No Kill Shelter Comments

Recently I came across an article on No Kill shelters in one of the major news magazines. The problem is that substandard conditions were exposed in some of those facilities. When the idea about “no kill” first began becoming popular in the 1990’s I was skeptical, as an animal behavior consultant who has worked in an animal shelter, I still am.

Today this article about a no kill shelter crossed my desk and prompted me to comment.

First, when animal shelters in an area become “no kill” essentially the dirty work is left to other agencies in the area. thre are some good ones but unless the facility can provide mental stimulation and activity for the animals they house or can be creative in the housing dynamics where the animals live–confinement within the shelter can surface as mental suffering.

The ultimate problem is that we, as a nation, want to feel good about this issue. In many places animal regulation enforcement is impossible and their is widespread failure to educate the masses about pet ownership.

Every few months I see an irresponsible breeder pop into my area and sell puppies out of the back of a pick-up truck for hundreds of dollars. They breed their animals irresponsibly and don’t do anything to educate the buyers on the proper rearing of those canines. They also don’t pay any business license fees to our area. What does selling an animal from the back of a truck do to teach responsible stewardship and respect of animals?

The “no kill” or “low kill” moniker is a good marketing tactic for a wide spread problem and something that warrants a longer article. Stay tuned as I will plan on releasing one in the near future.

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  1. I know that people want to save the lives of all the animals. I have to say one of the dirtiest shelters with sick animals I have been in was a no kill shelter.

    I think I have to say the animals there were serving a life sentence and maybe would have been better off with euthanasia. I am by no means saying that there are not any good no kill shelter out there but I think they can be difficult to manage and they seem to be more susceptible to disease due to the high stress of being in that type of situation for such a long amount of time.

    If any one has the chance these shelter are a good place to adopt but you have to be aware that illness may be a possibility when adopting from them.

  2. @Julie: There are a wide variety of opinions on this topic. Also there are good and bad animal shelters of all types. With standardization this should change and it is believed that the No Kill shelters are the wave of the future against a lazy old model of animal management.