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Sad day :(

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I volunteer an animal shelter, and we've had some sad news today 3 animals have had to be put down over the last few days! This isn't a no-kill shelter, and they don't claim to be, but it's small enough that they only put animals down when it's in their best interest.

Miss Kitty was 10 years old, but an old 10 years. She was declawed, very skinny, looked very frail, and hated other animals, to the point that if she was in the play area and saw another cat in the next play area she would go nuts and go nuts at any person who would try to put her back in her cage. She'd been at the shelter for 5 months, was pretty unadoptable, really didn't like coming out of her cage, and while she had put on some weight, just recently she'd lost a pound, and her T4 levels had gone up (I think), which was pointing to hyperthyroidism. She was also on the verge of a few other major problems like renal failure, so the vets decided the best thing for her to was to put her to sleep.

Another old kitty, Velcro, has been pulling out her fur, and also been unhappy for a while. She got taken away from the adoption area while they tried to treat her skin condition, then she was back up for adoption for a while, but kept pulling out her fur and having a few problems. The vet consulted with a veterinary dermatologist, and concluded it was also in her best interest to put her down.

Then Brodie, a sweet pit bull who'd been at the shelter for a while was starting to turn. He was less than a year old, and didn't like being kept at the shelter, despite getting lots of play time and walks each day. He was beginning to get aggressive with the dog volunteers, and no rescue groups could/would take him, so unfortunately for everyone's safety, he was also put to sleep.

It's very uncommon at the shelter to have animals put down, so to have 3 who've all been there a while put to sleep is very sad for everyone, even though I do know it's probably in all of their best interests
post #2 of 14
oh, I'm so sorry!!
at least they don't have to be in cages anymore
post #3 of 14
I'm sorry.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
I know, for these 2 kitties I've thought for a while now being put to sleep would probably be a much happier option for them. I'm just glad the shelter does everything they can before they make this option.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
It has got me thinking though... what do shelters who claim to be "no-kill" do?? Surely they wouldn't let a cat suffer?? Do they just send it elsewhere to keep it's no kill status?

Surely most people realise a shelter has to weigh up that sort of thing. The sort of animals who end up shelters are unfortunately often unloved, or not in the best condition.
post #6 of 14
I'm not sure that's a good question, I'm sure if the animal is suffering that even 'no kill' shelters will put that particular animal down. I think it prolly means that healthy animals are safe and are kept alive.
post #7 of 14
Originally Posted by sarahp
It has got me thinking though... what do shelters who claim to be "no-kill" do?? Surely they wouldn't let a cat suffer?? Do they just send it elsewhere to keep it's no kill status?

Surely most people realise a shelter has to weigh up that sort of thing. The sort of animals who end up shelters are unfortunately often unloved, or not in the best condition.
you know, i saw a bit of a documentary about that very subject on HBO.. i couldn't watch the whole thing, because i can't stand seeingn animals suffer (i'll be depressed for days afterwards), but from what i saw, they were talking about no kill shelters and wondering if it really is the best thing to keep an animal alive when it's utterly unadoptable. the show was about dogs only, but they showed the pens of a no kill shelter, a special area where the aggressive dogs were. said some had been there for years, they were unadoptable and everyone knew that, so they just lived out their lives in these pens with a concrete floor, unhappy, aggressive...i can't help but wonder if in that case it would be better to put the dog down? i'm talking about when everything has been tried and it's obvious the dog is never going to be able to be placed in a home. is it really humane to keep it locked up in a cage with a concrete floor, out back, away from people, not able to socialize with people OR animals (dogs are social animals, you know). it just broke my heart and to be honest i tmade me rethink the whole putting to sleep thing. i think if theres ANY chance at all of an animal finding a home-then by all means, pull out all the stops and do everything you can for that animal. but if it can't...perhaps the best thing IS for it to be put to sleep. i don't know. but the living in a concrete cage for the rest of your life doesn't really seem like the best option to me.
post #8 of 14
My understanding of a no-kill shelter is that if they are full, they won't put an animal down to make room for new ones. Instead they simply just don't take in anymore animals until they free up some space.

The county kill shelters here are legally required to accept any animals brought to them by owners or through animal control. So if a shelter has only 20 cages for cats and three more are brought in that day, three cats will have to be pts, usually the cats that have been there the longest.

Our humane society is no-kill, but they will have an animal pts if it is deemed unadoptable due to agression or serious health issues.

I know there are other no-kill shelters in town that will go to great lengths to save sick animals. I don't know how they evaluate the cost/chance of survival/quality of life of the animals.

post #9 of 14
The no kill shelters that we have in the UK of which i'm a member of is "The Cats Protection". They refuse to put a healthy cat to sleep, and it's the same as "The Dogs Trust". Not only do the animals stay on the shelters for how ever long it takes, but if their too full they send them out to foster.

One of our members here fosters for " The Cats Protection" when their full, Diana( Furryferals)

Play happily over the bridge little ones
post #10 of 14
well besides all the problems my shelter is having lately i would onyl take a animal there as a very last resort they are also a no kill shelter and it bothers me to go in there and see animals that have been there forver some have been there over a year. sometimes i think its worse then being pts. the dogs sit in a cage day in day out cats have it a little better but not much as the social ones get out of the cage for a little bit each day. i know i wouldnt want to spend the rest of my life behind bars for something i didnt do. and some of the animals that u know are not adoptable just sit there they get adopted then brought back over and over how stressfull for the cats. some might not agree with this but i think there should be a inbetween between a no kill and a kill u know if a animal has been there for amny months the chances of it getting adopted into a forever home is slim after a year well its pretty much home at the shelter (thats fine if it gets plenty of excersise and love) but to sit in a small cage and very get out just seems cruel to me
post #11 of 14
Condolences on the losses.

I think the answer is trying to find more foster homes. My lovely foster Sarabi was only 2 y/o and healthy, but after her kittens switched to a new foster home, she literally licked herself bald from the waist down. Although she was a friendly cat, she had been outside only, and the change to being a housecat and losing her babies was too much stress. She also was very underweight.

Once her kittens were gone, she got spayed and vaccinated, then she was allowed out with my other kitties. Where she fought several times daily with Festus, and had Garfield (who is MUCH bigger than she) scared to death of her!

I wonder if she had been at a shelter, in a cage near other animals, if she would have just wasted away, too. But here at my home, she was able to begin growing back her fur, and gaining weight. Now she has moved to a new foster home where she will be the only cat.

I am not criticizing you, Sarah, because I know you are doing all you can. But if there is a way for the cats to have a room where the cages are all open all day, or there are no cages at all, then those cats who have lived there for a while will be able to live a more natural existence. And if some of the animals can go into homes, that may help, too.

My no-kill foster agency does pts. However, they mainly save animals. And the elderly, slightly ill animals simply stay with one of the foster Moms. Most pts are due to severe health or behavior issues. And as you mourned the losses of your 3 pets from the shelter, each of our losses is mourned.
post #12 of 14
I'm sorry for your loss. I know first hand how much you can fall in love with animals that aren't even yours. I've cried so many times for cats that we've had to have put down (we are no kill, but there have been times that an animal was too sick to be saved) or cats that have been adopted out and later die for various reasons.

R.I.P. sweet babies over the bridge.
post #13 of 14
Rest in Peace you sweeties. You will all be free of pain and will be able to run and play all day through at the bridge
post #14 of 14
I'm sorry that you've had a loss and I understand that whether you were expecting it or not, it is hard in any manner.
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