Animal Sheltering in the Words of Those Who Don’t and Those Who Do

No kill is not real, in the words of killing apologists:

“[P]lease don’t believe that no kill shelters work.  They simply do not.” – Ed Smith, ACO Humane Society of Carroll Co in MD

“When you have a no-kill shelter, someone else is going to have to kill.” – Connie Kondravy, co-founder Organization for Responsible Care of Animals in PA

Compare to the words of people who were there when their shelters stopped killing pets:

“When I hear someone deny that No Kill communities are possible, I think of a shelter in upstate New York, a place where one day it looked sickeningly hopeless, and the next day everything changed.” – Valerie Hayes, former volunteer at Tompkins Co SPCA in NY

I never knew how big of a change we could make, I just kept thinking, if we can save one scared kitten just by holding it every single day, it wouldn’t be enough, but it would be a step in the right direction. […] All I ever thought about through the whole process was what type of organization this could be to work for. Now, it is a great one!!! I never imagined so many lives could be saved! – Dayna Kennedy, former manager UPAWS in MI


We all want the same thing/Nobody wants to kill shelter animals, in the words of those responsible for the killing:

“We’re all here for the same reason.  We should work together.” – Mary Anne Tolbert, director Chester Co pound in SC

“We do not want to euthanize healthy dogs and cats,” – Brandon Bennett, Code Compliance Director Ft Worth AC & C in TX

Compare to the words of no kill shelter directors:

“Once you eliminate killing as an option, humans are incredibly creative.” – Bonney Brown, director Nevada Humane Society in Reno

“On my second day, the cages got full and as someone brought in a litter of puppies, one of my staff members turned to me and said, ‘Who are you going to kill to make room for this litter of puppies?’  I turned to them and I said, ‘What is Plan B?'” – Nathan Winograd, former director Tompkins Co SPCA in NY, current director No Kill Advocacy Center


Regarding advocates who protest for the right of shelter pets to live, in the words of no kill naysayers:

“They may be well-meaning, but a lot of them are idiots and you can quote me on that.” – Jim Hazel, president Surry Co HS in NC

“Volunteers who are spending their time organizing a protest are not spending their volunteer hours finding homes for dogs. That is what will cause more dogs to die.” – Tommy Engram, city manager in charge of the Lewisburg pound in TN

Compare to the words of a no kill shelter director:

“There is great public pressure to save the homeless dogs and cats and I think it’s inevitable that every shelter will be a no kill shelter and that will be the norm.” – Bonney Brown, director Nevada Humane Society in Reno


Deflect, deny and spay/neuter – the mantra of those who needlessly kill shelter pets:

“The staff at the Cache Humane Society are professionals who are trained to give vaccines, implant microchips, and yes, perform euthanasias.  As I am sure most people understand, this is not something that our staff enjoys doing.  However, it is a reality when animals are injured or there are more animals then there are homes and funding for.  I am thankful every day for our staff who continually and professionally work with a small budget, believing that their actions make a difference for animals that would not have a place to go if our shelter did not exist.  This is why we advocate that everyone get their animals spayed and neutered and make sure they are wearing proper identification.” – Brenda Smith, executive director Cache HS in UT

“We’re on a positive trend. And we will continue to march forward in terms of excellence.” – James Rogers, director Memphis pound in TN

“This just goes to show you.  If they would have their cat spayed or neutered, they would not have had the problem they have – 198, that is a lot of animals.” Chris Royal, director Iredell Co pet gassing facility in NC

Compare to the words of a no kill shelter director:

“So long as the shelters engage the animal-loving American public in positive and constructive ways, they will swoop in to help the shelters to save lives.” – Mike Fry, executive director Animal Ark shelter in MN

On the banning of volunteers, in the words of pound directors:

“Congratulations [volunteer], you have managed to (expletive) me off for the last time. So thank you for the animals you’ve saved but you’re no longer needed here at the shelter.” – Gina Ford, director Humane Society of Central Texas (now terminated)

“It’s more of a safety precaution.  When nobody is here, we don’t know who’s here for sure. If somebody were to fall and get hurt, you know.” – Val McCullough, director Saginaw Co pound in MI

Compare to the words of no kill shelter directors:

“[I]t is the volunteers who always step up. I really couldn’t do any of this without my volunteers. They are the true heroes in all this.” – Sgt. Karl Bailey, director Seagoville Animal Services in TX

“I so often hear the complaint of ‘it’s not possible to be no-kill being a municipal organization, we don’t have the budget, we don’t have the staff…’ There is such an easy answer to this question, Volunteers! I absolutely cannot do this job without their help, plain and simple. You can’t and you won’t get to no-kill without them.” – Holly Henderson, director Chippewa Co AC Shelter in MI


Say what, pound directors?:

“One thing we’ve committed to is that we’re going to scan them all [for microchips] after they’ve been euthanized.” – Colleen Macuk, director Jackson Co pound in OR

“Dogs, from what I understand, can survive several – 2, 3, 4 weeks without food.” – Frances Williams, director Horn Lake pound in MS

Compare to the words of a no kill shelter director:

“When we are faced with a challenge we work to find a solution that will not sacrifice the lives of animals. That may require being unconventional.” – Bonney Brown, director Nevada Humane Society in Reno


Have faith in people. That’s the biggest thing.” – Kelly Jedlicki, volunteer Shelby Co No Kill Mission

20 thoughts on “Animal Sheltering in the Words of Those Who Don’t and Those Who Do

  1. The things the no kill haters say and are quoted saying make me ill and give cold chills….things can go the other way… and with that said, I am going to email something to you in a bit- a story. A true story – i all it “The little shelter who did it right” – it is about a situation that happened this past weekend here in Elkins WV- 33 cats abandoned in a rural shelter parking lot… and what happened next.

  2. Such ignorance by the very position – Director – that should be the leader of change and education and public outreach. If you take out the “I hate No Kill” comments – you still have SUCH ignorance in what’s being quoted. The VERY reason that Shelter Reform is so desperately needed EVERYWHERE!

  3. “We do not want to euthanize healthy dogs and cats,” – Brandon Bennett, Code Compliance Director Ft Worth AC & C in TX Normal people don’t want to euthanize healthy dogs and cats but most of the people working at the Memphis Animal “Shelter” love killing healthy dogs and cats and in addition to that someone like Archie Elliott enjoyed torturing them first and then killing the. The Memphis pound is a horrible situation.

      1. He’s apparently basking in the glow of his own make believe world. He should just keep on marching on down the road. Everyone would be better off.

  4. Excellent comparisons. Here are few from Houston’s high kill pound i.e. BARC.

    A volunteer was banned because she dared to express concern regarding BARC’s holiday promotion. Here the shelter manager’s phone call here: :

    ARA Dept Director (over BARC) threatens to ban long time volunteers for using the words “last chance” ON THEIR OWN FACEBOOK page when trying to network some dogs to get them out alive. He claimed the words “demonized” the staff. This is a facility that still kill 1,200 animals EVERY SINGLE MONTH.

    Other volunteers have been banned over the last few years, and several were never given a reason. The pound director issued city “Security Alerts” as if the volunteers were some kind of terrorists. Posted here:

  5. bknd2anmls, I certainly hope you have reported this person to the authorities–and to outfits like PETA. If you have evidence of the torture, all the better.

    1. Elizabeth, they went to court for it. The actions (that had likely been happening for YEARS) were witnessed by an undercover police officer.

    2. No, no, no – NOT peta. They are nothing but a killing operation. Do not believe their PR, please. Do your research. You do not want them involved in life-saving efforts. Not going to happen.

  6. Its so good to see the quotes all together in order to compare like this, though theres really no comparrison in terms of who actually puts the right things into perspective and who doesnt. And I also had to chuckle out loud at James Rogers’ quote.

  7. You really should read some of these things and see if there is any way to help….with the no kill cause…..I don’t care what kind of legislation states run by …..because the attitude is true….we have no kill shelters here in NH and one the differences is, even though we have animals, we travel to NY and NJ and bring back Sandy animals and alot of us in the community volunteer in the shelters and if we cannot do that we send or raise money…..dinners, raffles, dog walks, yard sales, corporate sponsors, craft fairs during the holiday, plain donations, extra food, blankets, beds, etc etc etc…

    give me a break… thanks

  8. If you want to see a No Kill shelter that is working go to FB and look at the Owen County Friends of Animals in Owenton, Ky. I have not personally seen this shelter but a member of our group (Taylor County SPCA) has toured it and came back talking about how great it is. We are hoping to start one of our own in a few years.

  9. What do you do when most of the local rescue groups refuse to rescue animals from the privately run pound, but they want a no-kill facility? It appears they are protesting the killing by not pulling animals. I have been to the animal control facility, which is very small for the size of the city it serves. The guy in charge there seems very amiable, and the city itself was offering some money to the rescues to pull animals.

    Do rescues have some responsibility to demonstrate that they can work with others to adopt their way out of killing? Who else is going to lead and advocate for the shelter pets?

  10. Another good shelter to check out and see how no-kill works is Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO). I have been volunteering at the shelter for almost a year and a half. I have had my disagreements with people as you can’t agree with everyone all the time but one thing that has never changed or been questioned is the love and care the dogs and cats get there. Some of the animals have been there for years, but we have never given up on them. We take in ferals, one of very few places in the U.S. that will even attempt to rehabilitate these animals into society. We are constantly taking in more animals so we are always full and when people come by that have found a stray we work with them to foster for us until we can find the owner or get them into our shelter. The only thing stopping me from doing more is my husband. If the shelter directors and staff at these kill shelters had the right attitude about saving lives, they would have more volunteers than they could have ever imagined.

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