Honestly I'm a little surprised. I know someone who's horse colicked really bad, and he needed emergency surgery, but the owners didn't have the money. They wanted to wait overnight (he got to the hospital really late at night), as he was stable enough, before making the decision to euth him. They got a call really early the next morning that an anonymous donor had given the hospital the money to get the surgery done, and would she like them to go ahead and start. Of course she said yes, and the horse ended up pulling through. I think that even if someone didn't donate money, the proper thing to do would have been to call the owners, and say something, and make sure that they want to go through with the surgery. It's one thing if someone wants to euth a perfectly healthy young dog say, because they are moving and can't take him with them or something, to go find a home for the dog, (from what I understand though, they always ask the owner to sign the dog over to the vet so it's all legal transfer of ownership), but if the dog is injured and suffering, and the owners decide to euth, then that's what should happen, or they should call the owner to inform them that the surgery can be done because of donation, or they are going to waive the fee or whatever, and see if the owner wants to go ahead with it. It's not just the money for the surgery, its also the money for meds, for rechecks, for potential other emergency stuff related to the surgery, and the owners should have been the ones to decide if they can handle it. That being said, it would be really hard to put an animal down just because the owners can't pay for a surgery, and if I were a vet, I'd want to do what I could to help out, so I understand where the vet was coming from in wanting to help an animal that has a good chance of healing and doing well after surgery.