No Kill

Maui Humane Society recently posted that they've obtained a 92% live release rate on dogs. Live release means the dog leaves the shelter alive whether it's an adoption, a reclaim by the owner, or a transfer to a rescue or another shelter. Of course that GREAT news can't be met without people wanting MHS to become "no kill" shelter and they start the rant "save them all."

Does the general public really understand what "no kill" even means? I don't think they do. Time to spread the word!

Wikipedia says "A "no-kill" shelter is an animal shelter that does not kill healthy or treatable animals even when the shelter is full, reserving euthanasia for terminally ill animals or those considered dangerous to public safety."

Best Friends.org says "At Best Friends, we don’t believe that no-kill is based on what an individual shelter may or may not do. Rather, no-kill is achieved when an entire community, including all shelters, is saving at least 90 percent of pets in shelters. While there may be differences of opinion about the best way to end animal homelessness, Best Friends believes the ultimate goal for every animal lover, rescuer, advocate and shelter employee should be to see a day when no healthy or treatable animal is killed for lack of a home."

And from NoKillAdvocacyCenter.org "The Tompkins County SPCA saved 100% of all healthy, friendly dogs and cats, 100% of treatable sick and injured animals, and 100% of feral cats. Overall, 93% of dogs and cats were saved… This amazing result was accomplished by an “open-door” agency that also contracts to perform animal control. Credit for saving so many cat and dog lives rests squarely on the shoulders of Nathan Winograd. – Maddie’s Fund."

See a pattern here? No Kill means not euthanizing healthy, adoptable animals (the term 'adoptable' is generally applied to an animal that the majority of the population can live with...non aggressive, without serious behavioral issues like severe separation anxiety, high prey drive, resource guarding or without serious medical issues that hinder the dog's quality of life).

There are sanctuaries that keep all animals no matter what their disposition or health issues are. To me those are the true No Kill facilities.

So who are the people that don't want a single shelter animal to be euthanized? My gut tells me they've never been to a shelter and they're oblivious the challenges a community faces with overpopulation. They think that dogs with human bites on it's record is "misunderstood" or doing it because it's been abused. You inject your judgement on organizations full of kind, caring human beings facing long hours of emotionally draining work for the animals.

OK, here it comes.

If you aren't part of having to make the decisions on the impossible math of 60 kennels, 80 dogs and you've got 12 more coming in that day then you should probably be quiet.

If you want all dogs to live but you won't come to the shelter and adopt the 17-year-old child biting dog that needs a risky and expensive eye surgery then you should probably keep your opinion to yourself.

If you're too selfish to volunteer at your shelter because it "makes you sad" (it's about the dogs, not you) then you haven't earned the right to have an opinion.

In a nutshell, if you aren't in the trenches helping find a solution then you're part of the problem and you've lost the right to complain.

amanda hillegas