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Old 01-25-2013, 01:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Do You Think No Kill Is The Answer?

Our local shelter was talking about being No Kill,but after several board meetings they decided that it wouldn't be wise for them to go that route. They weren't going to limit admission. I just wanted some opinions on whether or not you think No Kill is 'the answer' or if your local shelter has gone No Kill?
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Something I've wondered about is the fact that a lot of no-kill shelters must turn away a great number of pets, any that aren't adoptable. That leads me to wondering if it's stressful to all the surrounding shelters that have to deal with extra intake of pets. I suppose it depends on how the 'no-kill' is run. There's no set definition, as far as I know.

My city has the largest cat sanctuary in North America for all the non-adoptable cats (and for many other cats simply because there are too many vs demand), about five years back the sanctuary won the bid on the city shelter, taking it over from the SPCA. They then made the shelter no-kill, and it's worked. Of course, they have a massive cat sanctuary to back it up, and are a large organization. There's also mandatory spay/neuter bylaws in place. The cat sanctuary was once at over 900 cats. Now it sits at around 700, so something must be working.

It would be a lot of work to get to that point considering where a lot of cities are currently. I live in a very wealthy city, and a lot of money and a shift in public opinion would be required for no-kill to start working in many other areas, especially in less well off locations, which are the areas where it's more desperately needed to get strays under control. It is doable, but it isn't something that can happen overnight.

So in short: I really don't know. Of course no-kill is fantastic, but if everyone tomorrow went no-kill, it wouldn't work. Maybe your area needs to start with something smaller (but no less difficult to implement) first, like changing public perception and getting more people involved in TNR.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I volunteer at a No-Kill shelter. We never turn away cats based on adoptability. We have a large "penthouse" (really just the upstairs) devoted to FIV+ and FeLV+ cats. We have a room for cats with kidney failure. We have had blind, deaf, tripods ... just about everything.

Our shelter does have a waiting list to get in, so we do turn away cats (or at least ask them to wait) because on capacity.

That being said, we're a private shelter staffed only by volunteers and rely solely on donations, fundraisers, and adoption fees for income. We can also be more selective in what homes our cats go to.

Our city has an official government shelter and their euthanization rate is rather high. But they're required to take in animals that come in from animal control or complaints or any other reason. So we try to take as many in as we can to save the cats from this fate.

Admittedly, we don't have a high turnover. (In January, we have approximately 100 cats in our shelter plus others in foster homes and so far we've adopted out 35.) While one of our goals is to get our feline residents adopted into good homes, one of our other goals is to provide a loving environment with good quality food and vet care for cats who may otherwise not have a real chance and to stay with us for as long as they live if they don't get adopted.

We also operate a large TNR operation.

I love volunteering at this shelter. I think the founders had the right ideas in mind when they came up with the concept and I think the board of directors (again, all volunteers) run the place very, very well.
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Perhaps 'no kill' is starting too far down the line. Population control is best. TNR, and limits on cat breeding, and while I'm against cat licensing, I'm wondering about cat/pet lifetime registration. But that would present difficulties, too. As I've made clear on here before, I'm against the concept of ownership and much prefer guardianship. This would put more pressure on people before they take on the care of an animal. Whatever the answer is, it's not a problem that can be solved overnight.

There's no easy answer.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I believe no-kill is an achievable long-term goal.

It isn't always an achievable short-term goal, though, in my experience - at least not without either less adoptable pets getting turned away or else warehousing animals for years on end, neither of which is a good solution.

I think part of the problem is that we tend to think in terms of traditional or no-kill being the only options, and they really aren't. Many organizations that can't jump straight into no-kill could still take steps to reduce the number of pets they have to put to sleep and increase their adoption rates, and those would be steps in the right direction - eventually reducing down to zero pets euthanized for space reasons.

I think if we see no-kill as a goal to push steadily towards rather than a bar requirement that has to be either met immediately or failed completely, we can move in that direction and get there someday without the potential negative consequences.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Population control IS best; but aside from that something HAS to be done with the abundance of cats. I visited a no-kill shelter here a couple years back and was saddened that they had almost 60 cats living upstairs in 2 large bedrooms. Yes, they had perches, toys, TVs and food - but really??--- 60 cats?? At what point is it fair to say too many are just too many. Don't get me wrong - I am not for turning them out on to the street, but I just hated to see them living like that with hardly any long visits from volunteers. That many cats make it almost impossible to keep the area clean and that was a real distraction to me the potential adoptor.

In a perfect world there would be somebody to love and cherish each and every one of thes precious animals but life is not perfect and maybe alternatives should be considered when the situation gets out of control. Please don't flame spray me, I'm just expressing my opinion about a touchy subject. I fully understand that many don't share my opinion.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My personal opinion is that the whole No Kill issue has to be looked at from all sides. I've seen many shelters try to go no kill,but they also got easily overwhelmed. It sounds go in theory,but there is also a lot that goes with it. So no flaming here.


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Please don't flame spray me, I'm just expressing my opinion about a touchy subject. I fully understand that many don't share my opinion.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blakeney Green View Post
I think part of the problem is that we tend to think in terms of traditional or no-kill being the only options, and they really aren't. Many organizations that can't jump straight into no-kill could still take steps to reduce the number of pets they have to put to sleep and increase their adoption rates, and those would be steps in the right direction - eventually reducing down to zero pets euthanized for space reasons.
Exactly....a shelter can't just declare themselves No Kill unless they have the infrastructure in place and that takes years to develop. Unless they are just going to turn away cats when they're full, and they'll get full really quickly, they need to know where the unadoptables will go, what they're going to do with the sick ones, put a strong foster program in place etc. They need to educate the community and get them on board. And that education needs to include not only spay/neuter but not supporting backyard breeders. And they need the funds to do all that.

It's a huge, huge effort and maintaining it year after year...when the volunteers burn out and money dries up because of economy fluctuations and set backs happen is really tough.

I live in the northeast. The number of dogs that are transported into this area from down south is phenomenal. There is a shortage of dogs in this area because people here pretty much get it when it comes to dogs. Yet we still have a huge over population problem with cats. So I see how difficult it would be to implement a no kill philosophy for cats in an area where they have to transport dogs out. Jake's foster mom told me that they refuse to adopt any dogs in their area (eastern Kentucky) because the likelihood that they will end up in a bad situation again is so huge. With headsets like that...the road to no kill is very, very long.

I think no kill is a very admirable goal, but biting that off as the goal can be overwhelming. I think they need smaller achievable goals that fit into an overall "pro life" philosophy. Over time, achieving those goals will allow them to be considered no kill.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Do You Think No Kill Is The Answer?

The shelter I worked at was always no kill. They don't turn away any animal and they have an extensive adoption procedure(too extensive IMO). It is understaffed and is literally run off of donations. Only the animal control(high kill) shelters here are city funded. They have several trailers outside of the building to house new cats, sick cats and the over flow cats. Luckily they advertise in need animals on the news a lot, ask for public donations (they receive lots). That said there are a lot of problems with the system.

Not enough vet techs, not enough care and treatment to the animals. No on site vets so a lot of them have to wait sometimes weeks to see a vet. The process from in take (stray) to adoptions is tediously long and sometimes take up to 6 months.


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Old 01-25-2013, 11:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blakeney Green View Post
I think part of the problem is that we tend to think in terms of traditional or no-kill being the only options, and they really aren't. Many organizations that can't jump straight into no-kill could still take steps to reduce the number of pets they have to put to sleep and increase their adoption rates, and those would be steps in the right direction - eventually reducing down to zero pets euthanized for space reasons.

I think if we see no-kill as a goal to push steadily towards rather than a bar requirement that has to be either met immediately or failed completely, we can move in that direction and get there someday without the potential negative consequences.
I think trying to reduce the number of pets who are euthanized is a great compromise/interim solution. But however you look at the issue, it boils down to 2 things. As others have said, reduce the numbers first. That takes education, and that is going to take a looooong time. The second is, of course, money. I doubt any kind of shelter would choose to euthanize if they had the space and the means to care for all of them. But I also believe that education is at the heart of that issue too. Too many people don't see unwanted animals as an issue that worthy of donations.
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