Animal shelters need to change from the top down to attain true no-kill

Anonymous (Admin: the writer left a comment with her name which I converted to an article but I have decided to keep her anonymous for this article until she approves).

Nathan Winograd
Nathan Winograd knows how to create a nationwide no-kill animal shelter network. Photo: courtesy Mr Winograd
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

Nathan Winograd is my hero. I volunteer at our local animal shelter and recently when I posted on Google Docs after my shift about a cat I had heard was going to be killed (the word is killed, not “euthanized”) the Experienced Cat volunteer coordinator sent me a nasty-nice e-mail telling me what a wonderful job I was doing but that she was sure I didn’t mean to post what I had about “Sammy” because after all, there was a simple misunderstanding and he wasn’t going to be – she used the word “euthanized”.

Her parting comment was “We don’t want to inflame the volunteers”. I sent her a reply and told her I wasn’t at all concerned about inflaming the volunteers.

Shorty after my reply to her I received an e-mail from the chief volunteer coordinator. She said, “Let’s talk. You e-mails show a lot of frustration.” so I went into her office and we talked.

The upshot of my meeting with her was I told her I had been very upset to learn that Sammy was going to be killed. She said, You mean “euthanized”. I said, “No, killed.”

She and I talked for quite while and she finally admitted that her purpose in the meeting was to ask me to no longer volunteer.

She also said that since I had explained why I was upset she could understand and that since I was an Experience Feline Volunteer who had been with the shelter since 2005 she didn’t want me to leave.

I told her that I would stay but that I was a cat advocate, first and last, and that I would not fail to speak out about the welfare of the cats.

I am also a member of the Friends of Feral and Abandoned Cats in the town where I live and feed at three colonies of feral and abandoned cats.

I think my involvement with this organization is what made her change her tune. Also that she saw I was not going to back down.

But I’ve skated on very thin ice with this shelter for some time. They don’t claim to be a “no kill” shelter, but rather an “open entry” shelter.

Until shelters are changed, utterly, from the top down, no-kill is going to be something we all strive for and few attain. I consider the welfare of the cats to be my prime concern and they all know it. Don’t think it makes them very comfortable.

8 thoughts on “Animal shelters need to change from the top down to attain true no-kill”

  1. Agree,euthanisia is done to relieve animals suffering from incurable or long illness eg cancer, renal failure.
    Killing is done to healthy animals just because they
    are no longer loved/wanted.
    Our Russian Blue neureted male was 12 yrs old had kidney failure, we made a retching decision to euthanise & end his suffering.This was 9/88 & still miss him.We’ve cat lovers/rescuers/helpers for over 52 yrs.
    keenpetite aka Carmen

    • Hi keenpetite. Nice to hear from you again. When we eurhanise our cats we do so with a hell of a lot of heavy thought and sadness. When some cat shelters do it they do so like a factory producing nuts and bolts.

  2. KILLED is the correct word indeed.
    I wish I could just grab every head of every government and public being and shake it like an etch-a-sketch and get the craziness out of their minds.

  3. Good for you, euthanasia is the gentle release from incurable suffering, far different to killing a healthy animal just because he or she is unwanted!
    Keep on telling the truth.

  4. We have to keep using that KILLED word. And if we’re corrected we have to stand our ground and explain it is murder because these cats and dogs are killed for lack of space.


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