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Since I always get such good advice around here...

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have a question for you'all.

I want to volunteer at a local shelter and there a plenty of them in the area to help. However, only one is a No-Kill shelter. It is a very nice shelter, but I thought maybe the one in Moline would be a better place to volunteer as they seem to get less funding and promotion. I hate that they put animals down, so it might present an ethical issue. But I also want to help where most needed.

Would anyone volunteer at a "kill" shelter despite the policies of putting "unwanted" animals down?

The other issue is that my husband is afraid I will try to save animals by bringing them home and two cats is the limit for him.

Any advice is great!
post #2 of 7
Personally I couldn't - I would be a wreck. I volunteer at a very,very,very low kill shelter. The only euthanize if the the animal is very ill or a danger to itself or others.
post #3 of 7
I think a lot of it depends on how the shelter is run. Some shelters just don't care much about the animals, just another face in the cage. Other really, really do everything they can to get the animals adopted and try really hard not to have to euthanize, like the one Helen works with. The other thing to factor into the equation is that you may be able to help more animals in a "kill" shelter, where the funding is less and there are less people to really spend time with the animals. You have to know that you can't save them all, and even when giving love to them you can't get attached.

It's a tough call, but the only way to know how the shelters are run is to pay them a visit and see for yourself. If you get a bad feeling, don't do it. There are some really great "kill" shelters, just as there are some really horrible "no kill" shelters.
post #4 of 7
I don't think ethics should stop you from giving attention and support to animals that are already at this shelter. Shelter animals need attention and caring and that should be the ultimate reason to help them, not because of the politics of the shelter. It is emotional, but these animals deserve as much attention as a no-kill shelter.

What you could do is start talking to one of these shelters. Ask why they are not a no-kill shelter. Is it lack of space, money, human commitment? Maybe by finding out the reason why, you could help organize fundraisers, group events, marketing etc. to help them convert to a no-kill. Wouldn't that be something?! In this way you are helping the animals and justifying your ethic/moral self.

If you decide to work at one of these local shelters, maybe you can become more involved in public education. Speaking on the critical importance of spaying/neutering. Again, you would be helping the animals and doing your part to help these shelters reduce their numbers of unwanted animals.

I think if you help the underlying causes of animal overpopulation and/or market and fundraise for the shelters, then you would be serving both your ethical dilemma and you can still participate by volunteering some time with the animals at the centre of the problem.

Good luck!

post #5 of 7
Kass gives great advice here! The difference between a no kill and a kill shelter is one just closes its doors to taking in animals while the other has the horrible job of trying to cull the flood of animals coming in and euthanize the sickly or the older ones. If you could get involved with the kill shelter (the animals there need the most help) and start fundraisers and educational platforms on spay and neuter, that would be wonderful. You would make quite a difference to those cats.
post #6 of 7
I used to volunteer at a couple humane society, yes they did put animals down and often.

It was really the only game in town. I suppose I figured, that between the experience, I could also make it as pleasent as possible for the animals while they were there and/or alive. PLUS, if I saw any animals there that really struck a cord with me, I would always try VERY hard to get them adopted and often times I would know people who were looking for a specific type of animal.
I knew a lot of the younger crowd that came in looking to adopt, and I liked being able to tell everyone else in the office that they should/shouldn't adopt to them because of several reasons. Mostly the kids that came in were a bunch of druggies, had gone through SEVERAL animals, and don't take very good care of them. I have a decent reputation so I was lucky that they would most often listen.

The other workers there were also creat resources reguarding other pet owners or puppy mills in the area. There is SO much you can do to help out kill shelters.

About all the animals being put to sleep... stuff happens, as is life. Do what you can. The only part that bugged me was that one of the HS had it's own creamitory (sp?) it was a little spookie... always smelt a little off, and you could faintly hear in it the background while you were working. It's not for everyone.
post #7 of 7
I decided to also volunteer for a shelter. I used the internet to find them in my area. I had no idea that there are three, no kill, exclusively cat only, shelters in my area. I called and asked questions, then I visited them all. I chose the one closest to my home not only because it was close, but if I was needed in an emergency it would only take me 5 min tops. It was also a very nice facility. I also wanted to go somewhere that they practice TNR and that won't turn pregnate, injured, or older cats away. Some shelters accept only cats that are terminally ill. Some do feral rescue and rehabilitation. The fact is they all need help! Decide what is best for you and what you can handle and then go with it. Good Luck!
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