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 millions of
adoptable dogs and cats would be a thing of the past. We hope that
the following paragraphs from
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. But our
nation's shelters are killing roughly four million of them yearly.
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 millions of perfectly adoptable
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
- 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
(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
- 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 millions of lives just by trying. That is worth doing and
worth doing today.
What do others say?
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 nearly four million dogs and cats who are scheduled to
die in shelters this year, and the year after that. It is not an
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
Declaration of the No Kill Movement in the United States.
What Do Your Donations Support?
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.