'No-Kill' Policies Aren't the Solution

RECEIVED Tue., Aug. 2, 2011

Dear Editor,
    Re: “The 'Unintended Consequences' of No-Kill's Success” [News, July 29]: It isn’t surprising that since implementing “no-kill” policies, the Town Lake Animal Center is reportedly overcrowded and struggling to find space to house all the homeless animals who pour through its doors. It’s true that “kitten season” results in more homeless kittens, but the overcrowding that the TLAC is experiencing is only the beginning of what is to come, as long as it maintains these dangerous and misguided policies.
    Because there are so many more homeless animals than good homes waiting for them, the only way most shelters can avoid euthanasia is by caging animals for months on end, sometimes warehousing them in stacked crates – which is cruelty, plain and simple – or by turning away animals when there is no more room. Many of these rejected animals die terrible deaths at the hands of people who are desperate to get rid of them, or they are tossed out to die on the streets from starvation or being hit by cars. The lucky ones end up in shelters that accept every animal, even when the best they can offer some is a painless and dignified death in the arms of caring workers.
    Having a “sale” on homeless animals isn’t a solution to this crisis, especially in today’s troubled economy. Doing so encourages impulse adoptions by people who aren’t financially, emotionally, or physically prepared to care for an animal for the next 15-plus years. Animals may end up paying the price when they are neglected, deprived of veterinary care, or abandoned.
    No-kill policies aren't the solution to the animal homelessness crisis. Only by preventing more animals from being born through spaying and neutering will we reach the day when every animal has a loving home.
Jennifer Brown
Animal sheltering adviser
Cruelty Investigations Department
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Norfolk, Va.
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