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No-Kill Shelters

LavenderRott
October 18th, 2008, 01:13 PM
Let me start by saying that I think the concept of the No Kill shelter is wonderful but I do have a couple of questions.

My mother is fostering a group of kittens from the local animal control which is becoming a No Kill shelter. I must say - this has brought up some points that I am not comfortable with.

First off - four of the five kittens came to her with the beginnings of an upper-respitory infections. When she asked about medication for the sneezing she was told that they didn't like to medicate for this as it usually goes away if left to run it's course. The fifth kitten is much smaller then the others and did not have the URI. She was given some powdered milk to add to it's kitten food if needed.

The fifth kitten was not doing well on the powdered milk and kitten food so she took it to her vet. She was given some medication for the diarrhea and told to put some kitten milk available at the local pet shop as this kitten is only 3-4 weeks old and still needs the milk.

Anyway - the reason that Mom took the kitten to her vet instead of taking it to AC to be treated by her vet is that the last litter she fostered had a runt that wasn't doing well so instead of aggressively treating the illness - the AC pretty much did enough so that they could say they tried to save the kitten but it died.

Now - our AC currently has 200 cats on the premises with who knows how many kittens fostered out. My mom met someone at the pet store with a momma kitten and a litter that she is fostering for AC. How in the world does AC plan to adopt out these cats? And where do they plan on putting all of the adult cats while all of these kittens get adopted? Do they plan on keeping them all for the next 15 or 20 years until they die of old age or will they just let them die of illnesses they contract while living in these little cages and claim that they are being more humane than a kill shelter? And what happens to the animals that are picked up? The shelter is full. Even the dog rooms are full of cats!

Is this really a better way to go?

Frenchy
October 18th, 2008, 04:51 PM
Is this really a better way to go?

IMO , absolutely not !!! I heard the same problems from some of the shelters here . I think if a shelter wants to be a no kill one they should be ready to put money on vets to treat the sick ones. (but that's not easy since they don't have too much fonds) If not , they should put them down , not let them suffer. And , they should have a limit too , there is one humane society here , no kill one , that aren't taking anymore cats or dogs once they have reached their limits. :shrug:

kathryn
October 18th, 2008, 06:23 PM
Most shelters are not run that way.

I volunteer for
Animal Welfare Association
www.awanj.org

and
Camden County Animal Shelter.
www.ccasnj.org

One is the no kill, and one is obviously the animal control one. Both have similar policies though. Our county shelter would never let something 'run it's course' or anything like that if the animal should be on medication! Hell, my county shelter spends extra money on special needs pets! We get alot of abuse cases and such. They spent 2,000+ dollars on a mastiff who had something wrong with her hip.. it was like she had been hit by a car years ago and never was treated and had been in pain for a while. They put her in foster care and raised the money and got her the surgery so she could walk properly and pain free.

We have a really cute Siamese kitty named Snorty as well... he has something wrong with his nose and they are going to spend about 1,000 bucks to get his nasal obstruction fixed.

Your AC is not being run very well apparently.


Also, currently my no-kill shelter has 200 cats on premises and 200 in foster care. I'm really not entirely sure what you are talking about though.

Once a cat gets adopted, a cat that is in foster care and is ready for adoption goes and takes it's cage... so on and so forth. Same way for the county animal control shelter. The animals are placed into foster care until they are medically cleared, spayed/neutered, vaccines, chipped, tested etc and then once a cage is freed up at the shelter or at PetSmart, someone comes out of foster care and moves into that cage.


And you do offsite adoption events.... you go and set up a booth somewhere and bring animals with as well as information. You hand out pamphlets on why to adopt, spay/neuter... things like that. And you show off the animals.

The only way to go is no-kill. It is never 'humane' to kill a healthy animal just because it's homeless.

With properly implemented foster care programs, offsite events, advertising, fundraising, convenient shelter hours and low cost spay/neuter services, we can become no-kill. My county shelter has done all of the above and our euthanasia rate is LESS then 25% and going down. The animals we put down are unadoptable due to illness or aggression. We get alot of those. My no-kill shelters euthanasia rate is 6% due to illness or aggression.



Here is an article my no-kill shelters director wrote.. she is apparently very high up there in pushing the no-kill thing..
http://www.thenokillnation.com/?p=29
When I first took my current job, some people (luckily only a handful) were really freaked out that someone who was passionate about No Kill sheltering was coming to town. In addition to the high profile hoarders, convicted of animal cruelty who had labelled their shoddy operations as “No Kill” shelters, trumpeted by PeTA as the “reality” of No Kill, there is another shelter in the community (not the one I was going to work for) that describes themselves as No Kill. The perception of that shelter has been at times, relatively poor among animal welfare advocates. Concerns were that they kept animals caged for years and were not doing much - if any - work within the community. Sadly, the image presented by PeTA along with that shelter’s lack of proactive programs had become the representation of No Kill for some in the area.
I suppose that these people expected that I would further reduce the number of animals handled through the shelter as cages were tied up with vicious animals living out their lives in confinement or adopted out to unsuspecting families. I’m not really sure. You would think that coming from a large, urban animal control shelter, (yes, I worked at a large, urban animal conrol shelter that handled appx 25-30,000 animals annually and all of the problems associated with it … and still believe in No Kill) people would be afraid that I would kill a lot of animals but that wasn’t the case. That is kind of amusing to me.
What I asked of them is to not throw out the baby with the bathwater - don’t give up on the No Kill movement because of the poor performance or inaction of a particular organization or person - and instead think about No Kill as a holistic philosophy.
What is No Kill? No Kill:
Is an achievable ideal for community animal care where a concern for animals guides the process and our decisions.
Means euthanasia is reserved for animals who are irremediably suffering or truly dangerous.
Is turning our backs on failed philosophies, seeking out poor policies that hurt animals and eliminating them.
Is opening our eyes and hearts to the power of the community, not making life and death decisions based on what is possible within the four walls of a shelter but rather allowing others to share the burden and help find answers.
Is constantly challenging ourselves and others as well as allowing others to challenge us to do better.
Is understanding that every animal is a unique individual, a unique case with its own challenges and the answers for each animal are not always easy or black and white.
Is recognizing that “is it adoptable” isn’t the question. “Can this animal be saved” is the question.
Means saving and re-homing animals, not warehousing.
Is working to our maximum capacity and providing the best possible care for animals in shelters and rescues.
Is finding staff and volunteers who do better work than you, recognizing and stepping down when others will be more effective.
Means recognizing that the public is not our enemy but our valued friend who will help us in amazing ways.
Means getting on the phone, networking, making friends, sharing your story, asking for help every single day.
Means spaying and neutering everything you can get your hands on … look out world!
Is a movement whose time has come.
Since I’ve arrived at my new job at a “limited admission” shelter that does not have animal control contracts, my new team and I have increased adoptions, reduced euthanasia, increased spay/neuter surgeries, expanded partnerships to save animals from animal control shelters including taking in neonatal, sick and injured animals, added two targeted free sterilization programs and more … Phew!
Despite all this, we can do better - and we will because we are dedicated to creating not just a No Kill shelter but a No Kill community.

luckypenny
October 18th, 2008, 09:29 PM
Imo, an 'absolute' no-kill shelter is not the way to go unless the shelter has the means to provide for all the needs of the animals in their care, especially for those deemed non-adoptable. I have yet to find one that either has all the resources needed, or is willing to go to those lengths. We're not only talking vet care but, socialization, training, re-conditioning, ample exercise, etc, etc.

The goals of a good shelter, whether kill or no-kill, should be to re-integrate animals into the best suited homes and to promote public awareness. Not just to house them indefinitely in crowded spaces with little care.

The horror of some no-kills that do not have the resources available to them, is to watch the animals get ill, or at worst, die, suffering without the appropriate care :sad:. Better to euthanize, imo, than to live a short life of misery :shrug:.

Kathryn, I have to mention, that's an excellent article written by Sue Cosby. Thank you for sharing it.

badger
October 19th, 2008, 02:35 AM
I have to agree that it makes no sense to warehouse animals without the means to care for them properly and without aggressive community outreach and a cast-iron policy on S/N. And more arrangements with pet shops to starve puppy mills of their outlets.
But the goal should be no-kill.
Not forgetting that the need for shelters and rescues begins in the community, where people willingly abandon and surrender pets as if they were another consumer item. How to teach people to be more humane, I have no idea.

phoozles
October 20th, 2008, 03:16 PM
Unfortunately, there are problems with both. While "kill" shelters (for lack of a better term) take in what they can, "no kill" shelters have to become selective (otherwise, as others have mentioned, they will make the living conditions unbearable). Which can mean that animals are being turned away or sent on the streets because the humane shelter won't take it. That being said, a good "kill" shelter will do its damndest to get those animals exposure because its life is literally on the line. No kills, on the other hand, can say they are being humane, but IMHO, having an animal live in a small cage possibly for years until it dies isn't all that humane either. Sure it lived, but what kind of life is that?
Fixing overpopulation is the only humane solution. Too bad it's easier sad than done. :sad:

BenMax
October 20th, 2008, 03:31 PM
No kill shelters are also kill shelters - don't let the wording mislead you. No kill shelters and kill shelters are both using other resources with the over population within thier shelters. They will turn to other rescues that are either breed or non breed for dogs. If a cat is 'lucky' enough to be born a purebred (I know don't say it) - then there is a facility for them as well. The domestic cat however is in fact of danger of being euthanized in both types of shelters. From what I have experienced, if you don't have the TIME and the MONEY - then I do not think it right to keep an animal alive without treatment.....I could go on about this but I get a little upset.

Jim Hall
October 20th, 2008, 04:11 PM
she;ters are running outof money too many animals

save one by being aggresive and 10 more that could have been saved abd housed go by the way I wouldnt run a shelter these days for all the tea in china the choices they have to make every day are horrible.


thats the reality too many animals not enought ime space or money as ar as kittens go every one wnats one and very few people wnat an adult cat ,

BenMax
October 20th, 2008, 04:32 PM
So true Jim Hall - this situation just does not let up!

Lise
October 21st, 2008, 02:47 PM
I would love to say no kill is realistic and maybe someday.Unfortunately many no kill shelters and rescues also only accept adoptable animals,that have minimal or no problems,are younger animals and are appealing.This leaves the harder to adopt one either to the no kills that warehouse too many animals,kill shelters or worst of all hoarders.In a perfect world everyone would spay/neuter and take responsability for the animals the animal for it's entire lifetime,until then pet overpopulation and kill shelters are reality.

BenMax
October 21st, 2008, 02:53 PM
I would love to say no kill is realistic and maybe someday.Unfortunately many no kill shelters and rescues also only accept adoptable animals,that have minimal or no problems,are younger animals and are appealing.This leaves the harder to adopt one either to the no kills that warehouse too many animals,kill shelters or worst of all hoarders.In a perfect world everyone would spay/neuter and take responsability for the animals the animal for it's entire lifetime,until then pet overpopulation and kill shelters are reality.

Well put and so very very true. This is really a sad situation for shelters/workers and of course the animals. I must say however that I adopted a highly unadoptable dog from a no kill shelter many years ago. It took me 6 months to 'work' with him at the shelter before I could take him home. Once home - it took about a year before he became and incredible and trustworthy canine citizen - but he did. Had it not been for this no kill shelter - Max would have most certainly been euthanized - which would have been a crime. He turned out to be my therapy canine dog and helped me save so many!

It sometimes takes the right person for that particular dog or cat.