Tag Archives: no kill shelter

‘No-kill’ what’s in a name?

I personally have no issues with the term ‘no-kill’ as in ‘no-kill animal shelter’.   Traditionally, this term has been used to mean an animal shelter that does not kill healthy or treatable animals even when the shelter is full.

No kill image

Euthanasia would only be an option for terminally ill animals or those that were considered too dangerous for public safety ever to be re-homed. 

In the case of the latter circumstance, it probably was easy for some shelters to bend the rules and still claim no-kill status.  If you believe that all pit bulls, for example, are inherently dangerous – or your local laws deem them to be and you are running a municipal shelter – then yes – you could claim no-kill status under the definition while killing those breeds of dog as a matter of course.

Others would claim that shelters would shift adoptable animals into their shelter and ship out animals that were less adoptable to achieve their no-kill status.

Ideologically, some people state that they would rather be ‘for’ something than against it.  So names are popping up such as “Humane City” or “Humane Rescue.” Some quote Mother Theresa who said “I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”.

In other words, promote what you want and not what you don’t want.

Approximately two years ago, for example, Best Friends Animal Society changed its mission statement from “No More Homeless Pets” to “Save Them All.”

Do these changes make a difference?  I don’t know; I don’t have the data on this.  Presumably marketers and public relations experts have data to show increasing levels of support.

All I know is that New Zealand is definitely NOT a no-kill nation or a save-them-all nation.  We have a way to go to require responsible husbandry, pet ownership and the acceptability of adopting animals of all ages who end up homeless.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

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A university where your dog can come too

It’s autumn in the northern hemisphere and the time of year when students are going to colleges and universities for the first time.   If they are enrolled at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri – there’s a high chance that their dog can come too!

Searcy Hall at the college is better known as Pet Central and houses 40 students and their pets.  Pets have been accepted at the college since 2004.  The college also has a pet fostering program.  They’ve partnered with a local no-kill shelter and students can foster a dog during their time at college and train and socialise them in preparation for adoption.

A scholarship, room discount, paid food and medications, and pet deposit waiver are just a few of the benefits available to freshmen and transfer students who apply to participate in the pet fostering program.

Sadly,  the college’s insurance policy excludes these breeds from staying at Pet Central:  Pit Bull, Rottweiler, Chow, Akita and German Shepherd.  I’m not a supporter of breed-specific legislation and so it’s hard to accept these types of restrictions but that’s the influence of the underwriters, unfortunately.

Daniel’s story

Daniel looks like an ordinary beagle.  But he isn’t.  He’s a survivor – quite literally.

In October 2011, Daniel was placed in a gas chamber in Alabama to die with three other unwanted/unclaimed dogs.   The miracle is that Daniel survived the gassing (by carbon monoxide).  The folks at Eleventh Hour Rescue, a rescue organisation that aims to save dogs from high-kill shelters, heard about Daniel and took him to New Jersey to find a forever home.

After fostering, Daniel was re-homed with Joe and Geralynn Dwyer.  Mr Dwyer now is a guest speaker around the country to encourage the banning of gas chambers in the United States and Mr Dwyer is happy to promote Daniel as the face of the anti-gassing law.   The law has been called “Daniel’s Law” in honor of Daniel.    Pennsylvania is the most recent state to enact it.

Only 19 states in the USA have banned the use of gassing as a means of euthanising unwanted dogs and over 4 million animals are euthanised each year in the country.

Here are a couple of video clips of Daniel’s story, starting with his original fostering arrangement:

And on Anderson Cooper:

The Saving Lives campaign

The Royal NZ Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RNZSPCA) has embraced the philosophy that ‘every life is precious’ and its Saving Lives campaign has a number of platforms to ensure that the lives of animals are saved and that they enjoy a quality of life.

When implemented, each of the platforms is aimed at supporting the goal of saving lives.  The platforms are:

  1.  Our Animals  – Every Life is Precious
  2. Pet retention
  3. Rehabilitation
  4. Desexing
  5. Maximising adoptions
  6. Rescue groups
  7. Foster homes and other volunteers
  8. Saving the strays
  9. Community involvement
  10. Can do!

The Hokitika SPCA has made headlines for achieving a no-kill shelter status, a direction that the RNZSPCA not only endorses, but says that it wants to see replicated throughout the country .  Read all about it in this article in the Greymouth Star.