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Old 01-28-2013, 03:25 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Past the edit window, but I had another thought:

I think that because indoor/outdoor/barn becomes such a contentious question, it muddies the waters.

So I'm going to give a different example of an "Is it really better to preserve the cat's life if this will be its living situation?" question.

My county's animal shelter is no-kill. They work hard to solicit donations and adopt cats out, but it's an economically depressed area where people don't tend to put a lot of effort into animal ownership. As a result, their adoption rate is such that at any given time they have quite a few animals they've been housing for 2+ years at a stretch.

The shelter isn't horrible, but it's honestly pretty grim. The cats spend most of their time in cages, and there isn't a lot of time for volunteers to spend with them.

Is no-kill really working here?

I'm not a cat, but if it were me I would honestly prefer a quick painless death to living for years in one of those cages. And I think that standpoint has to be considered, too.

Now, not to say those are the only options. The best option would be for the shelter to be able to do things differently, to raise more money and rely more on foster homes. (Which they're working on.) When we're looking at the present situation, though... it's an issue.

When we consider whether no-kill is viable, we have to look at the quality of life for the cats themselves, not just the numbers. Hopefully this is a better example of that than something so open to different interpretations as barn cat life.
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:29 PM   #32 (permalink)
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It's a good example but it goes back to the quality of the shelter. I know I'm getting to sound like a stuck record (for those old enough to actually remember records!!) but I am really impressed with the quality of life offered in my favourite shelter.
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:44 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Totally agree.

But the question remains... is no-kill working at this particular shelter? Is that particular shelter making the right decision by putting the bulk of their scarce resources into keeping pets long-term rather than making improvements first and then focusing on becoming completely no-kill?

I'm more talking here about the viability of specific implementation than about the viability of no-kill as a movement, since I've already opined it is viable as a movement.

To put it another way... is a no-kill policy always the best first step?

I think that's another of those complex questions I seem to like so much.
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:48 PM   #34 (permalink)
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I think No-Kill has to be a part of a bigger effort. My home town was no-kill, but we also had foster programs, feral cat alliances (free spay/neuter with ear clipping then re-release to the colony), a vet who did all free spay/neuter-for owners and the shelter (we live in an economically depressed area, a lot of people can't afford spay/neuter costs without the help of this wonderful vet who truly cares about animals not money), plus a secondary cat "farm"/shelter thing run by the same vet (mainly for the hard to adopt cats), and a huge network of volunteers for all these programs. You have to address all the problems in a cohesive way for No-Kill to work. Yes, in my opinion, it is the best-but only if all the problems are addressed.

I'd rather see a traditional shelter then a place claim to be no-kill and instead cut corners in other ways. My current town is "no-kill", and are currently being sued for their animal abuse. To save money, they were literally starving animals that were actually being euthanized (due to horrible diseases or untreatable injuries). They also denied these same animals pain meds while they waited to be put down, sometimes for days. All in the name of saving a few bucks for their "no-kill" policy.
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:35 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blakeney Green View Post
Totally agree.

But the question remains... is no-kill working at this particular shelter? Is that particular shelter making the right decision by putting the bulk of their scarce resources into keeping pets long-term rather than making improvements first and then focusing on becoming completely no-kill?

I'm more talking here about the viability of specific implementation than about the viability of no-kill as a movement, since I've already opined it is viable as a movement.

To put it another way... is a no-kill policy always the best first step?

I think that's another of those complex questions I seem to like so much.
Absolutely Yes no kill policy is the best first step. If they are truly No Kill. Just labeling a shelter doesnt make it no kill. They should be working at implementing all the steps in no kill.

If you and I were talking in person I would tell you you are making this way too hard. (Im saying this in a nice way) I like the quote I read in the comment of No Kill Communities by Susanne Kogut: it is important to support those leaders that are trying to get to No Kill. Remember No Kill is about a community coming together to help the animals. It is led by a person and an organization but it will be achieved by the community together.

Warehousing cats in cages is not the answer as you expressed. If this bothers you. Find a friend and go meet with the director and talk to the director about find a solution to the warehousing problem. Hopefully the director is compassionate about being open to ideas and the volunteers helping. Finding foster homes for these cats is one solution. Do they not have enough foster homes? Then actively pursue finding foster families to take these cats. Have more adoption events for the cats with fun themes to bring the cats to be seen by the public and adopted out. If you and I were tackling this problem I would start there. Get articles in your local newspaper about the cats needing home or foster homes. Find a great photographer to help get great pictures of the cats for the petfinder page and FB page of the shelter. I could go on and on with ideas that would help.

Were a little TNR group and never intended to be fostering cats. But half the cats we trap are abandoned domesticated cats unable to exist in a colony out of doors. Now we all foster. We actively enlist others to help foster. Have we had our challenges. Yes, but we found solutions. Solutions have come from my animal loving friends and acquaintances who have connections and got things done when hearing about situations. People love to be part of the solution and helping.
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:41 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Ι think we are complicating things much more than they should be.
I promise I'll do my best to overcome the language barrier. I am not always able to speak what's in my mind, since English is not my first tongue.
So here's how I see it. A shelter's purpose is to make life better for animals which otherwise suffer and I should think we all agree on that. So, I really see no point in keeping animals locked up in cages in abominable conditions or putting perfectly healthy animals to sleep due to lack of space and money. Neutering/Spaying animals is population control, no need to kill them and then pretend we are civilised. If they is really no other option than confining an animal to a small cage for years, then let it be. Establish feeding places, provide medical care or find places , like not overpopulated areas with less traffic, long stretches of land where animals can survive and do what you can do from there. Or is it really that all these "civilised practises" are done because they offend our aesthetic? Because we can't see animals on the streets? Animals have the right to exist whether in a home or not.
So no, kill shelters should not exist for me and nor should any shelter that fails to provide comfort and peace to animals.
An individual here has donated a very large piece of land where stray animals could be taken care of (food and medical care), but still be able to run , walk , climb without the risk of being run over or poisoned or suffer any human brutalities etc. So this is offering quality of life ,for me, to stray animals.
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:01 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitts & Tess View Post
Warehousing cats in cages is not the answer as you expressed. If this bothers you. Find a friend and go meet with the director and talk to the director about find a solution to the warehousing problem. Hopefully the director is compassionate about being open to ideas and the volunteers helping. Finding foster homes for these cats is one solution. Do they not have enough foster homes? Then actively pursue finding foster families to take these cats. Have more adoption events for the cats with fun themes to bring the cats to be seen by the public and adopted out. If you and I were tackling this problem I would start there. Get articles in your local newspaper about the cats needing home or foster homes. [/FONT] [FONT=Century Gothic]Find a great photographer to help get great pictures of the cats for the petfinder page and FB page of the shelter. I could go on and on with ideas that would help.
Yeah, doing all this already. Everything you suggest is being actively worked on, and it hasn't yet fixed the problem. Every place has different challenges, and I know it's hard to give specific ideas without knowing all the circumstances.

Thanks for the advice anyhow, though.

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Originally Posted by Antigone View Post
Or is it really that all these "civilised practises" are done because they offend our aesthetic? Because we can't see animals on the streets? Animals have the right to exist whether in a home or not.
I assume you live in a warm climate?

Where I live, cold weather slowly kills and permanently maims more cats than I can count, so I have trouble seeing this as a kinder solution, sorry to say.

Cat sanctuaries can work (with areas to get out of the weather,) of course - not as an alternative to pet adoption, obviously, but as another option for unadoptable pets.

The reasons for not wanting cats in the streets are not just aesthetic, though. It's for the cats' own good too.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:37 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blakeney Green View Post

The shelter isn't horrible, but it's honestly pretty grim. The cats spend most of their time in cages, and there isn't a lot of time for volunteers to spend with them.

Is no-kill really working here?

I'm not a cat, but if it were me I would honestly prefer a quick painless death to living for years in one of those cages. And I think that standpoint has to be considered, too.

When we consider whether no-kill is viable, we have to look at the quality of life for the cats themselves, not just the numbers. Hopefully this is a better example of that than something so open to different interpretations as barn cat life.

I have to agree with Blakely here. I think we'd all love to see every shelter run like a sanctuary, where the cats have space and all the love and care that they need to live happy, healthy lives. I am truly envious of the people who say that their community has situations like that. However, many communities (especially large, urban populations) don't have that situation. Even if they can change, it'll take a long time to change. So what happens to the cats in the meantime? I think quality of life needs to be addressed. We're here to help the cats, not lock them up in jail. I'd rather see a cat euthanized, than see it spend years locked up in jail and become a zombie.

That being said, I think Mitts' 11 step is a great system. I love the idea of TNR in general, as I think a cat is better off being outdoors, as part of a colony than being in a cage. It seems that more and more shelters are understanding that it takes a certain environment to keep a cat stress free, and therefore more likely to be adopted. However, I still feel that a cat doesn't deserve to be locked up just because we are uncomfortable with the idea of putting a cat to sleep. Saving a life, only to have the life wither away slowly is pointless.

Again, I'd love a world where everyone can follow Mitts' 11 step program. But it isn't always applicable, and therefore euthanization is an unfortunate, but more humane, alternate.
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:16 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Antigone View Post
I understand what you are saying. I wasn't trying to take a position on the indoor/outdoor debate either.My objection here was that cats are not distinguished between house cats and barn cats. Even if the shelter is no-kill, it may take years for the cat to be adopted.
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Originally Posted by Mitts & Tess View Post
I passionately know that No Kill is the achievable answer. Its the math that convinces me. Plus from my limited experience in just doing TNR and being a small group and what we achieved.

This is what No Kill is:
1. Feral Cat TNR Program
2. High-Volume, Low-Cost Spay/Neuter
3. Rescue Groups
4. Foster Care
5. Comprehensive Adoption Programs
6. Pet Retention
7. Medical and Behavior Rehabilitation
8. Public Relations/Community Involvement
9. Volunteers
10. Proactive Redemptions
11. A Compassionate Director

No Kill is growing rapidly. From my own experience in TNR is when we decided to do it in 2006 there was no one doing it in our area and limited information available even on the web. We talked with a big TNR group up in Phoenix. We added our own ideas of what we felt important to achieve and started out doing it. We learned trial and error. If a group were to come to us today we could get them up in running very fast from our experiences. Which is the same with No Kill. There are so many resource available to help get shelter up and running with the information to implement the 11 steps.

Here is a good article I enjoyed from No Kill Communities with the math . A Few Very Bad Shelters | Communities Achieving 90%

A Few Very Bad Shelters

25 January 2013, 8:21 am


Those of us in the No Kill movement are sometimes daunted by the sheer number of shelters there are to be reformed. After all, if we have about 90 communities with 90% or higher save rates identified so far, that means we have as many as 4900 still needing reform (based on an ASPCA estimate of the number of municipal shelters in the US). The problem may not be as bad as we think, though. Take a look at this statistic from the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance:


Of the 160 Michigan shelters reporting in 2011, eight were responsible for killing 50 percent of homeless dogs and cats.


In other words, less than 1% of the shelters in Michigan are responsible for 50% of the killing. The number of animals killed in Michigan each year could be reduced by 50% merely by reforming 8 shelters. Michigan already has over a dozen communities that are saving 90% or more of their animals, which proves that there is nothing in the climate, demographics, or other characteristics of the state to hinder shelter reform.


Some people might argue that the eight very bad shelters listed by the Alliance will be hard to reform because they are all medium to large shelters. I did a statistical analysis of shelters a few months ago which showed that a high live release rate does not correlate with a smaller community size — in fact, if anything, the study showed that a high live release rate is more likely in larger communities. Larger communities may have a more entrenched bureaucracy, but they also have more resources.


I doubt if Michigan is the only state where a few very bad shelters are responsible for half or more of the animals who are killed each year. It’s not possible to do this kind of study in most states because we don’t have complete data, but massive killing by a few very bad shelters seems to be a pattern throughout the United States.



If you are a person who would like to help the No Kill movement, one way to help would be to start a database in your state to list each shelter, get the publicly available statistics for each shelter (the No Kill Advocacy Center has advice on how this can be done), and make the data available online. That way, everyone could see why it’s so important to reform the very bad shelters.


If the very bad shelters could be reformed, then the number of animals killed each year in the United States would plummet to half or less of the previous total. At that point, the public pressure on the remaining shelters to reform would become enormous. It would be the death knell for the “catch and kill” philosophy of shelter management.
Not being a man of many I felt need to wade back in. Thanks for understanding Indoor/Outdoor cats.
I was a cat hater for the first 53 years of life. Five years ago, my first cat choose me. The only thing I knew about cats was: Which end the food went in and which end it came out. I joined an AU forum. I got regularly chastized about letting my cat outside before they got to know me. Maybe a regional thing. I appreciate this sites understanding of indoor/outdoor. I believe I must have made my point clear that no kill can go into other areas of adoption.

Both of my cats are indoor/outdoor. They are 98% in at night. They both showed up at my door so they have had outdoor experience. If I lived in town, there is no way my cats would go outside.

I live in a very rural area on a road that goes 2 country blocks between nowhere. Yes I would be devasted if either of my cats came up missing, but they were strays when they choose me and enjoy their outside time.
The above qoutes really express my opinions on shelters.

My shelter has a cat room that you can walk into and socialize with the cats. They do have caged cats that are in quarintine.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:46 PM   #40 (permalink)
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I live in the Washington, DC/Annapolis area. Last year we were desperately trying to find barns for a number of cats (hoarding situation among other things). Either the farms we contacted already had enough cats or the farms could not commit to keeping the cat(s) confined to a barn for three or four weeks. (The cat will try to return to its 'home' if not confined for several weeks, or die trying.)

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This may not be to the point of the original poster.
I don't know if my local shelter is no kill or not. When I was raising cattle, I need something to control the rodents. When you have cattle feed or grain around you are going to have rats and mice. Didn't want to poison them so I got the idea to visit the shelter to obtain a few cats. When I approached them about my needs, they seemed for view me as some sort of monster. "You expect cats to work?"

In my mind I was offering to rescue a couple of cats that5 may not have been adoptable into a family enviroment. Giving them feed, care and shelter. They surely had cats that were offered to them that would not make good pets.

The point that I am trying to make is: Not all cats can be house pets. Rescueing one for an outside cat appears to be a no no at my shelter. What is better, PTS or given a home where they have a warm barn to sleep in, regular feed and vet care? I felt my shelter was very narrow minded to my needs.

I have two indoor/outdoor cats that have showed up at my door. I dearly love them both. Not every cat can find a home that they sleep with thier human, but a chance to be a well cared for outside cat would surely beat being put to sleep. Wish I could of found a kill shelter at the time of my need.
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