Rescue Journal

high kill, low kill, is there such a thing as no kill?

Carol  ·  Jan. 19, 2008

ok, well not here...our euth, rate is probably by percentage higher than anyone else's. most of our guys are euth'd because they are actually dying and or starting to suffer and we cannot keep them comfortable anymore. a few are helped to pass a day or two early because of time constraints...the end is close, and might be pretty tough for them and a stat holiday just might get in the way of getting a vets help if they need. and a couple have been euth'd because they were out and out deadly to others and there was nowhere else for them to go.

i am not talking about the pain in the asses, like phoebe, clyde, carly, ben, francis and potato-ed..... those guys can be managed with difficulty but only because they are fighters or biters and not actual killers (altho they could unintentionally kill someone much smaller by mistake i suppose)

i do know of some true "no kill" shelters but animals do still die...maybe not at the hands of humans but thru group pack up's or individual fights. is that still "no kill" then if we didn't actually do the killing?

and if we are going to achieve "no kill" what exactly is that going to look like? cuz i can't think of any way to do it except for a bunch of animals living out their lives in a cage somewhere.

there are animals that no one will touch with a ten foot pole because not only of the risks that they pose, but also because they might wreck our "no kill" status. those ones just get killed somewhere else anyway so in the end, they still died.

and of course there is always the standard "we don't kill adoptable animals" but there goes clyde, dexter, raymond, lexie, cole and everyone else hanging around here.

some say that by taking the unadoptables, saints allows other shelters and pounds to promote themselves as "no kill" when all they really did was unload the problem here. i don't see it quite like that. i see an animal still live and not living in a cage, and rolling in (and yes, eating horse poop) instead of being dead.

i wonder if there is a way to effectively communicate how and why we do what we do? and doing it without having to pretend or re-write history, or making it sound more noble than it actually is.

i think if we can't or won't call a spade a spade and say exactly what we did and why, we somehow convey that we really are ashamed or think it was wrong. sometimes we just have to make a real crappy choice out of a whole list of crappy choices.

lot's of animals silently disappear from the adoption pages, never to be mentioned again. i think this is sad because i know what kind of pain and struggle led to their actual disappearence. why are we afraid to talk about that, why do we want to pretend it never happened?

i think when we hide things, three things, we become liars and two..we don't actually address the real issue, which is...currently there are not a lot of viable options available all the time....and three, we are trapped by our own available resources, our policies and our personal beliefs....we cannot save them all, even if we really wish we could.



Can you have true "No Kill" (not "No-Euthanasia") for cats, rabbits, rats, hamsters (any animal that does not have the physical ability to seriously injure a human)? Yes you can, as long as you have limited intake. But of course one's "limited intake" means others who dont have such a luxury may have to kill for space or other issues their budget and/or facilities cannot provide for.

That does not leave the hands of those at "No Kill, Limited Intake" sparkly clean, no matter how much they try to help out their bretheren at other shelters.

I believe this is because the blood of companion animals killed (not euthanized) is on the hands of all society.


Carol - I wouldn't consider SAINTS a shelter so wouldn't even label it, you are a sanctuary which is totally different. You let animals live out their lives and if you find a home for one great, if not they stay until they are done partying on earth. That can't be compared to a shelter situation. You don't have kennels or rely on the public to come an adopt animals so they can live out their days..... You can take the animals that nobody wants or feels isn't safe to adopt which is wonderful for them. Sanctuaries aren't even on the same level as a shelter..... IMO of course. ;)