Skip to Main Content

‘No Kill’ No Excuse for Hoarding—Solution Is ‘No Birth’

Written by PETA | February 22, 2012

As viewers of the popular reality shows about hoarders can likely confirm, peering inside the homes of people who suffer from the psychological compulsion to collect things has a certain morbid attraction, until you realize the toll it takes on the families of the afflicted—and it’s far worse when the “things” they’re collecting are living, feeling beings.

Animal hoarding is a serious and growing problem, with hoarders taking on far more animals than they can properly care for. The number of reported cases is on the rise, leading the Animal Legal Defense Fund to call hoarding “the number one animal cruelty crisis facing companion animals in communities throughout the country.”

Chillingly, the so-called “no kill” movement propagated by the likes of Nathan Winograd offers cover for these disturbed individuals, many of whom claim to be “rescuing” the animals and attempt to justify the suffering that they cause as a matter of principle. A Los Angeles Times blog post reported that a quarter of the roughly 6,000 new hoarding cases reported each year in the U.S. consist of supposed “shelters” and “rescues.”

Animals kept in crates at a “no kill” shelter.

Even when rescues and animal shelters aren’t hoarding animals themselves—like the self-proclaimed animal “hospice and rehabilitation center” called “Angel’s Gate” and the now-defunct “Sacred Vision Animal Sanctuary“—they all too often give away animals to anyone who will take them, including hoarders, to manipulate their euthanasia statistics, regardless of what tragedy that translates into for the animals.

Here are just a few recent examples:

  • When a “rescue” in Georgia shut down, the people who arrived to retrieve the remaining animals discovered the bones of dozens of animals on the property, including the remains of dogs who had been put into crates to die.
  • Two operators of a “no kill” rescue group were arrested in Tennessee when authorities found more than 120 dogs and one cat in a U-Haul truck bound for Virginia, without any air supply or circulation. The animals had been removed from California animal shelters and were crammed four or five to a cage. One dog was dead, and the others were found wallowing in urine and feces, without access to water or even a clean place to stand.
  • A family abandoned their dog on someone’s doorstep in a Michigan town where the local animal shelter requires payment of a “surrender fee” to accept animals, as many shelters have begun charging in an attempt to keep animals out and their euthanasia statistics low.
  • When animal-control officials searched a “no kill” cat shelter in Indiana, they found 34 cats living in filth and squalor. Four of the cats subsequently died, and many others were sick
  • The operators of an animal rescue in New York were charged with 54 misdemeanor counts after 68 dogs and cats were removed from their “unsanitary” home.
  • One New Jersey rescue claimed to be “saving” puppies from animal shelters in the South, but it was actually selling them for profit in the North.

The failure of “no kill” animal shelters and rescues to address the problems facing homeless animals—and often making matters worse—is why PETA remains focused on the solution to the animal overpopulation crisis: creating a no-birth nation. PETA’s fleet of mobile low-cost veterinary clinics (responsible for sterilizing 10,564 animals in 2011 and almost 80,000 so far since 2001!) and our advocacy of strong spay-and-neuter legislation are key to keeping animals out of the hands of hoarders and other people who don’t have their best interests at heart and guaranteeing that every animal born has a loving, permanent home awaiting him or her.

How You Can Help Animals in Shelters

Volunteer to help your local animal shelter screen potential adopters and placement partners. Animal shelters can contact PETA for placement-partner applications and agreements. Please also be sure to spay or neuter your animal companions and encourage others to do the same—it’s the best way to end the need for animal rescues altogether!

Commenting is closed.
  • AshesSTLMO says:

    Let’s keep in mind that not ALL No-kill shelters are doing these things, let’s not get carried away and ruin it for the ones that are actually helping with pet population, education, and humane treatment for animals. I work with an amazing organization here in St. Louis, MO

  • Sarah's brother Jake says:

    Nathan Winograd is the one who brought hoarders to No Kill. He consistently not only ignores the hoarder problem that his followers are personally involved in and he ENCOURAGES the hoarders when whistleblowers report their crimes, but on behalf of his breeder friends he now opposes spaying and neutering for rehomed pets. He also supports chaining dogs outside day and night, and opposes inspections for these murderous “No Kill sanctuaries” that are hiding their abuse and death. His associates have been directly involved in giving dogs to known hoarders in Philadephia, and he wants to force animal control to give animals to any hoarder who calls themselves a rescue group with laws that throw animals to the hoarders like garbage. The suffering is getting worse. PLEASE don’t donate money to ANY No Kill group that you find on social media sites or websites. The fraud is enormous, and you could well be supporting a hoarder.

  • Sarah says:

    I used to be an advocate for No Kill. NEVER AGAIN! No Kill is now advocating FOR hoarders and encouraging animals to be given to uninspected hoarders posing as rescues. No Kill wants to let animals die alone in some cage or pen, or on a chain, at the hands of a hoarder or abuser so their precious “statistics” don’t look bad. It’s all a big sham, and what is worse is that breeder lobbying groups are supporting No Kill so that shelter animals can get shunted off to hoarders to die and the breeders can pretend there is no overpopulation problem that THEY are responsible for. The No Kill movement got hijacked and turned into a pro-animal cruelty binge. No Kill now stands for DEATH AND TORTURE to me, and I have seen this first hand. It is so sad that so many of us got tricked!