No Kill Animal Shelters.

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.”

I’m all for them and I think that the cities should help pay for them instead of dumping funds into unnecessary things like bike paths, nature walks, restoring some ancient piece of junk building of questionable historic value or putting in ANOTHER boat launching ramp.

I hate to have to take any animal to my animal shelter because if it a stray, then it gets slaughtered quicker than if it is brought in by the owner and I hate that! People used to dump pets off in the woods rather than take them into a shelter because, locally, they had only 14 days to live once placed there. Unfortunately, it turned out that domestic pets often starved because they don’t have the wild skills, so it actually was worse for them.

Our animal shelter cries for donations and is supported by the city but when you go to buy a pet you get hit with a $50 fee, a $30 neutering cost and a $6.00 license fee. You used to be able to get a pet from them for $10 or $20! $86.00 is now a bit high!

I also hate animal shows. I do not like the uncaring, harsh way in which they parade their cherished pets around at the end of taunt leashes and then the judges come over and roughly handle the animal like it is a piece of meat or something.

What? Me worry?’

I’ve heard that some no kill shelters just stop taking new animals in when they get too full. Can anyone confirm this?

Absolutely. “On April 18th, 1868, The San Francisco SPCA received its charter from the State of California, becoming the fourth SPCA in the nation, and sparking the entire humane movement in the western United States.” What I can’t figure out is, why it’s taken so many other states/communities to follow their no-kill lead (adopted in '94).

The SF SPCA is a truly amazing place, I recommend all you pet lovers check out their webpage (or stop by to visit, if you live nearby). Their adoption center is just outstanding - each animal gets its own room (no cages) - all decorated like a regular home - sofas, tv, windows to look out of, lots of toys, and lots of interraction with volunteer caregivers, animal behaviorists, and other animals. All dogs are walked by volunteers twice a day. Cats are given lots of one-on-one cuddling and they even get professional massages. It’s amazing!

Don’t know if other places stop accepting pets when they get full, but the SF SPCA never turns animals away, and never puts them down unless they’re vicious or in too much pain to have a good quality of life. If they can’t be/arent’ adopted, the animals become “life-time residents” of the SF SPCA.

According to the SF SPCA, “Of all the cities in the United States, only San Francisco currently guarantees that no adoptable dog or cat will be euthanized*.”
The Adoption Pact
*On April 1, 1994, The San Francisco SPCA and the City’s Department of Animal Care and Control signed the Adoption Pact. This historic agreement guarantees a loving home to every adoptable dog or cat in San Francisco.

I am too in shape! :::muttering::: Round is a shape.

I believe the Humane Society here in Boulder, CO has a no-kill policy. I don’t think it’s as tight as the one Mark Serlin described. I believe that they try to adopt as many animals as can be, but if there’s a violent or very sick animal it does get euthenized.

Unfortunately, there are still many, many more animals than no-kill shelters can take in. Guess where they go?

I wish that everyone willing to crusade for no-kill shelters would instead crusade for low-cost or free spay/neuter programs.

No matter how many no-kill shelters there are, they can’t keep pace with animal populations. Someone, somewhere, will have to kill these animals until the reproduction rate can be slowed.

Why would you assume no-kill shelters don’t do low-cost/free animal alterations? They don’t have to be (and as far as I know, AREN’T) mutually exclusive. Someone crusading for one is pretty much guaranteed to give support to the other.

I recently did some research in nearby CA counties (I’m in the Bay Area) on the proposed Berkeley mandatory spay/neuter ordinance, and we found that nearly ALL animal shelters offer some kind of discount.

The SF SPCA not only offers FREE spay/neuter procedures for SF residents (discounts for non-residents), THEY EVEN PAY YOU $5 for bringing in any animal to be fixed (this includes strays - you don’t have to be the owner). Most folks generally return that $5 to the SPCA (I did) to continue supporting their programs, but the individual is welcome to take the money as a way to encourage folks to get their pets fixed. Hell, it occurs to me that the homeless and street people in the city could make some easy money bringing in strays, also giving the animal a new lease on life. A true win-win situation!

I am too in shape! :::muttering::: Round is a shape.

Story: I don’t assume no-kills don’t offer discounted spay/neuter programs. In fact, even shelters that do euthanize may provide these services at a discount.

Unfortunately, a good part of the the rest of the country is not as progressive in this regard as SF appears to be. We don’t have the kind of incentives you mention yet, but we’re working on it!

It would be great if no animals had to be euthanized. My point is that the emphasis needs to be on controlling reproduction, regardless of the kind of shelter.

That said, thanks for that encouraging note! I’m glad there are incentives to bring in pets. It does sound win-win.

Great. I have this picture in my head of a scruffy old lady pushing a shopping cart full of dogs. She hops over someone’s fence, grabs their pooch, checks its anatomy and tosses it in the cart! To the pound, my friends!

As a new resident in the West Palm area I am very glad to hear this place exists. I strongly support both no-kill shelters and spaying/neutering programs for animals. I also strongly discourage anyone from taking part in the breeding programs of kennel clubs or registering the bloodlines of any pet. I hope others do the same.

The best lack all conviction
The worst are full of passionate intensity.

Well, I’ll second that! Berkeley is trying to put a mandatory spay/neuter thing into effect, but people are REALLY up in arms about it. (It has a proviso that, if you want to breed your animals, you can pay a fee for a license to NOT have your pet fixed). Makes sense to me, but this is Berkeley… (sigh)

I am too in shape! :::muttering::: Round is a shape.

Jebediah’s right. I live about 30 miles from a no-kill shelter in Johnson City, TN run by family of pet lovers. I think this is wonderful. However, they can only keep so many, and are usually at full capacity, so many are turned away and end up at the “pound”. It’s a fine idea for the ones lucky enough to get a spot at the shelter, but only spaying/neutering programs will put a stop to the problem.

BTW, the Humane Society in my town does not operate a shelter, but they do try to help people place their pets if they are no longer able to care for them. They also pay half of the spay/neuter fee for pet owners with an annual income of $15,000 or less.

jane_says, is that no-kill animal shelter (in Johnson City) still operational? If you are talking about the one I think you are (the only one I know of, Walnut Street?), they were shut down becuase of hygiene problems etc. I went there to get my dog and the building was nasty. There were sick kittens all over the place with matted eyes, scabby tails etc. The place reeked of animal feces.

Luckily, they do not keep the dogs at that location. They have friends who have lots of outside space to keep the dogs for them. They do discounted spaying/neutering and the cost of the animals is inexpensive also. (I got a black Lab puppy, spayed, for $40.)

Born O.K. the first time…

If you are born again, do you have two belly buttons?