Summary: In this article, Palmer provides a clear survey of positions on killing domestic animals (cats and dogs) in animal shelters. She argues that there are three ways of understanding the killing that occurs in animal shelters: consequentialism, rights based, and relation based. She considers the relationship of humans and domesticated animals that leads to their killing in animal shelters as well as providing an ethical assessment of the practice.
Comment: This text is a clear introduction to the ethical issues involved in keeping 'pets' or 'companion animals.' It would serve as a clear introduction to the problem of 'painless killing' in a course on ethics of killing, environmental ethics, or animal ethics.