Monday, November 21, 2011

With Friends Like This - Who Needs Enemies?

Yesterday morning one of my Facebook "friends", an animal rescuer from southwestern Wisconsin posted a link to a "letter" from an animal control officer that was apparently posted on Craigslist and is now circulating the internet. I won't post the link here because I don't want to drive traffic to a bad article. But the jist of it was that the animal control officer had to quit his job because of the pressure from No Kill advocates. Two of his or her "points" jumped off the page at me as blatant mis-information. One point was that there was "no such thing as a No Kill shelter" and the other was "Animals must be killed because there are not enough homes for them all".

I politely commented under the link that these points were incorrect:

1. In fact - there are enough homes for all of the homeless animals. About four million animals will be killed in animal shelters this year, yet 23 million people will get a new pet in America. AND, if you factor in the ways that you can reduce shelter intake by implementing portions of the No Kill Equation: such as TNR (trap-neuter, return); proactive redemption (getting lost pets back home);  low cost spay and neuter; and animal help desks - the numbers that need to be saved will be even lower.

2. And yes, there are No Kill open-admission shelters. At least 25 of them now across the nation that are saving 90% of the animals. Some of these are large, municipal shelters. For those of you who are wondering where they are and how they do it - follow the progress  in this blog, No-Kill News.

Back to the Facebook post. I checked back a couple of hours later to see if there was any comments that I needed to answer and guess what? I had been de-friended!

So: here we have an animal rescuer with her head in the sand. Not only does she have her head in the sand, she doesn't want to pull it out and become informed.  Really a very sad state of affairs. Somebody that is supposed to be saving animals who actively supports killing them by re-posting nonsense that has no basis in fact.

Make sure that the shelter or rescue you support is truly working towards No Kill goals.  There are many that are not and who are trying to maintain the status quo of killing shelter animals.

Here is another blog on this subject from the KC Dog Blog "Knowing That It's Possible". Please share and let's spread the message far and wide because yes, it is possible!

One of the under-reported stories of the internet is this: 
It constantly reports on what's possible. Somewhere in the world, someone is doing something that you decided couldn't be done. By calling your bluff and by pointing out the possibilities, this reporting of possibility changes everything. - Seth Godin


  1. 'Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.' ~ Gandhi
    Thank you for sharing another common sense article, Kathy.

    Hiding from the facts won't change them - and if anything, you've challenged that rescuer. They may still go on their merry way, but they will soon be faced with another truth that is No Kill.

  2. I find also rescuers are the hardest to convince. I have many friends in rescue and they can even read Redemption and still not believe because they see the worst side of humanity every day. Drives me nuts.

  3. I've seen this several times and, as much as I love the Internet, it's sad that something like this has gone viral. It's a little like that fake "open letter from a shelter worker" bashing the public, that circulated some months back.

    To add to the insult, this is actually a copy of a Craigslist posting from 2006.

    Every time I see this, there is a flood of comments afterward, almost all saying some version of "Amen!" I comment pretty much as you do and point people to the same blog, No-Kill Communities, which is a great resource. I think we have to. Otherwise the ignorance goes unchallenged.

  4. Unfortunately, in my area, there is a pet overpopulation problem -- there is an overpopulation of extremely difficult to adopt dogs. The people in my area seem to all want certain small purebreds or designer mutts -- golden doodle puppies are all the rage. I've tried and tried to talk them into getting a shelter or rescue but to no avail. And also unfortunately, 50% of the intake of dogs at the two large animal controls near me are pitbulls, a large portion of those are "game bred" and will try to kill any other animal that moves and it is extremely hard to adopt out pitbulls here, even the super sweet ones. Because there is such a low demand, very few rescue groups will take pits here and even though we transport to shelters in the Northeast, none of them will accept adult pitbulls either. So even though statistically there not be an overpopulation problem, in my area there is one -- it is an overpopulation of extremely difficult to adopt dogs and a high demand for small purebreds and designer dogs.

  5. There will be those who will experience the truth, that No Kill works, as a burden because they are invested in the old paradigm and its myths--often,it seems, as a justification for the killing that they have done or supported; or, because they profit from it. The vast majority of us are thrilled at the prospect that we are in the mist of a revolution in animal sheltering that ushers in the reform needed to save the lives of homeless animals.

    As is so often(always?) the case when there is a major paradigm shift in consciousness, it comes from the grassroots,from individuals who can see beyond the out-dated status quo, and who can envision, work for, and support change.

    The changes that are occurring in sheltering with the No Kill movement free so many people to get involved with their shelter helping save the lives of homeless animals. Many are people who have stayed away in the past, fearing that their shelters are, at best, depressing places full of animals who will soon die. These are people who have been told,too, that they-and their friends, family,and neighbors in their community- are the face of the ugly public ultimately responsible for all the killing. With the No Kill paradigm, the proactive,positive, and creative possibilities for community involvement in the shelter are proving endless.

    The vigilant fight for change against the old, entrenched,threatened,dinosaur organizations and attitudes is on-going. I see it, in many ways, as a fight to heal an open wound on the spirit and soul of our communities who can no longer tolerate the knowledge that animals, by the millions,are needless killed in the very places meant to care for, protect and re-home them.
    When those with their heads firmly lodged in the sand on this issue finally decide to re-surface and have a look around, they will discover that it's a new era-and they (thank heaven)have been left in the dust.

  6. I think a good question to ask anyone that thinks that there is no way to become no-kill because of pet overpop., high pit numbers, lack of adopters, too many breeders, etc. is to ask them, "What have you done to try?". Meerly talking to the public about adoption is not enough for a director to do in an effort to save lives. Lack of resources may be an obstacle, but obstacles can be overcome. If someone truly has tried everything to save all adoptable animals and failed...well, I guess I will have no choice but to agree no-kill isn't feasible. Show me a director that has implemented all of the no-kill equation with gusto and failed to save lives in the process...I haven't heard of a single one. The proof is in the results!!!

  7. I also challenged that Craigslist post when rescues "amenned" it. One other thing he did was pray for mandatory spay/neuter laws, and we know how well those have worked out. Part of coming into a new age of sheltering is a big emphasis on rehabilitation of dogs with issues. They don't have to be killers to have bad habits which can get them returned. The Adoption Center model advocated by Shelter Revolution forsees a National Dog Rehabbers Training Center, where savvy fosters learn to rehab dogs in their foster home, as opposed to in the facility. With this model, the old "prisons" are gone,with compatible animals showcased in social groupings. Think doggy daycare instead of San Quentin. Wagging tails replace panicked barking and cowering in the corners of cells. This goes far beyond boutique sheltering, a step up but still isolation. Volunteers are valued and key players instead of feared whistleblowers,less paid staff is needed and that money goes to free spay/neuter programs, etc. I invite you to check it out--

  8. I shared TNR recently with groups I volunteered with and have no been shunned or at least appears to be that way. Wont return my calls and haven't contacted me about fostering since! I brought up TNR when they brought up MSN.

    Shocker there. Guess I should have kept my mouth shut? Who knows. I'm starting my own rescue to TNR feral cats in my area instead of killing them. From the Ashes! look us up on FB :)