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  #21  
Old 07-01-2009
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Originally Posted by Sunny View Post
No Kill means that they do not kill healthy/temperment sound animals for space. As it should be, in my opinion.

Shelters that classify no kill, will humanely put down sick/injured, animals that are not deemed adoptable, ie, aggression, food aggression, going stir crazy in a cage, unhealthy animals.
I've read the book now, twice. And the way it's written almost makes you think they're not talking about killing any animals, when in fact, it's very close to what Sunny wrote above.

For the "sound bite" crowd, the book seems like a way that all shelters can be no kill, and for those who haven't read it, it only furthers the spread of the no kill myth, in that the name no kill in and of itself, as revealed by careful reading of the book, is a myth, since the author admits animals that weren't behaviorally sound or had other issues, were euthanized.

I work for a humane society doing animal control work via contract for 20 cities and a large unincorpoated area and other then the euthanasia of feral cats, we're not too far off from the ideals of this book. And yes, we are an open door shelter. Animals are euthanized, but not for space constraints. As an aside, most of the people at work that know the author or who have read the book, don't agree with him, in fact, some don't like the author at all. The reason our shelter is run the way it is, is because the leadership feels it's the right way to do it, and they've been doing it for that way long before this book came out.

Jeff
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  #22  
Old 07-01-2009
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exactly Jeff. I believe most shelters are set in their ways, don't want to rock the boat and tend to go along their way, but yet grip about animal welfare.

Becoming a no kill shelter should be a future goal for every animal shelter. I mean why would it not be? I just sont understand it, shelters that are lashing out at no kills, people who work in the animal welfare field are aruging about issue that could save more lives.

In 2009, shelters should be farther then what we are.

I know of a lady who about a year ago became manager of a HS in the area. The staff had the same thinking and ideas from the 70's. It was absurd. This lady was trying to modernize the HS and make it for the better. She was abrubly let go.

Some people just don't want to hear it.

Sunny
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Last edited by Sunny; 07-01-2009 at 05:31 PM.
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  #23  
Old 07-01-2009
ACO in Greenville,TX ACO in Greenville,TX is offline
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I think part of the problem is that the no kill, limited intake shelters do a lot of bad mouthing municipal, take whatever comes through the front door shelters. It's a holier than though attitude.

I agree every shelter should hope to one day be no kill. We've become fortunate enough that we aren't getting the volume we once were and our adoption rate has went up. If we were able to not count the sick and injured animals we put down, then the rate would be even higher, but we count every animal no matter what.

I know for a fact that the SPCA altered their numbers to make their adoption rate look better. They used to come and pick animals up at our shelter and would bring a print out showing what percentage of the animals they got from us were adopted. It was always high 90's. One day the transfer guy quips about having to put down all the animals they had transferred the previous week because one dog had parvo symptoms. I asked him about the numbers and he told me point blank that they did not count animals that were euthanized because they were not adoptable.

I think if you are going to release euthanasia rates then you show all the animals you have put down regardless of the animals condition.

The other problem with no kill is the administration that oversees the shelter decides it's going to go no kill, but has no plan for implementing the policy. They just walk in one day and tell the shelter they are now no kill and they have to deal with it.

I think it's unrealistic to think you can become a no kill shelter overnight. Most cities aren't going to add the extra personnel it takes to provide extended care for the animals and aren't able to answer the big question of,
"What do we do once we are full?" Yet that is usually the mandate. "Just do it." is a great slogan for Nike, but a horrible way to run a city or county.

If you are fortunate enough to be in a large population area with reliable volunteers, rescue groups you can count on and a public that understands the importance of spaying and neutering I think no kill is achievable in a short period of time. On the other hand if you are in backwoods, animals are my right and property I can do as I wish, then it becomes a longer process that starts with changing attitudes and educating the uninformed.
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  #24  
Old 07-01-2009
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Originally Posted by ACO in Greenville,TX View Post
I think if you are going to release euthanasia rates then you show all the animals you have put down regardless of the animals condition.
And that is exactly what I'm talking about. Until we can't get people to agree to pure, non-twist statistics (and, of course, actually DO them), it's foolish to talk about what is and isn't "no-kill." I GUARANTEE that my municipal "kill" shelter up north killed fewer animals than the average "no-kill" mid-Western rescue (and killed different dogs than I would have, if I had been making the choices, but that's another issue).

It's like we're all blind, trying to describe what the color green feels like. We need a single, consistent point of reference to start from. Without that (and we're years away from it), all this discussion (and name-calling and holier-than-thou advicemongering) is pointless.
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  #25  
Old 07-01-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACO in Greenville,TX View Post
I know for a fact that the SPCA altered their numbers to make their adoption rate look better. They used to come and pick animals up at our shelter and would bring a print out showing what percentage of the animals they got from us were adopted. It was always high 90's. One day the transfer guy quips about having to put down all the animals they had transferred the previous week because one dog had parvo symptoms. I asked him about the numbers and he told me point blank that they did not count animals that were euthanized because they were not adoptable.
They never came to get anything from us, we always had to truck all of our animals to them. The only billed us for anything they had to euthanize, so I would only get billed for 1 or 2 out of every 10 I took. Its been a couple of years since I used them because the last time I went out is when they told me that they only accepted what the had space for, and I would have to make an appointment to bring the shelter animals up there.
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  #26  
Old 07-01-2009
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As always, Winnie hit the nail on the head!
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  #27  
Old 07-02-2009
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Dang! Dallas has a 1.3 million population but only 1 shelter. They must be a high dollar location.
We have almost 3 mil here in Chicago, and only 1 animal control shelter.
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  #28  
Old 07-02-2009
ACO in Greenville,TX ACO in Greenville,TX is offline
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GTO,

That was around 10 years ago when they would come out. They just stopped coming one day and when we called and asked if they still wanted to transfer animals we were told, "No." No explanation for why they stopped.

However, they have no problem coming into town to investigate animal cruelty charges without checking with us to see if we are already working a case.
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  #29  
Old 07-02-2009
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Hmm...interesting debate.

What I am curious about, and want the ACO's on here to answer for me, is what exactly IS a no-kill shelter?

I believe that moniker is extremely misleading. Private humane organizations say this all the time. We have a major organization in Chicago that advertises themselves as "The only no-kill shelter in Chicago." You go to their website to try to get a definition of exactly what that means, and the explanations (and they use ALOT of Winograds own words!) are vague at best. What I found really funny and interesting, is that this same organization has a link to an article written by Rich Avanzino talking about the need for transparency, but this organization does not have its shelter stats on its website for the world to see and review! How transparent is that???

So what is it? Is no-kill exactly that....you take every animal that comes in the door and hold it until you find a home for it? Because that is the idea that is being perceived by the general public. I have citizens come in my facility all the time that get mad when we tell them the animal MAY be euthanized. They ask questions like, "You're not a no-kill shelter??? What???? How horrible!" It is used as a rallying cry for fundraising too.....yeah, give your money to us and not the other shelter, because we are "no kill".

The fact of the matter is this....there is no such thing as a no-kill shelter. There never was! At least I have NEVER seen such a place! If there are some, I want to see how they can handle the sheer numbers.

Let's break down what the words mean here...

"no" Well, I think we know what that word means.....it is a negative.

"Kill" To end a life. (however, most people look at the word kill to mean taking a life with malice)

So, why not be honest with the public, and ourselves, and actually call it what it is... "We will euthanize ONLY in cases where the animal is suffering, has a contagious communicable disease, or is of such a high level of aggressive that it is a threat to the public." I think THAT is what we want. I just strongly believe that is what we need to be telling the public, instead of using this misleading term, "No Kill".

What also drives me nuts....completely nuts....and this happens where I work, where we have literally a couple hundred partners we transfer adoptable animals too, is when every single one we call to transfer to...they all say they are full and will remain so for weeks to come! It is rare, but it happens! So what does Mr. Winograd suggest now? We take EVERY animal that comes through our doors, or is picked up by an animal control officer. We have had people layed off recently, so now we are short staffed. We only have a certain number of cage space. So what are we supposed to do???

Trust me, I would love it to see a world where not a single animal has to take the dreaded needle. But I think we need to be realistic, and understand that this is just not the case.
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  #30  
Old 07-02-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoACOSupervisor View Post
So, why not be honest with the public, and ourselves, and actually call it what it is... "We will euthanize ONLY in cases where the animal is suffering, has a contagious communicable disease, or is of such a high level of aggressive that it is a threat to the public." I think THAT is what we want. I just strongly believe that is what we need to be telling the public, instead of using this misleading term, "No Kill".
Essentially that's what the book is about, however, by being titled the way it is further expands the no kill myth the other way, in that no kill really does mean no kill. That is my main disagreement with the way the book is written and/or titled.

The book is really about not putting animals down for shelter space or putting animals down because other animals might come in and you need to have the space ready in advance. Granted there are some other ideas in there too, the one about releasing feral cats (1) I'm not sure I agree with, but overall it's a good read, if anything to educate oneself.

As far as what is adoptable and what isn't and how to keep the stats on that, there will always be ongoing disagreements on that level, but most of our animals where I work are evaluated by at least two people. This way its not just one person saying, oh the dog looked at me funny, put it down.

Jeff


(1) We will release microchipped ferals cats to their owners/caretakers, or when their owner/caretaker sees them during a walk through, but unclaimed ferals aren't released, per the book's idea, to fend for themselves. By doing so I feel we're putting an introduced species up against native species. It is known that feral cats kill wildlife, even those in colonies that are being maintained, I've seen it myself at the colony being maintained by a citizen literally right outside the back gate of our shelter.
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