Right now, in a shelter in Your Town, USA, friendly cats are purring, kneading their blankets and watching the goings on with curiosity. Dogs are wagging their tails, barking with excitement and putting their paws up on the fence to get a better look around. And shelter staff are taking these friendly cats and dogs to a back room and killing them.
But not one – not a single one of these friendly, healthy pets needs to die. We have enough homes for all of them. With plenty to spare. The idea that there is an overpopulation of pets in this country is false. Don’t take my word for it – check out the math. Double check it. See if it makes sense to you. It does to me. And knowing that pet overpopulation is a myth, and that there really are enough homes for all the healthy/treatable shelter pets in this country, it breaks my heart to think of all that purring and tail wagging being snuffed out in a back room somewhere for no reason at all.
We are a humane society and we don’t want shelter pets killed. Euthanasia to end the suffering of medically hopeless pets? Absolutely. But killing friendly pets who are healthy or treatable? That’s not who we are. We care about our community’s pets and we’re no longer content to sit quietly while the unnecessary killing goes on in our backyards. We’re speaking out. We’re organizing. We’re progressing.
One day soon, in my lifetime I believe, the practice of killing friendly shelter pets will be relegated to the dark past. It will take up residence in the hall of shame with the many wrongs Americans have righted. But that day is not today. Today the watchful cat sees a shelter worker coming toward her cage and she is wary. Her tail twitches. One last time.