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Should we kill homeless pets on the 1st day they come to the shelter?

October 22nd, 2014

Should we kill homeless pets on the 1st day they come to the shelter?

How many days should a homeless pet stay at an animal shelter before killing them? Earlier this year I was approached by a person that worked for a state lobbying organization and told (not even asked) “you would rather see a dog suffer in a kennel forever”. I said killing and suffering in a kennel are not the only two choices for homeless pets in shelters. But I should have said, “Which day is it OK to kill a homeless pet?”

Which day is the day killing a homeless pet is actually a humane choice?

Is it when they have been there 100 days?

I am consistently amazed that this is a valid question for some people. Given the fact that I believe I could lock up any of them in a fairly bleak room and as long as they could eat and sleep they would be pretty happy about not being killed. They would want out. They would hope they would be allowed to leave and go to a loving home. They would hope someone is working on that. But on what day would they WANT to be killed?

Is it the 90th day? Is this a good humane day to kill a homeless pet?

I don’t think it is a better choice to kill. I think there are better choices than living in a kennel. But while pets do live most of their days in kennels, if the kennel does their job correctly, they don’t spend ALL their time there. And they can have some pretty good times while in this temporary shelter.

So do we kill them on the 75th day?

There are walks from volunteers, playgroups with other dogs, cat community rooms for cats. With a robust adoptions program and long shelter adoption hours, there are people constantly in the kennels meeting them. There is staff that can make sure dogs that are acting unsocial get attention to teach them to be more social, and ultimately more attractive to adopters that visit. There are sleepover at staff homes.

But maybe we should kill them on the 50th day?

In good shelters, there is clean water, fresh food and a clean cage, a warm bed and sounds and smells (good ones, like other animals and people noises and smells to discover). There are foster homes that could take them in, and in creative programs, pets are rotated between fosters if there are not enough or to get them varied socialization.

Should we kill them on 10th day though?

Or should we not kill them. Ever. No matter what. Should we make their lives as good as possible as long as they have to live in a shelter? Should we make sure the shelter they live in is as hospitable as possible? Should we make sure we work with rescue groups and individual fosters to get them out of the shelter while they wait for their loving forever home? For those who believe a kennel is cruel, wrong and unbearable:

What is a good day to kill a homeless pet?

Should we kill homeless pets on the 1st day they come to the shelter?

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Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.  ~Albert Schweitzer

Rescue One Dog is about saving the lives of Colorado homeless pets through meaningful initiatives.  As advocates of the No Kill movement, we mean to strengthen the ability of Colorado shelters and rescues to save more animals, at least 90% of all animals entering shelters.  It’s about support and partnering to make Colorado start using the No Kill Equation as an underlying philosophy of animal welfare.

We will rescue one dog, one at a time.  And cats too.

We believe Colorado can be a No Kill State and save all pets that find their way into the Colorado animal control system of the US.  Today, Colorado is killing well over 25,000 pets in shelters annually.  The number is so immense, it can’t be comprehended in the way we would process a single act of cruelty.  But when you look at the fact that there are five times the number of people looking for a pet each year than the number being killed in our shelter, it is clear rehoming every homeless pet (all healthy or treatable homeless pets)  is attainable.  And with proper spay/neuter programs, TNR, and the rest of the No Kill Equation, the number finding their way in the system can be reduced each year.  So we want your help get more pets adopted and end the killing.

We are participating or leading targeted initiatives to rescue one dog at a time, rescue one cat at a time, and further the  No Kill Movement.


  One Response to “RescueOneDog Home”

  1. Love it, should be a no kill movement and if people network and support it, it can happen. The trends that are on fb definitely impact the stats because we speak out. I feel NO KILLING OUR ANIMALS and no experimenting on them. They are kind and gentle creatures. We are supposedly civilized in North America, yet we are not. People should not be abusing their animals or dumping them on the shelters, but acting in a manner that ends the lives of these animals by imposing death, these animals don’t deserve it–it is wrong!

Bark Away!