Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sorry for the gaps between blogs these days

I am sorry my blog postings have been few and far between these days. We are starting a new non-profit here that launched a pet food bank, and we are busy working on that. I have also become a Dogs Deserve Better (DDB) representative for this area. I spent last Sunday chained to a dog house for 8 hours at Apodaca Park as part of DDB's annual Chain Off demonstration.

Nevertheless, my thoughts are never far from the urgent needs of our animals and the long way our community has to go to reach progressive, modern sheltering services that can better meet these the challenges we face. My next blog posting will be a continuation of the No Kill Conference's Seminar called Overcoming Internal Obstacles to Success. I will summarize the wise words of Bonney Brown, the executive director at the Nevada Humane Society.

I have no doubt the biggest obstacles to our success are internal ... inside ourselves in the mantras we repeat each day and inside our institutionalized ways of doing things the same old ways. For an example of that, look to the anonymous comment this blog just received from someone repeating the lies PETA tells to its supporters regarding No Kill sheltering. I am not sure how PETA knows anything about this subject; they use the worst shelters in the country as examples of No Kill in their propaganda, and they themselves run a shelter in Norfolk, VA, with an extremely high kill rate.

Tune later this week for my summary of how we can start to break down our own internal barriers. That's the first place we all need to start.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One day last June, a Pennsylvania man tried to turn his dog over to a “no-kill” shelter—one that chooses not to euthanize animals. He was told to come back two weeks later when the shelter might have room. The man grabbed his dog, got in his pick-up truck, and left. At the first intersection, he threw the dog out of the truck and ran over him, crushing the dog beneath the tires. Shelter workers, who wouldn’t help the dog before he died, collected his remains.

‘No-Kill’ or ‘No-Clue’?

“No-kill” animal shelters should really be called “leave-the-killing-to-someone-else” shelters. Even though the people who run these places are usually well meaning, they can never build enough cages and kennels to house the 6 to 8 million dogs and cats who need homes each year. When “no-kill” shelters turn animals away because their facilities are already bursting at the seams—what happens to these animals? If they aren’t abandoned or killed by their owners, they go to the shelters that never turn away an animal in need, shelters that have made the difficult choice to take in every single animal brought to them, including those who are diseased, badly injured, aggressive, elderly, or unsocialized after spending their lives at the end of a chain—animals who have little chance of being adopted. They take them all in, even if all they can offer the animals are a meal, kind words, a loving touch, and a painless release from an uncaring world.

For example, after the SPCA in Norfolk, Virginia, implemented a “no-kill” policy, the SPCA just 20 minutes away in Virginia Beach became inundated with animals turned away by the Norfolk SPCA. Virginia Beach SPCA Director Sharon Adams reports that in June 2008, her shelter, which accepts all animals and does not charge a drop-off fee, took in 71 animals from Norfolk in one month alone. “There’s not a ‘no-kill’ shelter in this country that does not turn animals away every single day,” says Adams. “It’s a sham and a scam as far as we’re concerned.”

“Open-admission” shelters are the true heroes, for they don’t slam the door in the faces of unwanted animals, and they refuse to warehouse them for years on end. They have also taken over the heartbreaking task of euthanasia from pounds that are little more than shacks where animals are shot or gassed.

If we are to achieve the goal we all share—an eventual end to the killing—we must face the fact that “no-kill” is not “no-kill” at all—it merely leaves the killing to someone else. What’s needed is a commitment to preventing the births of unwanted animals.

Every dollar used to build a “no-kill” shelter may help a few animals, but it puts us further away from eliminating the overpopulation problem by siphoning money away from spay and neuter programs