Saturday, January 15, 2011

Stand Up, Speak Up for the Animals!

Today’s post is for a very special cause, as part of the “Blog the Change for Animals” challenge.  Our topic is the sorry state of the nation’s so-called animal shelters.  Too many animals entrusted to these facilities suffer everything from inadequate care to being killed outright--(so I have published in blood red type).

“Euthanasia,” they call it.  Euthanasia, as defined by the American Heritage Dictionary is as follows:

 “The act or practice of ending the life of an individual suffering from a terminal illness or an incurable condition, as by lethal injection or the suspension of extraordinary medical treatment.”  (Emphases mine.)

There is nothing ethical about the reasons for killing animals at the very facilities responsible for their temporary care until a permanent home can be found.  Instead, they are concerned only with their bottom line, and available space.  They do not discriminate overmuch about which animals are chosen to be killed.  In some cases, it could be older or ill animals, but it is far more likely to be perfectly healthy adult animals or baby animals just beginning their journey of life.  They are not 'suffering from terminal illnesses or incurable conditions.'

Instead of focusing their efforts on education, adoption, spaying and neutering of family pets and TNR (trap/neuter/release) programs for feral populations (especially cats), these places would rather collect and kill. 

It is a shameful practice, and reduces to nearly insignificant numbers the equally horrific tales of individuals committing animal abuse and causing extreme harm and death.  However, there is a conspiracy of silence in the media:  only individuals perpetrating cruelty upon animals are exposed and held accountable under the laws of the land.

The ultimate irony lies in the very names these agencies give themselves:  “American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals” (ASPCA);  “Humane Society of the United States” (HSUS); and local branches of the ASPCA, going by the shortened “SPCA” label.  Happily,  a few shelters are beginning to get the word, and are adopting out more pets than they kill, but the numbers are still skewed too far toward the high-kill shelters.

Even more shocking are the recent reports coming out about the so-called animal rights group, “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).  PETA also operates a supposed shelter, but has managed to adopt out  only 8 animals of the many thousands it took in during 2009, the last year for which figures are available as of this writing.  The rest, they killed!  Check out that story here: 

This is not a pretty subject, and there is no way to dress it up to appease those easily shocked or sickened.  In fact, it is that very shock and horror that is needed to create a massive cry of outrage from the public at large.  It is unconscionable that the great majority of these organizations run on volunteer labor and monetary donations from the public.  They get the donations by running bleeding-heart campaigns in the media, convincing animal lovers to open their wallets, and then betray the trust by acting contrarily to the advertising on which they waste the donations.  Before you donate, please do research on the organization asking for your hard-earned dollars.

The statistics speak for themselves:  the facilities that like to call themselves shelters are in fact, themselves directly responsible for the wanton slaughter of over four million dogs and cats annually.  Four million!  Yes, a four followed by six zeroes! 4,000,000! Annually! It’s a huge number, and it must come to a stop.  They are murderers, plain and simple.

Even in instances where rescue groups have offered to pull the animal and find it a home, and physical rehabilitation if needed, the animals were quickly put down instead of being turned over to the rescues.  This happens more often than you would think, and speaks of horrible, sadistic, evil people who kill for the sheer sick pleasure it must give them.

There are laws proposed such as this one dubbed "Oreo's Law," to force the shelters to live up to their names, yet the bills are getting tabled by political pressure from these very same organizations.  What can you or I do to help stem this bloody tide and turn  the screws on these powerful lobbies?  Nathan Winograd’s No Kill Nation is a good place to start ( The link to "Oreo's Law," mentioned above, is found from a link on this site.
At his website you will find links to the various laws being proposed, and a comprehensive detailing of the problems being faced with convincing the directors of these agencies who are interested in protecting only their salaries, and not the animals with whose lives they’ve been entrusted.

You can start the ball rolling by calling attention to this blog post.  Share it on Face Book, Tweet, Digg, StumbleUpon, e-mail or whatever other means you may use to spread the word.  Working together, we can do this.

Thank you, from the bottom of all the "anipal's" hearts, thank you!

Read Mom's related post here:

Signed,  Jigsaw Puzzle, Esq.,
Spokescat for the Talk With The Paws crew
(Tigger, Munchkin, Jigsaw Puzzle and Patches)



Kenzo said...

Good the refresh tha definition. It shows we are murdering, not euthanizing. Even according to the dictionary!

Marg said...

That sure is a wonderful post. We need to encourage all the super No-kill shelters and help them with donations and what ever else they do to raise money. I will pass this post on on my Facebook page.

Edie said...

There was a wonderful post on Pet Connection that talked about not using the word "euthanasia" when what we're talking about is killing (I'll try to find and add it later). Thanks for bringing up the topic on this blog hop.

Pup Fan said...

Really great post - I think you make an excellent point about euthanasia vs. killing. Not having a home is not a terminal condition.

Jan's Funny Farm said...

Shelters do not euthanize. They kill. Healthy, adoptable animals that want to live.

Kim Clune said...

Thanks for Blogging the Change. One significant change would certainly be to honestly call things what they are. Thanks for handing out a wake-up call.


Kyla Duffy said...

I don't think it's fair to say the shelters would prefer to collect and kill. It's not a preference, it's just the sad state of our society right now. The danger of lobbying for "no kill" shelters is that in order to stay in compliance, my understanding is that many of these facilities turn away "less adoptable" animals instead of taking them in and at least trying to get them a home. Is that a better choice? Of course there are many things shelters can improve upon, but what we can all do to make a change is work to reduce the number of animals landing in shelters. We can do this by encouraging others to adopt, helping others understand the importance of researching the right pet for their lives instead of making rash decisions, and passing laws to stop the sale of companion animals at pet shops (these stores fuel overpopulation because they are the direct sales outlet of large-scale commercial breeding farms - puppy mills).

Of course I'm a proponent of a no-kill nation, but not at the expense of healing the sick and comforting the old - they are not disposable; they deserve a chance, too.

CindyLu's Muse said...

Bravo for you, you laid it straight out there on the table. No disguising it for what it really is. It is past time we held shelters accountable for their actions; no matter the size or the sign on the door!

Lizzy said...

I do not disagree with you, however, I am not laying ALL the blame on shelters. That was merely the angle I took for this particular post. In the next quarter, I may well blog about another aspect of the problem.

The remedy is the responsibility of society as a whole--without everyone standing up and speaing their outrage over this situation, it will not get fixed.

As far as "preferring to kill," you probably did not see the articles I did in preparing this post. I referred to one such rathe obliquely, it was a NYC "shelter," that refused to allow a rescue group to pull an animal, and then hurriedly put that animal down behind closed doors. This certainly speaks to a sick "prefer to kill" mentality, as a rescue group would not have offered to pull a non-viable animal.

Kristine said...

I agree, euthanasia is probably not the right word to use in these scenarios. It is just a word that makes people more comfortable with the concept. Like most euphenisms, it dresses up or makes easier something that should be very, very hard.

Interesting post! I am looking forward to reading more of your blog in the future. We need more people in the animal world who can call it like it is.

The Creek Cats said...

Great post! Thank you for being the change for animals!

meowmeowmans said...

Great post. Thank you for speaking up for the animals on this issue. We should all be helping the no-kill shelters that are willing to take in some of those "hard" cases. We should also keep spreading the messages about the importance of spaying and neutering, and adopting pets from rescues and shelters...

Spitty-the-Kitty said...

My Human and I wish that every kitty and doggy would get adopted from shelters instead of breeders.

We hope that Humans will begin to be more responsible in how they treat those with whom they share the planet.

Avalon Cat Cartoons said...

Have a lucky weekend! Headbonks and purrrrrs from Avalon from the cat cartoon blog.

Abigail, Madison, Lisa said...

First time on your Blog, love it! The Floofy Kitties are so cute, I want to pet dem.
Have a wonderful Tuna Tuesday!

Lisa, Madi and Abi
Kritters that Twitter

Judi said...

Great post. Excited to find your blog.