Written by Michelle Kretzer
Los Angeles Animal Services (LAAS) recently announced that its
shelters had a "no-kill December," a month during which the
department reportedly "did not euthanize any treatable or healthy animals
in its care." While this certainly sounds
wonderful and is what every animal shelter strives to achieve, one blogger explains
what the numbers really
translate into and how the welfare of animals is disregarded when statistics
become more of a focus than the animals themselves.
Longtime friend to animals,
Phyllis Daugherty, examined what "no-kill December" really meant for
animals who found refuge at LAAS last month and asked, "Are we really to
believe that with no other changes but a change of mind, suddenly all the least
desirable animals were swept from the shelter into 'forever' homes, or even
just to somewhere that they can be assured a humane life?"
While LAAS announced a 90 percent "live-save" rate
for December, this does not mean a 90 percent adoption rate. The term "live-save" means only that the
animals left the shelter, not that they went to qualified, screened homes. As
Daugherty explains, "Often the pet is merely taken to another shelter by 'transport,'
and possibly transported many times to different shelters in different areas in
the country if [he or she] is not adopted. Once the animal has left the L.A.
shelter, [his or her] impound (ID) number may be changed many times, so we
really don't know what ultimately happens to [him or her]."
Just days after Daugherty's article was posted, humane and sheriff's
officials in Oregon raided a self-purported "rescue" where more than
140 dogs were found starving, stuffed into tiny stacked travel carriers amid
their own waste and without access to water, after being "saved" from
euthanasia at an open-admission animal shelter in California. Many were found
with their eyes sealed shut with mucus and pus, and urine and excrement were dripping
onto them from the cages above. One dog was found in a carrier so small that "he
was unable to lie down, sit or stand up." The
Oregonian reported, "Some of the
dogs were in such an advanced state of starvation that technicians will have to
use a 'refeeding program' to reintroduce small amounts of easily digestible food."
Regarding LAAS, Daugherty rightfully asks, "Is this a
sustainable or desirable solution?" When the focus shifts from protecting
animals to playing a numbers game, animals pay the price, bounced around like
rubber balls and often ending up in situations so cruel and harsh that being
"saved" becomes a fate far worse than a painless exit from a world
that has already betrayed them once.
And unlike rubber balls, animals become confused and distressed
when bounced around, often developing severe separation anxiety and other
behavioral symptoms as they are moved from place to place. PETA has
investigated and exposed many hoarder "rescue" facilities—places such as Caboodle Ranch, Angel's
Gate, All Creatures Great and
Small, and other hellholes—where animals end up languishing in criminally cruel
conditions after they have been "saved" from open-admission shelters that
are desperately trying to fend off criticism from an ill-informed public misled
by the "no-kill" movement.
LAAS reports on its Facebook page that during the December effort, compassionate "volunteers
complained that [LAAS was] keeping too many animals. And it did get crowded."
We have to ask why the humane community is so quick to tolerate the suffering
and danger inflicted on animals who are the victims of the "no-kill"
As PETA has stressed for decades—and put its money
where its mouth is by spaying and neutering nearly 90,000 animals at low or no
cost in the past 10 years—the only way that we
can truly hope to become a "no-kill" nation is to work at the roots,
not at the "feel good" treetops. We must first become a no-birth nation through
aggressive spay/neuter initiatives—only then we can truly save lives.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.