I am responding to a recent letter to the editor referring to no-kill as a value system.
I have worked in animal welfare since 1993. The bottom line is that no-kill translates to limited-admission. These shelters pick and choose which animals they will accept.
Open-admission shelters, which take in every animal that comes through their doors, are often referred to as kill shelters. Despite the label, these shelters provide safety and comfort for all animals in need in the community.
I urge anyone considering making a donation to his or her local animal welfare organization to visit the facility and make his or her own decisions.
Are the animals living in sanitary conditions in which they are safe, warm, dry and well-nourished? Are the animals given appropriate exercise and socialization? Do they have access to veterinary care? How long is the average length of stay before adoption? Does the shelter spay and neuter all pets before adoption, and does it promote low-cost spay or neuter options for owned animals in the community? Are there behavior programs in place to make long-term residents more adoptable? Would you feel comfortable bringing your own animal to this facility if you could no longer care for it?
The term no-kill may be more palatable to many of us who are saddened and overwhelmed by our communitys pet-overpopulation crisis, but it is important to look at the big picture. Actions speak louder than words.
Wendy Haugen, Durango