"After N.H. dog’s death, an effort to ban guns to put down pets" by Rik Stevens Associated Press November 15, 2015
CONCORD, N.H. — The death of a brown-and-white mixed breed named Bruno on the northern fringe of New Hampshire’s White Mountains has sparked an angry response from animal rights activists who want to ban owners from using a gun to ‘‘put down’’ old, sick, or dangerous dogs.
‘‘It was done in such a cruel manner. The dog was shot multiple times and left to die,’’ said Katie Treamer, one of the founders of Justice For Bruno, a group lobbying to make it a felony to shoot a pet to death in New Hampshire. ‘‘In this day and age, it’s just not a responsible way to euthanize a pet.’’
A humanely placed bullet is a generations-old method of dispatching pets in rural parts of the country where a veterinarian’s syringe can be expensive and hours away. And even those angry at how Bruno died say outlawing the practice isn’t probable because it is so deeply ingrained in the nation’s agrarian traditions, where farmers and ranchers have long put down domestic animals with a gunshot.
State Representative John Tholl, who lives in New Hampshire’s north country and chairs the House public safety committee, said a ban on shooting a pet as a form of euthanasia faces long odds, especially in rural states.
‘‘It’s been common practice for people up here to put down their animals — not just dogs — because they’re hurt in such a way that they can’t be saved or they’re so old that they need to be relieved of suffering,’’ Tholl said. ‘‘And the cost to do that through a vet is quite expensive.’’
Treamer said Bruno’s owner, Ryan Landry, had other options, including returning Bruno — no questions asked — to the shelter where he was adopted. If the dog was dangerous, then medical euthanasia administered by a trained professional would have been the preferred way to end Bruno’s life, she said.
State laws restricting emergency euthanasia vary.
Growing up on a western Massachusetts farm, John Gralenski, now 80, sometimes had to put down sick or injured pets. He never liked it but he adamantly opposes outlawing the practice....
Also see: New clues revealed in long-unsolved N.H. deaths
Related: Decades-old slayings of woman, 3 girls still baffle N.H. officials