Lake Haven - Support for "No Kill"
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There is a tremendous amount of controversy surrounding the concept of "No Kill" shelters in this country. In recent years it has been proven that if the concepts of No Kill are used and supported by the largest animal support organization we could become a No Kill nation. The needless killing of adoptable dogs and cats would be a thing of the past. We hope that the following paragraphs from Nathan J Winograd's book Irreconcilable Differences will inspire you to learn more about what No Kill is about and how you can help support the cause.

WE ARE A nation of dog and cat lovers and for far too long, we have been told that the killing is exclusively the public's fault; that shelters-through no fault of their own-merely perform the public's dirty work, with skill, compassion, and dedication.

Most people believe that animal shelters find homes for as many animals as they can, and gently "euthanize" the rest because there is no other choice. Many people believe that if there were alternatives, shelters would not kill because they are staffed with benevolent animal lovers, laboring against overwhelming odds and offering a humane death only when necessary. Because we could not do it, we assume they do it because they have no choice.

These shelters and their large national allies-the Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA, and the National Animal Control Association-encourage this belief. Accordingly, they claim that leadership and staff at every one of these agencies "have a passion for and are dedicated to the mutual goal of saving animals' lives."

It is this portrayal that silences criticism of shelters, the vast majority of which have a paltry number of adoptions and staggeringly high rates of killing. The public is told, "We are all on the same side," "We all want the same thing," "We are all animal lovers, " and criticism of shelters and staff is unfair and callous because "No one wants to kill." Therefore, a large national organization can boldly publish, without the slightest hint of sarcasm or irony, a picture of a puppy-a young, healthy, perfectly adoptable puppy-put to death with the accompanying caption: "This dog was one of the lucky ones who died in a humane shelter ... Here caring shelter workers administer a fatal injection."

These groups tell us repeatedly that our nation's animal shelters are staffed by animal lovers who hate to kill and would do anything in their power to protect animals and save their lives. The facts, however, tragically and frequently tell a very different story.

Are you interested in understanding the facts behind why our national shelter system and their large national allies still support the killing of perfectly adoptable animals?

No Kill in a Nutshell

  • Follow the Sodium Pentobarbital: the more shelters use, the more they will parrot untrue cliches about the "need" to kill, and the more they will lie about why they kill.
  • Get the facts before you believe something and accept it as true, such as the existence of "pet overpopulation." simply because others believe it.
  • Blanket statements about the existence of pet overpopulation ("there is pet overpopulation") are not facts, no matter how often they are repeated, no matter how many people repeat them.
  • No one-not a single, solitary person-would believe that "killing is kindness" if they were facing the needle.
  • Communities of every demographic (north, south, urban, rural. public animal control shelter, private shelter) have achieved No Kill success.
  • Yes, we can adopt our way out of killing.
  • The biggest variables in whether or not animals live or die are the choices made by shelter leadership.
  • Traditional (regressive, kill-oriented) shelter policies are at odds with American humane values.
  • The first step to No Kill is replacing kill-oriented directors.
  • Feral cats are not homeless. Their home is outdoors and they have flourished outdoors for 10,000 years. Their habitat must be respected and their needs must be accommodated.
  • The goal is not no more feral cats or no more homeless animals, as there will always be feral cats and a need for shelters for animals who become lost or lose their caretakers. The goal is no more killing of these animals.
  • Five-and ten -year No Kill plans are ploys to diffuse criticism and delay accountability. A sincere commitment to No Kill by shelter and community leadership can result in virtually overnight success.
  • Even if we (wrongly) assume we can never cross the goal line of No Kill success, we will still save lives just by trying. That is worth doing and worth doing today.

What do others say?

The No Kill Advocacy Center is the nation’s premier organization working to end the systematic killing of animals in U.S. shelters.

If every animal shelter in the United States embraced the No Kill philosophy and the programs and services that make it a reality, we would save so many dogs and cats who are scheduled to die in shelters this year, and the year after that. It is not an impossible dream.


No Kill is a revolution. And behind every revolution is a declaration—a statement of grievances, and a listing of rights and principles that underscore our great hope for the future. We assert that a No Kill nation is within our reach—that the killing can and should be brought to an end. Join us in endorsing The Declaration of the No Kill Movement in the United States.



What Do Your Donations Support?

PETA Kills Animals: From July 1998 through the end of 2009, PETA killed over 23000 dogs, cats, and other companion animals at its Norfolk, Virginia headquarters.



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Lake Haven is a non-profit no-kill animal rescue shelter dedicated to the care and adoption of homeless and/or injured dogs, cats, kittens and puppies in the West Michigan area.  Lake Haven is a recognized 510(c)3 organization that is 100% volunteer operated.