Euthanasia Policy

View this as a PDF here: HSGC Euthanasia Policy 1-9-13

Approved by the Board of Directors 1/9/13

Although the River Bluff Humane Society does not like to euthanize animals, it is a necessary part of shelter operations. All animals that come into the shelter are to be assessed to determine whether the animal is suitable to be placed in a home through adoption or should be euthanized. All animals will be held for an assessment period of 5 days minimum, after which a decision will be made. When the decision is made to keep an animal it will be kept until adopted, however animals may need to be reassessed if significant changes are observed in their health or personality.

According to our Minnesota Board of Animal Health kennel license our maximum capacity is 50 cats and 50 dogs. When we are near or at capacity and appropriate transfers to other organizations are not available, animals that are questionable based on the criteria below may be assessed more critically and euthanized if they are deemed unadoptable.

The following animals will be euthanized:

Health and/or Age

  • Animals too sick or hurt for the shelter to care for either physically or financially. This includes but is not limited to:
    • Cats who test positive for Feline Leukemia and/or FIV
    • Dogs who test positive for Parvo virus
    • Animals who test positive for Ringworm and/or other zoonotic diseases
  • Animals who are estimated to be older than 8 years of age and who are no longer in good overall health.


  • Feral cats.
  • Animals that have exhibited multiple signs of aggression to humans.
  • Animals that have bit humans.
  • Dogs that have bit / severely injured other domestic animals.
  • Large breed dogs that have exhibited multiple signs of aggression to other dogs.
  • Any animal deemed dangerous by the Police or Sherriff’s Department.


  • Wolf-hybrids.
  • Other regulated animals as determined by applicable laws.

Exceptions to this policy will be made at the discretion of the Executive Director with appropriate documentation.

Animals selected for euthanasia will be euthanized in accordance with all applicable laws under the advice and supervision of a veterinarian who will select the appropriate sedation and euthanasia methods.