Written by Michelle Kretzer
We've learned, haven't we, when you are
told "You're a winner!" that there's some fine print and a catch. The
same is true with the magic words that imply that dogs and cats are winners,
too: "no kill"! Here, too, there is fine print, and it can be much
more damaging than finding that you are being billed for a subscription you
didn't want. The fact is that many limited-admission shelters, now often given
the great-sounding, dressed-up title "no-kill shelter," actually hurt animals every single day. Not necessarily the ones they take in,
who may or may not be well cared for, but rather, the ones they don't. The
animals someone else has to decide what to do with or who just end up abandoned
or worse when the "no-kill" shelter is full, as it inevitably
These glorious-sounding shelters generally
turn away many more
animals than they accept, picking, choosing, and admitting only the youngest,
healthiest, prettiest, and most adoptable, if any, because on most days, they
will tell all comers, "We're full." The rest are sent away to suffer
on the streets or to be left in the hands of people who don't want them. Some "no-kills" do accept
animals when they shouldn't, by which I mean when their facilities are already
crammed beyond capacity, subjecting all of the shelter's tenants to crowded, unsanitary
conditions, illness, and often a painful death from parvovirus or from fighting.
And if the animals they do take in are not adopted, many so-called "no-kill"
shelters warehouse them in cages for years, unwanted and unloved, even after
they are driven "cage crazy" from the stress of confinement. I've seen them
sit with their back to visitors, withdrawn into a world of depression and lost
"No-kill" advocates are quick
to throw stones at open-admission
offer refuge to every animal who comes through their doors and euthanize animals when they are
not adoptable, when they run out of appropriate living space for them,
or when the animals brought in are injured, aggressive or gravely ill. So in
return, PETA is quick to expose the cracks in the rosy picture that "no-kills"
try to paint. Here are just a few of the recent additions to our long, ever-expanding
list of "no-kill"
failures that cause animals to suffer:
September 13, 2012/Corpus
Christi, Texas: Area animal
shelters report that they are filled to capacity and that homeless, roaming animals in the
area are at “epidemic” levels. The
shelter director at no-kill "Pee Wee's Pet Adoption World and Sanctuary"
stated, "I get 75 calls a day, and people get angry because I can't take
75 animals a day .… If you multiply 75 times 365 days a year, I would have to
take in 27,000 plus animals a year." The Gulf Coast Humane Society
director reports that his shelter "turn[s] people away right and
2012/Northeast Mississippi: Area open-admission animal shelters
are suffering from the effects of some private shelters' picking and choosing in
order to limit admissions in a ploy to call themselves "no-kill"
for fundraising appeals. A local news outlet reported that, while the [no-kill] policy keeps
current shelter residents alive, it limits the number of pets those facilities
can house and means new arrivals routinely are turned away. Some then are "dumped
alongside roads, abandoned at a neighbor's house or shot and killed," according to representatives of no-kill
shelters citing what jilted pet owners have told them. The writer spoke with a woman taking
three unwanted dogs to an open-admission shelter and whose husband had made his
family's options and intentions clear: "It was either that or shoot them."
July 17, 2012/Willis,
Texas: "Considered one
of the country's [premier] sanctuaries for pit bulls," was the no-kill Spindletop Dog Refuge was raided
by authorities who seized approximately 300 pit bulls found in tiny plastic
carriers with no water and unable to fully stand up. Some dogs were seen
drinking their own urine and a police news report revealed that "[o]ne dog's
feet were so scalded it was laying on its back in its own urine in feces,
presumably to take the pain off of its feet."
As long as outspoken "no-kill"
proponents continue to criticize open-admission shelters even
in the face of the animal
homelessness crisis, PETA will continue to save
animals by exposing "no-kills" for what they really are: "slow-kills."
Written by Jeff Mackey
Anyone who has a hard time understanding why PETA hasn't hopped
onto the "no-kill" bandwagon should have a look at this long list of failures of limited-admission
(i.e., "no-kill") shelters and rescues. There have been so many raids, busts, and seizures that we can't even be sure that
we have kept up with them all.
Rescued From a 'Rescue'?
One of the latest tragedies comes from Muncie, Indiana,
where 63 dogs and puppies were seized from a single-story house operating as "Adopt a Lab Rescue and Adoption."
Living conditions were so foul that one official characterized it as being "like a dungeon in the
basement." Some of the dogs had reportedly been bought from a "broker." This
same facility had also been raided in 2010, when 30 dogs were removed because
of poor conditions, including keeping animals in crates without food or water
for up to 21 hours a day.
No one wants to euthanize animals, least of all people who dedicate
their lives to helping them. And we should all be deeply upset that in this day
and age, shelters must still resort to euthanasia—but breeding and buying
animals from pet shops is still legal (in most places)! The reality is that there
are more animals in need
of homes than there are people ready to adopt them. Even if we could build enough shelters to hold all of them, these animals need real
homes and families to love them. They can't be warehoused forever just to make
us feel better.
Euthanasia prevents suffering—it is, by definition, humane.
But turning away animals in need of shelter is anything but humane. Forcing animals to exist in cages, joyless, for months
or years or their entire lives, is inhumane, too, as is allowing animals to
suffer in squalor, loneliness, deprivation, and illness.
What You Can Do
There is an answer, and it lies in prevention! We can reduce
euthanasia and the need for it by taking the smart, effective approach: animal birth
control (ABC). Please start
an ABC campaign in your community, and never be silent when animals are at risk.
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.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
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.