End of Life


Humane euthanasia is a responsible alternative to livestock auctions and the traditional slaughter pipeline.

For some horses, humane euthanasia is the best and most reasonable option. In general, this option is for horses suffering from a poor quality of life due to chronic illness or lameness, advanced age making management difficult, a history of dangerous behavioral issues, or when no other safe option is available to the horse. 

METS staff are prepared to assist owners with making and carrying out the decision to euthanize in a variety of ways. Saying goodbye to a long-time companion and partner is difficult, and METS staff are prepared to offer the emotional support necessary to find peace of mind. METS staff can assist with the scheduling of an appointment with a veterinarian that is a METS Partner, either at the horse’s facility or offsite. If disposal assistance is needed, METS can also assist with that service. Financial assistance may be provided to those who qualify.

METS Equine Euthanasia and End-of-Life Options Veterinary Roundtable

  • Part I: What, How, and When: The Basics of Euthanasia
  • Part II: How Your Vet Handles the Emotional Toll of Euthanasia, and How Do Owners Know It’s Time?
  • Part III: Final Decisions: Disposal Options:
  • Part IV: Comprehensive Thoughts on Euthanasia: Reaching an Understanding

More Services

Equine Assessment

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Marketing and Placement Assistance

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Owner Assistance

If you are a horse owner who needs assistance transitioning one or more horses, please visit the link below for more information. Questions may be directed to mets@defhr.org or 301-854-5037.