Why Shelter Killing has Nothing to do With Overpopulation

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Sweet72947, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. Sweet72947

    Sweet72947 Squishy face

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  2. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    Some very good points, but it still doesn't apply in all communities. There ARE communities who are "doing everything right" with the budget they have and there is STILL a surplus of animals. I've seen it with my own eyes.
     
  3. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

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    Agreed. The south is a good example of that, particularly in the Memphis area and a 3 hour radius in all directions. They even ship many of those dogs to the East coast and northern states, and there's still a shitload more coming in.

    ETA: And on the other hand, there's few to zero adoption events here, and the dog population is actually sub-par what I'm used to. Even with petshops selling dogs and BYB'ers. We've been looking for a pup for months, and there's just NONE around.
     
  4. Fran27

    Fran27 New Member

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    Ok that's a silly argument IMO. How many of us would go to the shelter right now if we had no pets? I'm guessing a few. But we have enough pets and can't get more. And I doubt we are alone.

    There's definitely some pet overpopulation. If people want a pet, they'll get one, whether it's at this shelter or not, so what a specific shelter does really is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things...
     
  5. Sweet72947

    Sweet72947 Squishy face

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    Don't even talk to me about Memphis Animal Services. Go to http://yesbiscuit.wordpress.com and you can read her blog posts about the rampant abuse and cruelty that goes on at that shelter. Read about the shelter workers being charged with cruelty, see pictures of this cruelty on the blog, even pictures of rows of empty cages, and THEN tell me that they are "trying" or that it's the fault of the "irresponsible public" that they kill!
     
  6. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

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    :rolleyes: You don't think I already know the reputation? I've ranted on it on this forum, not to mention others. There's at least...100 rescues, shelters, and humane societies in that area. If not more. Memphis Animal Services are not the only one around, nor are they a huge contender.

    So, do not shove THAT crap in my face, darlin'.
     
  7. Danefied

    Danefied New Member

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    This. I think its always a productive discussion to see what else we can do to get dogs adopted in to homes, and staying in the homes they’re adopted in to. There are a lot of good ideas out there and they need to be shared.

    That said, pet overpopulation is not a myth. Its not. It might be in some areas, but around here its really, really not a myth. There are more dogs and cats than homes period.

    I also don’t think euthanasia is the worst thing that can happen to an adoptable dog. I’m sorry, but I don’t. I would much rather see a dog go to the shelter, even if its right in to the back room, than dumped on some back country road to die of starvation, predation, illness, or injury.
     
  8. sparks19

    sparks19 I'd rather be at Disney

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    Totally agree.

    There are fates worse than death. A peaceful end is not the worst thing that could happen.
     
  9. Sweet72947

    Sweet72947 Squishy face

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    Whenever I post an article or something about no-kill, people always jump in to defend the killing. Killing healthy, adoptable pets needs to stop being ok. It needs to stop. Not only does it create an unhealthy, apathetic environment for the animals, it is not healthy for people. If the people who do the killing aren't completely without empathy, they learn to harden themselves to it. Sometimes, they can't harden themselves to it and they commit suicide.

    Sure there are a lot of obstacles in the way. Sure it won't be easy, maybe at times it will be so hard we'll want to give up. But I believe that we can change the sheltering system and make it a place where animals can be safe and cared for instead of abused or neglected, and killed. All we have to do is try.

    For those who aren't aware, here's a little history on the sheltering system. Animal "pounds" were basically corrals where stray livestock was kept in the middle of town so that their owners could come by and claim them. These eventually evolved into the pounds we know that held stray dogs and cats. They were never meant to hold animals for a long period of time. The animal sheltering system was made to control stray animals, and that was all. However, as time changed it also became a place where people took unwanted pets. Shelter policy remains outdated, which is why we continue to kill animals for no good reason. It's just the way it was always done. That's no reason it's the way it should always be.
     
  10. Barbara!

    Barbara! New Member

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    What areas is overpopulation a myth? That's what I'm wondering...lol.

    And sure, lets shove a dog in a cage for years where he can sit and wait for someone who wants him on a day that may never come... That's much more humane than just letting them go, right?
     
  11. Sweet72947

    Sweet72947 Squishy face

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    Except in many places the end is not peaceful. Read up on heartsticks and gas chambers. Do a google search, and you can find articles about animals waking up after being euthanized. I wouldn't call that peaceful at all.
     
  12. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

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    The major problem is money. Who is going to pay for the vetting, food, and general labor-intensive care for all these dogs and cats? What do you do when there's not enough room to house all these dogs and cats, even when there are dozens and dozens of rescues, shelters, and humane societies in that area that are not only filled to the brim in their own buildings, but in foster homes and even out-of-area fosters/shelters as well? What about the dogs who are dropped off with serious medical issues that would cost thousands to repair? Heartworm? Broken bones? Organ failure?

    Then there is time. In our own homes, we take care of anywhere from 1 to 7 dogs every day along with work, school, housework, lawn work, errands, etc. How would any one person find the time to add on another 30-100 animals per person? How would any system find the 30-100 people to cover the thousands of animals existing in the system? What vet can take the time out of their already busy career to provide intensive care to hundreds of cats and dogs per day? How can they afford the gas, medications, and labor when they are often forced to lower rates for rescues, shelters, and humane societies?

    Euth'ing is unavoidable in many areas of the country, and there are worse things. I've seen no-kill shelters and rescues so desperate to get the animals out of their dwindling care, that they practically give the animals away to anyone with a pulse and $5.

    Improve care and overall efforts for shelters, humane societies and rescues? Absolutely. But euth'ing is just unavoidable in many areas.
     
  13. misfitz

    misfitz Ruddy Buttinski

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    I think it's more complicated than simply there is/isn't overpopulation. In certain areas (Los Angeles is a great example) the shelters don't do enough to promote adoptions, reunite lost/found pets with their owners, or keep pets in their homes. Pet limit laws also don't help.

    Some areas have an excess of certain types of dogs and not enough of others. Small dogs that aren't adopted here are often transported to places that don't have any small dogs in shelters, and they find homes fast.

    Statistically speaking, more people acquire pets each year than the number that are killed. So it seems to me more of a logistics problem - how do we get these pets into those homes?

    Definitely not a simple problem with a simple solution...

    IMO if shelters aren't even trying (open for adoptions, open during hours when people aren't at work, listing available animals online, aren't rescue-friendly, etc.), they can't really complain about having too many animals! Not saying that all shelters are like this, but there certainly are many. It's a problem among municipal animal control shelters - not so much with private/nonprofit rescue "shelters" (which I would call those rescues and not shelters - to me a shelter is city/county animal control.)
     
  14. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    ^ And THAT is why I haaate the overly simplistic "just do more", "just stop killing", "just start doing _____". IT'S NOT THAT SIMPLE!!

    Yes, there are many shelters with MAJOR problems. There are shelters with resources who aren't utilizing them. There are areas that are importing animals and don't need to euth for space. But there is NO across the board plan that will work regardless of locale, financial resources, and community support. NONE.

    eta: on the impact on shelter staff who must euth - you do realize that a LOT of the issue is the crap that these people get from the public, right? The endless "just stop killing", and "you're murdering animals for no good reason" contributes greatly to the stress of the people who take on this awful job. I have friends who work in those SE shelters and have not hardened their hearts - they don't like that aspect of their jobs, but it's often the horrible things they hear that pushes them over the edge, not the actual act.
     
  15. Sweet72947

    Sweet72947 Squishy face

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    Have you ever noticed that when there is a high profile case in the news, that people offer to adopt that poor, abused dog in droves, and people donate - in droves? The truth is, when you reach out to the public, genuinely reach out, people will help you. They love to help animals in need. People stay away from municipal animal pounds because they are depressing, because the workers there look at everyone as animal abusing scum, because they are rude, cold, and unhelpful (at least, this is the experience you receive at the shelters in my area). Take away all that, staff the shelter with friendly, helpful, nonjudgemental faces, aggressively market your animals with nice photographs and upbeat, descriptive bios, participate in adoption events in your area, and make your shelter a place where people want to come to adopt and a place that people want to support, and you will have the resources you require.

    The no-kill shelter I volunteer for gets donations out the wazoo. There are single donations of $5000 at times to this place. I once helped type up spreadsheets of donations so that thank you notes could be mailed out, and in one month, they had $30,000 in donations! That was December which may make a difference since it is the Christmas season and all, but I know that they get a lot of money from people all the time, and it really isn't that hard.

    And honestly, you can't truly improve the care and overall efforts in the shelter until you stop the killing. While the killing of healthy adoptable pets is allowed to continue, the people who work there will distance themselves from the animals because its easier to NOT CARE about something that is going to die anyway. It is easier to slack on disease prevention, why provide more than the bare minimum (if that) when the animal is probably just going to die anyway?
     
  16. misfitz

    misfitz Ruddy Buttinski

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    True. And no kill, or Nathan Winograd's version of it anyway, isn't as simple as "just stop killing" - there are several other things that shelters need to be doing, such as foster programs, adoption outreach, free or low-cost spay/neuter, help with behavior problems...etc etc.
     
  17. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

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    I think blaming shelters for overpopulation is like blaming cops for crime. It all starts somewhere, but it's easy to blame those who get stuck cleaning up the mess.
     
  18. misfitz

    misfitz Ruddy Buttinski

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    Sadly, this is the perception that many people have of the municipal pounds. It's often true, but sometimes it's more complicated. I was a volunteer for an L.A. city shelter, and the staff and volunteers there were great. In such a big city, though, they can only do so much before the administration gets involved, and it's like any government issue - politics and power. It's much easier to get things done in smaller organizations.

    What killed me about the experience (er, no pun intended :( ) was the division between the shelter staff/volunteers and the rescue community. Individuals could and would work together, but generally the rescue community demonizes anyone who works at the shelter and the shelter community then demonizes the general public.

    If all sides could put aside the blame and finger-pointing, and work together to find solutions that work (based on data, not opinions), it would be so much better for the animals and the people.

    Anyway that's my rant about L.A. I'm sure it's similar in other parts of the country.
     
  19. SpringerLover

    SpringerLover Active Member

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    I can say with certainty that a select few are given a peaceful death. So many of them are terrified, probably not given the solution in the vein, maybe even given the solution in the abdomen so they die slowly, in a room full of other dying animals.

    While I agree, there are things far worse than death, I think the death a shelter animal faces is far from the picture we all imaging when euthanizing our beloved pets (which can still go awry).
     
  20. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

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    THis

    I have a friend who was very into the no kill movement and worked really hard to implement it. Did all the steps Winoguard outlines, worked their butts off....guess what, didnt work. They could either stop taking all new animals in (which is what some no kill shelters do) or they would have to make room another way. Sure, stop taking in would let them keep their no kill ideal, but they were smart enough to realize the reality is that then they would be turning away many many dogs who have to go somewhere.

    All the advice they pretty much got was well your arent doing it right because if you are, it works. If it doesnt, well something is wrong with you:/ Its a sad reality of the way our current society behaves. Stopping killing is like putting a bandaid on a fetstering wound....it is NOT getting at the root of the problem and is causing more issues.
     

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