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Kill Shelters...do they really exist!!!

Discussion in 'General Dog Forum' started by TrunksTheCanaan, Feb 22, 2021.

  1. TrunksTheCanaan

    TrunksTheCanaan New Member Registered

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    I was recently reading a posting on Facebook about the US having Kill Shelters for dogs. It sounds oxymoronic but is it true?
     
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Yes, and - this may seem controversial - it isn't necessarily a bad thing.

    For the unadoptable dogs, either because of behaviour issues or just being not cute and fluffy enough, having a quiet and gentle death can be less stressful than many years in a shelter.
     
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  3. TrunksTheCanaan

    TrunksTheCanaan New Member Registered

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    Do they put healthy dogs, that are suitable for rehoming, down?
     
  4. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Yes, simply too many dogs to house and care for. Not all will be suitable for rehoming though.
     
  5. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

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    I agree. Dead dogs don't suffer. One good meal and a gentle end is far kinder than the wrong home or being in the shelter for the rest of their lifespan - which also releases places for dogs that are more robust in character and healthier in body hence more rehomable. A lifetime of pain, fear, and/or being on drugs permanently is not a life "saved".
     
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  6. TrunksTheCanaan

    TrunksTheCanaan New Member Registered

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    The lady that posted sent this picture, outlining the outcome for dogs in one area for the month of June 2018. It suggests that at least 200 healthy and treatable pets were euthanised in that month, alone. I don't know how many centres there are in the US but that could potentially add up to a really high number.

    I know that there are limited resources available to cater to the needs of so many dogs. It seems that so many dogs are available, you almost wonder why more dogs are being deliberately bred, when there are so many dying because of the lack of suitable homes.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Richard & Patsy

    Richard & Patsy Member Registered

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    I have found this thread a thought-provoking read. I sponsor a cocker spaniel in the care of the DogsTrust; he has been with them since 2016, rehomed then returned twice. The DogsTrust never kills a healthy dog and I just assumed that this was a good thing; I also assumed that they give a better life to the dogs there than a typical shelter can provide.
     
  8. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    It's heartbreaking. A lot of people breed dogs purely for profit, of course. But I still think there's a place for responsible breeders who can produce dogs that are 'fit for purpose', which usually means healthy, and have the potential to make great, easy-going family pets - so dogs aren't abandoned because the owners can't cope.

    If the worst came to the worst, I wouldn't even want my dog to go to a rescue that never put down a physically healthy dog - he's a bit 'special' and it would probably not be in his best interests. And I've spoken to my son about this so if he ever had to make a horrible decision in Jasper's best interests, he wouldn't also be loaded with guilt.
     
  9. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Absolutely. And this is why we are so opposed to irresponsible breeding. A good breeder will keep a degree of responsibility for all of the dogs they breed, for their whole lives, so those dogs should not end up in rescue. So, the dogs that do end up in shelters have possibly been poorly bred, or may have been surrendered due to behavioural problems. Importantly, the two are linked. We know that a lot of behaviour is genetic but poor breeders who produce litters without thorough research don't seem to realise that their ”just one litter” or canine cash cow is what causes this problem.

    This is why we are so passionate about breeding being done responsibly.
     
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  10. TrunksTheCanaan

    TrunksTheCanaan New Member Registered

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    So difficult to know what is best. I must say that I am somewhat confused.
     
  11. TrunksTheCanaan

    TrunksTheCanaan New Member Registered

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    Absolutely true. I cannot help thinking though, that getting dog from a breeder means that I am consigning a dog in a shelter to death. It's a horrible thought.

    I want a puppy and one with particular, somewhat admired and predictable traits. I want to puppy because I have relatively young children and their safety is of paramount importance to me. I want the reassurance of knowing the history of the dog that is round them, as well as knowing how they have been trained/raised. Just like other children actually :)

    What a heart breaking decision to have to make.
     
  12. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

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    I have bred several litters in the past, and always emphasised that, if circumstances changed, the puppy (at whatever age) was to come back to me. Sadly this is not legally enforceable.

    If people don't buy well-reared pups from good breeders, all that is left are badly-reared pups from lousy breeders. Supporting good breeders is not an inferior choice.
     
  13. TrunksTheCanaan

    TrunksTheCanaan New Member Registered

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    That is true but many dogs end up in shelters because owners cannot cope - circumstances change, financially, martially, etc.

    With the explosion in dog-a-poos, unscrupulous breeders abound. My friend asked me to check out a poo that she wanted to buy. The 'breeder' was saying the puppy must go by 4pm that day, as she had other puppies on the way and that if we did not take it, there were others willing to buy before 4pm. I suggested my friend did not not buy the puppy but there was a shortage of -poos, which is what the 'breeder' was banking on - she ended up buying the puppy for £3,500. She has had no issues it is true but I cannot help but feel that we added fuel to the problem.
     
  14. TrunksTheCanaan

    TrunksTheCanaan New Member Registered

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    I agree. I love good breeders; When I have bought or rescued, it has always been from reputable breeders. What I meant is that not rescuing existing dogs in favour of new dogs, means dogs have to die. It's a horrible choice.
     
  15. TrunksTheCanaan

    TrunksTheCanaan New Member Registered

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    Yes, you are right.
     
  16. paperweight

    paperweight New Member Registered

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    yes, we have both kill and no-kill shelters here in the US. an important thing to note is that typically (though not always) no-kill shelters have closed or selective admission whereas kill shelters are open admission. that is, the "kill" shelters are often municipal pounds which are required by law to take in every animal that is brought to them. they also have to abide by laws about overcrowding and obviously they have to feed everyone. and then their budgets are set by the city and whatever donations they get, so you can imagine how underresourced these facilities often are.

    "no-kill" shelters (which do still euthanize for both health and behavior) can typically maintain that status because they don't take in every animal that comes their way.

    one of the most backwards things i've seen in the animal rescue world is the demonization of "kill" shelters. these facilities need more resources and support, not less. hannah shaw, the kitten lady, has a great youtube video about this topic. i don't think i can post links yet, but it should be easily searchable.

    it's not all doom and gloom though! there's some really cool stuff happening in the world of animal sheltering. the million cat challenge out of the university of florida and ucsd vet schools worked with shelters across the country to find ways to improve outcomes for shelter cats. the project was multipronged and involved improving conditions in shelters, trying to keep cats out of shelters in the first place, and trying to get cats out of shelters faster. really neat, paradigm busting work.

    the people in the field are working to make things better. it's just that they are swamped and the problem starts long before the animals show up at their door.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  17. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    Paperweight, I think you're in the US? Would it be possible for you (or me, if you're not able to) to edit your post to add this, please, as laws and practices may differ in the UK (and other countries)?
     
  18. paperweight

    paperweight New Member Registered

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    done! sorry, i thought the question was specifically about the us. thanks for pointing out that i needed to make it explicit that my answer was too!

    i should also reiterate that there's a TON of variation in different parts of the us. laws, budgets, and shelter structures differ. there's also a huge amount of variation in how bad the overpopulation/unwanted pet problem is in different areas, so outcomes and strategies differ.
     
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  19. Zula77

    Zula77 New Member Registered

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    It's a really tricky issue. I volunteer at a shelter and they'd never have a healthy dog put down, but there is one dog who is aggressive with other dogs and is a danger to people in confined spaces. He will likely spend his life in the stressful kennel environment, which is hardly a life.
     
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