As hard as it might be to imagine, homeless and neglected dogs and cats could face a much harder fate than a painless death at an animal shelter. In areas where no-kill policies have been put in place, shelters are often overrun, forcing them to turn animals away. These rejected animals are often abandoned. Many are hit by cars or eventually succumb to disease or hunger. Thousands of deceased animals are removed from the streets every year. Additionally, many “no-kill” shelters simply send less desirable animals to euthanasia shelters where they will be put to sleep by someone else.
Animals that are abandoned must fend for themselves on the streets or in unfit homes where they might starve, become sick with deadly and contagious diseases, be injured or killed by traffic, or be viciously attacked by other animals or people. During the time that they are alone, these animals continue to reproduce, resulting in even more homeless animals.
Many areas, under pressure to reduce euthanasia rates, will utilize self-styled rescues to house elderly, sick and disabled animals. Unfortunately, these facilities are often unable to provide the type of care that animals need. Pets at hoarding facilities posing as rescues are often found in filthy, stacked up cages without shelter or adequate food or water. After years of suffering and neglect, these poor animals usually die alone in their cages.
Reputable shelters and rescues worry about animals suffering slow, miserable deaths. They impose safeguards such as applications for potential adopters as well as fosterers and reasonable adoption fees. They also accept all animals in need, even those that are too sick, old or aggressive to find homes. Many no-kill advocates do not follow these safeguards and instead pressure shelters to give animals away to anyone that will take them.
For animals not eligible for adoption, a painless death at a city shelter is a better option over abandonment, suffering and abuse. However, if we really want to end the homeless animal crisis we must start with the cause of it. The only way to prevent overcrowding of shelters is by ensuring that all pets are spayed and neutered.
We hope that this information has been helpful as we strive to provide education on all aspects of pet care.
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