PETA is Wrong about No-kill Shelters

PETA is against no-kill animal shelters and rescue groups. They argue that they actually slowly kill animals. They argue that the animals die in miserable conditions or because the shelters are full (as the video shows), unwanted cats and dogs are cruelly killed, one way and other, by people who don’t want them. They say that when a no-kill animal shelter is full to capacity the animals are shipped out to warehouses where they live out the remainder of their short lives in very poor conditions.

In contrast, they say it is far better to euthanize unwanted cats and dogs at open admission rescue centers rather than have a goal (no-kill) which is unattainable and unworkable. The video below is telling us that no-kill shelters are failures because they are full.

However, for me, PETA have overlooked a very important point. Firstly, their policy is a policy of failure and defeat. As long as people strive to create true no-kill shelters they are striving to improve the welfare of cats and dogs which are hopefully unwanted, temporarily. Within this process there is failure, which is exactly what PETA is referring to. But failures within an overall sound and humane policy is not an argument to ditch the entire policy. The old adage applies: don’t throw out the baby with the bath water. The response, as Nathan Winograd states, is to improve management and use enlightened methods to increase adoption rates.

In addition, the policy of killing unwanted cats is one which encourages irresponsible cat ownership. It does this because it creates an outlet for failure in cat ownership. Open admission shelters with high killing rates are always there ready to pick up and kill-off the mess that irresponsible cat ownership leaves. They kill the problem efficiently and literally but they are a short term solution that fails in the long run as the current state of affairs attests. The solution of killing unwanted cats arising out of irresponsible cat ownership is very straightforward and an instant solution.  It supports irresponsible cat ownership.

Rather than indirectly supporting poor cat ownership, people who have a tendency to be neglectful and poor at cat caretaking need to encounter barriers to keeping a cat or cats. Society needs to put them through some hoops and hurdles before adoption, to weed out the bad ones. Regrettably, and ultimately, this means making it more difficult to own a cat, which I hate to say is a good thing in the long run and long terms solutions are always the best.

In short, killing unwanted cats makes it easier to be a neglectful cat owner while presenting barriers to cat ownership makes it harder for neglectful cat owners to exist.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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32 Responses

  1. Jennofur says:

    Wanting to believe that “no-kill” is the answer is understandable, but turning a blind eye to the reality of these facilities is not. No-kill means SLOW-KILL. Dogs and cats need love, attention, play and to be part of a family … not sitting in cages waiting for a home that does not exist. It’s that simple. I applaud PETA for doing the heartbreaking, thankless work and those who are condemning them are in profound denial about the scope and scale of this crisis.

  2. Cindy Shepard says:

    Bottoms up.

    • John Jones says:

      That’s okay if you don’t believe what’s happening to everyone’s free roaming cats. Just don’t be surprised when yours (if you let it roam free) doesn’t come home one day. Keep making excuses…..remainder deleted by admin

    • Dee (Florida) says:

      I’m with ya’, girl!

  3. Cindy Shepard says:

    A roaming cat can “destroy everyone’s lives”….either get a life or lay off the egg nog.

    • John Jones says:

      I suggest you tell that to the families of everyone who died from cat-transmitted plague in the USA in the last 2 decades.

      See, you’re a perfect example of the problem. No matter how much we educate you and try to reason with you and teach you how to respect all others’ lives around you, you will continue to make excuses. This is why people now realize it’s far easier to just destroy your cats for you rather than trying to even confront you about it. You’ll be lucky if you get even one warning from a displeased neighbor today.

      • Dee (Florida) says:

        Jim, can you bring at least 2 people forward who will comment on this site who have the same thinking as yourself? And, I don’t mean another one of your aliases.

        • John Jones says:

          They all have better things to do. They just buy cat-shooting rifles and cheap generic…remainder deleted by admin…

        • John Jones says:

          Here’s a good read to show you what happens to every last one of these relocated invasive-species disease-infested vermin feral-cats that people dump-off on farms and in other rural areas in ANY location of North America….

          rest deleted by admin…

          • Dee (Florida) says:

            I was going to commend you for being so cordial, but now you’re starting to spiral. If coming here sets you off so, knowing that you will never make an impact on anyone, why do you bother? Do you just want to see how high you can jack your blood pressure?
            Jim, the truth is that you’re not in the country anymore. Your good ‘ole boy Texas days are gone. Your mentality won’t work in the civilized area where you reside now. I don’t expect your attitude towards cats to change; but, for your own sake and safety, it may be best for you to just shut up.

  4. John Jones says:

    While you continue to make more and more people despise the very existence of cats by letting them roam free to destroy everyone’s lives, property, hard work, and all the more-valued native wildlife. For the majority of people, if you take even one more minute out of their busy lives in having to deal with your clearly expendable cats; that’s one more minute of already far too many minutes of their lives wasted in dealing with YOUR irresponsible, disrespectful, and negligent behaviors and values.

    Not only have you over-saturated the cat-market, but you’ve greatly reduced the numbers that even want anything to do with your cats. Well, except for cat-hoarders. Their numbers are now growing as exponentially fast as you let your cats breed, indoors and out. Then they end-up losing their homes, their home even eventually demolished due to it being a threat to the health of the whole community, just like any well-intentioned-but-gone-awry no-kill cat-rescue eventually goes away.

    You’re all going to have to grow-up into being responsible and respectable adults and face reality one day. I wonder when that will be. Never–would be my guess.

  5. Dee (Florida) says:

    That video shows all.
    I have tried for over 20 years to get kittens into the Humane Society. They always claim to be at capacity.
    That’s why I and many others have had to resort to alternative adoption methods.

  6. Dee (Florida) says:

    Elisa really needs to respond to these PETA articles.
    Maybe she’s too intimidated since they made her life a living hell and continue to do the same to others.
    PETA is outdated and needs to just dry up and go away.

  7. Irish Cornaire says:

    (((hug))) and Happy Christmas :O)

  8. KimMarie says:

    Nobody wants to deal with

    There is such a thing as a fate worse than death. Sometimes the most humane thing that a shelter worker can do is give an animal a peaceful release from a world where dogs and cats are considered surplus. Turning unwanted animals loose to roam the streets is not humane. If they don’t starve, freeze, get hit by a car, or die of disease, animals may be tormented and possibly killed by cruel juveniles or picked up by dealers who sell animals to laboratories. Preventing the source of the problem—the birth of unwanted animals—is where money and efforts need to go.

    • There is such a thing as a fate worse than death.

      Yes, I agree but this statement is not a reason to kill unwanted cats. The statement should be a motivation to improve systems so that less cats are living in poor conditions and euthanized even when healthy.

  9. Mooninnorfolk says:

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a “no kill” goal. I think everyone can agree on that point. What is problematic is misguided “no kill” policies, including turning animals away when shelters are full, refusing to accept cats because they are hard to place, giving away animals for free, loosening screening requirements, and, as you mentioned above, overcrowding and hoarding.

  10. Lucy P says:

    I thank PETA for exposing the cruel practices that many “no-kill” shelters resort to in order to avoid euthanasia. Clearly, the “no-kill” system isn’t working if unwanted animals are routinely being sent to open-door shelters because there isn’t any more room at the “no-kills.” We need to focus on stopping the animal homelessness crisis at its source, by spaying and neutering. This is exactly what PETA does, and I applaud them for it. Learn more here:

    • I agree partly with what you state but if the no-kill system is not working we need to figure out ways of making it work rather than dismantling it. Peta advocates killing unwanted cats. That is wrong. I am not saying that PETA is no good because a lot of what they do it very good.

    • Dee (Florida) says:

      Get thee to an asylum quickly.
      PETA’s stance regarding the killing of healthy animals and lobbying against no-kill shelters and rescues serves to promote hoarding.
      It’s nearly impossible to find out where they use the donation money they receive except in euthanasia.
      I’d like to see some tranparency. Where is the money?

  11. Irish Cornaire says:

    Morning Michael tho tis afternoon across the pond,I sent ye a friend request on facebook,it will say (Deborah Irish Cornaire) :O)

  12. Ruth aka Kattaddorra says:

    PETA are bad for animals and thankfully more people are getting to know that now, so hopefully their donations will get less and they will have to rethink their stance on promoting the killing healthy animals.

  13. Irish Cornaire says:

    Oh do not get me started on PETA,all I will say about them and that bitch Ingrid Newkirk is PETA tried to have me arrested and all my cats taken from me and when the Gardaí (police)came to my home they realized they had been duped after seeing all my cats and all my cats vet records and in fact one Gardaí Officer Boyle knew it was all poppycock because he brings me sick and unwanted kittens and cats to heal before they are rehomed and I even have my own cat foster room,okay,enough said,hearing her voice on the video made me ill!

  14. Jo Singer says:

    PETA is wrong about a LOT of things. Their entire stance on pets is simply outrageous. In fact from what I have read about the organization – they don’t “LOVE” animals at all. They have taken a good idea – to protect animals and they have turned it into trash, deception and yes, cruelty and abuse to animals as well.

  15. Diane Ricciardi Stewart says:

    excellent! agree with you Michael. . . BTW, Merry Christmas. . . ♥♥♥

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