redemption for Am on Demand

A woman found a young cat, socialized her (“played with her every day”), treated her at a local vet, had her sterilized, and brought her to the Hawaiian Island Humane Society (HIHS) for adoption:

“I made it very clear euthanasia was not an option. I told them, ‘If it’s between me coming to get her and you putting her down, I want to get her.’”

The cat was killed that very day.

“They get (money) each year in taxes and they can’t even give my cat 24 hours. How many other animals do they do that to? How many other people do they tell, ‘Oh, it will be fine,’ and they just immediately put [them] down?”

According to a local report, the pound kills “about 80 percent” of all cats. They defend this practice by saying that is close to the national average and “at least 75 percent [of all cats] were feral or ‘unhealthy.’” The also claim “only 413” of the cats they killed could actually be treated. Finally, they claim that despite nearly $2 million in contract revenue and additional funding through donations, there is not much they can do about it.

That isn’t honest.

First, 45% of cats are killed in shelters nationwide. HIHS kills almost two times that. Moreover, even if it they were at the national average, rather than almost double the rate, why should an organization aspire to be average? Is mediocrity the goal of shelter leadership? Shouldn’t they instead seek to be the best—to save 98-99% of all cats as the best performing shelters in the country do? More importantly, the killing is unnecessary, wrong, and the antithesis of their mission.

Second, 98% or more of cats who enter shelters are healthy or treatable. It is implausable that three out of four cats are “feral or ‘unhealthy’” and only 6% of those killed can be treated.

Third, community (“feral”) cats are healthy and do not need to be “treated.” Nor should they be killed.

It is time for solutions, not excuses.

Join me on June 25 on the Big Island of Hawaii for a screening of Redemption, my film about the No Kill revolution in America. The film will be followed by two seminars, and extended Q&A, about how to create a No Kill community. On June 26, I’ll do the same on Kauai, where the shelter has also not embraced a culture of lifesaving. Both events are free and open to the public.

The events are sponsored by Big Island Dog Rescue.

For more info about the event on the Big Island, click here.

For more info about the event on Kauai, click here.

For more info on other screenings in other cities, click here.

Can’t make it? Purchase the DVD or download the film for on-demand screening by clicking here.

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