Reasons why a shelter would consider No-Kill
A "no-kill" fervour is spreading across the United States like wildfire. It is advocated by our neighbours in Canada and Mexico and has found supporters in nearly every continent on the globe.
What does it mean? Can shelters really save all animals? Is this the best solution? The term raises many questions and an eager public, weary of all the killing, wants answers.
The most widely accepted definition of "no-kill" in the country has been adopted by the California Legislature.
No-Kill: Impossible You Say? No-kill facilities are operating in several cities across the US, including New York, San Francisco and Utah.
Many countries in Europe has already a No-Kill policy since years. While some pounds kill as many as 90% of the animals they capture and that owners relinquish, others are reducing their kill rates of adoptable animals to 0%!
Some people still think it will be impossible ever to bring an end to the killing of homeless animals in this country.
Among them are some of the nation’s largest, oldest, and most well-known and well-funded animal rights organizations and humane societies.
They may be right. It may indeed be impossible. Then again, lots of perfectly honourable and decent people, 150 years ago, believed it would be impossible ever to bring an end to slavery, however much they disapproved of it.
We hear it over and over again.
Doesn't a no kill shelter have to kill when all the cages are full? This is the question most often asked.
The objective of no-kill is to prevent filling animal pounds to capacity. How this is accomplished encompasses everything that the no-kill movement is about.
We can stop looking for that easy one-step solution to overpopulation. We've already had a quick-fix for the last 150 years. It has been killing.
Today our society is ready for a more sophisticated and humane response. No-kill requires a collaboration between the public, rescues, pound administrators, veterinarians, charitable foundations, government officials and the business community.
Ten reasons a Shelter should consider No Kill:
- Boosts adoptions.
- Attracts and retains more volunteers.
- Improves staff morale.
- Generates greater community support.
- Creates better alignment with charitable mission.
- Enhances image.
- Increases management skills.
- Generates more funding.
- Expands organizational options.
Establishes eligibility for MADDIE'S FUND grant.
Staff in no-kill shelters hear it every day. "I came to your facility to adopt because you don't kill animals here."
Just as a growing number of people buy only organic produce or dolphin safe tuna, there is a growing segment of society that wants to express deeply held values and beliefs by focusing the search for a companion animal on no-kill shelters only.
Other people go only to no-kill shelters because traditional shelters make them feel guilty and depressed. In an impersonal world where people feel more and more isolated, there is a greater longing for connection. The love given to volunteers by shelter cats and dogs can provide that connection. But it's a devastating blow to fall in love with an animal only to find out he didn't make it to a loving home.
Severing attachments is never easy and to voluntarily go through it over and over is not something most people are willing to do.
No-kill shelters are able to attract and retain a high volume of volunteers because people know that the animals they fall in love with will be adopted and cherished for life. Remember the commercial that said, "image is everything"? In the not-for-profit sector, there is a lot of truth to the statement. A positive image helps attract donations, volunteers and community support.
A good image is not just built on the accomplishment of good works but on how well the accomplishment lines up with the charitable mission. Once again, by saving all of their adoptable and treatable cats and dogs, no-kill shelters are able to demonstrate to their communities that they are achieving their lifesaving mission and goals which then enhances the organization's reputation of worthiness and success.