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Kitten Gets No Help From ‘No-Kill’ Shelters

Written by Michelle Kretzer | October 24, 2012

 When a Houston woman found a skinny kitten covered with fleas, she began calling “no-kill” shelters looking for somewhere to take the animal, not knowing that these types of shelters are usually full and offer no help. Frustrated and worried, she called PETA.


We encouraged the caller to bring the kitten indoors right away and set up a temporary home for the animal in the bathroom, where the tabby would be safe and could be given much-needed food and water. The woman agreed. We found a reputable open-admission shelter in the area that would be able to accept the kitten when it opened the next day. The next morning, after just one phone call, the kitten had a welcoming, comfortable place to stay and a chance for a home. Once again, “no-kill” shelters had done nothing to help, while an open-admission shelter had. Open-admission shelters can’t place every animal, but they don’t turn their backs and leave kittens like this to suffer on the streets or end up giving birth and compounding the homelessness crisis.

So-called “no-kill” shelters sound heroic, but they are often anything but. In reality, they are limited-admission shelters, which turn away the most vulnerable animals and often allow only the youngest, cutest animals admission. And many such places force animals to live for years in a cage, even when the animals are sick or losing their minds from such confinement.

No one wants to have to perform euthanasia, but some of the most caring people in the world have to be brave enough to provide animals with a painless exit from an uncaring world—because no matter what the “no-kill” hucksters and hoarders say, there are too many dogs and cats and too few homes, and leaving them on the streets, selling them to laboratories, or just shunting them along to other states, is not a solution to the animal-homelessness crisis

Blame needs to be placed where it belongs—at the hands of breeders, and people who refuse to spay and neuter their animals. In the meantime, open-admission shelters will continue to take in all of society’s castoffs, not just the young, healthy, and cute ones—and not just when it’s convenient.

If you know anyone who is thinking of buying instead of adopting or who still needs to make that sterilization appointment for a dog or cat, please help us reduce euthanasia by giving them the facts, not by supporting some “no-kill” fantasy facility. 

Commenting is closed.
  • bev says:

    Even adoption places where I live are expensive…125.00 or more for a kitten. I often look for older cats..they get overlooked and of course the shelters or rescues places want them gone so the make it cheaper. It makes sense though for rescue or shelters to come down on the prices for people who want to adopt but find the price a little high. These places get donations all of the time so they are not hurting for money.

  • inaperfectworld... says:

    in reply to diane; unfortunately, yes, the chance could be the kitten might be HUMANELY euthanized but what was the alternative? NO KILL shelters have no space, was the rescuer to put the kitten back out on the street? I have been in the unfortunate position of coming to the aid of neglected, sickly , needy animals, and reaching out to ‘no -kill’ rescue groups and never once have I been fortunate enough to hear those magic words ‘yes’, we have space, euthansia has been the only heartbreaking alternative. I have a dog, a dozen cats and a rabbit. If I could take them all I would. Please UNDERSTAND there aren’t enough homes for them all, let alone shelter space. So please, don’t make judgements about the heartbreaking fact that is euthansia.

  • Karen Saucedo says:

    Thank you, PETA. This article addresses the complaint I see so often about PETA euthanizing animals. People want to comment but they do not want to look closely at the issues and self-educate re: the realities. Given the choice of alive and suffering or euthanized, I choose the latter every time for a gentle innocent animal for whom those are THE ONLY choices available. And, I’m so glad the tiny pumpkin kitty can have a chance at a home.

  • Emm says:

    To Mei; You were willing to spend $2000 for a cat. If you took the adopted cat to the vet once a year as is recommended you would have spent the same amount in a 20 year period. The average vet charges less than $100 a year for shots and a check up. Plus the $10 a month for flea and heart worm prevention and your kitty would have had a happy life. Get your facts.

  • Mel says:

    I tried to adopt a second cat, but because I only take a cat to the vet every few years or when I notice they aren’t themselves, they would not give me a second cat. I never de-clawed a cat, my cats growing up lived to be 19 years old and ended up with a sickness we could do nothing about. The cat I already had was very happy and healthy, and when I was forced to buy a cat at a pet store instead, I spent over $2000 to make sure they were perfectly healthy to start out a life as my cat. If anything happened to my cat, I would without doubt or question go into debt to make sure they were ok. They’re my babies! If shelters want people to adopt, they should actually adopt animals to people that want them, even if they don’t match the “perfect pet owner” they have in mind.

  • Diane says:

    Where the kitten is very possibly killed the next day…