Misguided no-kill shelter policies add to animal cruelty

PETA claims that misguided no-kill animal shelter policies contribute, indirectly and directly, to animal cruelty. How is that?

The argument is that when shelters have policies and rules which makes it harder for cat owners to surrender their cat then they encourage these owners to abandon their companion animal or give them away which can lead to the cats or dogs finding themselves in the hands of people who are dangerous to animals and who would be on an animal abuse register if it existed.

No-kill animal shelters
No-kill animal shelters
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

As an example, the Charleston Gazette reports on a Kanawha County man who tortured and mutilated several cats. However we don’t have the history of how this man got hold of the cats. They imply he got his hands on them for the reasons stated above.

A shelter which is criticised is the no-kill Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association. They charge a $50 surrender fee per cat. This is a sufficiently large sum of money to deter a lot people who are on low, fixed incomes. Apparently this shelter also does not accept stray cats even when healthy as they are difficult to rehome.

Is this shelter placing barriers to accepting cats because they are near capacity and therefore have to find ways to (a) limit input and (b) maximize the chances that surrendered cats are rehomed?

If that is true they’d have to bluntly turn cats away anyway. In which case the restrictive rules would not be indirectly or directly responsible for animal cruelty as describe above.

The argument presented on this page comes from PETA, as mentioned, and they also argue that no-kill shelters are a failure because they can foster cruelty to animals. This cruelty takes place in the shelters themselves because incarceration in shelters is cruel. They also argue that taking in unadoptable dogs and cats prevents taking in adoptable animals (they cage block).

PETA as we know hate TNR and say that TNRed feral cats are better off dead. I have always found this a poor and extreme argument. And an argument of failure.

I am not convinced that these arguments are good. They look weak to me. Ironically they ignore the moral and ethical dimension (PETA is meant to be founded on ethics). We have a duty to save lives and improve animal welfare. In carrying out that duty we are of necessity bound to strive towards better animal welfare and to find ways to reduce unwanted cat numbers. This must be a good thing.

Source: Charleston Gazette-Mail

1 thought on “Misguided no-kill shelter policies add to animal cruelty”

  1. There have been several feral around my house in the years I’ve lived here-in the rural desert. I have put out food and water for them and have fixed areas under the house for them to live and stay as safe as I could manage. Tears fell every time one would be lost to unknown reasons. Then there would be a space in time with no ferals. Then the place was home to abandoned domestic cats who found their way up the road to my place. Most quickly fell prey to the wildlife before I could catch them, or for them to trust me. The last four have been captured, spayed/neutered and brought into the house. They are chipped and ear-tipped. They will never be returned to the wild as they are totally deaf. Two have come to trust and want petting, ear rubs and affection. Two still do not trust me totally and I respect their desires NOT to be petted. Maybe someday. We have a routine that I adhere to as best as I can-clean water bowls, clean litter and serve meals. Also referee any squabbles with the aid of a water pistol-that way I can’t be blamed for interfering. It works for us. They also have many areas to hide in when other humans invade their home.


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