TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › IMO: In My Opinion › Kill vs. no kill shelters
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Kill vs. no kill shelters

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Obviously, I would prefer all of the shelters to be no kill. But if a shelter is a kill shelter, is that a reason not to adopt from it or volunteer there? This issue just came up in a conversation with some of my coworkers.

Just some background info on my area. We do have an APA here which is no kill and we also have several humane societies. While our humane societies are kill shelters, it isn't like they have a set amount of time for an animal. As long as there is room, they don't euthanize any animals. They are also really good about shifting animals around to different facilities to give them a better chance of getting adopted (more exposure) and to keep space open in the busier facilities. I have not visited every single one of our humane societies, but IMO, the ones I have seen are very well kept up and the animals all seem healthy (aside from the common occassional shelter cold which I think you will see at any shelter). Now our APA on the other hand, is a no-kill shelter, but the animals are kept in much smaller cages and they don't seem to be as well kept up. The last time I was there, it was because my parents were looking to adopt after our 15 year old rott mixed passed away. I am in no way shape or form scared of dogs, but when I went into the big dog room, I almost couldn't handle it. The space between the wall and the cages is only a few feet so you have all these barking dogs right in your face. That wasn't what was really bad though, the room was way too hot and extremely suffocating. All of the cages needed to be cleaned (and I wasn't there on a really busy day or anything) and the combination of the heat in the room and the smell made it hard for me to stay in there for more then a few minutes.

That being said, I am not at all against the APA. In fact I have myself thought about volunteering there but their hours don't work for me at all. They are only open until five on weekdays and I work until four and they have pretty limited weekend hours.

Sorry, I think I digressed from my original question. . . Basically, I don't understand how boycotting (refusing to adopt from, volunteer at, or support in any way) a kill shelter is going to at all help the problem. They are at least trying to help the animals. What do you guys think?
post #2 of 21
The HS here isn't no kill. I volunteer there & am a VIP.

We do everything in our power to avoid euthanizing. That said, if we cannot afford medical care, the prognosis is terminal, or the animal is a hazard they are euthanized. We went many years without having to euthanize for overpopulation. Then in the summer of '06 I picked 4 kitties to die for no reason other than not enough people spay/neuter. We've been lucky since then, thankfully!

Yes, the cages aren't spectacular. Yes, sometimes they are a bit crowded, but never long term. Never ever. We have 15 cages that are OK for 2 kittens/single cats. Otherwise, we use wire dog crates & start stacking them. We have 3 ferret cages for litters of kittens, which are great!

We have a kitty right now who is extremely lethargic. Or rather, depressed. We plan to crowd the cage a bit to find her a roomie in hopes to make her feel better.

We aren't no-kill, but we do everything to avoid euthanizing. I have 2 foster dogs at the moment as we've run out of space. This way, we won't have to euthanize 2 dogs.
post #3 of 21
I don't believe in warehousing animals in small cages just to be able to say, "We are no-kill"

What a horrible life for animals.

I don't think there is such a thing as no-kill shelters. If they are, then they are picking and choosing which animals to take in and someone else is picking up the animals the no-kills are refusing to take in.
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
I don't believe in warehousing animals in small cages just to be able to say, "We are no-kill"

What a horrible life for animals.

I don't think there is such a thing as no-kill shelters. If they are, then they are picking and choosing which animals to take in and someone else is picking up the animals the no-kills are refusing to take in.
That is a very good point! The local APA is constantly not accepting animals because they are too full. I am sure that a lot of those animals then end up in kill shelters.
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalicoPrincess View Post

That being said, I am not at all against the APA. In fact I have myself thought about volunteering there but their hours don't work for me at all. They are only open until five on weekdays and I work until four and they have pretty limited weekend hours.
I'm going on a tangent for a moment here so bear with me. The extremely sad thing about this statement is that studies have found that this is one of the key reasons why kill shelters need to euthanize animals. Their hours of operations are not friendly to people who want to adopt. If they aren't open long enough to adopt animals, they overpopulate then euthanize.

Back to topic. I'm not opposed to adopting from either a kill or no kill shelter. The end goal is to find homes for homeless pets. No kill shelter often pull their animals when they can from kill shelters. They have the advantage of being selective on who they save. Most kill shelters don't have a choice - they have to take in animals brought to them. While my value system aligns with no kill shelters, adopting that hopelessly unadoptable pet from a kill shelter is the only hope for that animal. A no kill shelter usually doesn't pull hopelessly unadoptables from kill shelters.
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
I don't think there is such a thing as no-kill shelters. If they are, then they are picking and choosing which animals to take in and someone else is picking up the animals the no-kills are refusing to take in.
Actually, there is such an animal, at least outside the U.S.. Germany's public and private shelters are all no-kill. As a result, there are problems with overcrowding, especially during kitten season, and "permanent residents". Some animals have to be traded among shelters (I spent five hours on the road last Friday due to our shelter trading five male brown tabbies for three older Persians and two one-eyed red tabbies).

Many of the German "länder" have outlawed several "dangerous" dog breeds, and the result has been that a lot of pitbulls and the like are now serving "life sentences" in shelters.

Obviously, there are pros and cons.
post #7 of 21
Another one to add to the mix are No Time Limit Shelters. Most of the shelters around here call themselves No Time Limit shelters. They DO NOT euthanize for space or because it isn't getting adopted, but they will euthanize if the animal is sick or injured beyond reasonable recovery in a shelter environment or if the animal is a threat to other animals or people such as an extremely aggressive dog or cat. I am perfectly fine with this.

I actually am not the biggest fan of SOME no-kill shelters for this reason:
There is a shelter here that will spend thousands of dollars and time and effort on fundraising for a dog that comes in that was hit by a car and is mangled and half dead and suffering. This is the animal I would just euthanize and use that thousands of dollars that the shelter is in dire need of in the first place and use it to speuter a couple dozen dogs or cats. I just think that some shelters need to get their priorities straight and think about what they are spending their time and money on. I don't like kill shelters and what a crappy job that would be to have but with people being so irresponsible with their pets, what else can really be done?

There are special circumstances for no-kill, kill and no time limit shelters. They all have their good and bad points, IMO, varying from each individual shelter. I know of a no kill cat sanctuary, which is a great idea, but at the same time I see sick and miserable cats there that need to just be put out of their suffering and aren't because the place is no-kill... That is wrong IMO.
post #8 of 21
Our local humane society went NO kill.. It has cause CAOS to the other shelters for a three county area ... see they were the only NON animal control run shelter / here in 90% of areas animal control= police dept... the NO kill shelter has on NUMEROUS times adopted out animals that were Dangerous( not a word I often use) , badly abused or very ill ..... all of those group s would likely be put down in a kill or a no time limit shelter or ONLY ADOPTED out to someone with the expertise to deal with the animal ....

the tradeing of animals is common here ... seems the coast ( 5 hours way) want s BIG dogs and folks here want small dogs... GREAT IDEA and it saves lots of lives
post #9 of 21
We take in all the cats from the kill shelters that the SPCA and other rescue groups overlook due to illness or special needs. We have a lot of diabetic, blind, 3 legged, etc. cats that would have died otherwise.

As for the original topic though, I think boycotting those places is only going to ensure that MORE animals die, not less. Those places exist because sadly, they are needed. Until the day when we can ensure that every cat has a home, there will always be kill shelters. Adopting a cat from one creates an opening, which in turn saves another cat from the street or possible euthanasia due to overcrowding.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
I'm going on a tangent for a moment here so bear with me. The extremely sad thing about this statement is that studies have found that this is one of the key reasons why kill shelters need to euthanize animals. Their hours of operations are not friendly to people who want to adopt. If they aren't open long enough to adopt animals, they overpopulate then euthanize.

Back to topic. I'm not opposed to adopting from either a kill or no kill shelter. The end goal is to find homes for homeless pets. No kill shelter often pull their animals when they can from kill shelters. They have the advantage of being selective on who they save. Most kill shelters don't have a choice - they have to take in animals brought to them. While my value system aligns with no kill shelters, adopting that hopelessly unadoptable pet from a kill shelter is the only hope for that animal. A no kill shelter usually doesn't pull hopelessly unadoptables from kill shelters.
Just to clarify that statement. . . It is actually my local No-kill shelter that has the crappy adoption hours. My local Humane society has really good hours of operation.
post #11 of 21
It's all an issue of resources, and no-kill shelters get full and then the kill shelters kill the animals. So I see no point in boycotting shelters than euthanize. I think it would be far more stressful to work or volunteer there, but that's just a personal issue.

Laurie
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
It's all an issue of resources, and no-kill shelters get full and then the kill shelters kill the animals. So I see no point in boycotting shelters than euthanize. I think it would be far more stressful to work or volunteer there, but that's just a personal issue.

Laurie


I have seen instances where the no kill shelters also adopt out quicker because people come to them because of the no kill policy and they pull animals from the kill shelters, so it works both ways too.

I have not seen any no kill shelters that are truly no kill, by their nature they get sick cats etc who have to be PTS to save them from the pain, most are really low kill or like Jen said, No Time Limit shelters.
post #13 of 21
I volunteer for a shelter that calls itself "no-kill". We only euthanize if the animal is too sick to save. The cats live in two seperate catteries, one for FIV cats and one for nonFIV cats. There are dedicated volunteers that go every day to clean and feed kitties. I would say there is probably a good 40-50 cats there at any given time. There is also a small feral colony on the premises that has been TNRed and is fed and cared for.

The dogs live in runs, except the dogs who have been there the longest, they live in the "Village" (10 heated/cooled sheds decorated to look like little houses with chain link pens around them). The runs are cleaned everyday in the morning, with spot cleaning of poo throughout the day. Volunteers walk the dogs Saturday and Sunday (a few come out during the week too), and dog-friendly dogs go into playgroups during the week. DA dogs get playtime by themselves. We have over 100 dogs at any given time. There are also some pets in foster homes. We do not see obcessive/neurotic behaviors very often, and when we do we work hard to get those animals into foster.

Every week some pets go home, and new pets come in. We pull cats and dogs from the shelters before they are to be PTS. Not all the shelters will work with us though (such as Loudoun County, VA). We take most of our animals from rural shelters in VA and WV, and a lot of them from from PG County, MD as well. We have received many, many compliments on our facilites and what we do. There are plans to build our own spay/neuter clinic so as to save money, but that probably won't happen for a while.

Some "no-kills", when managed and run correctly, work very well. But other people just get in over their heads, and you end up with places like the OP described. The only issue I have with the rescue I volunteer for is that aggressive animals are not euthanized. We have three that will most likely never be adopted out, instead they will live in their "cottage" in the "village" for the rest of their lives. I am going to work on slowly changing the policy though. I beleive it can be done, but it will take time. There are some people who, for some reason, just cannot understand why it is not good for the dog to keep it penned for life. "A gilded cage is still a cage".

Kill shelters do the best they can with what they have. Sometimes there are people in kill-shelters who are hardened and don't understand that everything doesn't have to be death and sadness, but most of the time the people in kill shelters work very hard and care about what they do. Support both the kill shelters and the rescues. We're all in this together!
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by icklemiss21 View Post


I have seen instances where the no kill shelters also adopt out quicker because people come to them because of the no kill policy and they pull animals from the kill shelters, so it works both ways too.

I have not seen any no kill shelters that are truly no kill, by their nature they get sick cats etc who have to be PTS to save them from the pain, most are really low kill or like Jen said, No Time Limit shelters.
That's exactly why I go to no kill shelters!!! (But that doesn't mean I won't adopt from a kill shelter). I will admit that I ended up at animal control (they have a two week life span to find a home) and brought Leya home as soon as I could. I just didn't find any cats at the shelter I really wanted and to be honest the people that worked there were quite rude to me.

(I'm a big softy and can't even kill a mouse, I have to get one of those specail traps that don't kill them)
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckblv View Post
I don't believe in warehousing animals in small cages just to be able to say, "We are no-kill"

What a horrible life for animals.

I don't think there is such a thing as no-kill shelters. If they are, then they are picking and choosing which animals to take in and someone else is picking up the animals the no-kills are refusing to take in.
I agree with you 100%. I work at a kill shelter and we don't get to pick and choose what animals we get in since we are Animal Control. The "no-kill" shelters come here and pick the cutest puppies and kitties and think that they are helping us. They're not! We have no problem adopting out cute little puppies and kitties. It's the older dogs that sadly run out of time.

And what should we do with the aggressive dogs that won't let you near them? Should we keep them in a cage forever and let them go kennel crazy or just put them down? I think it is more humane to put an animal down that to spend the rest of their life in a cage.

Plus, in my area there a really no "no-kill" shelters. If they have a dog that they just can't adopt them out, they bring them to us. These pet extremeist make me mad because they think you can save them all. You can't. If someone asks us when this dog's time is up and we respond with well he's getting close because he's been here for a while. They look at us like we are evil. Well, we 20 more dogs in the back to move and let them have their shot. We have so many groups call us heartless and killers when none of them step and adopt or foster.

I hate PTS day. It sucks, but what can you do? If you put on Petfinder.com that an animal's time is up then we get a bad rap and millions of people call in to see how much time they have but no one can adopt them. And then if we don't put urgent no one will pay them attention.
post #16 of 21
Why should a no-kill shelter take your hard to home animals and have them sit even longer in a cage and not be able to take in more animals too though? You may not have a problem homing the cute ones that no-kill shelters take, but at the same time they are doing you a favour as they are freeing up cages and giving those ones who are harder to place a chance.

The shelter I volunteer at doesn't pick and choose. People call us and say they have found an animal and it gets taken regardless of what it is like. If it is too feral to be homed it is TNRed, if it is homeable, even if it needs work, it goes to the vet and then the shelter once we have space.
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by zao_cat View Post
The "no-kill" shelters come here and pick the cutest puppies and kitties and think that they are helping us.
Rescue groups do that here as well and it does help because it creates an empty kennel for admission of another animal without having to euthanize due to reaching capacity.
post #18 of 21
I worked at a high kill shelter for two years and now I am currently working at a kill shelter but by far less than what I am used to..


No one knows what one person sees on a daily basis at a high kill shelter. Unless you have lived it first hand, there is no room for anyone to speculate what goes on.

I put my heart in to that job and in the end it almost killed me. I can't begin to tell you have many times I collapsed to the floor crying in tears over people who gave up their animals so easily. To look in a dogs or cats eyes and have them see that the life that they once knew was completely gone. The realization that the person they trusted for years had betrayed them.

Then it was my job to sign them off, hold them for euthanasia and tell them that they did nothing wrong..They were good.

My breaking point was when I had to hold a black lab because he was too wiggly to put a needle in him, so they needed more bodies to hold. After he collapsed. I was sent back into recieving to take in more animals. That night I cried for two hours straight in my bed. "Moving, no time, too big." Those excuses for surrending a pet still make me violently angry.

I was hard at the shelter. A woman once told me I was "indifferent". I looked at her and told her I could not afford to get emotionally involved. When I was at work I had to turn my heart off.

That's when the nightmares would come, I have been out of that shelter for 6 month now and I still can't talk about a lot of stuff I saw there. It's why I cringe when I hear the word kitten/puppy or breeding. When you sign off a 100 animals in one day. That changes a person. Maybe not for the better, but I have a clear understanding of what is going on in my community with over population better than most people.

I understand why someone wouldn't want to donate their time, however I have no idea why someone wouldn't adopt from a high kill shelter. Those animals need to be rescued.

Every single no-kill/low-kill facility that turned away people because of their limited intake would refer people to that high kill shelter. Doesn't that defeat the purpose of their goal? Or is it okay because as long as they aren't sticking the needle in the kitten, they don't have any responsibility in the matter.
post #19 of 21
We rarely take surrenders unless we are empty and obviously have the space, we have other shelters in the area that take them but immediately PTS strays so that is who we have a mandate to help. So my experience is slightly different, but we never turn away because we are too full, we find boarding from them somewhere, we work with several local shelters and pull animals from each other if an animal is in danger of being PTS for anything other than a medical reason or severe behavioural problems that would make them a danger to have in the shelter.

I agree with you on the indifference though. Even though we take few surrenders it doesn't stop people trying to bring them in, or just dumping them in our parking lot because we are no kill. Some of the excuses make you want to smack the people. We had one woman come in with 4 young cats mid December to surrender them because she was getting kittens for Christmas.
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Breal76 View Post
I worked at a high kill shelter for two years and now I am currently working at a kill shelter but by far less than what I am used to..


No one knows what one person sees on a daily basis at a high kill shelter. Unless you have lived it first hand, there is no room for anyone to speculate what goes on.

I put my heart in to that job and in the end it almost killed me. I can't begin to tell you have many times I collapsed to the floor crying in tears over people who gave up their animals so easily. To look in a dogs or cats eyes and have them see that the life that they once knew was completely gone. The realization that the person they trusted for years had betrayed them.
I worked in a kill-shelter for 2 years and burned out very badly. My breaking point was a return. Kitty was brought back because he wasn't using the box. However, after many conversations before the return, they had 2 kitties, not enough boxes. The only box available was a littermaid. And they would not work with the cat at all. The poor terrified thing was practically thrown across the counter at us (they didn't even bring him in in a carrier). btw- he used the box just fine at the shelter.

I prefer no kill shelters. But some shelters that accept all animals, are very good at placing as many animals as they can. Having much higher adoption rates than average. I prefer not to go in at all, but still make financial and food donations.

We had quite a menagerie from when I worked at the shelter. In addition to adopting Stimpy, we adopted a gerbil, mouse, several bettas, and 10 gallon tank of fish (I still have 1 of the fish that came with the tank). Working there broke my heart, I don't think I could ever do it again. But I still support the local shelter.
post #21 of 21
To people that think kill shelters are wrong and should be boycotted - I don't like the idea of euthanising healthy animals, and I am against it - but I also have no right, morally or ethically, to expect other people to foot the bill for caring for an abandoned animal for the rest of its natural life. It's just not practical or realistic, who is supposed to be buying the food for them, paying the vet bills, paying staff to care for them, paying rent for accommodation to house them - none of this falls from the sky for free, and none of us is in a position to think we ought to be able to demand that someone else foots the bill.

While people don't neuter and while pets are considered disposable, this problem will exist - and it would be wrong of me to get on my moral high horse and moan about a shelter that can't cope with the sheer scale of the problem, when they aren't the ones that created the problem in the first place, and the resources just aren't there for them to help every animal.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: IMO: In My Opinion
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › IMO: In My Opinion › Kill vs. no kill shelters