A heartbroken vet has taken to social media to reveal the final words she told five dogs she tragically had to put down in one day.
Dr Amy Jackson-Moss from Grahamstown, Eastern Cape in South Africa, told her followers on Facebook she had been writing the message in her head "for nearly 3 years" but had "never been brave enough to post" until now.
The vet 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.”
Devastatingly, she said the dogs she put down were healthy in every way but had been "failed by humans".
Dr Jackson-Moss continued: "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.
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"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."
The vet described the situation as "overpopulation crisis of domestic animals", and explained that many animal shelters across the globe are forced to euthanise healthy dogs when they run out of space.
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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."
She said she tried to do everything she could to make the process easier for the poor animals, including sedating them and letting them stay in their kennels.
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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.
"I’m so sorry that they were born into a world that didn’t have space for them and so many others.
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"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."
The heart-wrenching Facebook post has been shared over 32,000 times in less than two months.
Dr Jackson-Moss said she didn't write it for fundraising purposes – but wanted to give people a chance to help.
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As a result of her heartbreaking experiences, the vet has now set up a dog sterilisation campaign to allow her to reduce the number of unwanted puppies in her community.
She is also urging people to donate where they can towards sterilisation programmes, volunteer at their local animal shelter and to adopt a dog rather than buy one.
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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