Dog Trainer Criticized After Putting Down Healthy Dog for Being Aggressive

Mark Pygas - Author

Nov. 18 2019, Updated 1:27 p.m. ET

Source: istock

A dog trainer is being criticized after she took to Facebook to explain why she euthanized her healthy pet for being aggressive. Katie Rogers, who runs Katie’s Critters, said in a public Facebook post that the choice "became crystal clear" when Tanner "put the fear of god into a child."

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She explained that while the nearly four-year-old had never actually hurt anyone after he scared the child she realized that she was "waiting for something bad" to happen to give her "an excuse to euthanize him."

In a post that has since been deleted, Rogers explained that she consulted mentors about the incident:

"I spent the next 10 days consulting with every professional I knew," she wrote. "5 years ago it was fewer than I know now, but it was enough. I cried with my mom about my decision. I took him to my mentors and she told me she was proud of me. And then on that last day, I took him to be euthanized."

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She went on to praise the veterinarian who performed the euthanasia, as well as her mother for her moral support.

"To the woman who actually performed the euthanasia, I know it was hard for you too, thank you for letting me be present and hold my dog," she wrote. "And to my mother, who had to fight into the clinic and behind closed doors so she could hold me while I held him. Thank you so much."

Rogers explained that living with a behaviorally-challenged dog had been life changing, and explained that her mother had compared her relationship with Tanner as that between an abuser and a victim. 

"My mom likened my relationship with Tanner to that with an abuser," she wrote. "I did everything for him, changed my entire life to be good enough for him, and got nothing but heartbreak back"

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"I strongly believe in euthanasia," Rogers continued. "It is the most terrible decision I have ever made. The most painful. But I’ve never regretted it. ‘For those of you who believe in 'saving them all' and 'no kill nation' I urge you to think about my story."

"I did everything for him, changed my entire life to be good enough for him, and got nothing but heartbreak back," Rogers said.  

"Would it have been better to live with this dog? To live in fear? To probably hurt somebody else? It wouldn't have been." 

Plenty of people were supportive of the post, with one writing: "If you weren't able to train him not to be aggressive, I don't know that anyone else could have. You are a brave and loving person." 

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Source: Facebook

Another commenter added: "A brave decision. We had to euthanize a dog a long time ago that had killed a neighbor's dog when she got loose one day. A hard but necessary decision, it could have been a child. And we were good dog owners." 

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Other commenters were more critical of the decision, with one writing: "I have a psychotic dog. I did not murder her. I worked with my vet, veterinary behaviorist to get her psychosis under control. I didn’t murder her, because she was aggressive, I worked with medical professionals to help her with her demons. To call yourself a trainer and make excuses to murder a dog, nope."

Another person upset by the post added: "Tanner could have been trained by professionals in law enforcement to be an attack dog to catch evil criminals. His death by you was for naught. Again, sorry, no intentional insult towards you, but you listened to the wrong people before having him killed." 

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