A DEVASTATED vet has revealed the final words she told five dogs she had to put down in one day.
Dr Amy Jackson-Moss penned the message on Facebook, which she had been writing in her head "for nearly 3 years" but "never been brave enough to post" until now.
The vet, from Grahamstown, Eastern Cape in South Africa, wrote: “In their final moments I tell each of them that I am sorry and for those who leave behind friends, puppies or siblings, I promise them that I will take care of them and do my very best to find them homes or see that they are cared for properly.
“These are trivial words compared to what I should be saying to them but it’s hard to give them the apology they so deserve in the short time it takes for the life to leave their little bodies.”
She said the dogs she had to put down were healthy in every way but were "failed by humans".
Dr Jackson-Moss wrote: "The dogs I put down today were not sick, they were not injured, they were not old and they were not unhealthy in any way.
"They were not untamed and they were not aggressive. They were perfect, healthy and normal dogs.
"There was no reason for them to lose their lives today other than that they were failed by humans."
Describing it as an "overpopulation crisis of domestic animals," the vet explained that many animal welfare organisations and shelters around the world have no choice but to euthanise dogs when they run out of space.
She added that it's a difficult decision to speak out because she didn't want to put the animal shelters at risk of losing their funding.
In a heartbreaking detail, Dr Jackson-Moss wrote: "The dogs that I put down today were so excited to see me.
"How lucky they were to have someone in their kennel giving them attention and maybe just maybe they'd even be so lucky as to be taken out for a walk – their tails were wagging and everyone was jumping for joy."
When she had to put them down, she said she tried to do everything she could to make it easier, including sedating them and letting them stay in their kennels.
Even though she made sure no other animal had to witness the process but she said the ones around them "must know".
The vet wrote: "Usually the dogs bark endlessly at any small movement or sound but there is nothing more deafening than the silence of nearly one hundred dogs while ending the life of one of their neighbours or friends,
"They must know and I so often wonder if they are thinking if they are next or when their time will come."
Dr Jackson-Moss wished she could tell the dogs how sorry she was that they never got to experience life with a loving family.
She said: "I’m so sorry that they were born into a world that didn’t have space for them and so many others.
"I’m sorry that for months or for some of them nearly a year countless people walked past their cage and decided not to choose them or to leave and rather choose to buy a puppy somewhere else instead."
Her Facebook post has been shared more than 32,000 times in less than two months and she said although she didn't write it for fundraising purposes, she wanted to give people an opportunity to help.
So she has set up a dog sterilisation campaign so she and her clinic, Makana Vet Clinic can help reduce the number of unwanted puppies in her community, where a lot of dog owners live in poverty with no access to water or electricity.
The vet added she's tried hard to find loving homes for as many of the abandoned pets as possible – and admits she's have adopted eight dogs herself.
She asks people to volunteer at their local animal shelter, donate where they can towards other sterilisation programmes and to adopt rather than shop.
Dr Jackson-Moss said: "I do hope that in my lifetime I could live in a world where no healthy animal is euthanised due to lack of space, lack of homes or lack of resources available.
"I’m not sure if I will ever get to see that be a reality but I think we all know by now that I will never give up trying."
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