I have seen a number of posts lately on my Facebook feed about how we need to make all Humane Society/Pound/Rescues 100% No-Kill. Meaning no animal is EVER euthanized.
In case you didn’t read the title, I think this is a bad idea. Here is why:
#1 When people say 100% No-Kill they mean it. That means you don’t put down animals who are suffering. You “allow them to live their lives as Mother Nature intended, all the way to the end”. That is a direct quote from a woman who is part of the board for my local Humane Society. So if a dog is dying a horrible painful death from bone cancer we are to allow it to suffer because that is the way Mother Nature intended it to be. I and several others have reminded her that part of being “Humane” is having the intelligence to know when palliative care is just not enough, and allow a dog to be put down and go peacefully. Unless you are fine with animals dying long painful deaths 100% No-Kill is not possible.
#2 Not All Animals can be Rehabbed. The goal of all rescues and shelters is to find loving, permanent homes for the animals in their care. Some animals come in so abused, neglected and feral that no matter how much time, love, energy & money you put into their care, they will never recover enough to be happy and secure, thus adoptable. Sure they can be kept in kennels, given attention and food, but they will never have the quality of life they deserve. Lets assume that a rescue gets 6 dogs a year like this…at the end of 5 years you have 30 dogs that will never be adopted and you continue to feed and vet them. They aren’t happy or truly healthy animals because they spend their life in a wire and cement box for 22 hours a day.
#3 Money…this is a sore one for many of us. Most rescues run on shoestring budgets. There simply isn’t enough money to feed and vet all of the animals that we are asked to take in. Most of the rescues I know and work with do the best they can, but at the end of the day, most of us just don’t have the resources to take in unlimited numbers of animals and keep them in perpetuity. If we never euthanized any animals we would quickly have so many animals that we would be unable to take any new animals.
These are just 3 basic reasons that a 100% No-Kill shelter is a bad idea…and I can promise you that if you hear of a 100% No-Kill shelter they are doing one of two things: #1 They pick and choose which animals they take into their shelter/rescue or #2 They “adopt” out to one of their volunteers who then has the animal put down.
Utopia to a rescue person is a 100% adoption rate on the animals in their care. Sadly until we get more low cost spay/neuter clinics like the Oklahoma Spay Network, who do spay/neuter plus shots for less then $60 a dog! Less then $40 for a cat. We will never see that happen.
Just food for thought.