Difference Between Shelters??? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-12-2004, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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Difference Between Shelters???

Hey, some of you may know I plan on adopting a new kitty within the next few months. (If I'm going to deliberately plan it'll be around December when I have extra time off). Now, all the cats I've had have been strays or neglected outdoor cats that are allowed to produce litter after litter and so on. In my new neighborhood, everyone seems to love kitties so I'm unlikely to encounter a situation like that.

That said, unless someone alerts me to a cat in need, I will be adopting one from a shelter. I'm torn here. What is better? Adopting from a no-kill shelter because they need the funds? Or adopting from the local pound where I'll be getting a cat that might otherwise be euthanized? I don't want to support shelters that euthanize animals, but it feels to me as if those animals have a slightly more urgent need for adoption. What are your opinions?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-12-2004, 04:24 PM
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Many of us who have worked in shelters don't have quite such a rosy view of the "no-kill" concept. Really, "no-kill" shelters can only exist where there is another local shelter that *does* kill. That way the no-kill can take its pick of the *most adoptable* animals, and send the rest over to the other shelter, letting that one take the blame for a high kill rate.

San Francisco's no-kill SPCA is across the parking lot from the SF city shelter, so it's an easy thing to transfer unwanted animals back to the city. The former director of that SPCA is now at ASPCA in New York, planning exactly the same strategy there. The city animal control dept. will be the one who gets the fallout.

All that being said, animals at the no-kill are likely to be healthier and better socialized, because they do get to pick and choose, and are probably more strict with their assessments. But at the regular shelter, you truly would be saving a life.

Cheers,
Dr. Jean

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-12-2004, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
 
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But at the regular shelter, you truly would be saving a life.
That was totally my thought, too. I'd much rather take a cat who's in jeopardy. I've just heard a lot of people say no-kill shelters get a lot of their funding through adoptions and such. I guess either way you're adopting a cat who needs a home. But I've been to the regular pound and I always feel so bad knowing if no one takes these animals they are going to be euthanized. I would rather save one in that more immediate danger.

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That way the no-kill can take its pick of the *most adoptable* animals, and send the rest over to the other shelter, letting that one take the blame for a high kill rate.
That's terrible. - Besides, when an animal is alone and abandoned and scared how can you really tell how adoptable it is? It's really sad, sometimes even less friendly cats will really come around in loving, steady home.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-12-2004, 04:37 PM
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Hard not to, but I agree with dr jean hehe.
A standard shelter will really be saving alife.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-12-2004, 05:24 PM
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I agree with drjean as well. Obviously, with such a large pet overpopulation crisis, how can a shelter be "no-kill"? Simple: they close their doors. Then shelters like the one where I volunteer, get to pick up the slack.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-12-2004, 05:42 PM
 
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dr. jean, it's funny that you should mention the San Francisco SPCA. I remember going there to look for a kitten, and found myself in a great facility... where the kittens were stored in a cold room full of cages. The following week, I visited the Animal Care & Control Center across the street... and ended up adopting both my babies from there. It IS true... the SPCA goes over to the shelter to try to "rescue" those they deem most adoptable... the lady at the Animal Control mentioned that there was quite a back and forth btwn orgs, b/c of lost profits if the SPCA takes all the "adoptable" animals as well as the whole idea of it... so nowadays, it seems like the SPCA ends up with more animals that may not be adopted right away out of the Animal Control center (read: a lot of black cats with upper resp. probs). At least that's what I saw last December.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-12-2004, 07:46 PM
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In San Diego, the no kill SPCA is right next door to a kill shelter. In the SPCA the animals are kept in rooms, not cages. Each room is furnished and completely decorated, so they look nicer than most rooms you'd find in someone's house. They keep 1 or 2 animals in each room.

Next door, inside of the kill shelter all the animals are packed into tiny cages, and there are hundreds of them. The dogs and cats get a space that is barely big enough to lay down in. It smells and looks just awful. I was really surprised to see such a contrast between them, being right next door and all. I didn't adopt my cat from this shelter, but I did get her from a kill shelter in a different part of San Diego.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-12-2004, 07:53 PM
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Exactly, the no-kill can afford to put cats in rooms, because they are so exclusive, and will turn away most cats. The kill shelters do the best they can for every animal they take in, which is a lot of animals. Do most get put down? Yes. But a humane death is better than being cramped in a cage, or worse, starving on the streets.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-12-2004, 07:55 PM
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Just be really careful with your current cat(s) and so forth in terms of sickness, whereever you go.
We visited the kill shelter about a year ago and a lot of the cats were sneezing. Later that day, we visisted a woman who took in strays (where we got Justin from) and we ended up getting her cats sick because we hadn't changed clothes and didn't think about it (we did wash our hands well).
That said, I know I would have liked to adopt from the shelter, but since we already had Stormy, we were very concerned about getting a cat that would get along with her. The woman who took in cats could tell me all about her cats' personalities and so I knew I was getting a very laid back cat with Justin...something I couldn't have known for sure with a shelter cat (at our local shelter anyway).

Shannon
Loving her cat Stormy and missing her angel cat Justin 1-13-09
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-12-2004, 07:59 PM
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Yes, I very much like the set-up of our local rescue, which is a "wall-less shelter", meaning they do it entirely through foster homes. So if someone were to come to my house to see the kittens, I would be able to tell them a lot more about their personalities, than what they would have been able to find out at a shelter.

And disease is the bane of all shelters. At ours, we have disinfectant dispensers everywhere, and visitors are not allowed to touch a cat unless they have cleaned their hands of the previous cat. Still, sickness spreads very easily, it's just something we have to fight hard against.
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