From the Editor’s Perch

Are you going to "stop my suffering?"

Are you going to “stop my suffering?”

Mercy Killing


My friend and I, whose homes are both plagued with pests, got to discussing what to do with a mouse, still alive, which was caught in a trap.  I’d said that I took them outside and smacked them real hard in the head with a brick or a rock.  I told him I imagined it would be like an Act of God, like one of us being hit by a meteor  “…large as a house!” (with suitable arm flourish),  I added.  My friend shuddered a bit.


So I asked him what he had done with the mice he’d caught but not yet killed.  He looked a bit troubled by the recollection.  Apparently it was because it hadn’t gone particularly well.


He said that first he’d tried gassing the thing in the barbeque, which hadn’t worked.  So then he decided to shoot it with a rifle.  First he hung it on a board in his shed placing some thick lumber ends behind it.  “But it’s hard to hit,” he added, since he’d had to stand some distance away.   I asked him where he’d shot the mouse.  “In the mid-section,” he noted.  “It’s hard to hit!”  He said again.


I imagined my friend trying to explain to a neighbor passing by what he was doing, and rocked with laughter.


“No one passes by out there,” he replied.



All of this got me to thinking that this would make an interesting blog post.  But what would still others do, I thought?  So I queried people on my Facebook page, “If you found a mouse still wriggling in your trap, what have you done with it?”


Two guys said that they’d feed it to their cat (and save money).  A woman replied that she’d flee screaming.  One guy left it outside in the trap and forgot it.  When he next happened on the trap, the mouse was gone.  Another woman found a raccoon a neighbor had caught in a ‘humane’ trap – and released it.  “The neighbor was not happy,” she said.


I decided to Google to determine the broader public opinion on this matter.    And here is some of what I found:


Dog hit by car with crushed hindquarters:


“Poor thing. I would call Animal control & tell them its an emergency. Maybe they will send someone right out. Hard to tell with our government agencies.”


“.if you have a gun, kill it, one shot behind the ear, if not, run it over again, don’t let it suffer.”


“Maybe take it to a vet? I wouldn’t though, it sounds like the dog is in a lot of pain. Maybe borrow a gun from a neighbor or get him to do it.”



Some people leapt right into a moralizing posture:

How do you put a mouse out of its misery quickly?

My mouse is sick and needs help moving on to the next life.


“I think the one who needs help here may be you. It is not your decision to make as to whether or not it is time for your pet to die.You are not a vet. If your pet is sick, take it to the vet. If you can’t afford to take it to the vet, take it to a shelter and don’t get pets again until you can afford their care. It is animal cruelty to try and kill your pet. You could be doing it when there is a chance it could get better. You could do it improperly and cause more suffering for the animal. Leave the mouse alone and if it’s time for it to die, it won’t need any help from you.”


Some people have gotten themselves into a hellofa mess:

Can you get a mouse off of a glue trap without injuring or killing it?

“You can dissolve the glue. Wearing gloves, add vegetable oil to dissolve the glue and, with a pencil, push the mouse off.”


“put it in a shallow pool of water, not too deep so it doesn’t drown, and see if the glue dissolves or loosens. maybe that could make it easier to get it off, and wear gloves.“


“Yes, if you have access to a beard trimmer you can shave it out of the glue trap. Just make sure your rabies shot is up to date.”



Some people expect a lot:

What is the most humane way to put a small wild animal out of its misery?

I mean for example injured mice and things. Sometimes my cats catch mice inside my house and I hate to watch them torture them to death.


Best Answer Chosen by Voters:

“The problem is with your cat.
Either you train your cat to kill the mice quickly , or just get rid of it.
Why not try to teach your cat to be nicer to your cute little mice?
Maybe if you got a vegetarian cat, it wouldn’t try to eat the mice.”


Some ring with certainty and authority:

Q: My mouse no longer has quality of life. How should my mouse be euthanized?
A:The only humane way to euthanize a mouse is by inhaled gas anesthesia overdose. This can only be done at a vet’s. There is no humane way to euthanize a mouse at home. Asphyxiation by carbon dioxide, by drowning, or in a plastic bag; freezing, cervical dislocation, or feeding to another animal are all incredibly cruel and inhumane. The only humane way to euthanize a mouse is by inhaled gas anesthesia overdose.”



Others sympathize and offer some simple tactics:

“I think wringing its neck would be best: However, its hard to explain how to quickly and efficiently do this……google how to wring a chickens neck and you will see what i mean.
Or just give them a whack on the back of the head, its how many mousetraps work:

Kudos for having the balls to do it: its a kindness.”


“when i had pet mice and they were sick and about to die we would put them in the freezer. it is really sad, but we asked the people at the pet store and that’s what they said to do.”


“simplest and most ethical way is a bullet to the head, if you havent got a gun then a hard quick strike with a blunt object also to the head.”


And finally…


“Do it quickly with a shoe.”

Photo pulled from Google Images

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