7-week-old puppy with birth defect taken to be euthanized — but vet steps in to save his life

Pet euthanasia is a difficult and complicated subject, and people have differing views on whether it’s humane to put a dog with medical issues to sleep or give them a chance at life.

Recently, a puppy with birth defects was brought to a vet to be euthanized — but the vet made a decision to him.

Oliver Reeve, a veterinarian from New Zealand, wrote that someone brought a 7-month-old puppy to his hospital. The puppy has unspecified birth defects, and their owner wanted the pup to be euthanized.

However, Reeve opted to not euthanize the puppy — and decided to adopt the dog himself.

“A 7 week old puppy got brought into the clinic to be euthanised tonight. Very sad. Any way, meet my new son,” he wrote on Twitter.

The vet’s decision to save the puppy’s life drew praise online, with many scorning the dog’s owner for trying to have the pup put down instead of making an effort to save their life.

“Anyone that would even consider bringing a healthy pet to the vets to be put down is an utter scumbag that should face charges. It makes me rage,” one reply reads.

“How anyone could do that to such a beautiful dog makes me despair,” another wrote. “Glad I don’t work in a veterinary practice – I would need a much bigger house and food budget!”

While many people were outraged, we don’t know the full story: it’s very possible the former owner felt that, given the pup’s birth defects, euthanasia was the humane thing to do and weren’t able to provide the extensive medical care needed.

Reeve expressed empathy towards the person: “I’m not going to talk about what defects they are. People are likely going to be a bit judgemental about him being surrendered for the issue,” the vet wrote. “The main thing is that the original owner sought veterinary care and didn’t let the puppy suffer.”

“People shouldn’t be shamed for seeking veterinary care and electing euthanasia or surrender. Vets are not the police and we don’t want people reluctant to see us because they fear judgement,” he continued. “Taking a puppy to a vet and electing humane euthanasia is far better than letting the puppy suffer or dumping it – which definitely happens. Euthanasia may not seem palatable but it is a treatment option that preserves welfare and there can be lots of reasons why it’s chosen.”

Reeve wrote that he has named his new puppy “Toby,” and that he underwent his first surgery to correct his birth defects. The vet wrote that Toby will undergo another surgery in a few months and should then be “all good.”

“Brave little man,” he wrote.

We’re so glad that sweet little Toby is alive and getting the medical help he needs. Thank you to this vet for giving this pup a second chance!

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