Monday, July 25, 2011

Is ‘no-kill' movement leading to more cat hoarding?

By Cindy Swirko

The photos on the Haven Acres Cat Sanctuary website are idyllic — cats in large open-air enclosures with plenty of room, close-ups of adorable kittens.

And the words also tugged at the heart — "Haven Acres Cat Sanctuary is a private, no kill animal shelter ..."

But the website also pulled a cover over reality: Haven Acres kept hundreds of cat in deplorable conditions that left some dead and many more sick.

Experts say the "no-kill" movement is increasingly being exploited by hoarders who take in far more animals than they can handle, including many from people who think the animals they're handing over will live out their lives in heaven but actually end up in a living hell.

"If I was going to design a prison for bad cats, it would look like a lot of these sanctuaries, with poor housing, no protection for them to express their normal behavior or to be healthy," said Julie Levy, a University of Florida veterinary professor who specializes in cats. "I think this is an emergency situation in animal welfare because it appears to be growing. In some ways, the use of terminology like ‘no kill' is contributing to this. In a way, I feel like these groups are stealing the no-kill movement. They are exploiting the terminology."..." More

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