When you hear the term "No Kill", what do you think? Do you think how wonderful? Do you think there is no euthanization, all pets have a home and there is a forever after? Don't you also think that if there is "No Kill", then there must be "Kill". And that if you are for one, you are against the other. Roger A. Caras, longtime President of the ASPCA, said that the term alone robs our open door shelters of badly needed volunteers, it is a deception. Do you think "No Kill" doesn't kill? You would be wrong to do so, it does.
More and more kind-hearted people are being duped into sending money via the "No Kill" title to "save" dogs and cats who are beyond healing, and for who being kept alive is actually ruthless. A recent case involved Tidus, a badly burned German shepherd mix. Almost $45,000 was reportedly collected for his "treatment", which was excruciating for the dog whose condition was obviously irretrievable. Tidus's skin was hanging off most of his body, exposing flesh and nerves, yet at the urging of No Kill "rescuers" whose motives must be questioned, a veterinarian kept Tidus alive in extreme pain for several days. As expected, Tidus succumbed to his injuries after days of unneeded suffering.
The question now is where are the funds raised from his suffering? Another question is who determines who, what, how much is treatable? No Kill shelters are euthanizing referring to the terms untreatable and unhealthy. How is this determined, with vets on staff, credible behaviorists? The example of Tidus, obviously someone deemed the dog treatable. Is this type of cruelty going on at these No Kill shelters? What would these seventy No Kill shelters have done with Tidus?
It's past time that this kind of "no-kill" fundraising to be stopped and that the public understand that even "No Kill" shelters euthanize animals when they are in pain and can't recover. Untreatable, aggressive, and animals with severe behavioral problems are euthanized at most "No Kill" shelters, as well they should be. The popular "chip-in" scheme being used by No Kill to collect funds for animals still sitting in shelters and for animals like Tidus is now closing out per an announcement last week.
The Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA in Virginia, a huge bragging right of No Kill, reportedly euthanized 233 animals last year - only one of whom was at the request of a cash strapped guardian whose elderly animal was at the end. This means that No Kill made the decision for the other 232 animals. How was that decision made?
The Seattle, Washington animal shelter and its placement partners collectively put down 1,427 animals in 2010, its latest reporting year. They claim to be No Kill. And the Nevada Humane Society in Reno, Nevada euthanized 516 animals in 2012. So you see, No Kill has it's numbers when it comes to euthanization.
The above are just a handful of the proclaimed seventy No Kill shelters that follow the No Kill Equation program and as you see, they have a goodly amount of euthanization going on. All of the above facilities call themselves "No Kill" shelters and promote an ideology that insults and condemns other open admission shelters that also must euthanize animals for the same reasons. Where is the difference? "No Kill" shelters use vague terms and reckless policies to raise money from kind hearted but misinformed people. Just the term "No Kill" alone is deceptive and the above shelters show that, they are euthanizing. Terms like "unhealthy" and "untreatable" are open to interpretation depending on who is conducting the examination. Who does these exams at these "No Kill" shelters?
Animals are often turned over to anyone who will take them and those who call themselves a "rescue". Check any "No Kill" shelter on any given weekend and see the BOGO sales on their pets. They give them away for free while telling the world not to advertise free pets on Craigslist. Just a tad hypocritical wouldn't you say?
A recent case like the operator of the Willamette Valley Animal Rescue in Oregon, points out the need to regulate these rescues. The animals found at this house of horrors were obtained from California, home of the Hayden Act. The Hayden Act is the basis for Nathan Winograd's Companion Animal Protection Act. The Hayden forces the Calfornia shelters to give pets to people the shelter knows is not in the best interest of the pets. To refuse these "No Kill' rescues means lawsuits being filed, protests in front of the shelter, cyber bullying. Law enforcement officials in Oregon arrested three people involved in the Willamette rescue group after finding nearly 150 animals in a warehouse in poor condition, starving, sickly, some with eyes sealed shut. They were living on concrete floors with no bedding, their cages contaminated with feces and urine.
Another No Kill transport group in Connecticut had the same conditions. Pets have died by the hundreds under No Kill shelters, died in horrible ways. Consider Spindletop where many of the followers of No Kill dumped dogs pulled from the "kill" shelters.
Giving to spay/neuter programs and your local public shelter will go farther in the battle to end euthanasia at animal shelters and improve the lives of animals in homes than anything else. Donating to questionable "rescues" to help a handful of animals does nothing to address the real problems - the unrestricted breeding of dogs and cats, and owners needing help to keep their companions in a legal and caring way. Know who you are donating to and donate to those making the difference.