Kansas Woman Says She Shot Her Dog “Out of Love”

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Suzanne Rodina with her dogs Baby and Spirit

The Topeka, Kansas woman who was arrested for fatally shooting her dog on January 4th says she isn’t crazy, and she isn’t suicidal.  Her dog was dying, and she did what she thought was best by putting him out of his misery.

“When I shot him, it was instant.  He felt no pain,” Suzanne Rodina said of her dog, Shadow.  “I did it out of love for my dog, not because I hated him or didn’t want him.”

The German Shepherd-wolf hybrid, known for developing joint problems, was slowly deteriorating.  A veterinarian told Rodina that he had outlived his lifespan two years ago, and the saddened owner knew it was his time.  He was having difficulty walking, and hit his head and elbows on the stairs when he climbed them.  He was barely eating, and Rodina prayed every morning that when she woke, Shadow would still be alive.  On Jan. 4th when Shadow couldn’t get up from his bed, Rodina knew what she had to do.

“I didn’t want to do it,” she said, crying.  “I didn’t want to let him go.  But I knew I was just keeping him for me.”

It is unknown exactly why Rodina did not bring Shadow into a vet’s to be euthanized.  Perhaps she couldn’t afford it, as many vets do not offer payment plans or help for those who have financial difficulties.  But taking a pet on that final journey is never easy, and she wanted him to die at home.

“Some people think it’s cruel, what I did,” Rodina said.  “But he was in his own bed.  I was sitting with him, talking to him, petting him.  He was happy.  His tail was wagging.  And, and it was over.”

This is how people dealt with sick and injured animals for years, particularly in rural areas.

Police received the call that a woman had shot her dog and was threatening to kill herself.  The police went to her house, and using a loudspeaker, coaxed her out.  Rodina says she was in shock, and didn’t even hear the loudspeaker.  She didn’t know police were there until she happened to look out a window.

She peacefully exited the house with her hands up, and was escorted by police to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.  Rodina wasn’t suicidal, and was released later that evening.

“I feel very badly that I upset a lot of people,” she said.

She is working on an apology letter to Topeka Police Chief Ron Miller.

Her other two dogs, a two-and-a-half-year-old German Shepherd named Spirit and an eight-year-old Pomeranian named Baby, were anxiously awaiting her return.  Though animal control did not agree with her method of euthanasia, they determined that she was no threat to her other pets.

Rodina is still grieving the loss of her Shadow.  It pained her too much to even speak about how difficult the decision was to end her dog’s life.

“Shadow was probably the most wonderful companion I’ve had during my life,” she managed to get out.  “I loved him more than anything in the world.”

24 thoughts on “Kansas Woman Says She Shot Her Dog “Out of Love””

  1. The woman did it out of love for her dog. It is so expensive these days to have a dog euthanized by a vet. I had to do it with our first Rottie. I don’t feel as though she should be chastized for doing it. You don’t know her circumstances of her finances. She is grieving I am sure..she did it for all the right reasons ( and we all know that alot of people kill there pets in a far worse way and for unjust reasons or no reason at all) Maybe just cut her a break. We all do things for the animals we love…you don’t know unless you are ever in that position.

  2. I had to put down my beloved dog almost 2 years ago when he had a stroke. We had the vet come to the house where the family was gathered. We spent all morning in the side yard by the woods, with the sun shining and the birds chirping, saying our goodbyes. Then, we had someone come to get him to cremate him. It wasn’t cheap, over $200. But I would never have taken him to a cold metal table to be put down. His passing was so sad, but so peaceful. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him with love. I feel nothing but love for this poor lady who had to make a heart wrenching decision.

  3. I don’t own a gun but if I did I would have done the same. For the love of the dog. We are very selfish we don’t want to give up what we love. I think she was very brave.

    • That’s a very rude and ignorant comment. I wonder how you feel about larger animals such as horses, cattle, deer etc. being euthanized in such ways. Is it just because it’s a dog? If so, that’s an invalid argument on your part. This dog felt no pain at the end and he was comfortable in his own home. I would say that it seems like this woman loved her animal so much that she did something she didn’t really want to do in order for her companion to be as comfortable as possible. I would say that she sounds like a very caring pet owner. You, however, just sound cold and heartless.

    • Tracey, your ignorant and insensitive. Have some compassion for this woman that obvisoulsy did a painful thing.

      All these comments are rude. I dreaded the day I had to put my boxer down for the same disease. I dreaded the day I had to takd him to the vet’s office, even though I love my vet, it was very cold and not personal no matter how much they tried. I on the other hand, wished I would wake up and see that he died peacefully in his own bed but that was not the case.

      It is hard and she did what she felt she had to do and what she could handle. Don’t judge someone unless you’ve walked in their shoes.

      She obviously loves her animals.

    • Tracy, I hope when it’s your time you are put through a few years of expensive, unnecessary and experimental medical treatments.

  4. I don’t think that I could ever do that to my dog. But this woman did it out of love for dog. She is a stronger woman than I am. I would be afraid of missing and causing pain. The dog died at home. Those of you that think the vet’s office is cold. My vet was very caring when I brought my dog of over 15 years in to be put down. She brought us to a private little exam room, put a blanket down on the floor and let us get comfortable. My dog had his head on my lap and I patted his head and talked to him. My daughter and mother came and were loving him. The vet came in and she patted him and gave him a hug(she was his vet for 14 years). After she explained what would/could happen, she asked if we were ready. Then she gave him the shot, pronounced him dead, and left us. She made sure that we knew there was no rush to leave. Not all vet offices are cold and impersonal. Not that any one here said that.

  5. I am incredibly dedicated to animal rights and support the no kill movement WITH THE EXCEPTION of allowing animals to endure pain. I found a puppy in a rural area on a holiday – no possibility of vet care for three days – and the puppy was wailing in pain from terrible bleeding wounds from mange and also starving. My brother shot it – he is a skilled shooter so there was no chance he would harm and not kill it – and I held and prayed for the puppy first and deliberated and then he did it, and buried it. It haunts me to this day wondering if I could have saved the puppy. This lady had already been told nothing could be done and while her choice was odd, I believe she did it out of love. If I saw my dog suffering with no chance of improvement I would be willing to do anything to stop her pain.


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