I am creating this post to answer a comment that was made in another post. The choice of making this a new topic is because the issue of no-kill shelters just clouded the original topic's issue. It is an important enough topic to rate a post.
I have seen and heard many people talk about the "no-kill" shelters and how they are different from the ones who "kill the animals." Much of what I have heard is just so untrue that I'm getting tired of the lies. The myths surrounding the "no-kill" shelters are getting in the way of reality. Unfortunately, many statments are believed by the public if they are repeated often enough.
A statement was made that said "... I think a lot of the shelters that euthanize could change their policies and go no-kill or network with other shelters to take cats if they have room but I think they choose not to. Pretty sad." That is a direct quote, cut and pasted.

This person and I had a very, VERY long series of posts a while back that discussed no-kill shelters, and other closely related subjects. I made it VERY clear that the shelter that I volunteer at does network, as much as possible, with all the other shelters in the area. It is my understanding that many, if not most, private shelters do the same.

Government owned shelters can be a completely different situation. This discussion is only about non-government owned ones.

The reality is that the no-kill shelters are usually full when we are. Networking has very limited value because of that. The same holds true for the foster program, when we are full, everyone else is too.

As a matter of fact, a local no-kill brought a very large number of animals to us two weeks ago. While it MAY be true that they don't euthanize, it is partially because they bring them to us to do it. Now, if that isn't dishonest, I don't know what is. Even if the particular ones they brought are not euthanized, where do you think that we are going to get the room for them?
It turned my stomach when I found out that we had to euthanize so many animals so that they could tell their supporters that they are "no-kill." I don't know how you define no-kill, but my definition does not allow for sending the animals somewhere else to be disposed of. Unfortunately, this kind of thing happens periodically, how dishonest!

Many of the shelters and all the foster programs are over filled right now because it is puppy and kitten season. This is not just here, it is all over the country. There are very few shelters that are not full right now. If there are some who have room for 50 animals, who is going to pay for the transportation costs and/or arrange transportation for 50 animals? The answer is "NO ONE."

No one at my shelter likes to euthanize, but it is an unfortunate fact of life. If there was a practical way to change that policy, we would do so instantly. All here agree on this. We are not doing this by choice, it is by necessity.
There is not enough room to house all the animals. There is not enough money to feed and care for them. There is not enough time to visit with them so their life isn't just a hollow shell. Until there is, euthanasia is a fact of life.
By the way, the same issue applies to dogs and rabbits also. While I understand this is a cat group, it is interesting that many of the previous discussions seemed to imply that this issue only affects cats.
If you have a practical, realistic solution to this, please, PLEASE tell me. I keep hearing about people who are against euthanasia, but have no solutions that work. You might tell me that my philosophy is wrong, but you offer no solution that will work. That is bogus and I am tired of hearing it. Theory is great, but when it conflicts with practical, ideas need to change.
If you are simply against euthanasia, but don't know how to make it unnecessary, just say so, "I hate it, but I don't have a practical, realistic solution to it." I can respect that, hell, I totally agree with it myself. I would love to see it become unnecessary, I just don't know how to do that in the near future.
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A term worse than "no-kill shelter" (which means whatever one wants it to; there is no standard out there that I know of) is "kill shelter," which even some conventional shelters are beginning to call themselves! One definition of "no-kill" is a high road to fat donations. The reality is, nonprofit and private shelters can turn animals away when they are full. And they do. Conventional (county and city) must take animals, at least those within their jurisdiction. If there is no room, what is their alternative other than euthanasia? And how does turning away animals in need, especially adoptable animals, make the "no-kill" shelter better?

I know there are some horrible shelters out there (some of them "no-kill"), but give our county and city shelters a break. They are doing their best with a horrible situation. "No-kills" are a delusion and a snare; let's get real and work to enforce spaying/neutering and educate a public that allows itself feel good about abandoning pets at a "no-kill" facility instead of taking responsibility for the life of the animal.

Flames will be disregarded. I've had many years to come to this conclusion.
Sharon Talbert
Friends of Campus Cats
give our county and city shelters a break. They are doing
their best with a horrible situation. "No-kills" are a delusion and a snare; let's get real and work to enforce ... itself feel good about abandoning pets at a "no-kill" facility instead of taking responsibility for the life of the animal.

I suppose that there is a triage system of sorts done to decide which animals go. "Wild" ferals likely get euthanasia, and secondarily very sick animals are offed too. At the other end of the spectrum are the friendly tame animals that the shelter places out on the "showroom floor". We got our current cat that way, they had him in a group of cages in the lobby/ reception area of the shelter. Then there must be a fair amount of reasonably tame animals that just don't get adopted. Behavioral problems (scratches furniture, doesn't use the box, and such).
I am creating this post to answer a comment that was made in another post. The choice of making this ... heard many people talk about the "no-kill" shelters and how they are different from the ones who "kill the animals."

snip
If you have a practical, realistic solution to this, please, PLEASE tell me.

The solution is to spay and neuter enough cats, dogs and bunnies, so that there are no unwanted ones.
This includes both pets and ferals.
I support a group that TARs fearls, a no kill animal sancturay, and a no kill place that takes in FIV+ and Felv+ ferals (that would be my house). I believe thay all have their place and value and that they are all necessary. I do not however help at the local kill shelter which is open for adoptions Wednesday through Monday; I think about that on Tuesdays sometimes.

ron herfurth
charlottesville, va
I keep hearing about people who are against euthanasia, but
give our county and city shelters a break. They are doing

their best with a horrible situation. "No-kills" are a delusion ... instead of taking responsibility for the life of the animal.

I suppose that there is a triage system of sorts done to decide which animals go. "Wild" ferals likely get euthanasia,

Hopefully wild ferals can be spayed or neutered and released but that requires volunterrs too do the trapping and feeding. ron herfurth
and
The solution is to spay and neuter enough cats, dogs and bunnies, so that there are no unwanted ones. This ... shelter which is open for adoptions Wednesday through Monday; I think about that on Tuesdays sometimes. ron herfurth charlottesville, va

You are actually doing something that helps the situation instead of simply making hollow reteric and I applaud you for that. Too bad more people are not like you described.
The Trap Alter Release groups are also performing a great public service and they are seldom even mentioned. Some people fail to realize proper spay/neuter is probably the ultimate solution to this problem. It is probably the ONLY long term solution that could work, in fact.
You might want to do some volunteer work at that local shelter you referenced. It would give you more incite to the situation. Your efforts there will help get a few more animals adopted in the process too.
Please tell us more about your sancturay, it is interesting. How many of the FIV and Felv+ ferals do you shelter? Do you try to find homes for them, or is this their permanent home? How did you get started doing that and when and why? Where does the funding come from, how much time does it take per week? Do you have any tips for others would would like to do this also?
This might even be important enough to start a new topic. It might inspire others to do the same. I also wouldn't mind a new topic on the TAR program. That also gets too little publicity and they are both good causes.
Thank you for being part of the solution.
The solution is to spay and neuter enough cats, dogs ... think about that on Tuesdays sometimes. ron herfurth charlottesville, va

You are actually doing something that helps the situation instead of simply making hollow reteric and I applaud you for ... more incite to the situation. Your efforts there will help get a few more animals adopted in the process too.


Please tell us more about your sancturay,


It's my house, blue over brick split level, 3 baths with a litter pan in ever one, 1/4 acre lot, side street so there's only a little traffic (but most of my cats are indoors).
it is interesting.I like it better when things are nice and dull. How many of the FIV and Felv+ ferals do you shelter?

Currently 1 Felv+ and 4 FIV + along with 14 healthy ones but i cleared that with my vet.
Do you try to find home for them, or is this their permanent home?Permanent. How did you get started doing ... I figured it was bad luck not to save a one eyed cat so... Where does the funding come from,

My paycheck
how much time does it take per week?more than I want to think about but they're worth it. Do you have any tips for others would would like to do this also?

Do what ever you can afford, every little bit helps and listed to Sharon Talbert, she knows what she's talking about.
I love the US and its people very much, having been a regular visitor for many years, however I cannot for the life of me understand this attitude with regard to killing animals in shelters. I am not against euthanasia where it would end the unnecessary suffering of a cat or other animal, but to kill a perfectly healthy creature is abhorrent to me and I wonder it is legally allowed.
Here in the UK I volunteer for Cats Protection (www.cats.org.uk) and we operate a strict no-kill policy throughout the organisation, which runs 30 shelters (with both paid staff and volunteers) up and down the country, plus there are several hundred local branches run entirely by volunteers. At none of these are cats euthanised except by and on the direct advice of a vet where it would not be possible or ethical to prolong the cat's life any more. The main example of this would be a cat infected by the FeLV (leukemia) virus. Even a cat infected with FIV is homed wherever possible.

There are no time limits imposed on cats coming into our shelters, we have some at the shelter I volunteer at who have been there several years. The long term residents, as I call them, have free run of the place and aren't confined to pens, and it's great to see them sunning themselves in the grounds when the weather is fine :-)
We recently lost Sammy, our oldest "resident" who was 22, he'd been with us for over 2 years and was a delightful old gentleman who was always ready for some fuss and of course food..! I was sad to see him go, but he'd had 19 years with his owner and I'm sure he was as happy as he could be under the circumstances while he was with us.
In his case, euthanasia was the sensible option, but to kill just due to space considerations is an abomination and I'm glad such practices don't happen here.
The answer is, of course, as has been said, is to ensure as many cats as possible are spayed and neutered.
Ivor
Ivor, can you tell us more about the treatment of cats in the UK? We have a serious problem in the US, with many homeless cats (and unsterilized) cats and many unaltered pets giving birth to at least one litter. I believe we have more cats than laps, if we count the (uncountable) ferals. How is it you Brits don't seem to have shelters overflowing the unwanted cats and kittens? Space IS the issue in our shelters; "no-kills" can call themselves that only because they can turn away surplus animals, which have nowhere to go but the city and county shelters. If the UK doesn't have this problem, it can only be that people are actually spaying/neutering and doing it before the animal is of breeding age.

I ramble, but I am seriously interested in in you have to say. The number of animals that die at public whim every year in the USA is an abomination. Here in Seattle, nonprofits are spaying/neutering feral cats by the thousands and the kittens just keep rolling in.

Sharon Talbert
Friends of Campus Cats
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