"What is the Church's position on the euthanizing of animals?"

By Paul Dion, STL


Just before Easter Sunday received a telephone call from the elder son of our Theology Editor. As it turns out it was a rather well crafted question about what Catholics believe regarding the life of animals.

This question surprised us somewhat because the questioner, Marc Dion (yes, that's a French "c" to match the "Dion") was not raised in a house where there were animal pets, except for the occasional Beta Blue. But Marc is a thinker and he is now married to a woman who has always been around pets.

What he wanted to know (I suppose that it was he) is what the position of the Catholic Church is regarding the euthanizing of animals. He said that his question was prompted by the readily observable fact that domestic pets have longer lives now because of contemporary technology.

He added that since animal life is a fairly high level of life, should we humans respect it as we do human life and not take it away to save an animal from a horrible "life style." What would be your answer to this question? Let me guide by saying that the Catholic Church, as well as other Christian churches and communities, have an official position in this matter.

So, give the world your response and compare it to the item that you can find by clicking here. Give us your opinion in writing. Then, if you like, you can click here for the answer.

So let us know what you think. Post a thought today.


  1. Anonymous12:07 PM

    I do not believe that animals should be used for scientific research. Such research involves torturing these poor animals. God never wanted us to torture animals in any way. It has never been proven that any of these experiments helped mankind in any way. The animals are helpless in our hands, be it a scientist or any other human being.

  2. Anonymous:
    This is not a theological response to your comment.
    You say "It has never been proven that any of these experiments helped mankind in any way." I think that it would be a good idea for you to research the truth of that absolute statement.

    Paul Dion, STL
    Theology Editor,

  3. To add to Paul's assessment, I would say that we should not base the moral quality of any act on its potential utility. Otherwise, we would say that the Holocaust was a good thing since it was because of research done on the Jews by German "doctors", that we know a tremendous amount of information about the human body that we didnt before.

    Furthermore, "euthanasia" of pets would not be the same as euthanasia for humans, because they are simply different categories. We kill animals for food all the time, something we wouldnt do with humans. Now, what is officially forbidden, is the disproportunate killing of animals, apart from proportunate use for food, and to take care of disease, etc.

    Laurence Gonzaga

  4. So is it okay. I am really struggling. My cat of 18 years is really in declining health. I, myself am the "other" victim of abortion. And having come to terms with that, I struggle taking another life. And God Bless her, my cat came to me shortly after I aborted my first child. And in some ways was an answer to my prayers in that I kept saying, I can't even care for a cat let alone a child. God gave me a beautiful kitten, who literally jumped in my car (from underneath it) a few months after the abortion. Project Rachel and time have healed that wound, but putting her down.... is it okay?

  5. MamaMia:
    May God continue to bless you. Your question is a valid one because it goes beyond what could appear to be a run-of-the-mill situation. We will not give you a short answer. Well, not that short.
    Your 18 year old cat is getting on in years. In fact, it has perhaps outlived a lot of the cats who were born 18 years ago. But, it is a gift from God. It is a gift that has helped you back from the edge to where you are now. therefore says this:
    Declining health perhaps does not signify serious pain and disability. General weakness and some incontinence perhaps. I have to say that because of the circumstances, I would dare to say that if you continued to nurse this creature as a sign of gratitude to God for His gift you would do something pleasing to God Himself.
    If your cat is in great pain, and really has to struggle beyond reasonable effort to get around, you would certainly be well within Catholic moral teaching to put the animal down. If nursing this animal is meaningful to you in relation to your friendship with God, then do it.
    If the effort of nursing the animal is detrimental to your fulfilling primary responsibilities to other human beings, then you must consider putting the cat down. Not because it is a cat, but because there are humans who must be helped.
    We hope that this helped.
    Peace and joy.