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« Finding common ground for Oreo's Law | Main | More on No Kill Communities vs No Kill Shelters »

February 16, 2010

Comments

Brent

Calmassertive,

Interestingly, the types of things YOU suggest are exactly the types of programs that have FAILED over the past decade. The shelters need to quit talking about how horrible it is that these animals will die and trying to guilt people into adopting dogs. The sheltering community badly needs to bring the fun back into pet ownership and make people realize they WANT an adopted dog or cat. That's a way more motivating message than "adopt or they will die". Sheesh.

The reality is that most high-kill shelters (many of them are city run, where the emphasis is on law enforcement, and not on the shelter facility) could more than halve the number of animals killed in less than a year if they implemented the ideas from the No Kill movement (not rehashing the ideas you promote). Heck, we cut euthanasia in Kansas City by 35% and our shelter isn't even all that well run and we have several crummy laws in place making it harder on them -- just by TRYING to get the animals into homes.

I would agree that maybe we couldn't get to true no-kill overnight. But if we could cut in half the number of animals killed overnight, why would we not do it? Vs rehashing failed efforts? It doesn't make sense.

But the goal should be to do it as a community, vs just forcing the problem onto someone else.


PAMM - People Against Mad Mothers

I bought a yorkie from a puppy mill that I'm letting breed right now just for HystericallyAssertive.

calmassertive

I live a couple of blocks from a house where they own 3 dogs. The dogs are ungroomed, freely roam the street, and mostly hang out in the driveway barking at passersby. The house is probably 5000 square feet, on half and acre, with a 4-car garage, at the top of a hill, with great views, easily a $1.5 million property. The female dog is no more than 1 year old, and is now heavily pregnant.

Now you can believe all you want that the local shelter can solve all its problems if these miserable people would just adopt out a 4th and maybe a 5th dog, but the REALITY is that they as a result of failure to spay and neuter the ones they already have are going to add to the 'surplus' population by half a dozen, and maybe another half a dozen and Another half a dozen until the poor young mother dies from childbirth in the street.

While you fantasize about adopting out just one more dog, Ignorance and laziness on the part of these very well-to-do owners is going to result in many times that many being brought in for eventual euthanasia.
By analogy, one of us thinks the solution to a hungry man's plight is to give him a fish, while the other one of us wants to teach the man How to fish. One of us thinks the solution to an overgrown garden is to mow the weeds, while the other one of us knows that unless the weeds are gotten out by the roots that they'll just grow back, stronger and fuller than ever.

calmassertive

Just as a point of clarification, my point wasn't 'adopt or die', it was 'spay or die'.
You're right that adoption should be a happy thing, not a guilt thing. I never said otherwise.

Brent

Calmassertive,

No one that is in any way affiliated with the No Kill Movement is saying we shouldn't promote spay/neuter or provide low-cost spay/neuter options.

But at the end of the day, regardless of what outreach and education is done, there will always be someone out there who loses a pet, has an unplanned litter, etc. And that is exactly why we have a shelter program in the first place -- to provide an opportunity for animals who's owners failed them. And at some point the shelter community needs quit pointing fingers at "those people" who are causing the problem and realize that they are there to save the lives of these animals -- it's the whole point of their existence. And if they are killing them, and not saving them, then they are failing at the one thing they exist to do.

Susan Houser

Brent, thanks for writing such a thoughtful piece. I think a lot of the confusion could be avoided if we just started calling "limited admission shelters" what they really are -- rescues. A "rescue" does not become a municipal shelter just because it has a building to house animals.

I think the distinction we need to make isn't between a "shelter" and a "community," but instead is between a "shelter" and a "rescue." If we got out of the habit of referring to limited admission organizations as "shelters" then the problem would be solved.

That said, I entirely agree with you that the emphasis should be on the community, not the individual shelter. There are lousy shelters that have a great LRR because the community saves them (like Rockwall), and such shelters should not get the same recognnition that truly great shelters like Charlottesville get.

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Erich

calmassertive, the article you cite claims:

Myth: "There are too many animals, not enough homes."
Reality: This is the old standby of the humane movement — an excuse developed to explain why the movement itself was killing so many pets. The truth of the matter is: there are homes out there, and it is up to us to appropriately promote our pets so they find their way into those homes. If there are really "too many animals and not enough homes," why are breeders and pet stores still in business?

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