I Do Not Care

Judgmental cats sees all. (Photo by Casey Post)
Judgmental cat sees all. (Photo by Casey Post)

A shelter’s job is to shelter animals.

Animals have a right to live.

These two things trump all the excuses offered by killing apologists.

Therefore, I have zero fucks to give about the following:

  • An owner didn’t microchip a lost pet.
  • An owner didn’t see his lost pet’s photo on the shelter’s website as soon as it was posted.
  • An owner let a cat outside.
  • An owner accidentally left a gate open, had a hole in the fence, whatever.
  • An owner couldn’t come up with the cash to pay the shelter’s ransom for a lost pet.
  • An owner didn’t neuter and/or vaccinate a lost pet.
  • An owner didn’t have a collar and/or ID tag on a lost pet.
  • An owner was unable to physically visit the shelter during its open hours throughout the holding period to look for a lost pet.
  • An owner failed in some other way to meet the standards set forth by people who defend pet killing.

Nothing eclipses an animal’s right to live or mitigates a shelter’s obligation to shelter.

And while I would not condemn an owner for any of the above, I want to make myself perfectly clear so let’s just take this all the way.  I don’t care if the owner was on crack and punching baby pandas in the face when he lost his intact, unvaccinated, unmicrochipped pet from his unfenced yard and didn’t sober up enough to look for him for 2 weeks.  And when he finally staggered into the shelter, he was holding a neon sign that said KILL MY PET! and announced he was willing to sign any waiver the shelter had for him so long as they killed his animal.  Because even if – IF<—-get this! IF the owner is a total jerk who doesn’t deserve to have a pet, that’s for a court to decide and has absolutely no bearing on whether the animal has a right to live or whether shelter directors must do their jobs to protect animals from harm.

Killing healthy/treatable shelter animals is never, ever, under any circumstances, the fault of anyone but the people killing the animals.

I don’t like victim blaming.  Pet owners, along with their animals who were needlessly killed at shelters, are victims.  I put up with it on this blog to some extent in order to educate and hopefully change wrong thinking.  But if you’re new here and just popped up to blame the victim and defend people who kill shelter animals, don’t take your coat off.



63 thoughts on “I Do Not Care

    1. I must add that years ago when I was still blogging, I wrote a post about the former Sampson County, NC, pet killing facility director refusing to give an owned pet back to its family. Her excuse was that the pet wasn’t spayed and therefore the owners didn’t deserve to have it back. I caught a lot of flack from people who actually wanted to get rid of that particular kill facility director because they agreed that people who didn’t spay their pet deserved to have it taken away … by the director of a high-kill, gas chamber pound who was known to turn away rescue groups that she didn’t like. Seriously, people? WTF?

  1. Shelter apologists belong in the same category as anti-vaxxers in my world – people who don’t have decent critical thinking skills that need to shut up and go back to school. Sigh.

  2. Agree 100%.

    Are some pet owners irresponsible assholes?

    Yes they are.

    Should they not own a pet/have children/interact with polite society? Probably.

    Is that a reason to kill their pet?


    If you think it is, you need to reexamine your conscience.

  3. Righteous rant and much appreciated. The answer to less than perfect pet owners is not to kill their pets. And not all owners are the same in any case, but most love and care for their animals as best they can.

  4. This.

    Also: There will never, ever be a clean slate. We cannot kill our way there. We cannot sterilize our way there. We cannot legislate one into existence. There will never, ever be a time in which Everything is Awesome and angels will come down from on high with bugles and kazoos and golden banners to tell us that yes, here, now, woohoo we’ve done it and the killing can stop.

    The killing can stop now.

    There will always be pets in need, for whatever reason, and we cannot help them if they’re not alive.

  5. I wish you had a Facebook page so this could be shared a billion times. This really drives the point home. The failures of an owner should not be a death sentence for the pet. If that was the case with children of bad parents, we would be killing children daily. Keep it up!

  6. Right on! Could not agree more if I tried. One can help animals in a bad situation – but nothing can be done for a dead one. Why are there still so many people who don’t get this!?

  7. You are the most, the best, and the smartest about the problem with ‘shelters’ trying to play the blame game. Thank you!

  8. Are you delusional????

    A municipal shelter (kill shelters) only exist because of tax dollars funded to the shelter to “protect the community from animals” not to protect animals.

    In order for a municipal shelter to continuously take in stray or surrendered animals (the surrendered ones get killed first) they have to kill animals to make space. Otherwise they would have to turn down intake of animals which is difficult and nearly impossible in areas where the funding doesn’t exist and in communities where the unaltered animals are thrown out with yesterday’s trash. Or more often than not, an area where affording a pet’s spay/neuter is not in the budget.

    So this whole blaming the shelter doesn’t really work when it is the people who aren’t educated, the people who can’t afford their pets, the people who throw their dogs and cats out like trash, the people who don’t have control over their dogs and don’t look for them, don’t microchip them or who can’t afford to get them out of the shelter.

    If you want to see a change in your county shelter then I suggest you start electing the right people into office, writing letters to your elected officials, go to town hall meetings, volunteer and donate to your county shelter or a local no kill shelter/rescue. Do something instead of hiding behind a damn computer screen talking about things you obviously don’t have the first clue about or have experienced.

    1. “So this whole blaming the shelter doesn’t really work when it is the people who aren’t educated, the people who can’t afford their pets, the people who throw their dogs and cats out like trash, the people who don’t have control over their dogs and don’t look for them, don’t microchip them or who can’t afford to get them out of the shelter.”

      Well, that was the point of the blog post, wasn’t it?

      The fact is, the SECOND an animal enters a shelter, the well-being of that animal is the shelter’s responsibility. By your logic, it would be perfectly fine for the shelter to kill all animals on intake (protect the community, no responsibility to the public for the animals’ welfare) and be done with it.

      Every animal a shelter kills (note, I used the word “kill”, not “euthanize” as those are two very different things) is ON THE SHELTER. Not the “irresponsible public”. The public didn’t kill that animal, the shelter did.

      Think about it this way – you find a stray dog roaming the streets. You post the dog online as found and keep the dog in your garage for three days. On the fourth day, you take a shotgun out and shoot the dog in the head.

      Clearly, it was the dog’s owner’s fault that you shot the dog, right? I mean, they didn’t put tags on the dog. No answer to your found posting. The fact that you looked into a dog’s eyes and killed it does’t make you to blame, right? If someone had wanted that dog, they would have taken better care of it. It’s not your fault that dog owners are so irresponsible.

      Except that you just killed a dog in your care. But I guess you would be perfectly fine with that because you just “did what has to be done”, right? And now you have space in your garage for the next stray dog who comes along…

    2. “In order for a municipal shelter to continuously take in stray or surrendered animals (the surrendered ones get killed first) they have to kill animals to make space.”

      Nope. This is an excuse. There are indeed entire no kill communities with open admission no kill municipal shelters.

    3. Caitlin B., do you not know what blog you are reading? Are you completely unfamiliar with lifesaving shelters that fully implement the No Kill Equation? I can only conclude that you’re semi-literate, uneducated, on crack, or delusional yourself. That said, if your dog or cat ended up in a pound, s/he would still have a right to live.

    4. “Do something instead of hiding behind a damn computer screen talking about things you obviously don’t have the first clue about or have experienced,” says the woman hiding behind a damn computer screen (who may not even be a woman, for all we know). Furthermore, a LOT of animals have been saved by people behind keyboards advocating for shelter reform and getting laws passed to make shelter directors and staff accountable to the taxpayers they serve. It’s a perfectly valid and vital way to bring about shelter reform.

      But back to your point … au contraire, blaming the shelter director for the dogs they kill is exactly the right thing to do, regardless of how awful everyone else in the world may be. They make the choice to kill, while hundreds of shelter directors around the country are embracing the programs that get pets out of their facilities alive … even while there continue to be people who don’t sterilize pets or confine them properly, etc]. It’s being proven time and again by shelters all over the country who save 90 to 99% of the pets who come in that killing is not necessary. Those shelter directors who choose to kill (and the enablers who defend them) are the precise cause of shelter deaths.

      You won’t read this, but you should:
      Choice https://yesbiscuit.wordpress.com/2010/11/04/choice-2/

  9. I want to Favourite this so I can link it to everyone on FaceBook who defends shelter killing or passes the buck onto “too many people breeding pets!” or something else to shift the blame.

    Imagine if hospitals decided that your condition was “too expensive to treat” or that because your health problems were due to your own behaviour then it was your fault and used that as an excuse to give you substandard treatment? Or if womens’ shelters blamed women fleeing abusive partners for hooking up with them to begin with?

    What kills me is that so many of these “shelters” argue that they’re hurting for cash when they’re getting council contracts and donations to “manage” animals in an area, and a few like the RSPCA in Australia have expanded into pet health insurance (which again they’re arguing “responsible pet owners” take out… I love how “responsible” equals “give us money.” Great business model there.)

    If they’re “killing for space,” they shouldn’t be allowed to take in more animals, they should be doing more to get them into rescue, and they shouldn’t be soliciting more council contracts. I thought taking on too many animals was considered irresponsible, right?

  10. Caitrin b dellusional ??? No maybe you are as you seem to think if others are voted in things will change. Nothing wrong witg a computer screen my love that’s how you got your voice heard and really its not the animals fault that humans have so many disposable things. But sometimes you just dont have that spare $300 in your back pocket that you wanted to get your dog out of the mayfair hotel afted a couple of nights out. Thats why we need pouns looked at and where are these cgargeds coming from. People cant always afford it looking after animals costs 100’s of dollars a day. Bullshit. Have a waive on the fee for first day and second etc etc. If should be once owner knows animal is found the fees stop. They then have a time in which to get the money together. I have known people ring shelters and be told no nothing by that breed here. 2 weeks later the poor thing is on death row the same sheĺter telling the owners that had up to date chips etc no dov here. So it works both ways. You need to go back to get an education. Dont know wether youre Male or female or just from another planet but what a load of garbage you have written. Also proyec r people from animals !!! Is that what a pound is for you are dellusional my friend. Thr TV aee there because they emply people the figures look good if it is a kill shelter. And people think theg are nice places coz the nice man found fido bit expebsive though he was only missung for 8 hours. One night in the hilton hotel bingo dry bit of concrete bowl of water what more do they deserve. Sorry no justifucation in the costs of these places as to the treatment they receive. We all know without putting ant vets fees into it. That to feed an animal is minimal over a couple of days. So why hundreds to get them out. . Oh havent finished my rant but i think i will see what sort of comments i get back from the likes of caitrin b that thinks i an dillusional… …..

  11. Holy shit!!! Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes!! I lose it every time I hear about the so-called compassionate people who actually get PAID to kill animals because of the people who can’t or don’t pay $175 for their neighborhood vet to neuter their cat! And then ACOs pick them up because there is a &@*#&@*( leash law! If people refused to support these barbaric laws and if they refused to go into those kill rooms and kill those innocent pets, maybe then the SOB city councils and phony baloney legislators would draft some compassionate animal ordinances, fund TNR, work with volunteers, and truly help pets! Son of a bitch!

  12. THE WORD SHELTER IS A FUCKING MISNOMER THAT SHOULD BE ELIMINATED! The facilities that for the most part populate this country are Nazi hellhole mentality killing fields! !It is,a national and worldwide disgrace that this is not only tolerated but patently ignored by most of so called humanity! ANYONE THAT MAKES THEIR PAYCHECK ON THE BLOOD OF INNOCENT ANIMALS IS A SUBHUMAN INBRED SCUMBAG SAVAGE! HOW DO YOU GET UP EVERY DAY AND KNOW YOU WILL BE MURDERING PETS ??HOW DO YOU SLEEP! ??The current status in “shelters “across America is due in great part to the legislative reps ,and judges! AS A FORMER JAIL NURSE FOR MANY YEARS I SAW ANIMAL ABUSERS COME AND GO! THEY ARE NEVER EVER SORRY FOR WHAT THEY HAVE DONE! GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY THEY WILL DO IT AGAIN! WE NEED TO STOP ELECTING FUCKING SCUMBAG JUDGES AND LEGISLATORS AND CHANGE LAWS THAT WILL PROTECT ANIMALS!

  13. After reading this post and the comments all I have to say is this…If you’re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem and I just hope that all those who are making such nasty allegations against shelters and assumptions about shelter workers, ARE part of the solution. If you’re not fostering, volunteering, donating, doing SOMETHING other than b!tching and blaming, yes, you are part of the problem.

    1. And if you continue to enable needless shelter killing, you’re part of the problem.

      I think you’ll find that many (most) of us here have fought for change. You know what gets change to happen? People bitching. It’s the first step that gets the ball rolling.

      Those who enable shelter killing are holding back change.

  14. I would like to start out with that I would very much like it where all animals could be saved, live happy and healthy lives but I know that only exists in a world where hearts, rainbows and unicorns fall from the sky. We live in a very tragic world where death happens. We can get outraged by every single death and exhaust all of our energy into each and every pet until we are burnt out and can no longer do what we do… or we can learn to accept that sometimes pets have to die and we can’t save them all but the ones we DO save we can put more energy into and will live long (sometimes short), happy lives with owners who care so deeply about them and they are treated as family members. More often than not it is about quality and not quantity. This is a very hard concept for some people to grasp. I am not sure where you or your gang of Rosie the Riveters are from but for example I can tell you (or just google The Haven in Raeford, Nc) about a self prescribed shelter rescue turned into a terrible hoarding situation. The woman who ran the shelter I am sure had every good intention to save animals and the community she build a shelter in desperately needed it. Military families would leave the area and leave their pets behind on the streets, in high kill shelters and tied up to their fence over night. Over the years the founder got in over her head and couldn’t and wouldn’t say “no” when someone wanted to drop their pet off or if a stray showed up at her gate. She went from a rescue of 75 animals to over 700! So what happens when you have an “open intake” with little to no donations and volunteers or employees to help? The animals aren’t in the best care, they don’t get the medical treatment they so desperately need, they live in filthy kennels and crates without clean water. The ASPCA finally stepped in because caring for 700 animals (dogs, cats, horses, pigs, birds) is out of the capacity of the local shelter (which only has 10 kennels for dogs btw) and it was even too large for the department of agriculture. This case is still under investigation but the owners are being charged with animal cruelty and drug charges bc they had drugs on the property for the animals they weren’t authorized to have. Could this situation have been prevented if the government stayed on top of them with regulations and inspections? You bet your ass but they dropped the ball. It took the outcries of the community for them to step in and really investigate again and finally shut them down.

    With that being said….
    First, I have worked in a no kill shelter (in North Carolina) for almost two years. It was the best job I’ve ever had. We were privately owned and it was illegal for us to take in stray animals and we did not have an open intake. If you wanted to drop off your pet or if you had a stray animal to turn in you had to take it to the county shelter, the municipal shelter, the shelter that used tax dollars to run, or what most people call it; the pound.

    Second, our shelter worked VERY closely with the county shelter. They would actually call us if they were getting full and they needed help clearing the shelter prior to having to euthanize animals. We also had several rescues that would get these animals out of jail prior to being euthanized. The staff at animal control were angels. They took animals home to foster, they reached out to rescues and our shelter that would take animals because it all boiled down to: THEY DIDN’T WANT TO EUTHANIZE THEM.

    Your post paints this horrible picture of animal control officers and shelter staff as murderers and that just simply is not the case in all areas. Which leads me to believe that you have NEVER had a great relationship with your animal control. Which leads me to believe that you probably don’t know them by name. Which leads me to believe that you aren’t involved even the slightest with them otherwise you would know how hard they work to get the animals out so they do not have to kill any pets today or tomorrow or two days from now. Now I understand there aren’t always people who are compassionate about animals as you or I am but unless you have a one on one deep conversation with them then it isn’t fair to throw them under the bus and call them a murderer. Unfortunately, it is a job and that person gets paid to manage the facility. It takes a strong person to do so. It is definitely something that I could never do. I have come in contact with some shelters who have staff that just do not care and that is really unfortunate. The same shelter with only 10 kennels is the shelter that will euthanize all the animals prior to a holiday weekend so they do not have to come in to the shelter to clean and feed the animals. It is sickening. But these situations won’t change unless you talk directly with city/county council and demand better for the animals. The other thing this boils down to is how these shelters are funded and some of these rural areas don’t have enough funding for the shelter and the animals so they are put in between a rock and a hard place. This isn’t the shelter employees fault… this boils down to the community and the government supporting these shelters and in some places the government can’t get the community’s support bc it means raising taxes to fund the shelter. It is a vicious cycle but it is by no means the fault of the employees.

    Third, I am from a city (Houston, TX- Google it) where there are estimated 1.2 MILLION pets on the streets. Can you comprehend that?? MILLIONS of homeless pets. Do you know 1.2 million people who want a pet? I didn’t think so. So while a No Kill nation is something to strive for… It will never 100% happen. And it most certainly won’t happen over night. As someone who has been in rescue either volunteering or working for several years I understand and comprehend that you can’t save EVERY SINGLE PET. (Refer back to my story about The Haven).

    Fourth, I was fortunate enough to attend a Pet’s For Life seminar which is the best chance anyone has to go No Kill. But again, it doesn’t happen over night and it takes years and years worth of fundraising and then spaying and neutering the public’s pets for free. Yes FREE. More people will be willing to fix their pets for free over a $25 fee especially if they are low income. Mapping out the lowest income areas in your city and getting volunteers to knock door to door to actually talk with the community regarding spaying and neutering their pets is time consuming and guess what? There are going to be several who “would never do that to their pet.” This doesn’t mean that they don’t love their pet and I am certain that these pets are loved and cared for but convincing some people to alter their pet is a tough battle. It doesn’t happen in a week or a month. Sometimes it will take several months to convince people but during these months you build a relationship with the community and they learn to trust you. I highly recommend this seminar to anyone who can attend. It’s AMAZING. If we can reduce the amount of litters in an area then we can slowly but surely eliminate pets that are dumped on the street, left in the shelter, picked up as a stray and in turn the euthanasia rate.

    So, lastly maybe you SHOULD give a fuck about people microchipping their pets. Maybe you SHOULD give a fuck about people spaying and neutering their pets. Maybe you SHOULD give a fuck about people putting collars and ID tags on their pets. Maybe you SHOULD give a fuck about people posting photos of their lost pets on website and taking a look at the shelter for their lost pet. How do you even expect No Kill to happen if you don’t give a fuck about spaying and neutering? Or microchipping?

    Or are you just another Barbara behind a keyboard and computer screen who wants to see a change but you’re too lazy to get off your ass and actually do something about it?

    I am really trying to understand how in your brain a shelter is supposed to not kill a single pet when they aren’t allowed to turn away pets… Let’s use this scenario:

    It is 9 am, the shelter has 10 kennel spaces for dogs and 10 for cats. Currently they are using 8 dog kennels and 8 cat kennels. There are ten people in line waiting to drop off either their pet or a stray pet. How do you accommodate 10 more pets when you only have 4 kennels open? You’re not allowed to turn people away and adoptions aren’t open until 1p. There is no more funding to expand kennel space, only to operate with what you have. Tell me how “no kill” works in your brain….

    1. This proves you wrong: The Foothills Humane Society in Polk County, NC, holds the animal control contract for Polk County and parts of two counties in Souith Carolina. They are open admission and must take in every stray dog and cat. They take owner surrenders (although they have pet retention and rehoming programs to help those animals while keeping them out of the shelter, which reduces their intake). In 2014 (2015 numbers are not yet published) they SAVED 99.9% of the cats they took in and 95.5% of the dogs. In other words, they are a PUBLICLY FUNDED, OPEN-ADMISSION ANIMAL SHELTER IN RURAL NORTH CAROLINA THAT OPERATES WELL WITHIN ANY DEFINITION OF “NO-KILL.” You claim it’s not possible.

      To put it simply and succinctly, you are wrong and your arguments have been debunked timeand time again by publicly funded, open admission shelters who are doing exactly whatt you claim is impossible. You can read about all of these successful shelters, and others who are on their way to lifesaving success, here: http://www.saving90.org/

    2. Well, I’m glad that your county shelter is staffed with nice people. Mine isn’t.

      Do I know them by name? Yes, I do. And they know me. They wish they didn’t, but they do.

      So when I see a shelter that has a high kill rate, few to no volunteers, few to no fosters, little to no social media presence, and little to no relationship with the community they serve, I know that I’m either dealing with people who want to do better, but don’t know how or people who actually do want to kill pets.

      My shelter, btw, actually did want to kill pets. How do I know that?

      Limited hours open to the public (no evenings, two hours on Saturday, no Sunday).
      No foster program.
      No volunteers permitted.
      No social media presence (they had a FB page, but pulled it down the moment someone asked them to post photos of available pets for networking)
      They operate as an island unto themselves rather than as part of the community at large. And they like it that way. They don’t want fosters or volunteers or any scrutiny at all.

      So given your supposedly hopeless “this is why you have to kill for space” example, I have to say that you’ve got the argument by the wrong end of the stick. You’re accepting the shelter’s limitations as givens, rather than asking why they aren’t changing to improve.

      No more kennel space? Ask people waiting to surrender if they can hold on to that animal until cage space opens up. Most will say no, but some will say yes. Give them the information on how to rehome their own pet – you may get them to do your job for you and keep that pet out of the shelter altogether.

      Whip out the folding crates. Put out a plea on social media for emergency fosters. Put out a plea for adopters. Take good photos of the pets you have right now and post them with their info and tell people to network the bejeezus out of them. Have an adoption sale. Get local businesses to sponsor pets in exchange for publicity. Have volunteers walk dogs with “adopt me!” vests on in high traffic areas around town. Have offsite adoption events for people who don’t want to go a shelter. Get creative!

      In the long term –

      Be open more for the public – adoptions during evenings/weekends, too.
      Foster programs (and, btw, this only works if you can assure fosters that you’re not going to kill the pets they cared for when they bring them back. Nothing kills a foster program faster than someone bottle-feeding kittens for weeks only to have them summarily killed upon return to the shelter).
      Volunteers. Get them. Lots of them. Also difficult if you’ve got a shelter focused on pet slaughter. People don’t like to volunteer for slaughterhouses. Make your shelter a place of lifesaving and the volunteers will come.
      Social media. Use it. A lot. Encourage networking of pets.
      Embrace your community. Tell people what you’re doing and why. Help them understand the issues you’re facing and encourage them to help – or at least support your efforts. Interact with people! Be welcoming! USE YOUR COMMUNITY.

      Because you’re right – if a shelter tries to do everything by itself, it’s destined to fail. The problem is, too many shelters are okay with failure. They’re used to it. It’s just the way things are. And it’s EASY. Yes, killing pets is easier than working with the community. Simple. You can empty all the cages in one night and have everything shiny and clean and quiet for the morning. If you accept killing as “just part of the job”, then killing becomes the lazy way out of every difficulty. Anything else starts looking like work…

    3. “I would like to start out with that I would very much like it where all animals could be saved, live happy and healthy lives but I know that only exists in a world where hearts, rainbows and unicorns fall from the sky.”

      Like Austin? Do you think Austin isn’t a real place? No, we don’t save literally all animals, but we save well over 90%.

      “Third, I am from a city (Houston, TX- Google it) where there are estimated 1.2 MILLION pets on the streets. Can you comprehend that??”

      Can you comprehend that? Do you understand what that number would actually mean? People see big numbers and just can’t wrap their heads around them to even see how absurd they are. Houston is 627 square miles. The claim is that there are 1.2 million homeless dogs in Houston. That would be 1913 homeless dogs per square mile. You would be tripping over stray dogs every time you walked out your door. That’s not an accurate number, and it’s just an excuse for killing.


      1. Caitrin B., you have printed so many statements that have been proven completely false, but, I’ll start with this one. There are NOT 1.2 MILLION animals on the streets of Houston. That number has debunked a number of times, by a number of people, including the Houston Chronicle and Nathan Winograd. http://bit.ly/1N65O5v (The ‘1.2 million strays in Houston’ claim is yet another fabrication spread by management of a kill shelter in order to defend and excuse their mass slaughter of shelter pets.)

        But the only thing you need to do to see that this is completely false is take out a calculator. If there were 1.2 MILLION strays in Houston, as sarahjanb said, there would be nearly 2,000 animals per every single square mile of Houston. Houstonians would not be able to walk out of our doors without tripping over an animal. I live in Houston too, and can tell you that this is not happening. Yes, there are a lot of strays in certain low income parts of Houston, but that is not the same as “1.2 MILLION strays in Houston”.

        Also, I’ll address this statement “I am really trying to understand how in your brain a shelter is supposed to not kill a single pet when they aren’t allowed to turn away pets”.
        200+ Open Admission shelters, serving 500+ communities, are figuring it out every day. You can see a list of them here: http://www.Saving90.org. Perhaps you should talk to some of them to learn what they are doing to end shelter killing.

        Or perhaps you should take a look at the No Kill model of sheltering which these shelters are using to end shelter killing. You can start your research here: http://www.nokilladvocacycenter.org/?page_id=45

        It is stunning that when hundreds of communities are ending shelter killing, there are still people like you saying that it can’t be done. Simply stunning.

  15. OH HELL YEAH>>>> WHAT GIVEs ANYONE THE RIGHT TO KILL ANY ANIMAL!!!! No room? No Money? No help………you have none of these then DONT BE A SHELTER!!!!!!

  16. I’m glad someone else pointed out how silly the 1.2 million stray dog figure in Houston is (and if you read about it and educate yourself you will find that they literally pulled it out of their asses). No kill is possible. It is possible overnight. Please educate yourself. I was part of getting a no kill OPEN ADMISSION shelter instituted in Austin. We elected city council people who supported no kill. They got rid of the regressive shelter director and hired a progressive shelter director. We implemented the `programs and services of the no-kill equation (which do include high volume, low cost spay neuter, by the way. It is just that if someone doesn’t have their pet spayed or neutered, that does not give someone else the right to kill it). So yes, I got off my ass, went and voted in people who supported no kill, went down to city hall to meet with the city council people to follow up, fostered animals in my home, THEN I got my ass on my keyboard because there are still a lot of ignorant people out there. I’ve never heard of “Pets for LIfe” but I urge you to get familiar with Nathan Winograd and the “No Kill Equation.” Since you are in Houston, I’d encourage you to familiarize yourself with Bett Sudemeyer who has been working towards no kill for a long time now. She’s a force of nature.

    As far as your questions go: “I am really trying to understand how in your brain a shelter is supposed to not kill a single pet when they aren’t allowed to turn away pets… Let’s use this scenario:

    It is 9 am, the shelter has 10 kennel spaces for dogs and 10 for cats. Currently they are using 8 dog kennels and 8 cat kennels. There are ten people in line waiting to drop off either their pet or a stray pet. How do you accommodate 10 more pets when you only have 4 kennels open? You’re not allowed to turn people away and adoptions aren’t open until 1p. There is no more funding to expand kennel space, only to operate with what you have. Tell me how “no kill” works in your brain….”

    Well lets see. First of all why the hell are adoptions not open until 1 pm? Keep them open all day and into the evening. There are obviously staff there. The place is open. Why are adoptions not happening? Why are foster parents not being called in? Can a puppy or a kitten be put in the director’s office? Can some animals be placed at off site locations such as petco or petsmart? Are there no animal loving people in this entire town that can be utilized? Once you get it into your brain that killing isn’t an option, except for euthanization of gravely ill animals and vicious dogs, people start to figure stuff out. Fortunately the wheel doesn’t need to be reinvented here – check out http://outthefrontdoor.com/ Check out http://www.nathanwinograd.com/ Check out http://www.nokilladvocacycenter.org/ Check out http://ananimaladvocate.com/ Check out https://www.facebook.com/No-Kill-Houston-117281633060/?fref=nf For the love of animals, educate yourself.

  17. If people didn’t treat their pets like a disposable trophy and abandon them and if people spayed and neutered their pets there wouldn’t be any pets to euthanize. End of story.

    The blame can not be put on one person or one entity. We didn’t get out into this situation because of the shelter… We got put into this situation because of the community and the people.

    1. Ah. And that’s the point of the piece.

      There will ALWAYS be people who suck. Always. And their suckitude will result in fallout – damaged people, damaged children, damaged pets, damaged property. Animal shelters will always be needed because humans are… human.

      The moment an animal walks into a shelter, that shelter has a choice – save or kill. Save or kill. Always the choice. It doesn’t matter how the animal got to the shelter – lost in a terrible car wreck that killed five people and only the dog survived? House fire where pets and people have no place to go? Asshole who bred dog nearly to death and kept her starving tied to a tree? Neonate puppies whose unowned mother was hit by a car? People got new furniture and the dog’s fur suddenly didn’t match the decor? Dog got sick and people couldn’t be bothered to pay for a vet? Neighbor died and no one knew that she had 40 sickly inbred dogs in the house until police got there? Meter reader came in the yard and left the gate open, letting elderly blind dog out into the street?

      The reason they are at the shelter is NOT RELEVANT. The choice is what matters and the choice is made BY THE SHELTER. Save or kill. Save or kill.

      Shelter is overwhelmed? Yep, shit happens. Work on it. Find solutions. USE THE COMMUNITY. Because the community is not the enemy. Shelters often see their own communities as the sole source of their problems (we have to kill because we are surrounded by assholes around here). When they SHOULD be seeing the community as the source of their successes!

      Because you know what? People are basically good. They want to help, they just don’t know how. And if the ratio (as I’ve heard rescue people say) of assholes to good people is 1 asshole for every 20 good people, then we are well ahead of the game.

      But shelters forget to use the resources at hand. And their biggest resource is the community in which they exist. Your community is NOT your opposition. They don’t suck. There are assholes there, for sure, but MOST of the people are good people who want to help.

      So the next time an animal walks into your shelter, look at that animal and ask yourself, “Am I going to save this animal who is in my care? Or am I going to kill this animal who is in my care?”

      Because how that animal got there DOES NOT MATTER. What happens to that animal now is up to you. Save or kill?

    2. Even if that were true (which it’s not), what makes you think it’s ok to kill animals just because they had the misfortune of having irresponsible owners? You’re angry with the pet owners you perceive as bad, so you’re going to punish them by killing the animals they probably didn’t care about that much anyway? Does that seriously seem reasonable to you?

      The bottom line is that shelters are supposed to shelter animals, and when they kill healthy or treatable animals, they are to blame.

  18. That is NOT the main objective of this post.

    At least as a reader I did not perceive it that way. I would summarize this post as “don’t spay or neuter or microchip your pet bc it’s going to get killed anyway.”

    All aspects of this need to do better:
    Owners need to take responsibility
    Shelters need to take responsibility
    The communities need to stand up to the shelters and educate owners.

    This post blames the shelters only and that is wrong. It is the owner and the shelters that are to blame.

    If you blame only one side then the relationship fails. Everyone needs to take a part in this.

    But I guess we agree to disagree.

    Have a great day!

    1. “At least as a reader I did not perceive it that way. I would summarize this post as ‘don’t spay or neuter or microchip your pet bc it’s going to get killed anyway.’ ”

      That’s an unusual way to read it. I think most of us read it as “I do not accept lack of a microchip or lack of s/n as valid reasons for shelters to kill healthy/treatable pets.” Shirley is not against s/n and not against chipping or fences or leashes or other facets of generally responsible pet ownership. Her point as I read it is that a single failure to be a perfect pet owner or even multiple failures on the owner’s part do not justify killing. When the shelter kills an animal then that is on the shelter. Blaming owners doesn’t make sense, nor does it do anything to reduce the killing.

    2. We not only disagree, you’re wrong.

      Look at it this way: when someone adopts pets & then kills them, do you say, ‘It’s not their fault, it’s the fault of the shelters who adopted them out,’ or ‘It’s not their fault, it’s because their parents were horrible people,’ or ‘It’s not their fault, pets are hard’ …? I’d say not. I certainly wouldn’t. I’d hold them responsible for their cruelty.

      Same difference here. Once animals are in the care of a shelter, everything that happens to those animals is the shelter’s responsibility. That’s what this post is about. When shelters kill the animals in their care, they’re the ones responsible for it.

      Yes, there are basic standards for responsible pet care.

      Shelters ought not to be exempt from them.

  19. I would summarize this post as “don’t spay or neuter or microchip your pet bc it’s going to get killed anyway.”

    I’m sorry you read it that way.

    I’m not the author, but I read it as “even if your pet is not spayed or neutered or microchipped, the shelter has no right to kill your pet”.

    This post blames shelters only because shelters are the ones doing the killing. In that, they are solely responsible.

    The community is not killing the pets.
    The owners are not killing the pets.

    The shelter is killing the pets.

    The odd thing is, the shelter is also BLAMING everyone else for what they are doing. It’s not our fault because the owners suck. Because people don’t s/n. Because there’s no room. Because people don’t care enough. In short, you make us kill. We’re helpless victims of your suck and animals die because of it.

    Except the no one is making the shelter kill. The shelter kills because it’s always killed. The shelter kills because it hasn’t tried not killing. The shelter kills because it doesn’t choose to save.

    Kill or save. Save or kill. The shelter alone chooses. No one MAKES them choose one way or another. And if you can’t own the choice you make, then you probably shouldn’t be making it.

  20. “But if you’re new here and just popped up to blame the victim and defend people who kill shelter animals, don’t take your coat off”………..and don’t let the door hit your sorry, indifferent a$$ on the way out!

  21. animal control
    Definition of animal control
    : an office or department responsible for enforcing ordinances relating to the control, impoundment, and disposition of animals

    I am a bit overwhelmed by this whole thread. Because I despise drama (animal welfare’s worse enemy), I’m going to attempt to be very succinct here. 1) Animal Controls are run BY YOUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT 2) THEIR MISSION IS TO KEEP THE PUBLIC SAFE AND ENFORCE CODE Animal Control was never meant to have “adoption facilities” Thank GOD TAXES are finally funding them. But many are still not funded or very, very underfunded. You CAN NOT make space where there is no space. If you do not like how your LOCAL GOVERNMENT is allowing your community animals to be treated – DO SOMETHING! Get IN THEIR FACE, DEMAND ANSWERS and CHANGE! MOST IMPORTANTLY…. Be at the FRONT DOOR of that shelter (not behind your keyboard) offering to foster, transport, network, volunteer, create spay/neuter programs for the animals. SHOW UP and provide solutions to the city/county board so they have no excuse to ignore you. I am so thankful for the amazing people who work in MANY (not all) county shelters that are fighting so hard from WITHIN to get these animals out and change the cultures of their communities and shelters. I have 30 years in rescue and VPM and I STILL couldn’t do their jobs. Many of them are GD HEROES. If you aren’t PARTNERING with your county shelter to HELP or RAISING HELL at your community leaders if they won’t let you…. Then I respectfully ask you to spend your keyboard time on Minecraft and GTFO of the cause. You are doing far more harm than good for the animals.

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