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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Getting Shelters to Zero Kill

        Sweet, pensive photo of me by John Clark of Clark Creative

Parental Unit and I firmly believe that all animal shelters, including public shelters, can lower their "kill rate" to zero, which means a live release rate of 90% or better. We believe this is possible because there is so much hard evidence that backs up this idea.

Take a look at a blog post just published today in The New York Times, that explains exactly how some shelters have moved toward and achieved "zero kill" in an astonishingly short amount of time. And the question that this post's author poses, as do we, is this: If these techniques work so well, why isn't everyone implementing them?

While we don't know the answer to that question, from our reading on the subject and discussions with those who oversee our own county shelter, we have to think it is because traditional, entrenched beliefs, are, well, entrenched—a belief that significantly reducing the kill rate simply can't be accomplished, at least not here in our shelter, but maybe in some other shelter where they have limitless resources. The truth is...it does not take limitless resources, it take consistently implementing specific, proven strategies, but only after all shelter personnel adopt the attitude that it can be done. And then it is done, and has been done, in shelters across our country and around the world.

We also believe that the word "euthanasia" is both over-used and inaccurately used by many shelters, and this helps bolster those entrenched, "can't do" beliefs. Take a few minutes to read this blog post by one of the founders of Best Friends Animal Society, whose mantra is "Together, we can save them all". He eloquently explains why Best Friends makes the conscious choice not to use the word euthanasia, and why its use is so terribly misleading.

So, our blogging friends, if you're looking to add a new family member this holiday season, we once again implore you to "Adopt Don't Shop"!

That's what we believe...what about you? We'd love to hear your ideas on this topic.


Random Felines said...

we truly hope we can get there some day soon. until people are more responsible, spay and neuter, choose to adopt and shelters are given a better chance at saving lives, we don't know if it will happen. we do agree that pets losing their lives in shelters should not be said to be "euthanized"....

We wish you wonderful Christmas!!

Bocci said...

Thanks for your thoughtful comments...and for the tremendous amount of work you to to help cats in need, Random Felines! You walk the walk, for sure!

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