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Excellent article!

I truly hope that kill-shelters do not have to remain a "necessity" in our society and that more adopt attitudes like the one this article is expressing in the future.

Things like this motivate me even more to volunteer and foster in the future, when I am able.
 

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thats so terrible! i can't believe anyone would be heartless enough to kill a kitten! my dog had parvoo once, and that section over it just wrenched my heart because its so easy to cure, probably less expencive than killing them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Excellent article!

I truly hope that kill-shelters do not have to remain a "necessity" in our society and that more adopt attitudes like the one this article is expressing in the future.

Things like this motivate me even more to volunteer and foster in the future, when I am able.
I hope you get the chance to foster in the future. Its alot of work but it fun and you make a tremendous difference in an animals life. Its amazing what just a few people can accomplish when working with animals.

In mid 2006 seven of us got together to TNR and thought wed foster a couple kittens we found out there. We were told there were apx 450 feral cats in our area. :p We thought wed be out of business right away. Well the count is in the thousands. Our 7 grew to apx 20 at any given time doing different jobs in our TNR group. Were heading towards our 1000 cat. Over half the cats we trapped were companion cats which we took to our homes and got them vetted and back to health and into safe indoor only homes.

Yes we manage on a shoe string... grants, donations, garage sales, farmers market small item sales to keep us moving forward. But Ive met the most amazing people, have crazy stories, days Ive cried in frustration, formed bonds with my rescue friends that are special.
Were a small group but were determined!:wink

I would encourage you to make that leap one day.. start small with just a few kittens and see what fun it is!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Number of cats and dogs reclaimed by owners from shelters each year:
Between 600,000 and 750,000 -- 30% of dogs and 2-5% of cats entering shelters (HSUS estimate) the rest are euthanized.
100% of feral cats brought to a shelter are euthanized.

If you want to see change read the books~

Redemption, The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No kill Revolution in America by Nathan J. Winograd

Irreconcilable Differences, The Battle for the Heart and Soul of America's Animal Shelters

We can change what is happening to animals in the United States.
 

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Great article. Why would a shelter kill a innocent cat. :(
Because there are too many cats and not enough room at the shelter. I work at the Humane Society here, and it is absolutely horrible the sheer number of cats that have to be euthanized because there are no other options for them. We are -always- full on cats. Always. Nobody will TAKE these cats, we will let them go for FREE if it comes down to it, but nobody comes forward. It makes me absolutely sick. The girl that chooses who the vet will euth every week has the hardest job in the world imo. She loves cats. Every cat. Far more than she loves dogs. She has four cats of her own (and 3 dogs). She does everything she can to keep every cat, but when the room is gone, someone has to go. She chooses those with the least chance of getting adopted, and in kitten season, it does sometimes have to be kittens. :( Last year we had to euthanize 71% of our cats. People say "Well just DON'T" but then what are we to do with all the cats? We could refuse to take in new cats, but that would leave thousands of cats out on the streets to fend for themselves, breeding and continuing the vicious cycle. People in our society need to start VALUING the lives of cats. So many people seem to think of them as disposable vermin. Euthanizing a cat is not something anyone does because they want to. Don't blame the shelter. Blame those who don't spay and neuter their cats, those who aren't committed enough to keep the cats they have, those who let their cats out every day and never wonder when they don't come back, and those who would rather buy a kitten from a petshop (supporting cat mills who are -actually- breeding regular cats on purpose, and allowing them to CONTINUE making more cats and contributing to the problem) than taking one in need from the shelter.

Dogs are lucky. People love dogs, at least, more people than love cats. We never have to euthanize healthy dogs anymore (we used to under the old director because she refused to work with rescues - thus, she is no longer our director). When dogs come in, you know they'll be just fine. It doesn't matter their breed, age, size, color, temperament, health, there will be a home or rescue for them. There is very rarely a rescue for a cat. We weren't able to get more than one cat into a rescue last year, and that was only because the woman had come down to take a few dogs and fell in love with the cat. She adopted him herself, so it wasn't really "going to a rescue".


ETA: I am ALL FOR No-Kill, so don't get me wrong!
 

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ETA2:
Ok well I can't believe the shelter in texas was killing kittens because they were too small to be S/N. We do S/N contracts for kittens, if they are not S/N by the specified date, we have the right to reclaim the cat (and do! very successfully!). Awful that they wouldn't think of that. There's only 2 things in there that aren't working well for us.. the first is inspirational leadership that embraces change.. while we DO have the "leader" that is right for the job, a few of the employees have been there for over a decade and do not want to embrace the changes. The other one is off-site adoption events. We have asked every store in town if we can set up a booth and bring a few animals for an adoption event and EVERYONE has said no. We don't have any pet shops of any kind, so this has been pretty discouraging. We are able to do a few booths at outdoor events every year though, and walk dogs and have cats on a float in the parade in the summer.
 

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ETA3: One more thing to add! If you want to help your shelter become no-kill, the biggest thing you can do is get PUBLICITY for their animals. The more people know about them the more go out. Fostering is also great and makes room for another cat or two at the shelter. Or arrange for a "Cat Show" in a large public building for them (most shelters cannot afford to have enough people on staff to have time to plan these kinds of things), one of our volunteers is putting together a cat show for us this year. It's going to be at our armory, and people from the public can pay and bring in their own cats for the show, or you can "sponsor" a cat from the shelter to bring to the show. Cats are going to be "judged" for fun things like prettiest eyes, biggest feet, longest tail- and there will also be a contest for best decorated crate/carrier.. They haven't decided what the prizes will be yet, but I think it's going to be a lot of fun!

Ok I'm done. I think. :roll:
 

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I worked for a no kill shelter, but my heart bled for the kill facilities. I feel like they are unfairly attacked for a problem that they didn't create. If people were responsible with their pets and got them fixed, or took their commitment to their pets seriously (there are legit reasons for surrendering, however I found most owners got rid of their animals for silly reasons because they didn't take seriously the commitment they got into when they got their pet) there would be no need for kill facilities. But because people don't we have way more animals needing homes then homes available for them, so animals are euthanized for reasons outside of their control. The kill facilities are faced with an unfair problem and then attacked for it. I do think that most do their work out of love. Which of us would be willing to sit with a cat as it is put to sleep, comforting it and giving it love in it's final moments. Not many. That sounds like a kinder death than most would face on the streets, whether through torture because people don't like that mangy animal, or fighting with other animals and getting a disease, or slowly bleeding to death on the side of the road because they got hit by a car and no one cares enough to stop.

People blame the kill shelters, but it is societies own fault that the kill shelters and animal problem even exists. They are the ones that sentence unwanted pets to unnecessary deaths. Wouldn't it be such a wonderful thing if people did their parts and were responsible owners? Think of how many lives could be spared just by one spay or neuter. It is so worth the money. I honestly believe if people realized this and reacted accordingly then we wouldn't need kill shelters, the smaller need could be met by a no kill.

I am so grateful for so many on this forum who have helped so many animals. It is people like you who are making a difference in the lives of so many cats, and through your patient education are helping the effort to change people's views are the animal situation in America. I wonder how many little lives have been changed just from this website, whether someone read advice on here that made them keep their pet instead of surrendering it for a problem that had a solution, or through the wonderful members that regularly rescue and foster, or others who now volunteer and work with shelters all over the country to help homeless cats. I bet the number would be in the 100's, probably in the 1,000's.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Binkalett it sounds like your shelter is trying new things and have some good ideas. I good shelther director job is to keep the shelter in the public eye and tap the local businesses and people to donate and volunteer. The most important job at a shelter is the director. The vet comes in with a close second.

Pawsitively Nicole please read the books I mentioned. When I read them they kicked my butt about some of my attitudes about adoption. I think it would help your shelter make some changes-- if the director is open.

I met a woman this week which came by our tent. She had worked up in Albuquerque New Mexico at the pound. She said what she would do is write great write ups to capture people heart for the dog or cat. She then emailed all the rescues in the surrounding areas asking if they could take the cat or dog. She had great success with this. She also got a great responces from groups that are breed oriented. She would drive and meet half way anyone who would take these cats or dog off death row.

There are so many different ways to try to find homes. It may be uncomfortable trying new ways but once the results come in you will find it easier to do them.

Please please please read those two books. You can find them used on Amazon for next to nothing.
 

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I will definitely look into the books! I don't know if I was real clear or not but the shelter I was associated with is a no kill facility. They do not euthanize.

I personally wish all places could be no kill, I do feel that more owners need to take responsibility at the home front before this dream can start to come true. I do think a place that has to euthanize should do everything in their power to spare any life they possibly can, whether through adoption or relocation.

I was just trying to say that (not saying that anyone here was doing this) that we shouldn't attack the kill shelters like they are the bad guys. I've known many people who refuse to adopt from a kill shelter because of the euthanizing thing and go around ripping them apart. Well this just hurts the animals in the long run and needlessly ends more lives. I used to look down on kill shelters until I read a book, I wish I could remember the name, that was a compilation of the notes and thoughts from people that work and volunteer at kill places. It really changed my point of view on how I view those people. I know most of them work with animals out of love and hate the decisions that they shouldn't have to make. I think most all kill places would be very open to anything to help more animals go on to happy lives instead of life being ended to quickly. I was just saying that we shouldn't attack those people, but help them whether through resources or adoption. I found that the people that work at kill shelters were much more receptive to any advice or material you had when you acknowledged that they were trying to make a difference for animals instead of berating them for this one issue (once again, not saying anyone here was just that a ton of people all over do).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
As in Austin, using new ideas they have emptyed the pound and go to surround pounds in the area to pull dos and cats. If were doing a job right there will be no reason to have an healthy animal euthanized in a kill shelter. Educated people on the No Kill idea is the start. We can become no kill is a couple of years if people can wrap their mind around it.
 

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Just found out this morning from our director that a woman called asking if we have kittens. H*** yes do we have kittens!!! She said she checked at the HS and they had none. Im like amazed they dont have kittens up there. Only to find out if a kitten come in with ringwork (easily currable) or sneezes a couple time (easily currable) etc they pull the kittens and put them down. That is the reality in most shelters today. They dont have the will to bring a cat back to health and adopt them out at a later date.

One of the biggest faults of public shelthers is they dont untilize people to foster in their homes sick animals and socialize them. Then place them back at the shelter to get adopted.With a bit of personal effort animals can turn it around and find a great home.

The way we become No Kill is to try different ways to get animals into home. Euthanizing is not the answer. There is a growing movement among rescuers and TNR groups to challenge the old guard to think outside the box. Humane legislation is the answer. Most people wouldnt check to see if the shelter was with an accredited group that has their value system.

Ive concluded it is the grassroots people demanding change that is going to turn this around.
 

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Yeah, the shelter where I took Sasha was going to put her down because of her URI. They said they don't have a vet on staff and they were already full of so many cats to begin with so they wanted to make do with the healthy ones. It does make me sad. The shelter where I got Sherlock was a no-kill, although they did put down animals that were too sick to be saved. I would love to foster someday. My goal in the future is to get a house so we could have a bit more space and my new job will have me at home by 3 so I would love to be able to help in any way I can. Going to those places and seeing all those kitties needing homes it just breaks my heart. Especially ones that won't get adopted because they're not kittens or have some other physical flaw that they can't help. I have actually spoken to some rescues near here that foster a lot about helping out in the future.
 
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