I love animals. I have two wonderful cats of my own, both of which I took in. One was a stray and another was abandoned and they mean a tremendous amount to me. I have known people who, for one reason or another, have had to take animals to the animal shelter and I have always cringed over that because ours will only keep the animal X number of days or weeks and then the poor beast is exterminated. (Hopefully, no longer by the barbaric vacuum chamber of old.)
In West Palm Beach, Florida, a new form of shelter has sprung up which will not kill an animal unless it is absolutely unsalvageable. They will, upon taking in an animal, clean it up, give it medical treatment and great care until someone comes along to adopt it. They have had a few there for some years now and keep trying to get them into nice homes. They also provide neutering at a very, very minimal fee and encourage this to be done to all pets. They function on donations and have a radio station 92.7 WZZR out of Port St. Lucie Florida who heavily support them.
The only time they will exterminate an animal is if it is just too sick to respond to veterinary treatment and then they use the sleep injections. At first they were slammed by several other animal shelters who run on allocated funds and even a few previously unknown no-kill places who seemed to be jealous of their rising support and the fact that the owner/manager is a very outspoken animal rights advocate. (Hurt your animal and she will chase you down, drag you into the police station and file abuse charges against you.)
The work this place has done is magnificent and I heartily recommend that people take any found or unwanted pets to her and I sincerely wish that the normal Animal Shelters could switch to no kill. A few times I have had to take animals to an animal shelter and it has just knotted me up something terrible because I knew that if they were not adopted in 2 or 3 weeks, then the poor things would be pushing up daises. I almost let them go in the wilds, but, that is even crueler for an abandoned domesticated pet.
I think we need more of these places. Do you? I mean, they even have vets donating their time to take care of the animals and hold animal washes where local news personalities have dropped in to help along with the staff from 92.7 WZZR. (This place in WPB is Safe Harbor Animal Shelter.)
I think we could also use something as powerful as the British Royal Society for the Prevention and Cruelty towards Animals. They are TOUGH! They have a legal right to go onto your property if your animal is obviously abused, take it, heal it (and send you the bill), fine you in court and either return the animal or adopt it out to better owners. They even patrol looking for animal violations. Not like here where Joe Redneck ties his dog up to a post in the hot sun with no water and goes away for the day letting the animal suffer or beats the hell out of his dog to make it mean or make it listen.
What do you think? I also feel that low priced vets need to be made available for people who cannot afford $200 vet bills or more yet love and cherish their animals. Or even vets who will take time payments. (We have a local vet here who does that, but he is still a bit pricey, and a corporation underwrites him.) I know vets have big bills, but when someone has a sick animal and needs to get it cured, and to them $50 is a weeks groceries, I think some exceptions should be made.
Heck, I know some medical doctors who have carried people on the books for years, with most eventually paying all of the bills and some, for whatever reason, not, and it did not bother them. Still, they were never denied treatment and most were even given free medication in sample form so they did not have to buy the over priced stuff.
One old time vet I used to know kept his prices real low and used to give out handfuls of free sample medication. Of course, he was never able to build a huge, impressive animal clinic, but he was happy and so were his clients. (Hey! He handled my one cat and was not instantly shredded when he started poking him about, which was to me a miracle. Of course, the cat waited until I got him in the car to go home and proceeded to shred me! I didn’t care because at least he had been given treatment and was going to get better.)
“Think of it as Evolution in action.”