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"High Kill Shelters"

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  • "High Kill Shelters"

    This comes across my Facebook feed quite often and honestly, I'm not a fan.

    I think every pet deserves an appropriate home.

    And I think that most people who work in those shelters where they do euth aren't exactly happy to euth pets solely because they didn't find a home 'in time'.

    I also am not a fan of calling it 'kill' because, lets be honest, they use that term to be dramatic. Most shelters use the same process to euth an unwanted pet as you and I do to put our beloved pet to sleep when it's their time. So the word 'Kill' is, for most cases, a heart string puller meant to shame... right?

    So why not call them "Low Adoptions Shelters' instead?

    I mean, that's really the issue, that they do not have enough adoptions. It's not like they WANT to put pets down. Euth is just a nasty by product of people breeding more pets than there are homes for and/or breeding pets that are not suitable for most homes... and then there not being enough homes looking to adopt.
    Further, using 'Low Adoption Shelter' really describes the solution... more adoption....

    I mean, if these High Kill Shelters stopped and became No-Kill Shelters... where would we be? Without spots for pets looking for a safety net, 'cause there are only so many spots in shelters... and when they get full up, there is no room at the inn, so to speak.

    And if I really have to, I'll zip my flame suit 'cause I know some will misconstrue what I am saying and think that I think euth is the answer and that we should just kill, kill, kill those unwanted pets... but let me be clear, that is not what I am saying at all. I'm just saying what we call things, sometimes has an impact on perception and action and maybe it's time to change that re: this particular issue?

    I dunno', just musing as I nurse this summer cold... thoughts?
    Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014

    http://notesfromadogwalker.com/2012/...m-a-sanctuary/

  • #2
    You're right.

    It's tough to be a no kill shelter while still being an open access shelter. Case in point, the SPCA shelter in my neighboring county went no kill two years ago so they keep all of the readily adoptable puppies and purebreds while shipping the pit mixes, neglect cases, and behavior problems to my county SPCA.

    At my local SPCA there is no euthanasia once they've been deemed adoptable, ie they don't have a ticking clock. This is great, mostly. Some dogs do not do at all well in the shelter environment while others are more resilient. The ones doing badly are painful to watch, as much as I root for them to get a home.

    Comment


    • #3
      Perhaps a better name would be euthanasia facility

      We have a PETA "shelter" not to far from here in Norfolk VA. Employees there KILL about 90% of the animals brought to the "shelter".
      I wasn't always a Smurf
      Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
      "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
      The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

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      • #4
        It sounds like you would like to put a happy spin on a rotten, real situation?

        Comment


        • #5
          Angela Freda - I don't think that works because many shelters don't even place many of the animals it receives for adoption. They kill because of breed, because of illness or pregnancy, because of perceived temperament issues. I believe my local pound (I won't call it a shelter - it's the county pound.) euthanizes at least 70% of the animals that come through. But if they're to be believed, if an animal makes it to the adoption floor, it's chances go way, WAY up. It's a high-kill "shelter".

          StG

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          • #6
            Originally posted by wrybosome View Post
            At my local SPCA there is no euthanasia once they've been deemed adoptable, ie they don't have a ticking clock.
            This is how the shelter near us is. As long as they are doing OK they stay there until they get a home. Some pets just can not handle the waiting process in a shelter and euthanasia is the kindest end.

            There are not enough homes. No matter what you call it, it has to happen.

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            • #7
              We kill close to 90% of the pets that end up in our shelter. About 25000 a yr. Sorry, I think calling it a high kill shelter is completely apt. If it makes people uncomfortable, then too bad...it should.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by StGermain View Post
                Angela Freda - I don't think that works because many shelters don't even place many of the animals it receives for adoption. They kill because of breed, because of illness or pregnancy, because of perceived temperament issues. I believe my local pound (I won't call it a shelter - it's the county pound.) euthanizes at least 70% of the animals that come through. But if they're to be believed, if an animal makes it to the adoption floor, it's chances go way, WAY up. It's a high-kill "shelter".

                StG
                I get that, but is it their fault that the animal arrives in a condition that makes them less adoptable in their minds if not in reality?

                Why blame the shelter of the policies they feel comfortable with- if you disagree don't take your strays there... but they don't make those problems, they simply diagnose them and determine which they think make pets a good/bad adoption candidate based on that criteria.
                Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014

                http://notesfromadogwalker.com/2012/...m-a-sanctuary/

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Bells View Post
                  It sounds like you would like to put a happy spin on a rotten, real situation?
                  Not a happy spin, necessarily. It's nasty business putting pets down, whether because they need it [injury/illness] or because some criteria has not been met by that animal through no fault of their own, which makes adoption not an option for them.
                  Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014

                  http://notesfromadogwalker.com/2012/...m-a-sanctuary/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't think anyone needs to be a "fan" of the term high kill shelter. It is what it is, we have them outside of our county and the high kill is due to many factors but the primary one being just too many unwanted animals.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by StGermain View Post
                      Angela Freda - I don't think that works because many shelters don't even place many of the animals it receives for adoption. They kill because of breed, because of illness or pregnancy, because of perceived temperament issues. I believe my local pound (I won't call it a shelter - it's the county pound.) euthanizes at least 70% of the animals that come through. But if they're to be believed, if an animal makes it to the adoption floor, it's chances go way, WAY up. It's a high-kill "shelter".

                      StG
                      Yeah ... but.... until we are not faced with millions of unwanted animals in this country - some are going to need to be put down. Underfunded shelters, that get in hundreds or thousands of animals a year - need to be able to "triage" the intake.

                      It might not be fair that the pit bull that is really a sweet heart gets put down, but the reality is, when you are dealing with extreme numbers and limited funds, a "system" has to be put in place to deal with it. Most adoptable - they get first priority. Less adoptable? Put down to give those with better prospects a chance. Diseased, injuries etc? Well if funds were invested into their recovery, that would mean less money for the healthy, good tempered animals. Do you kill 5 healthy dogs so that you can save one injured one? These shelters are left with hard choices.

                      If there were enough "no kill" shelters around to handle all of the unwanted animals - well then there wouldn't be a need for a "high kill" shelter.

                      And I do call them a shelter. They are doing a service. I rather a dog or cat be humanely euthanize then wandering the street as a stray, and / or breeding - making even more unfortunate souls.

                      I have a "stray dog" living with me right now. I called all of the shelters around. The "no kill" are full (and even if they weren't I don't live in the right zip code to use it), and the high kill - well they were very honest about that reality.

                      So, the stray my hubby found is living with us, getting some training, getting his nuts removed!! - and then he will be looking for a new home. If I had a good "no kill" shelter to turn to, I would have. But I don't, they are full, over capacity, or like I said, I don't live in a spendy enough zip code.
                      APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think it was coined by the Nathan Winograd folks to be offensive.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Half a year or more before acquiring the Aussie puppy I'm raising now, I had put in my name with several local "dog pounds" asking that if they had any large, outdoor long haired breed, between puppy and middle age, that someone had seized or had surrendered due to moving, temperament, house behavior issues, etc. they could call me and I'd be a good bet to adopt the dog. I described how I was looking for an outdoor "farm" dog who would be a good watchdog and would be happy living out in a "pack" with my other dogs, sharing a big shed at night and free at large all day on Invisible Fence. I explained that many of the problems that make people unsuccessful dog owners (isolation, not enough exercise, separation anxiety, chewing & barking, etc.) would likely not be a problem here so the dog need not be a model citizen.

                          Well, the AC officers all gave me the same answer: "Good luck finding one." All I kept hearing was that the big-name adoption agencies like North Shore and Paws sweep up all the more desirable breeds, leaving NOTHING but Pit Bulls in the local municipal shelters. Of which they will never apparently see the end . . .

                          If you ask me, it's WAY past time there was a crackdown on the Pits--as in, any unlicensed dog gets impounded, and ANY Pit requesting a license must be spayed or neutered. But then I realize that whole culture is lawless from the get-go.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Not sure this is true everywhere, but in the three locations I've lived over the years, there are basically two types of "shelters". The first set is run by a governmental entity - usually city or county - and they are also known as animal control. They are basically in business to pick up every loose animal. Sadly, the only way they can do their jobs is to have fast turnover - more are coming in than going out through adoptions so... bad news for the less adoptable animals.

                            The second group are private non-profit shelters. They typically take turn-ins, litters, etc and will only euthanize if the animal is very ill or has a serious temperament issue. They don't have to take every animal, so can do their best to keep safe until adopted. I was on the board of one of these, for several years; their euthanasia rate was less than 1% per year on dogs, a bit higher on cats. Others are higher, but as they fund raise to operate, they can't be a "high kill" operator, or sponsors will disappear.

                            The private shelters are frequently working w/ the local animal control, taking strays from AC to the private facility when there is room. Also there are numerous foster groups, where people pull dogs from AC and set them up in foster homes until adopted.

                            There's no perfect system, but it is my opinion that there has been increasing collaboration between the various groups over the years, much moving around of dogs in particular, to give them the best chance. Prison programs are an example of efforts to help the dogs - they are taken from the animal control population and sent to prisons for a basic training. These efforts help reduce the problem at the county/city "pounds" and ultimately lower the euthanasia rates. Maybe only a little at a time, but better than nothing.
                            We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Angela Freda View Post
                              So the word 'Kill' is, for most cases, a heart string puller meant to shame... right?

                              So why not call them "Low Adoptions Shelters' instead?
                              Well, for those of us who work or have worked in a so-called "kill shelter", language is everything. Although I did see and hear some of the more pushy volunteers use the "kill" language at the shelter I worked at, for the most part we all used the term "open admission" to signify that we took in any animal that walked through the front door.

                              We called "no-kill" shelters "limited admission" because they very often had strict criteria to accepting an animal: they needed to have the room already available, they took in young or highly adoptable animals and tended to turn away animals that had health or behavioral issues or would otherwise be harder to place. They limit what the take in, so calling them limited admission seems to be more indicative of what they do.

                              So open admission and limited admission are terms that I am most comfortable with.
                              Sheilah

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by carolprudm View Post
                                We have a PETA "shelter" not to far from here in Norfolk VA. Employees there KILL about 90% of the animals brought to the "shelter".
                                Plus they seem to be the except to the 'don't enjoy killing' assumption....

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by jetsmom View Post
                                  We kill close to 90% of the pets that end up in our shelter. About 25000 a yr. Sorry, I think calling it a high kill shelter is completely apt. If it makes people uncomfortable, then too bad...it should.
                                  The problem is that it doesn't make the right people uncomfortable.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    NO KILL is a false term. It makes me annoyed.

                                    I used to volunteer at a city shelter when I was in high school. It was a SHELTER, meaning...

                                    They took in EVERYTHING, all animals were accepted. 7,000 a year, was in Peoria, Illinois, so not a super huge town.

                                    ALL the animals were fed and housed. We had a really good adoption program, BUT lets face it, there are too many animals for the amount of homes available, so many got euth'd.

                                    They didn't get hit by a car, starved or killed by some disease.

                                    I moved, here we have several NO KILL shelters. They TURN AWAY lots of animals, in fact, there is a sign that states there are full by the front door.

                                    There is a county shelter, that is way out in the middle on nowhere, run by the health dept, because of liability, do not allow any volunteers. The people are very nice, and will let you walk the dogs and play w/cats, they say if anyone asks, just say you are looking for a pet. They do not like the health dept, and agree, they are the bastard child, get VERY little support.

                                    Like in Peoria, they take in EVERYTHING. I have adopted a dog and a few cats from them, but since their hands are tied, can not really advertise, not sure if a lot of people even know they are out where they are. Adoptions are prob less than in Peoria. Peoria had a better location and was supported by the City, so was able to advertise and hold adoption drives during the weekend.

                                    The biggest NO KILL in our town, is the humane society, they have a LOT of sponsors, like State Farm Insurance. They raise a LOT of money, put their animals on flea/tick preventative. They do adopt a lot of their animals, when I moved here, I wanted to keep volunteering, so did the training to be one.

                                    In Peoria, the humane society was IN the shelter, they worked together great, supported each other, so I thought that was the norm. NOPE, they bad mouthed the city shelter and sometimes when asked about where other shelters were, never mentioned the city shelter.

                                    It pissed me off, so I quit, got my first horse shortly after that, so that filled by free time. I do walk dogs are the city shelter every once awhile tho.

                                    I witnessed people trying to drop of animals, only to be turned away from the NO KILL. I wondered if the people went to the trouble of researching another option, or mayb they just dumped it, since they HAD TRIED.. What happened to those animals? Did they breed?

                                    True story, my hubby was doing a delivery out in the boonies, a basset/beagle mix came up, was clear it had been running for awhile. It's dew claws were so long they had grown into the side on both of it's front feet, so he brought it home.

                                    It was fairly young, got along w/my four dogs, but we couldn't keep him. I had his dew claws removed and neutered a few days after get got him.

                                    So, since I knew the NO KILL got a lot more traffic, I called them, knew about their WE ARE FULL sign, so basically asked if I could be put on a waiting list, I could keep him until they had room. Told them that he was neutered, young, and sweet, not too big, etc.

                                    WELL..... low and behold, they told me to bring him in, they HAD SPACE.

                                    I did and he was adopted w/in a week.

                                    What would have happened if I had found a bigger, harder to adopt type of dog??

                                    I bet they would have been full.

                                    So, NO KILL turn away less adoptable animals, what happens to them? Is that really what a SHELTER should do??

                                    Personally, when looking for a pet, I only go to KILL shelters, I consider them the TRUEST sence of the word, ANIMAL SHELTER.

                                    Anymore, it seems like people can not THINK, they just react. If a shelter KILLS, then they must be bad, but in reality, they are a band aid, take lots of donations from people, but do not always act in the best interest of ALL animals.

                                    Pet overpopulation is an ugly issue, it is NOT caused by any shelter or NO KILL, but the people that do NOT spay/neuter. Most of the people that are crying over shelters killing animals, prob are part of the problem.

                                    I usually ask them if THEIR pets are spayed or neutered, it usually shuts them up pretty quick.

                                    I loved the shelter in Peoria, great people that really cared about the animals, it was NEVER any of their animals that bred, all had pets from the shelter, so had to be fixed.

                                    Shelter workers deal w/OTHER people's problems, so do not deserve any of the blame!
                                    Riding is NOT meant as an inside sport, GET out of that arena!!!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by jetsmom View Post
                                      We kill close to 90% of the pets that end up in our shelter. About 25000 a yr. Sorry, I think calling it a high kill shelter is completely apt. If it makes people uncomfortable, then too bad...it should.
                                      Unfortunately it also keeps the adopters out...

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Angela Freda View Post
                                        This comes across my Facebook feed quite often and honestly, I'm not a fan.

                                        I think every pet deserves an appropriate home.

                                        And I think that most people who work in those shelters where they do euth aren't exactly happy to euth pets solely because they didn't find a home 'in time'.

                                        I also am not a fan of calling it 'kill' because, lets be honest, they use that term to be dramatic. Most shelters use the same process to euth an unwanted pet as you and I do to put our beloved pet to sleep when it's their time. So the word 'Kill' is, for most cases, a heart string puller meant to shame... right?
                                        No. The term euthanasia is actually inaccurate here. Euthanasia refers to killing an animal in order to relieve pain and suffering. These animals are killed simply for lack of homes.

                                        It's also not really accurate to call them limited adoption. The kill shelter I work with actually adopts out wayyyy more animals than anywhere else. There's a huge network of rescues & foster homes & volunteers pulling animals out of the shelter, doing intense training with the dogs. They are simply required by law to take in every single animal presented to them, so there's not enough space to keep everyone.

                                        Trust me, no one who works there wants to kill those animals. I think everyone who claims to care about animals or breed them needs to spend a day helping out the techs who are in there. It's a really really tough job, and they would love nothing more than to send all of those dogs home with a kong & fluffy bunny toy to hang out on someone's couch for all their days.

                                        It's not just tough, it's impossible to be a no-kill shelter while still being open admission in 99.9% of areas.

                                        The animals who are killed are chosen because they're determined to be least adoptable. Think: an older pitbull with scars & mange. A slight illness will put them on death row. An undesirable breed will do so. Being considered ugly will put them there. As will age.

                                        If you want to change that mentality, start finding more homes for the least adoptable animals.

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