Here is some information to consider when an owner has asked for euthanization of their pet without any prior examination or VCPR. 


  • The opinion below is from a document reviewed by NYSVMS' former legal counsel, who advised against performing the euthanasia procedure without establishing a medical record:


Whether the veterinarian or an LVT is performing a euthanasia, the owner’s written consent must be obtained and kept as part of the medical record. It is wise to be cautious about performing a euthanasia because the NYSED Office of Professional Discipline receives numerous complaints from animal owners about euthanasias performed on their pets. Veterinarians have been disciplined not only for performing a euthanasia without the consent of the owner, but also for improper administration of a euthanizing drug.


  • If you are concerned about euthanizing the cat without determining its prognosis first, here's another opinion from legal counsel:


It is true thaanimalarconsidered propertyand that an owner may request thaan animal beuthanized even if there is no compelling medical reason for theuthanasiaEuthanasia is noconsidered animal cruelty, provided iis performein accordancwith the AVMA’guidelines on humaneuthanasiaHowever, a veterinarian who objects to a euthanasia request from an owner is not obligated tperform theuthanasia; in such cases the veterinarian irequired to return the animal to thowner (oowner’s agent).


If you refuse to euthanize and the owner won't take the animal back, you could have it declared an abandoned animal and then deliver it to a shelter. 


Legal review Nov 2017