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Defining No Kill Sheltering

Note: Like all posts on this blog, the following is representative of my opinions and not intended to represent the views of any shelter or other group.

Dahlia (ID #633902), an adoptable cat at Austin Animal Center in TX, as posted on Facebook.

What No Kill sheltering is about:

Saving every healthy pet who enters the shelter, regardless of arbitrary criteria such as age or body shape, by adopting them out, placing them with fosters or transferring them to rescue groups.

Saving every pet whose illness or injuries are treatable.

Saving every healthy/treatable feral cat.

Saving every healthy/treatable dog in need of behavioral modification unless –

(a)  Rehabilitative efforts have failed as determined by a behaviorist and no sanctuary options exist OR

(b)   A judge has deemed the dog too vicious to live with people.

Promptly and humanely euthanizing pets who are suffering and whose veterinarian determined prognosis for recovery is poor or grave.

Working with the general public, rescue groups, foster homes, sanctuaries, hospice groups and pet advocates to save pets’ lives.

Aggressive marketing of every pet in the shelter through such efforts as online postings, offsite adoption events and weekend shelter hours.

Maintaining transparency in shelter operations.

Providing environmental enrichment, socialization and exercise to all pets on a daily basis.

Following proven shelter protocols for disease prevention (e.g. vaccination upon intake, cleaning practices, quarantine, etc.)

What No Kill sheltering is not about:

Warehousing (aka “hoarding”) pets including such practices as:

Killing healthy/treatable pets, even if an owner requests the killing.

Threatening to kill healthy/treatable pets.

Allowing pets who are medically hopeless and suffering, as determined by a veterinarian, to continue suffering.

Manipulating numbers, skewing statistics or sharing otherwise false data with the public.

Hiding pet records, statistics or other basic information from the public.

Locking animals away from the public except those few who are in need of quiet recovery, as determined by a veterinarian.

Marketing only a selected portion of the pets at the shelter for adoption.

Requiring adopters to submit to unreasonable screening protocols or charging unreasonable fees for some or all pets at the shelter.

Unidentified kitten at the Edgecombe Co pound in NC.
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