Wood Green Animal Shelter Responds to “Henry” Incident

The Wood Green Animal Shelter has responded to the article in The Daily Mail regarding Henry, the golden retriever that had to be euthanized after being beside his deceased owner for 5 days.  Mrs. Hill had left  £100,000 in her will to the shelter.   It was determined the dog was in severe pain, and needed to be euthanized.  According to comments in my previous post, there were several rescue volunteers willing to care for Henry, but he was in such pain, they did what was in the best interest of the dog.  I would like to think that is what Mrs. Hill truly would have wanted.

These people dedicate their lives to helping animals, and I hope we can give them the benefit of the doubt.

Here is the response from the Wood Green Animal Shelter:

It’s disheartening to read some of the comments and perceptions created by the article in the Mail on Sunday which was first published in local media in March 2012.

For those of you who know the Charity, you will know that we always act with integrity, honesty and in the best interests of all the animals that come into our care. Henry’s case was particularly sad, because of the circumstances in which he came to us and the decision about him that was made.  That decision was taken by a vet based on Henry’s medical condition and included being taken home by a member of staff to assess him outside the kennel environment. At the time of the decision there was no knowledge of Mrs Hill’s legacy.

The Mail on Sunday headline portrays the Charity as uncaring by suggesting that our focus was on the legacy not Henry. This cannot be further from the truth and actually is quite disdainful to conclude otherwise.  In fact, we endeavour to find homes for all the thousands of animals that come to us and are successful in 95% of cases.

The way the Charity has been portrayed by the article and the sensationalised headline has caused the Charity to look at how this misrepresentation can be addressed.

When all is said and done the fact remains that we made the decision to euthanize Henry based on the evidence that pointed towards Henry enduring any life he had ahead of him rather than enjoying it. Veterinary treatment may have extended his life but we felt that owing to the number of pain inflicting conditions he had, exacerbated by the fact he had been home alone without food, water or treatment for a number of days, that euthanasia was the kindest option. Not everyone will agree with our decision as is evident at this time but the fact remains that our Charity is well respected amongst its peers and we will continue to put the welfare needs of our animals ahead of public opinion.

As a Charity we are dependent on the generous contributions of the supporters.  We are conscious of our obligations in this regard.  All owners bring their animals to us trusting us to do the right thing.  We believe we carry out this responsibility in the best interests of the animals.

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5 thoughts on “Wood Green Animal Shelter Responds to “Henry” Incident

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  1. Thanks for the update, but based on the facts it does seem that they acted harshly in euthanizing Henry, in my opinion. Being without food and water for 5 days, some untreated arthritis pain, the sadness he’d endured, those are all horrible things but ending his life seems wrong. Whether they knew about the legacy or not, it’s lousy. MY dog Henry was euthanized last February also, but he was 14 and was suffering from not only arthritis but hemangiosarcoma, and even then THAT was a gut-wrenching decision.

  2. Thanks for the update. It is such a difficult one and a terrible decision for anyone to have to make. Impossible for anyone to say what the right decision would have been without having been there and seen the dog for themselves. Always heartbreaking, though, when an animal is put down. All very sad.

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