Female Vet Euthanizes 6 Pets Before Turning the Needle on Herself

Heartbreaking 35

A veterinarian euthanised six of her own pets -- and then used the drugs to euthanise herself. Coworkers were aghast when they showed up at the vet clinic in Pelham, Georgia to find Dr. Edith Klein, and her four dogs and two cats, dead, apparently at her own hand. The sheriff's office reportedly believes that financial troubles were behind the suicide. I get killing yourself. I mean, I don't "get" it entirely, but I do. We've all occasionally been overwhelmed, depressed, seeing no hope, and feeling the only way out of our struggle and pain is to end our life. But killing your beloved pets too? Especially when you're a vet?

Customers wrote on Dr. Klein's Facebook page about what a wonderful and caring veterinarian she was. But apparently finances caught up to her as new vets began opening up in the area, possibly taking business away from her. We don't know what else was going on in Dr. Klein's life -- she may have been struggling with more than one issue.

But what could have gone through her mind to take the lives of her trusting animals too? I often think about my pets and what might happen to them if something happened to me. I do not have family who could take them. So I've asked around repeatedly to my friends, and finally settled on someone who I felt would REALLY take them if need be, and not who might just SAY so to make me feel better. I then set aside money for her and the care of my pets.

Perhaps Dr. Klein didn't have this option -- after all, it would be difficult to find a home for so many animals. And I don't know what breed her four dogs were, but if they were of the pit bull variety, she would have had a very hard time finding them homes, or even shelters to take them. She must have felt if she left them behind, they may end up at a kill shelter and then die without her. Perhaps she felt that she could put them down painlessly and humanely. At least she didn't leave the dirty work to anyone else -- as millions do every year who carelessly drop off their animals at kill shelters.

But I can't imagine what went through her mind as she put down her pets -- one right after the other. If you've ever put down a pet and watched it happen, it is not a pleasant process, no matter how painless it might be. To do that six times -- I can't fathom.

And then she turned the needle on herself. Tragic.

Do you think people are ever right to take the lives of their pets?


Image via Elsie Esq/Flickr

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Doomy234 Doomy234

I am all for euthanizing pets in the case of animals who are incredibly ill or in incurable pain. But not for young healthy pets. I think maybe this vet had been thinking of her suicide for a while and decided instead of getting rid of her pets, she thought it'd be best to just put them down. She probably knew that if she gave them away it would strike someone as odd since she obviously loved and had the ability to care for animals. She probably didnt want anyone to know, and didnt want to leave them alone not knowing how long it might take someone to find her.

Mamab... MamabearC

I agree with Doomy234. I also think that, seeing as how she apparently loved animals, I highly doubt she euthanized her pets to be cruel;I'm betting she thought she was making the best choice for them. I don't think I would make the same choice but then again, we don't know exactly what was going on her her life, in her head or in her heart so she'll get no judgement from me. How sad though...

CPN322 CPN322

No, but I know how she felt.

nonmember avatar HS

Well, human parents kill their human kids all the time so it doesn't surprise me that a human parent would do the same to their pets.

nonmember avatar Phoenix

Vets see how many pets are abandoned and ill cared for, and how full shelters are. She probably thought she was saving the animals suffering, perhaps she thought they would all be united in a better place.

lulou lulou

Maybe she wanted the animals with her in the afterlife.

tuffy... tuffymama

I understand how she could have arrived at the conclusion that they'd be better off dead. I don't agree, but I can see the rationale. Poor woman. I know the things that lead to suicide are horrible, hopeless and overwhelming. I hope she rests in peace.

nonmember avatar Liloleme

She took those animals in because they were sick and/or handicapped. They had been taken to her clinic, by their owners, to be put down. She couldn't do it. She took them in, gave them a home and loved them...unconditionally. I'm sure she felt they would be thrown away, unwanted, as they had been in the past. I believe she thought she was taking them with her...to a better place.

I knew her. She was my vet.

Felip... FelipesMom

I don't know what happened, but I CAN see killing your pets before you kill yourself. I am not saying I would do it or that I condone it, but it really isn't that hard to understand! Come on! How many pets are guaranteed a decent life after their owners pass away? And as a vet, she probably had even more firsthand experience and kowledge of unwanted pets. This way, I'm sure she was thinking, they could just go to sleep and never wake up. It might not be OK, maybe you wouldn't ever feel that way, but srsly? Is it really that hard to understand where she was coming from? I don't think so.

nonmember avatar DLopez

Why emphasize in the headline she was a FEMALE? Are you implying some "female hysteria" was responsible for her actions or is her gender somehow relevant to this article? This professional was an expert on worked with ailing animals on a daily basis. The stress of tending to the animals and the pressure to provide services at prices that are low enough so people will care for their animals in this economy is tremendous. The failure of many owners to maintain even the basic vaccinations and spay or neuter their pets has created a host of problems. Veternarians see the darkest side of our failure to care for our pets...the suffering animals brought in that are often beyond help. Compound those stresses with mounting financial losses, and you can imagine her state of mind. Euthanizing six animals you love gently knowing they will die painlessly was not as big an issue to the animals since she had over the course of her career probably put many more to sleep to spare them suffering and knew the procedure. It must have pained her much more to know she failed her pets. Poor woman. She spent her life easing animals suffering, if only someone could have known about her suffering in time to help her.

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