Not everyone can, will, or wants, to shoot a dog or cat that needs to be put down. Some will opt for a vet bill instead. I have done both. I have shed a tear both ways. Why this point or difference comes into play as to which way is better, how it plays into who cares more or less, or what is more humane, is for what purpose?
Want to hear crazy (or at least some will think it as such).....
I had a feral cat on the back porch a few years back. Unlike other ferals, this one never simulated itself into the clan, and never wanted to come in. Others did after a few months. But this one cat would go after and fight with my other cats. So one day I trapped it in a cage. I took it to the humane society.
Once there, I commented that I would like to pay for it's adoption. They said "What?" I said I wanted to pay for its adoption. They said that if it was a drop-off and a pet of mine, that I would need to pay a small handling fee for the service. I said "No, it's not my pet. As I said previously, it is a feral that I caught on the back porch". They thought I was lying I'm sure. Afterall, in the cage, it sure seemed nice all of a sudden.
They said I could not pay for the adoption. I was insistant that I wanted to pay for it, and could not believe they would not take my money. They said they would need to talk to a director. I said then go talk to a director.
After thirty minutes of huddled meetings and a couple phone calls, they said that they in fact would take my money. But with the stipulation that an adoption would not be guaranteed. I said fine. I mentioned that I did not want "money" to be the factor as to why this cat would find a home. That if the adoption fee was prepaid, maybe someone would take the cat more readily and work with it. I left.
The next week, I did get a letter from the Humane Society, stating that the cat could not be "handled". That their policy was that it could not be adopted for safety concerns. So what they did, was split my adoption fee, and discounted two other cats, making their adoption more readily available for those two families. They even sent two photos of the families and the cats that were adopted.
We had previously taken drop-offs, and somewhat feral cats, and with enough time and trust shown to them, have had wonderful pets. This particular cat was perhaps a bit more feral than the others. But I know and can honestly say that I did not trap the cat to have it killed. I often wonder about "excuses" when it comes to reasons of shooting a bad dog, or a bad pet. I wonder how much of that comes down to a "lame" owner...taking the easy way out, then rationalizing the outcome.