A dog trainer has been slammed as a ‘murderer’ after trying to explain why she euthanised her healthy pet.
Katie Rogers said the decision to put Tanner down ‘became crystal clear’ when he ‘put the fear of god into a child’.
She said the three-and-a-half-year-old had never hurt anyone but in that moment she realised she was ‘waiting for something bad’ to happen to give her ‘an excuse to euthanise him.’
In a public Facebook post, she wrote: ‘I spent the next 10 days consulting with every professional I knew.
‘5 years ago it was fewer than I know now, but it was enough. I cried with my mom about my decision.
‘I took him to my mentors and she told me she was proud of me. And then on that last day, I took him to be euthanized.’
She described Tanner as a ‘bad dog’ who she believed would kill another animal and injure a human if she lost control of him.
The dog trainer, who runs Katie’s Critters in Marin County, California, US, shared a heartbreaking photo of her hugging Tanner which she said was taken just a few months before he was put down.
She added: ‘Living with a mentally or behaviorally unsound dog is life altering.
‘My mom likened my relationship with Tanner to that with an abuser. I did everything for him, changed my entire life to be good enough for him, and got nothing but heartbreak back.
‘I strongly believe in euthanasia. It is the most terrible decision I have ever made. The most painful. But I’ve never regretted it.
‘For those of you who believe in “saving them all” and “no kill nation” I urge you to think about my story.
‘Would it have been better to live with this dog? To live in fear? To probably hurt somebody else? It wouldn’t have been.’
Katie’s post has received a wave of abuse from owners who said she could have rehomed Tanner or sought help from another trainer, while many others have called her ‘brave’ for opening up about it on social media.
One person asked her: ‘What if you had a child with behavioural problems, would you euthanize them too?’
Another said she had a ‘psychotic dog’ but would ‘never murder’ her.
She said: ‘I have a psychotic dog. I did not murder her. I worked with my vet, veterinary behaviorist to get her psychosis under control.
‘I didn’t murder her, because she was aggressive, I worked with medical professionals to help her with her demons. To call yourself a trainer and make excuses to murder a dog, nope.’
While a sympathetic owner said if you’ve been in Katie’s situation you can understand what she did.
She wrote: ‘If you’ve been in this situation, you understand.
‘You’re braver than I am to put your story out there, so major props to you; behavior euthanasia is more common than people would think, but most won’t talk about it for fear of judgmental responses.
‘The critics of this post have fortunately never faced this type of situation at this level of severity, and I hope they never do. It’s heartbreaking.’
Another owner said they went through a similar situation with their dog who ‘sent multiple dogs and me to the emergency room’.
She added: ‘I decided we could no longer chance that our management would fail and someone else would be hurt by her.
‘When people are dangerous, we lock them up in prisons. That’s inhumane for a dog.
‘I gave her the best week of her life and let her free from whatever genetic issues caused her idiopathic aggression.’