Are You Enabling the Needless Killing of Shelter Pets?
December 10, 2010
Our battle for a No Kill nation is not against the public. It is against the cowards of our movement who refuse to stand up to their colleagues and friends running shelters that are mired in the failed and defunct philosophies that allow (indeed, cause) killing. Our battle is against those who claim to be part of our movement but fail to recognize the killing of millions of animals every year as an unnecessary and cruel slaughter and to call it what it is. It is against those who will not do for the animals that thing which is their solemn duty to do: to change themselves and to demand that their colleagues change, when that is what the situation calls for. – Nathan Winograd
Rescuers who pull animals from a shelter in order to save them while remaining silent about the needless killing of healthy/treatable pets there are enabling those who kill shelter pets.
Some may be afraid to speak up because they’ve seen other rescuers get banned from the shelter after doing so. While I can understand the idea that saving a few is better than saving none, I tend to maintain a broader view. I say, speak up for no kill policies and let the shelter director ban every last rescuer from the place. Organize and go to the people above the director, to the media, and to the public. Shine a light on the needless killing going on at the shelter and the director’s efforts to prevent rescuers from saving pets.
Others may enable the killing simply by buying into the old excuses: too many pets and not enough homes; the shelter director is a caring person who would never kill pets if there was any other way; no kill is fine for other fancy-pants places but it could never work here; the irresponsible public churns out poorly cared for pets faster than we can empty the dead pet dumpster; until we get MSN passed, we must keep killing… Rescuers: Wake up and smell the Fatal-Plus! These are myths, long since debunked, perpetuated by killing apologists who are too lazy and/or stubborn to change. Don’t fall into that trap. Change=life. Embrace it.
Rescuers already know that shelter pets are at the mercy of strangers. They rely on you to be their voice. What would they say, if they could? “Just keep going as you have been, saving a few and letting the rest be killed. Hey, change is hard. We understand.” Or perhaps: “We all want a chance to live. Not a few of us, all of us. Stop enabling those who kill. Help us.”
Each of us must make a choice. We can not have it both ways by rescuing a few shelters pets while aiding and abetting the needless killing of millions of others. I’m for no kill. I work to enable others who oppose killing. I got here by changing my view of what “had to be done” with shelter pets. I learned. I grew. I changed. I now believe that what has to be done is to save them – all of them, except of course those who are medically hopeless and suffering. For them, we can offer the kindness of a gentle end to pain. For the rest, we can offer the kindness of respecting their right to life.
Mark my words, there will be an end to needless killing of healthy/treatable shelter pets. And when that happens, which side will history put you on? Will you have been an advocate for no kill or will you have remained a loyal enabler to those who needlessly killed untold millions of pets in shelters?
Enablers make the continued practice of killing possible. No shelter director can go it alone. He counts on the support of those who are sympathetic to his lies about being “forced” to kill friendly pets. Strip away that support. It’s time to sink or swim. Learn. Grow. Change. Join us.