Categories: Animal Rescue

A No-Kill Shelter Problem

by Elisa Black-Taylor



There's a no-kill shelter problem I've just been made aware of and I'd like to share it with the readers here.

I'm a big advocate of no-kill shelters. Mainly because they're willing to give a cat time to be adopted out without the threat of euthanasia for lack of room. Most no-kill shelters only euthanize a cat if it becomes seriously ill and can't recover.

The shelter I send my cats to for them to go up for adoption, the Greenville County Humane Society, has a problem with a few of their cats that I'd like to make the readers here aware of. This has occurred on two occasions recently.

Located in the foothills of Greenville, SC, this shelter is home for unwanted adoptable cats until someone comes in to adopt the cat. But what if no one adopts?

There's a seven month old kitten named Cecilia who recently went onto the death row list where I rescue. I honestly don't believe this kitten will be put to sleep. Someone will feel remorse for Cecilia, who went on the adoption floor on October 22, 2011. After all, Cecilia is a kitten and kittens are desirable. Right? Apparently not!

Then there's Jess, who is a two year old girl who's also on the death row list. She's been on the adoption floor even longer than Cecilia. September 23, 2011. That's a very long time for a cat to have to live in a cage.

The Greenville County Humane Society is doing everything right. They're no-kill. They advertise their cats on different websites. They have adoption events. Yet somehow these two cats have slipped through the cracks.

I thought this might be an isolated incident until I got to checking around. There are several no-kill shelters around the country who have "long timer's albums," meaning the cat has been there, well, a long time. In some cases a few years!

I imagine this problem isn't just a no-kill shelter problem. Perhaps there are county animal shelters with enough space to keep a cat indefinitely.

I think this is all so sad. What can be done other than what's already being done to correct this situation? Does anyone out there reading this article have any ideas?

I feel sure someone will either adopt or rescue Cecilia and Jess before their time runs out. If not, my daughter has already made it clear to me she wants to foster Cecilia. That would buy her some more time.

Unfortunately, there are many more cases identical to theirs taking place in shelters everywhere. What can be done when advertising and adoption events don't bring in someone who will love these poor cats enough to take them home?

I'm at a loss on this one, dear readers. My hope is to bring the problem to the attention of the readers here in hopes someone will have an answer.


NOTE: Photos by Andrea Sams, Rescue Coordinator Greenville County Pet Rescue

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A No-Kill Shelter Problem

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Feb 13, 2012
Multi Pronged solution
by: WarmFuzzy's Shelter & Sanctuary

Become familiar with Nathan Winograd & his solution. It involves spay, neuter, community involvement & foster's.

This is very high quality book. It is a book to study. People in the cat shelter business don't study it enough...Michael

Feb 12, 2012
Humane Society is NOT animal intake
by: Elisa

Please keep in mind the Greenville County Humane Society is NOT where people line up to throw away their pets. The Humane Society chooses cats from intake to go on the adoption floor. I think this is confusing to a lot of people dropping off their cats. They think they automatically go up for adoption. This is far from the truth. Those not chosen go on the death row list and are euthanized for lack of room or if they get sick and can't recover. There's never enough room to keep cats long at animal intake.

Feb 12, 2012
turned away
by: Elisa

I've heard of people that throw their pets out of cars after being turned away from a no-kill shelter as the shelter can't take more when they reach capacity.

The shelter near my home has resident cats laying around who aren't up for adoption. But the practice of cats living in cages for months is so hard to understand. I believe putting them up on the death row list will likely get them rescued. Laura has told me to prepare to take Cecilia if no one helps her.

All of mine put thru the system were adopted out. This is the group helping me find homes for my cats. Which is enabling me to help those at the top of the death row list.

Feb 12, 2012
Supply and demand
by: Michael

Thanks for this Elisa. I have not heard of cats being kept in cages for months on end. I thought that true no kill shelters were quite rare because the criteria for deciding whether to euthanise is wide so it can work against the cat and it is impossible for a shelter to control supply (abandoned cats) and demand (willing adapters). You can advertise more but can't guarantee success.

That must lead to an oversupply sometimes and cats in cages for long periods.

As I understand it, many no kill shelters do in truth kill cats that are well enough to be adopted.

See No Kill Animal Shelters.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in a many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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