Thursday, February 2, 2012

Animal Hoarding: 'No Kill' or Helping that Hurts?

by Phyllis M Daugherty

Animal hoarding is reaching epidemic levels nationwide, and increasingly there is evidence that it is correlated to the “No Kill” movement. Maddies’ Fund defines “No Kill” as, ““…all healthy and treatable animals are saved…” Nathan Winograd, challenges his followers farther, stating on a website called The No-Kill Nation, “The only animals dying in a No Kill community are dogs and cats who are irremediably suffering, are sick or injured with a poor or grave prognosis for rehabilitation, and vicious dogs with a poor prognosis. (This does not include shy or non-aggressive scared dogs.) Nothing short of that is acceptable. And nothing less will do.”
The idealism sounds wonderful but it is not realistic when unwanted and neglected animals are still pouring in the doors of public and private shelters all over the country, and at least 4 to 5 million a year are not adopted and are euthanized, according to The Humane Society of the United States, While there is much insistence on “saving” the animals, the No Kill websites are devoid of describing the humane conditions under which these “saved” animals must be kept. Unfortunately, many of these “saved” pets spend years in cages and kennels after they are “rescued.”
Best Friends states in a recent Associated Press article that it has 1,700 homeless animals in a “no-kill sanctuary.” Many unwanted pets are transported by shelters to other states and to Canada with no monitoring of their final disposition, to assure they do not show as euthanized on the facility’s statistics. .
The insistence that animals must be removed from “kill” shelters because there is no fate worse than humane euthanasia can cause serious emotional distress and pressure on a rescuer. Effective animal rescue requires refusing to take responsibility for animals beyond your ability to provide proper care for them. There are many responsible rescuers and private organizations that rehome pets annually and who devote much of their lives to spay/neuter efforts to reduce pet overpopulation. They all want to see an end to the need to euthanize adoptable animals.
But, the radical insistence by "No Kill" proponents that the only thing keeping public shelters from being “No Kill” is a lack of effort to adopt them to the public is not true. Statistically, less than 20 percent of animals are adopted from animal shelters and that has not changed much after billions of dollars has been spent on education and adoption programs.."  More

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