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01 October 2012

Comments

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Tkdyer

Well? Bring on you No Kill haters! Let's see your cognitive dissonance rearing its ugly head.

Shawn carstens

You did not explain or mention what happens to all the strays and unwanted pets that are turned away because the shelter is "full."

Tkdyer

Open admission shelters do not/can not turn away. Also part of No Kill is to offer pet retention services, have foster homes, and include rescue groups in the process. A No-Kill shelter follows all of the No Kill Equation components.

Tkdyer

read all about it here, then let us know what you think. http://www.nokilladvocacycenter.org/shelter-reform/no-kill-equation/

Christie

Shawn gotcha'd:

You did not explain or mention what happens to all the strays and unwanted pets that are turned away because the shelter is "full."

Where? In the hypothetical shelter in my post, or... what?

If this is a sincere question, then a subsequent commenter answered it: You use creativity, marketing, community outreach, volunteers, rescue groups, foster homes and all the other steps of the No Kill Equation. Just like you do every day.

If you're playing "gotcha," really... I think you need to read the post again and understand that this is about the logical flaw in the "I know we have pet over-population because shelters kill pets" tautology, and your question isn't relevant to that discussion.

However, I'll also add another little "thought experiment" that addresses what I believe is the underlying point of your question:

Imagine a hypothetical community that has NO SHELTER AT ALL, and provides no animal control services.

Are the pets of that community left homeless and stray because of "pet over-population," or because the community doesn't have a shelter?

Because even if THERE HAD NEVER BEEN A NO-KILL MOVEMENT, and were no adoption guarantee shelters or rescue groups, it wouldn't change the logical problem, which is that shelter killing does not and cannot "prove" that there is such a thing as "pet over-population."

Brent

Christie,

I've always contended that even if 'pet overpopulation" did exist, there is still no excuse to not implement all of the programs that increase life-saving.

Christie

Brent, yes! That, too!!!!

YesBiscuit

Where pet overpopulation does exist is inside many pet killing facilities. They needlessly impound feral cats, owned pets, and other animals while turning away adopters who aren't "good enough" and owners who can not afford to pay punitive redemption fees. They create their own pet overpopulation problem within the shelter then use it as an excuse for killing.

Shawn C.

Christie, I'm not playing "gotcha" or anything else so cool it. I'm just a person who has been involved in animal welfare for over 30 years, sometimes up to my elbows, sometimes on the sidelines. I worked weekends at a shelter in 1980 when I was 15 years old. A yucky high-kill county humane society (that I'm happy to say has reformed tremendously since then) and saw things I'll never ever forget.

I came across your article via Facebook from a link posted by my local humane society. I guarantee if you call them today and tell them you have a stray cat and can you bring it in, they will say no, sorry they are full. I volunteer there and work to socialize the animals including those in the extra crates set up to handle the overflow. I'm in a rural area of NY state where people STILL don't spay or neuter, and I'm happy to say this small shelter is in the process of setting up its own spay/neuter clinic (after working extensively with local veterinarians.)

I have BEEN in that hypothetical community - actually a tourist town in Venezuela - where the stray cats surrounded the outdoor tables at restaurants begging for food. Of course I'm not advocating that either.

I'm also not arguing against the No Kill Movement since it HAS benefited many animals and humans alike. I AGREE that you cannot use "overpopulation" as an excuse to euthanize pets with excellent temperaments (highly "adoptable" if you will) without having the other tenets of animal welfare and education in place. I appreciate the link posted by tkdyer and accept that the mandatory programs and services listed there (for the most part - TNR is another concept for another discussion) are essential.

I just read your article http://www.doggedblog.com/doggedblog/2010/09/hoarding-and-warehousing-arise-from-traditional-not-no-kill-shelter-models.html and have to say you nailed it in the second to last paragraph. Maybe because of my personal experience caring for animals that have been starved, frostbitten and otherwise treated with cruelty and neglect that I have a very difficult time letting go of the idea that compassionate death is a viable alternative. Not for the young and healthy, but for the badly mistreated, emotionally scarred, otherwise mostly "unadoptable" animals that take up resources and cause shelters to turn away others in need.

It's not easy and I commend those who've made such huge progress in the decades since I first began my animal welfare experience. Best wishes to you and in all that you do.

Lori .

Come here and I will show you pet over population. I can't begin to place the hoards of kittens that come through my shelter. I've worked for an open admission, no kill facility- I know that it can work. But I also know that it can't work everywhere. Support for no kill in a given community rests solely on public support; if the community supports your efforts, you will be successful. Oh, and my definition for no kill is ONLY open admission, no kill (RLRR >90% for both cats and dogs WITHOUT turning animals away). If you are limited or closed admission and not killing animals, you are doing nothing but shifting that responsibility to other shelters in your area. As in my case currently, the community support for the shelter is very low (there is little disposable income here, or extra time for people to volunteer, and most people are already over burdened with pet care responsibility to adopt more), there is no interest in improving the shelter, in spite of our best efforts. We are the only shelter in 2 counties who accept cats. The others are limited admission (which is akin to burying your head in the sand and ignoring the problem). We offer low-cost spay neuter clinics three days a week at our shelter on only scratch the surface of the need in this community. So, if there is no over population problem, then we shouldn't have to provide these services, as all those kittens would have home waiting for them. My intake wouldn't be three times my adoption rate if all those cats had homes available. IME, no kill works when the entire community gets behind it.

Debbie

AWESOME! I will be using this as a guide when I next tilt with our local AC Board!

Christie

Lori wrote:

Come here and I will show you pet over population. I can't begin to place the hoards of kittens that come through my shelter.

Lori, surely you can understand that this doesn't prove the existence of "pet over-population"? It means that in your community, the amount of pets in need of services exceeds the resources either available or being allotted to respond to that need. It doesn't change the essential illogic of "the fact that we kill proves there is pet over-population" argument.

Moving beyond the point of my post and addressing the substance of your comment, and referring back to the footnote to my post -- reducing intake through free/low-cost, accessible spay/neuter, as well as TNR, are two of the components of the No-Kill Equation. So are developing good relationships with your community so you have that support.

It is the job of a leader (step 11 of the NKE, "a compassionate director") to inspire support from the community. WHY isn't your community behind you? Is it a lack of leadership, innovation, creativity? What community is this?

Lori .

This is a small, mostly rural county in upstate NY. People here are just getting by, most work multiple jobs. Unemployment is higher than the state average, and it is a retail based economy, so those with jobs don't make much. Our director is an active member of SAWA and is a CAWA. We are above the curve on many of our protocols, and above average with our redemption rates for both cats (9%) and dogs (27%) and we have a fairly low length of stay. We also have a 65% Rolling Live Release Rate for dogs (significantly higher than national average) and have not been in a situation where we have had to euthanize dogs for space in several years. The cat numbers are not as nice. Rolling Live Release rate is about 21% on average. We are in the press with a positive message at least once a week, and we are currently working with a consultant (for a separate reason) and the information he is collecting from the community indicates that the public has a high opinion of us. It is just very difficult to fund raise here. The community where I worked at the open admission, no kill shelter is only 45 minutes from here, but the community couldn't be more different. People do not seem to care here. I worked in a vet practice here for 7 years- same attitude toward pet care. Very difficult to get clients to comply with pet care.
We have a fairly proactive board, an excellent director, a public relations person and a marketing person. We have a consistent message. Money and volunteers are very hard to come by, and without that, no kill is off the table.
It has always been my belief that no kill is a product of community support and the quality of your programs. If your programs work, you will reduce the number of animals euthanized until you can call yourself no kill. I do not believe in front loading the agenda. And, I disagree with the central tenet of NKN's assumption that all communities can do this and that if we just stop killing animals, the problem will go away.
I do not have enough homes in my community. Sounds like overpopulation to me.

Christie

Lori wrote:

I do not have enough homes in my community. Sounds like overpopulation to me.

I think that's a mis-use of the concept of "over-population."

First, the boundaries of your community are arbitrary. Look at Shelby County, Kentucky -- also small, poor, and rural. It was someone from ANOTHER community who led their effort, and their inspiring example has led to a huge supporter network from all over the nation.

I mean, if I did yet another thought experiment, and drew a circle around the house owned by a person with the mental disorder known as hoarding, who had 345 intact cats all breeding like crazy, living on social security and unable to properly house, feed, or care for them, I could argue that the area within that circle suffered from "pet over-population," right? But it doesn't; that neither describes the actual problem, nor leads you to a solution for it.

So even if you do have more animals in your community than you have resources (including volunteers and foster homes and donors) to care for them, there is nothing stopping you from doing what Shelby County did and reaching out to the greater animal community. To do that, however, you need to have a very inspiring message -- the work of a great marketing/communications team, to be sure, but of course, it can't ALL be message; you have to have the programs and policies to back up the message.

Beyond how your situation neither illustrates "pet over-population" nor proves its existence, of course, are all the programs that reduce shelter intake.

In addition to the steps of the No Kill Equation that include free/low-cost, accessible spay/neuter and TNR (from my footnote, again), along with owner retention and RTO programs, there is making the decision to not take in healthy stray/community/feral/unowned/unsocial cats at all, which many communities have done.

Ideally you'd want a local group to organize to TNR cats at least in targeted areas such as shopping centers, mobile home parks, and apartment complexes. But if you're just going to take these cats in and kill them, there is nothing humane or compassionate or even ethical about continuing to take them in. Just take owner surrenders, and injured or sick community cats, and let the rest continue to live the way racoons do.

These are just a few things that spring most quickly to mind. Without being IN a community, it's difficult to say where the biggest bang for the buck would come, although given my own field of communications, that's normally what I see first. None of that matters, because given innovative and inspiring leadership, appropriate "on the ground" changes for the local situation get implemented.

Elsie

I'm a long time volunteer at a community shelter, and this post gives me lots of ideas, but I have a question. Our shelter does not engage in the typical "Kill Date"/"URGENT"/CODE RED threat posts like a lot of shelters in the area. Instead, they focus on the positive aspects of the adoptable pets, pushing marketing through Facebook and online adoption listings, contacting rescue groups for special breeds and special needs animals, and at least once monthly off site adoption events. Since this program has been implemented, adoption rates have skyrocketed and the community has really responded favorably. Great, right?

Here's the problem. The live release rate could be even better if we were able to get less readily adoptable pets out of the shelter and into rescues, but we're competing with all the other URGENT/CODE RED style shelters out there - most within a 3 hour's drive radius of us. Recently, one woman even commented that while she had planned to adopt one of our pets, she'd heard of another shelter that was closing the doors and threatening to euthanize all its animals, so she was going to adopt from there instead. Many rescue groups take this tack as well - if they see a pet on Petfinder and call to ask about taking it into their rescue, the first question is always "how much time does it have left", and when the answer is, "all the time in the world, we don't euthanize adoptable pets for space", they're no longer interested, or they move on to some more urgent pet.

So how do shelters like my local one compete? Our voice is getting louder, but it's always going to be drowned out by the cacophony of "to die tomorrow". Engaging in that type of emotional blackmail is not an option. Everyone who works and volunteers there wants people to adopt our pets because we have truly wonderful animals, and we get more of them every single day. But it's frustrating to know that, for a lot of people, if you're not threatening to kill them, that cute little fuzzball is somehow less attractive because it doesn't have the allure of being saved from death's door.

Christie

Elsie, you are actually INCREDIBLY LUCKY! While that "URGENT/CODE RED" kind of crap activates those of us with the rescue mentality, research shows that it DRIVES AWAY the larger number of "regular pet owners" who are willing to consider shelter or rescue group adoption.

In their research for the development of The Shelter Pet Project, the Ad Council identified a group of people it called "swing voters." These are the 17 million folks who will get a dog or cat in the coming year, who are considering but not committed to adoption.

Why do they decide against adoption? Because they want the adoption experience to be happy and positive, not guilt-inducing, stressful, or difficult. They worry that they pet they adopt will have health and behavior problems, or too much "baggage" from an abusive past.

They also don't want to pick one pet, knowing another will die because they made that choice. They don't want to be browbeaten or judged by adoption staff. They don't want to deal with rudeness, poor hours, bad location, or punitive and arbitrary adoption guidelines.

They are BY FAR the larger pool of potential adopters (the number of dedicated shelter and rescue adopters is around 5 million; 1.5 million are determined to obtain their pet from a breeder or commercial source).

Since it sounds like no one in your area is targeting these "swing voters," you simply need to design all your marketing strategies to appeal to them, not to people who are already definitely going to adopt. This opens up an enormous untapped pool not just of adopters, but of strategies, ads, and promotions that won't work on the rescuers and people who respond to "CODE RED" marketing, but ONLY on these "undecideds."

Any marketing person who doesn't grasp the AMAZING opportunity this represents is really not the right person to spearhead this. I would die of happiness to be hired to run a campaign in a situation like this... talk about low hanging fruit!

Feel free to share my name with your shelter's marketing team, if you think they might like to discuss this!

Lisa

I'm in the midst of this with someone on an image posting site.
http://imgur.com/gallery/yuOdd/comment/6920348
It's crazy. I feel bad for the person. I'm not blaming anyone, in fact I said that we will always have breeders. Because we will. And there is a difference between a "breeder" and a "puppy mill."

It's sad that people's own fear and shame stops them from doing the right thing. It's a tough line to walk. Blame creates defensiveness, which creates divisiveness. So when you place blame on poor shelter management, they freak out and resist you no matter what.
How do we get shelter management or local gov't on board when they think we're blaming them? (Which, I totally am. I won't lie. But changing your attitude and a willingness to try is enough to flip the switch in my head to the "forgive and collaborate" side.)

Lisa

Oh, and one more thing. So much of the animosity comes from a hatred or rejection of the term "no kill." Which is crazy when you look at the equation and what it inspires. I keep thinking, instead of calling it the "no kill" movement, as people seem to think that means giving dogs with bite histories to people with newborn triplets, we call it the "how-to-not-be-cruel movement.
Anyone who respects (loves, owns) animals, regardless of whether they believe shelters have to kill or not, should be on board with the policies in the no kill equation. It's ridiculous.

Terri

May I use the following statements of yours to post in FB about not using those tactics when sharing adoptable shelter animals? ----

"While that "URGENT/CODE RED" kind of crap activates those of us with the rescue mentality, research shows that it DRIVES AWAY the larger number of "regular pet owners" who are willing to consider shelter or rescue group adoption.

In their research for the development of The Shelter Pet Project, the Ad Council identified a group of people it called "swing voters." These are the 17 million folks who will get a dog or cat in the coming year, who are considering but not committed to adoption.

Why do they decide against adoption? Because they want the adoption experience to be happy and positive, not guilt-inducing, stressful, or difficult. They worry that they pet they adopt will have health and behavior problems, or too much "baggage" from an abusive past.

They also don't want to pick one pet, knowing another will die because they made that choice. They don't want to be browbeaten or judged by adoption staff. They don't want to deal with rudeness, poor hours, bad location, or punitive and arbitrary adoption guidelines."

chienblanc4csi

Shawn wrote: " . . . where people STILL don't spay or neuter, and I'm happy to say this small shelter is in the process of setting up its own spay/neuter clinic (after working extensively with local veterinarians.)"

Why does spay/neuter seem to be the only answer most people have to homeless dogs? I believe it is a false premise, and a crutch that absolves too many people from other ownership responsibilities. In my 60 years with pets, many, many dogs (I don't want to add cats to this thought, a totally "different animal"), I have spayed only two females and one male, each for specific reasons. Never once had a litter. Canine birth control is simply this: leash, fence, door, not hard. Now we have research that suggests that automatic s/n at a young age has more risks than previously believed. From my vet: "In the veterinary profession, we have also not educated our clients of the risks of spaying our female dogs. While it is true that spaying prevents pregnancy, mammary tumors, and pyometras, there is research that supports increased risk of other disorders thought to be related to removing the hormonal influence of the ovaries. There is an increased risk of urinary incontinence and associated urinary tract infections, osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, and hypothyroidism. Each of these disorders has an associated health risk ranging from mild to severe affecting quality and length of life, as well as financial cost to the owner. Even when dogs with mammary tumors were included in the study, they still achieved greater longevity than their spayed female counterparts."

Why does this myth of "overpopulation" continue to hold? It makes me crazy, admittedly, so I cannot thank you enough for this post. In my part of the country there is a drastic shortage of dogs (again, cats are different), nowhere near enough "rescue" dogs to meet the demand. This is not the wonderful situation that you might think either. We have an entirely different set of problems. Instead of too much killing, we have 'importing', and STILL the public believes that there is a pet overpopulation. It's a twist, and very complicated, but in general, the large and surprisingly wealthy shelters here are perpetuating that myth - for money. The money in "rescue" is astonishing! Our local shelters have, for the most part, turned over the dirty work to separate AC services, and have become pretty much untaxed and unregulated retail pet stores. Puppies (yep, puppies always available in these so-called shelters) sell for $500 ea., adult dogs for $300, and the new adopters can swing by the retail department for all necessary supplies, and sign up for training classes [not free] before they go out the door. This is not your average animal shelter. Good, bad, or indifferent, this is a HUGE business. They generally don't work with rescue groups, and the only restriction to adoption is if you have ANY intact animal of any species at home. A friend of mine who is a show dog breeder and trainer, with more animal expertise in her little finger than the entire shelter staff combined, was refused a cat because she had intact dogs at home. These “stores” regularly receive shipments of young dogs and puppies from southern states, hold weekend adopt-a-thons that sell more than 50 dogs in a 3-day weekend, clearly not investigating any of these adopters. How many of these dogs will be put back into the shelter system in 3, 4, 6 months, when puppy is too much trouble and no longer so cute? So they get to sell the same animals again each time with a sadder story. And , and the promotion of rescue dogs and the fund raising never stops.

Anything we can do to bury this "pet overpopulation" excuse is tops in my book. I no longer volunteer at these faux shelters because I see more problems than solutions, am suspicious that these pups are purposely bred to satisfy the demand to "rescue", all based on this overpopulation myth. I’ve been around too long, maybe. But I clearly remember when this all began to change, and now I see it as the runaway rescue train. The money is driving it, while the public is often confused.

d. green

I know over-population is a MYTH..I am all for NO KILL..However, I would like the "DARK side" reason for killing addressed. You have city run pounds and shelters run across the U.S. that KILL FOR A PROFIT. Those places particularly refuse to even work with rescuers and volunteers to save animal lives. Case in point, many of these DO kill to sell the dead bodies of dogs to soap manufacturers in the U.S. Many DO kill to sell the dead bodies for a profit to schools and facilities to "dissect". Many DO sell LIVE ANIMALS to research facilities for a profit. Many have been in the news of late for selling live dogs "out the back door" for a profit to be used as bait for fighting dogs, and to fight. Some employees at such facilities (even a recent director of one) were using and selling for profit, euthanasia drugs; so you wonder how the poor animals there were being killed. Case in point, Columbus, Georgia..the knowledge had to be fought, bought and paid for, but it has been found out that trappers actively set food bait traps for cats throughout this city (neighborhoods where there are pets as well trapped), take them to the pound, and the ones that are "in good shape" ARE KILLED FOR PROFIT, being sold to Bio-Corp. That money goes into a CITY "slush" fund..Most of these funds where there is killing or selling of dead or alive animals does NOT go back into the pounds or shelters, but used for some other city management whims...not even being spent for injured or sick animal vet care at their facilities. The DARK SIDE of killing pets for profit, and selling them live to be tortured in research facilities or to have medical students practice shoving tubes and needles in them while they are alive, MAKES MONEY for those interested in such..those interested are NOT INTERESTED IN NO KILL/SAVING LIVES/ADOPTIONS..Bottom line, that is the main reason there are those who refuse to even try NO KILL.

Lindsay

Wonderful post, Christie. Keep up the good work! I'm going to share the post because so many people just assume pet overpopulation is real only because they are told it is real. Very few people actually question the logic.

Mary

Christie said: "I would die of happiness to be hired to run a campaign in a situation like this... talk about low hanging fruit!

Feel free to share my name with your shelter's marketing team, if you think they might like to discuss this!"

Many small groups do not have marketing teams or resources to hire somebody to launch a campaign. But we would love to have access to quality generic or boiler-plate marketing materials that could be edited for our specific org. Have you ever considered creating a portfolio of this type and making it available (at a fee) to shelters and/or rescue groups? I don't see any problem with a shelter in AZ using the same material as a shelter in NY, since they are marketing to their local community.

lberq

My only criticism of this thread is that you didn't include the "rescues" who import hundreds of thousands of puppies every year from other countries. I know it's a little off tangent from your argument about kennel management, but if there is a pet overpopulation, why are they importing? Oh and the reason that I put these "rescues" in quotations is I'm not 100% convinced that there isn't some poor family in another country wondering where their dog went.

karyn

Christie, while I and other obviously agree with the NoKill movement and agenda, you are unfortunately a bit lacking in the knowledge that small communities have neither the resources nor the public support they need to encourage no-kill. Our community for example, try bringing this up to city council and getting knocked down every single time. A private organization took over our city shelter and made promises they can't keep. It doesn't help that three other local rescue groups are so non-functional that the public has to depend on the private shelter to do most if not all of the work. One of the rescue organizations is too particular in whom they will take in, yet, they are not helping the situation at all.

You have to understand that in small communities, the money is just not there. The public is not interested in learning about feral management, nor about the no-kill movement. They hate cats, and consider them fair game for anything, the city leaders don't give one iota, they are business-oriented only and only care about the city's growth. There just aren't enough people nor money to go around to even implement education, fundraising, etc.

We can't change our leadership. Our city leaders have their heads so far up their collective behinds, it is pathetic. We didn't vote them in, you know how politics work in small towns. So, when the public is impossible to reach, then your dreams are squashed and the killing continues. We do what we can, but it will never be enough. This is why people continue believing in the pet-overpopulation - it does exist, with BYB's, people who just abandon their animals for the sickest and frivolous reasons, they don't care about anyone or anything but themselves. And what another above said, it accomplishes nothing when rescue groups just cycle the pets around, with little success rates for favorable adoptions. Here, one of the biggest rescues adopts to any joe on the street, and no one does anything about that.

Christie

Karen, I simply don't accept that. I think you're too close to the situation to be objective, and are burned out. I'm sure you face challenges, but so has every other community that made this jump.

Animal Advocate

If your community is struggling, research how to change things:

"A No Kill Advocate’s Toolkit",
http://www.nathanwinograd.com/?p=10722

Guest Blog by Ryan Clinton, "The No Kill Revolution Starts with You",
How Austin went from a community that killed over 14,000 animals a year to a fraction of that provides a road-map for your community. How they did it is how you can do it, too.
http://www.nathanwinograd.com/?p=6472

More info resources for advocates, rescue groups, shelters and animal-lovers,
(the Marketing Resource Guide includes articles and videos by Christie Keith)
http://www.maddiesfund.org/Resource_Library.html

Animal Advocate

Increasing the return to owner rate for lost cats and dogs can help increase the live release rate for pets and free up room in shelters and rescues for pets who are truly homeless. There must be awareness of the barriers if they are to be overcome. See “Think Lost, Not Stray”, by pet detective and founder of the non profit Missing Pet Partnership, Kat Albrecht, http://www.bestfriends.org/recordings/thinklostnotstray/index.html .

Related post,
http://www.missingpetpartnership.org/recovery-thinklost.php

If your animal control and other "experts" say No Kill isn't possible, remember this from appellate lawyer Ryan Clinton:
"When to Call B.S. on an “Expert”,
http://oisforonward.com/2011/08/ipse-dixit-texas-appellate-lawyer/

Karyn

Christie, whether you accept that or not, it is a harsh reality, for MANY communities, and the "challenges" faced are extremely different in every community. Burn-out has nothing to do with this, but go ahead and keep assuming you have all the answers, clearly you do not. It must be so easy to tell others how to do this, yet, when put in their situation and environment, you find yourself against a brick wall. We have educated people, devoted people, hard working people, to assume we haven't "done enough" is a slap in the face to those of us who commit ourselves to this service every day of our lives.

Lindsay

Karyn, smaller communities might face a different set of challenges than larger communities, but every community has the potential to achieve no-kill status. For inspiration, simply look at some of the other small towns that have done it already. It is possible - not necessarily easy, but possible. Don't give up. Christie's blog should be an inspiration, not a place to take out your frustrations.

BC

Shawn C- where in Venezuela- we set up TNRd colonies in all the Marinas in Puerto LaCruz- was still in operation ten years later at Bahia Redonda.

NoKillDelaware

Excellent article! I think it gets the concepts across brilliantly. I will share on FB and twitter. Thanks!

Troy

"Overpopulation" is a relative concept, and I cannot find a place in the article where you have precisely defined what you (or anyone else) believe constitutes pet overpopulation. Writing a piece that attempts to prove or disprove the existence of pet overpopulation without ever defining what pet overpopulation is may be a nice exercise in semantics, but fails its task.

You weaken your position and unnecessarily turn people against you (see the comments from those who are in areas with high shelter intakes) by playing these semantic tricks.


Also: "Imagine a hypothetical community that has NO SHELTER AT ALL, and provides no animal control services."

I have to laugh at this. There are plenty of countries that don't have animal shelters in every town and city, and instead rely on rescue groups, charities, and people taking responsibility for their animals. In some places it works; in others (particularly in hotter climates where animals can reproduce all year round) it doesn't.

Chris

Please note that the No-Kill News blog (www.no-killnews.com) is no longer at that link. The new site is called Out The Front Door (www.outthefrontdoor.com).

Chris

The real no-kill experts are those in communities that have achieved success, and that's where Christie's info comes from.

When communities believe that pet overpopulation exists when it probably does not creates an artificial barrier to even try to achieve what others communities have.

No reputable groups should be using a term they can't accurately define. (Any groups using 'pet overpopulation', ask them to define it.)

If a community doesn't have all the required programs in services in place of the No Kill Equation, how do they know that pet overpopulation exists?

Claiming pet overpopulation exists is like taking a tour of some of your local schools when they are full of students and noting that some kids are going hungry.

Do you immediately conclude that there must be a food shortage? A quick trip to local stores that are well stocked quickly rules out the supply part of that equation, so there are obviously other reasons when the demand side doesn't equal the supply side.

To say absolutely that there is too much or too little of something, both sides of the equation must be proven.

(Christie's SF Gate article is still one of the best explanations of this topic - http://www.sfgate.com/pets/yourwholepet/article/Is-pet-overpopulation-a-myth-Inside-Nathan-2520132.php)

Successful no-kill communities show that when you work to put the mandatory programs and services in place, you save lives.

(Places in the U.S.A. saving at lease 90 percent of shelter animals, and who've been doing so for at least a year are being documented on the Out The Front Door blog, http://outthefrontdoor.com/)

The problems in communities are often similar; take a shelter Tour
here - http://www.nokilladvocacycenter.org/shelter-tour/

The solutions to the problems are the same, no matter where you live.
The No Kill Equation - http://www.nokilladvocacycenter.org/shelter-reform/no-kill-equation/

Chris

Troy, if you want to know the demand side of the equation, there is info available on that - http://www.maddiesfund.org/Maddies_Institute/Articles/The_Shelter_Pet_Project_By_the_Numbers.html

"There are around 3 million healthy or treatable dogs and cats put to death in shelters each year.

There are 14 million people who have adopted shelter pets already, and another 41 million who've indicated they're considering doing so - we call those the "swing voters," and of them, 17 million will bring a pet into their family in the next year.

We only need to convince 3 million of those 17 million to do what they are already considering doing, get their new pet from a shelter, and every treatable or healthy cat or dog in America will have found a home.

What does that mean for shelter pets? America's approximately 4,000 animal shelters are currently adopting out more than 4 million pets per year - between 2 and 3 per shelter, per day. By simply increasing that by an additional 2 pets per shelter, per day, the 3 million healthy and treatable pets who currently lose their lives in shelters will be saved."

- see http://www.maddiesfund.org/Maddies_Institute/Articles/The_Shelter_Pet_Project_By_the_Numbers.html

Reducing the number of animals who enter shelters is also an essential part of the equation. That requires no-kill animal control and working with other groups.

Connie

Kill shelters should be band. I think all animals should live their life and pass away when they are ready to, not when someone does it for them when they have a whole long life ahead of them. Think about how they feel. Would you like to be put to sleep forever and NEVER wake up again to see the world? The only time I think dogs/cats should be put to sleep is when they are very very old and have a bad, sorry no HORRIBLE condition that they are suffering from. Otherwise, let them live!

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