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When Animals Die in Shelters: Who Really Kills Them?

We have become a nation whereby people just don't want to accept the responsibility of the consequences of their actions. For every action there is a reaction.

There is a movement in this country that is deceptive at best and is causing animals unnecessary suffering. This movement is the "No Kill" (NK). The term alone is deceiving. If you aren't for No Kill, then you must be for killing, is how the public perceives it with the use of this term. Roger Caras, longtime President of the ASPCA, called No Kill a hoax, something that hurts shelters and he was right.

Thus far, it has been a miserable failure. Claiming to have 27 open door shelters, but these shelters are turning owners away during their time of need. In this economy, it is rubbing salt into the wound of those who have lost their jobs, their homes, their lives and need to surrender their pet.

This movement, by turning away owners, results in more strays on the streets, the last thing we need. San Antonio, TX found that out the hard way when they declared No Kill. It is estimated that there are more than 100,000 animals on their streets. On a regular basis, "No Kill" shelters are busted for cruelty. They are overcrowded and riddled with disease. Frankenstein only cared about his creation being alive, and that describes NK, they are alive but suffering horribly.

We all know the manta of the No Kill movement is that the shelters are kill crazy, all the people who work in shelters want nothing more than to start their day killing animals. That does sound ridiculous but there are plenty of people who actually believe that it is the choice of the shelters to kill, not a dirty job that the irresponsible public has bestowed upon shelter employees.

The No Kill movement also justifies itself by saying that the public is guilt free, it is not the public's fault that animals are in the shelters and certainly not the public's fault that animals are dying in the shelter. NK goes to outermost limits of madness by proclaiming that there is no pet overpopulation. Our shelters are full, strays running in the streets and dead ones lying beside the road and NK says there is no problem?

Yes, there is a problem. First there is a question, why are animals dying in the shelters? Is it because employees enjoy killing animals, hearing their cries give the employees pleasure? Hardly. Shelter employees are the most put upon people in the world. When asked why they took the job, the answer always is to help the animals. A shelter director once said that a sure sign of her success on the job would be if there was no longer a need for her job.

Another shelter director stated that he loved his job with one exception, assigning an employee for the euthanasia room. It is immoral to blame these employees. We should be thanking them for cleaning up behind us, the public. We should be grateful that there are people with the strength to do the job. Does NK push the public toward the shelters? Hardly. Condemnation of shelters, telling people they will see dead animals and murders is not the way to get the public into the shelters to adopt.

Next weekend there is a push to hold demonstrations at shelters by the followers of NK. Is this a good idea, or will it mean more animals die in the shelters? It means more will die and the blood of those dead animals will be on the hands of the demonstrators, the followers of NK. 

When a man is told his family will see dead animals, experience rudeness from people who kill animals, will see neglect of animals, do you think this man will place his family in such a position to see all of this? It will never happen. That man will not go to the shelter, he will not save the life of a shelter animal, he will run right into the waiting arms of a "rescue". Who is telling all of this to that man? The very rescues that benefit from that man running from the shelter. Could there be a hidden agenda at work here?

All rescues refer to themselves as being No Kill. What that means is they are able to pick and choose, picking only the "adoptable" ones and leaving the rest to be taken to the shelter, the "unadoptable" ones. There is a double standard at work here. Animals in the shelters are often times the "rejects" of these rescues. Adoptable to a rescue means a cute, fluffy pet, usually from the owner, and usually with a donation attached. Shelters can't pick and choose, they take any and all, adoptable and unadoptable. There's where the difference lies.

We are still having to euthanize for time and space in our shelters. Space is the most valuable commodity of a shelter, without it, they would have to turn away animals. Turning away animals means that those animals will be abandoned on our streets. There they can suffer many different fates, getting hit by a car, tortured by neighborhood punks, eating poison, attacked by coyotes, in other words, inhumane ways of dying. We should not have to kill for space if the rescues would step up to the plate and take out the animals in danger of dying.

There are all kinds of rescues, some good, some bad, some hoarders, some perverts. Rescue means one thing and only one thing, saving lives. The shelters are still euthanizing for time and space, so where are these "rescues"? Killing for time and space could stop if rescues truly lived up to their titles and would take the animals out. Instead, they go into a shelter, many rescues never see the inside of a shelter, and cherry pick, leaving the least adoptable, the old, the big one, the black ones to die. A report from a major animal control agency plainly shows that small dogs are rarely euthanized in the shelters except for medical or aggression. This cherry picking by rescues only leaves the "unadoptable" pets in the shelter for the public. There is a double standard of the rescues verses the shelters, always has been, and probably always will be. 

So who really is responsible for the animals dying in the shelters? Is it the shelters who only collect the animals off the streets or is it the rescues who are leaving them in the shelters? It's time for NK to clean house. NK and rescues need to realize that they are the ones failing the animals in the shelters. It's quite simple, really, you can't kill 'em if they ain't there. So it is time for rescues to take them out and stop the euthanization. If an animal dies in the shelter, it is the failing of rescues to save it. The shelters provide a haven, but it is the job of rescue to save the lives. NK is placing all the responsibility on the shelters without looking at itself as the responsible party when it comes to saving lives.

NK and the humane community is at fault, they are not the ones pulling the trigger, but they are the ones with the blood on their hands. Demonstrating in front of a shelter about bad things only pushes away the people who can save lives. Telling the public that they are not at fault so the public can continue with their bad ways of allowing oops litters is killing animals. You won't save shelter animals lives this way. The way to save their lives is to tell the public how great a shelter is.

The public has never come running to the shelters because of demonstrations and condemnations. Has NK given thought that this negative publicity generated by NK followers is causing the rise in euthanasia? If NK hasn't thought about it, then it is past time that it does. Shelters aren't killing in as much as the humane community following NK is with their propaganda. When animals die in shelters, it is the failing of the humane community, in particular those who followed NK. Visit your local shelter, adopt a pet, and save a life.


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