Two Business Days Notice for Kill Lists

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.

9 thoughts on “Two Business Days Notice for Kill Lists

  1. Some shelters do not make a kill list but go around the shelter picking out sick pets or ones that have been there too long each day to make room for new incoming animals. But what they could do is post ALL their animals on intake with good photos online and let people know that an animal could be killed anytime after their legal hold time is up and state the date hold time is over. This would give rescues and people a few days (whatever is the hold time) to network these animals.

    1. Hmmm–seems I’ve heard of that technique somewhere before…oh, yeah–at the Nazi concentration camps–now I remember: healthy ones–this way; sick, old, young ones–this way (to the gas chamber).

  2. Well said! But you see, the desperate “this dog will die in the morning if YOU don’t come get it” messages support their whole justification framework. When no one comes through at the nth hour they can then justify the belief that “there are just not enough homes” and/or “no one wants these animals”.

    1. Exactly.

      I agree with Shirley’s message but its also a bit “preaching to the choir”. These directors just dont care because they can just turn it around back on the “irresponsible public”. Its maddening and sickening.

  3. That is the basis and at the heart of the companion animal rescue acts. I authored the legislation that failed miserably this past session in GA. The shelters in GA that aren’t already doing that (few and far between) don’t want any extra work, their priority is not saving lives. They will not do this voluntarily and hence the need for legislation. A dead animal is a cleaner cage to them. The opposition had many excuses as to why this would be an undue burden, some of them laughable if pets lives were not at stake. Btw, I am building an animal protection bloggers area to my website and would love to do a reciprocal link! Also visit our FB page – solutions for saving homeless with no excuses!

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