I am opposed – in every possible way – to the killing of healthy/treatable pets in shelters. I do however acknowledge that it goes on and tragically, until all those who refuse to place appropriate value on the lives of shelter pets are forced out, the killing will likely continue.
As such, I have a modest proposal. If your shelter is going to kill a healthy/treatable animal, can you give the public at least 2 business days notice? Here’s why:
- Most pet advocates have commitments outside of animal welfare and are not available to pick up e-mails or receive other messages immediately. For example, some people are unable to check messages until after they get home from work. Others are only able to check messages while at work (and so, not on weekends). If you are giving less than 2 business days notice, your plea will not be seen in time by many who would help. Pet advocates will take action to network animals in need. Give them that chance.
- Networking, rescue, foster and transport all take time. A minimum of 2 business days allows an opportunity to develop leads and pursue options which may lead to increased lifesaving at your facility.
- If you give less than 2 business days on your kill notices, you are causing your local rescues, along with others who would help, to struggle in continual crisis mode. Nothing burns out volunteers faster than to be forced to operate with the needle on empty and the warning lights flashing. If there is ever to be hope for your facility to end the killing of healthy/treatable pets, you need to respect the valuable work your rescues and fosters do. Believe me, a mere 2 business days notice that an animal will be needlessly killed creates more than enough urgency. Notice of less than 2 business days creates panic, hysteria and ultimately results in burnout.
Finally, if you are inclined to post/send out your kill notices at least 2 business days in advance, please consider a few key points:
- Listings must have photos – clear shots that at least show the pet’s face will help someone make a connection with the pet. Listings without photos are useless.
- List ALL of the animals on your kill list, not just the ones you assume are more likely to be rescued/adopted. There is never any way to know whose photo may touch someone who is able to help. If advocates do not know about all the pets on your kill list, there is no way they can help.
- Contact information must be clearly indicated. Who should an interested party contact, and by what means, in order to save a pet’s life?
- Include any known medical or behavioral issues. Failure to include these vital pieces of information causes plans to be derailed.