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‘No-Kill’ Organizations Enable Animal Hoarders

Written by PETA | November 15, 2010
meagan/CC by 2.0

In their fervor to avoid euthanasia at all costs, “no-kill” facilities sometimes enable animal hoarders and others who put animals in abusive situations. Last week, for example, more than 100 dogs and cats were rescued from a West Virginia animal hoarder. The animals were locked in cramped, rusty cages in an old schoolhouse, and many of the animals were sick and starving, lying amid their own feces with no access to food or water. According to one news report, “The animals cringed when rescue workers shined lights onto them.”

Representatives from two “no-kill” organizations had visited this facility earlier this year. They found that the animals were living in deplorable conditions and suspected that the woman in charge was in fact an animal hoarder (d’oh). But they and others enabled her to continue hoarding animals: They cleaned up the property just enough to make it pass inspection by law enforcement officials, took a few animals with them, and never looked back.

Like many hoarders, the woman often acquired animals from local animal shelters, which may have been pressured to turn the animals over to anyone who would take them, rather than euthanizing them. This whole sad, twisted situation is another reminder that warehousing animals—that is, handing animals over to hoarders or others who don’t have the ability to properly care for them—is not a humane solution to the companion animal overpopulation crisis. The only solution is to ensure that all animal companions are spayed or neutered.

Written by Lindsay Pollard-Post

Commenting is closed.
  • Ruth Cummings says:

    WE have major problems in Central and South PA with no kills – they refuse to take in animals in trouble….one emaciated elderly stray cat who was crying to people for help got no response from the local humane society; someone finally picked up the cat and called the shelter for euthanasia, “WE don’t do THAT” and when asked if they would help pay for vet euthanasia, they responded “you picked it up, it’s your responsibility”. Six years ago, two elderly, injured Beagles were sitting in the middle of a road leaning against each other. Calls to 3 no kills in the area for assistance brought nothing……….no room, take to a vet for euthanasia……….the traveler eventually got them to a neighboring community rescue where they were treated ………after 6 months or so, they were doing well and one lived 5 years, one 6………..they are greatly missed by me. NO Kills even have the nerve to send people to shelters that euthanize (which I believe is right after 42 years serving animals). No Kills turn a blind eye to suffering.

  • Frumpy says:

    There are limited resources for the care of unwanted, sick, abused and neglected animals. It is more humane to end the suffering of severe cases and devote the resources to those who have potential. No kill shelters are misguided in their desire to spare the lives of animals who are beyond hope and will “live” an existence of endless suffering and trauma.

  • missbess says:

    To the person who posted about the e-clinic refusing treatment until they were paid, I experienced a similar situation with an e-clinic in PA. I took my 15-year-old dog there to be put to sleep because she was in great distress (literally yelping nonstop). I had been to this clinic 3 previous times and paid in full each time. With my heart breaking, I begged them to end my baby’s suffering. They wouldn’t do anything until I filled out the paperwork (I can understand having to sign for such a request). They then needed my credit card, which I gave them – and they still wouldn’t do anything until it was processed and the payment cleared. All the while, my dog was yelping and struggling. It was absolutely horrific.

    Since then, I had to take my elderly Pom to an e-clinic in Winston Salem, NC and they were wonderful. Their primary concern was taking care of him as quickly as possible. He was put in an oxygen chamber before I filled out any paperwork or paid them a dime. Of course, I had to pay upfront before any treatment or diagnosis was made, but at least his comfort was their first concern (before $$$). Apparently it all depends on the facility.

    I’m sorry for your experience and hope your story had a happy ending. I lost both of my babies.

  • Jscholes88 says:

    Im new to PETA but I wanted to see what fellow animal lovers thought about an incident my girlfriend had with a emergency vet hospital. Our 8 week old Boston Terrier puppy has been ill for a couple days and as she was beginning to become a normal happy puppy again she collapsed and was lethargic. My girlfriend immediately rushed to a emergency clinic. I was working a night shift out of state and I get a break to check my phone and she tells me these people at this clinic would not do anything for my puppy until I paid them. My break happened 20 minutes after she sent me that message, so my puppy laid on a counter in front of a vet dying because they wanted money right now. I was appalled when I heard this so I reported the incident to PETA and am curious if I should file an animal cruely suit against this clinic.

  • sam says:

    I will forever appreciate and admire the courageous and empowering documented undercover work you do as well as your fact sheets.

    You persistence is infectious and inspiring.Though I strongly disagree with killing an animal for the reason they are homeless (euthanasia) as I only believe in taking a life of a animal if sadly it is in self defense or they are ill and in pain with no chance of recovery and all options have been explored No one is going to agree on everything even within an organization however the majority of what PETA is about I DO agree with and that is what matters.I would think you don’t want stepford wives supporting you and I would hope you encourage people who not only agree with the majority you do but are also innovative and bring a lot to the table that may open your eyes as well.I embrace the endless journey of learning and evolving and I would hope PETA does too.

    Instead of smearing the no kill movement we should be raising money to provide no kill shelters with more facilities and funds to educate people on animal appreciation and animal lib, as well as be able to hire and support properly trained compassionate staff to run o kill shelters.This is one area I really wish PETA would realize their are so wrong about.

  • Turkey says:

    The only reason no-kill shelters can exist is beacuse kill shelters exist. No-kill shelters may make us feel good, but they don’t make reality go away.

  • PETA says:

    According to the Vermont Animal Cruelty Task Force, hoarders “find the thought of death so abhorrent that they deem an inhumane life far preferable to a humane death.” This aspect of hoarding behavior is common among so-called “no-kill” shelters, where animals are often warehoused for years in deplorable conditions rather than provided with a peaceful and painless death by qualified technicians. Please know that the idea of “no-kill” animal shelters initially appeals to all of us who care about animals. Unfortunately, experience has shown us that there are simply not enough good homes available for all animals in need. If it were as simple as not euthanizing the animals who are not adoption candidates, no animal shelter would do so. When no-kill shelters fill up, they must turn animals away. There may be a handful of well run no-kill facilities, but time and again this ideal has proved ineffective in dealing with the millions of animals abandoned every year. No-kill facilities that stop responding to calls about starving cats, stray dogs, or other animals in need because they have no room or do not want to accept hard-to-adopt animals are not helping animals—they are hurting them. No-kill shelters don’t prevent animals from being killed—they just leave the killing to the open-admission facilities, or worse, allow the animals they turn away to struggle for survival and suffer neglect and abuse on the streets.

  • Olivia says:

    If you love animals, please don’t be cruel!

  • Naomi Boccio says:

    I would like to have anyone who does this to animals but put in the same situation, fed the same, cared for the same, for the same amount of time. Do you think they would get the message then! How can ANYONE look into those eyes and not see Gods light in them. Would anyone do this to a child? Be the HUMAN people…or maybe we should all act like ANIMALS…they are kinder than most of us.

  • Candis says:

    Every no-kill shelter I am fortunate to be familiar with in my city is OUTSTANDING. The kill shelter in my city (known as a “Humane Society”) is however frequently guilty of terrible short-sighted judgement calls that continually spell death for countless adoptable animals. Short-sighted, kind of like PETA…

  • kathrynr richardson says:

    such a very sad situation

  • Hillary says:

    I think this is a tragedy however, I feel that this is certainly not the whole story. There is too much that isn’t explained for this situation. This type of event does make one think about the no kill shelters in a different way though.

  • schapmoore says:

    I am a foster for Come Bye Border Collie Rescue. They do an extensive background check about you and your pets, whoever allowed this to happen is not doing their job of screening fosters and adopters! This should NEVER HAPPEN! I agree though that all dogs must be spayed or neutered, I am not sure about the kill shelter thing.

  • Tracy says:

    I do not feel that No Kill Shelters are hoarder enablers…that’s a pretty broad statement, don’t you think? I certainly understand the BEST way to control companion animal overpopulation is by spaying/neutering, HOWEVER, until we can get to that point, No Kill shelters are the best way to avoid countless animals from being “euthanized”. Perhaps instead of accusing No Kill of enabling hoarders, you should work to HELP No Kill in their efforts. Why don’t you focus on that. I do believe PETA has it’s place in the whole argument over companion pet overpopulation, just think before you make these broad statements about other groups doing their best to help our animals. P.S. I would cringe if you shined a flashlight in my face too.

  • claire says:

    I truely doubt they were reputable shelters.

  • Marissa says:

    So what? are no-kill shelters bad? I don’t think so. Whats bad is when shelters hand over animals to anyone. the one I volunteer at doesn’t. Please be more clear?

  • ana sousa says:

    No Cruelty