Until recently, I had no idea that an open-door, no-kill shelter existed. I was under the false impression that there are just too many dogs and cats out there and not enough homes. After volunteering at my city shelter, and seeing how well it does with volunteer programs, fostering, and off-site adoptions, I started wondering why all shelters do not implement these types of programs.
I called my county shelter, and asked if they had a foster program. The girl who answered the phone DID NOT KNOW THE ANSWER TO MY QUESTION. Shes said "why? do have an animal that needs to be fostered?"
I said "no, I am currently fostering for the city shelter, and I am offering my services to you. I want to help." she put me on hold, and came back to tell me that I had to be some type of non-profit in order to foster. (I'm assuming that means I need to be a rescue)
So here I am, offering to take an animal from them, that will otherwise be put to death, and they say no. They would rather kill a cat, than let a concerned animal lover take over their care.
This raised a lot of questions for me, and those questions led me to this book:
I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone.
It talks about the history of animal shelters and animal welfare organizations in the U.S., and how they have continued to fail in the fight against "pet overpopulation" - it places the blame on the shelters themselves, instead of blaming the public. It proves that the "no kill equation" can work in big urban cities, and small rural towns alike- with the implementation of programs including, fostering, volunteering, off-site adoptions, T-N-R, low-cost spay/neuter, extended shelter hours, etc. Basically taking a pro-active approach to adoptions instead of blaming the public for being irresponsible, giving into defeat, and killing millions of homeless, adoptable pets each year. It also talks about the bureaucracy involved and how many of the big animal welfare organizations are not embracing this equation, even though it has been proven to be extremely successful.
The number one cause of death in companion animals in the united states is shelter killing!
I don't know why this fact surprised me, but this has been one of those things that is just accepted because its the way it has always been, and its time to change.