A False Debate
September 6, 2011 by Nathan J. Winograd
A No Kill shelter can be public or private, run by a humane society or by a municipal government. But the ASPCA and others have misled people by claiming that, “A no-kill shelter really can’t have an open admission policy. It must limit its intake if it wants to adopt out animals and not kill them” and by implying that “open admission” is better. This is false. A No Kill shelter can be either “limited admission” or “open admission.” No Kill only means that no savable animals are put to death, roughly 95% of all intakes. And there are plenty of No Kill animal control shelters and thus No Kill communities to prove it.
By contrast, an “open admission” shelter does not have to, and should not, be an open door to the killing of animals. In fact, using the term “open admission” for killing shelters is misleading as they are CLOSED to people who love animals. They are CLOSED to people who might have lost their job or lost their home but do not want their animals to die. They are CLOSED to Good Samaritans who find animals but do not want them killed. They are CLOSED to animal lovers who want to help save lives but will not be silent in the face of needless killing. And so they turn these people and their animals away.
It is also ironic that killing pounds are so enmeshed in their so-called “open door” philosophy that they are blind to any proactive steps that might limit the numbers of animals coming in through those doors through pet retention programs or increase the numbers of animals adopted through comprehensive marketing and placement. But even if the ASPCA was honest (they are not), “open door” does not mean “more humane” when the end result is mass killing.
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