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.