disease, injury, or congenital or hereditary condition that adversely affects the animal's health or is likely to adversely affects the animal's health in the future, and are not likely to become "healthy" or "treatable" even if provided the care typically provided to pets by reasonable and caring pet owners/guardians in the community.

Behaviorally Necessitated Euthanasia
Animals who have or who develop a behavioral or temperamental characteristic that poses a health or safety risk or otherwise makes the animal unsuitable for placement as a pet, and are not likely to become "healthy" or "treatable" even if provided the care typically provided to pets by reasonable and caring pet owners/guardians in the community.

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