A recent change to a "no kill" policy has put animals at risk in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Lancaster is well known for the cruelty of their Amish puppy mills. The Humane League of Lancaster County has implemented a no kill policy that resulted in the layoff of their cruelty investigative officer.
Pennsylvania's dog breeding industry is centered in Lancaster. But it is also home to the largest livestock auction east of the Mississippi, and has a livestock population larger than any other county in that state. Animals are trucked every week to auction, and are sold for slaughter. The Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PSPCA) has taken thousands of animals from Lancaster County. The Amish and Mennonite farms are not the nice vision that you may have, they are places of abuse.
When the no kill policy was implemented at the Humane League of Lancaster County, staff suffered a layoff and one of those was the cruelty investigative officer. In an area known for it's animal abuse and cruelty, is this a wise move? In addition the Humane League stopped taking strays therefore becoming a limited admission shelter. That translates into more animals on the streets. Strays are a public health and safety issue.
It means animals are dumped on the streets unaltered, left to reproduce and that adds to the problem. Andrew Helton has started a petition on ForceChange.com to demand that the Humane League revisit their decision on implementing no kill at this time. "Helton says he applauds responsible no kill shelters. But the Humane League's policy. he says, was "poorly planned".
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"It's an easy fix," he says. "They need to go back to their original policies, hire investigators and work toward reducing the stray population and incidents of cruelty and abuse. Then focus on no kill and how to do it properly so that neither the shelter or the animals of Lancaster are at risk."
When shelters turn away owners wanting to surrender their pets, those pets are dumped as a rule, they become the strays. When shelters limit their admissions by using impossible appointment times for working people or waiting lists, it places pets in danger of being abandoned to starve, be injuried, to die in horrible ways, but not without suffering. A program that lays off cruelty investigators in a place that is known for animal abuse speaks loudly about no kill. What is says is that no kill does not place the welfare of our pets as a number one priority.
There's a bit more to this story when you consider that the No Kill movement favors breeding of pets. The philosophy of no pet overpopulation gives credibility to breed more since there are plenty of homes. Supply and demand. Consider that Lancaster County has more than it's share of breeding facilities with the Amish and Mennonites. Why, then, would anyone want to deprive that county of an investigative officer for animal cruelty? You would if your philosophy includes the breeders, a close association with them. The founder of the No Kill Equation movement actually protected a cruel puppy mill. He was called on the carpet about it with the New York Agriculture Department and the Ithaca Journal.
The founder of the No Kill Equation movement condemns the major national organizations who do close down cruel puppy mills. Can you see the agenda here?