Brent Toellner on: What is No Kill?

Clearing up some confusion on “No Kill”

Originally posted July, 10 by TNKN contributor Brent Toellner on the KC DOG BLOG:

We’ve been working on a gameplan here in Kansas City for building KC into a no-kill community. From some of the emails and comments we’ve received, there is clearly some room for clarification for what I mean when I refer to no-kill, which is how Nathan Winograd defines it, and how we’re attempting to define it in Kansas City.

No Kill does not mean no animals get euthanized. Obviously it would be inhumane to not euthanize terminally ill, sick or badly injured animals.

No Kill means that no healthy or treatable animals will be euthanized in order to make space for more animals.

No Kill does not mean that we will be trying to adopt out dangerously aggressive dogs. It does mean that we will try our best to rehabilitate dogs whenever possible.  In some extreme cases where a dog is aggressive and not rehabilitatible, euthanasia may be the only solution.

No Kill does not mean that shelters will be full and quit taking animals which would encourage people to dump animals in rural areas.  Nor does it mean that we will only accept small dogs or highly adoptable dogs and cats. No Kill means open admittance of all animals, and finding new homes for all of them. 

No Kill does not mean hoarding animals in shelters.  In means finding homes for animals.

It does not mean adopting animals out to bad homes.  It does mean that ridiculous restrictions (like mandating having a fence) on who can adopt should be gotten rid of. 

No Kill relies on a lot of elements.  Strong trap/neuter/release programs.  Good shelters.  A strong network of foster families.  Off-site adoptions — all the time. Aggressive promotion of aoptions.  Voluntary low cost or no cost spay/neuter programs.  People who are willing and able to help treat sick animals or help in rehabilitating behavior problems.

No Kill relies on having un-restrictive animal control laws. Pet limit laws decrease the number of foster homes that are available.  Mandatory spay/neuter laws, Breed Specific Laws, and many tethering laws only encourage animal control officers to confiscate animals from homes — increasing the number of animals that need to be found homes. The first option should always be to keep an animal in the home it is already in and improve its life there vs confiscation.

Hopefully that helps clear up any confusion out there. 

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