• How do you achieve 'no-kill'?

  • The goal of making the new animal shelter in eastern Jackson County a “no-kill” shelter is an admirable one, but is it just encouraging rescuers to pull animals and ship them elsewhere in the U.S.?

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  • The goal of making the new animal shelter in eastern Jackson County a “no-kill” shelter is an admirable one, but is it just encouraging rescuers to pull animals and ship them elsewhere in the U.S.?
    In order for shelters to be no-kill, there is a limit to the number of animals they can take in unless they can adopt them out. Many people cannot take on the responsibility of owning a pet, because they are unemployed or economically strapped.
    Unfortunately there is no one solution to the problem of animal overpopulation, because there are many reasons why animals are brought to the municipal shelter. Homeless animals are brought to the shelter, but some people leave animals at the shelter because of a behavior problem. Others feel there is no longer room for an animal in their home after they have a new baby, and then there are others who have lost their homes and can no longer care for a pet. The list of reasons goes on.
    One thing that might help the animal overpopulation in the metropolitan area is education of pet owners and the availability of affordable sterilization services. Many people still don’t realize that sterilization can also prevent certain cancers in pets. City and county officials should set up forums where people can obtain information about these subjects.
    Some cities in the U.S. have enacted mandatory spay and neuter laws. These laws differ from city to city regarding enforcement. They also have not been in place long enough for municipalities to know the long-term effects.
    I am personally an advocate for a law requiring all breeders to be licensed and inspected by state officials – this includes backyard breeders. Breeders should be held responsible for the pets they produce. Not only should they work to find a permanent home for each pet, but they should be legally required to microchip each pet and take it back if it ever ends up in a shelter. This law would make a breeder think twice about the number of litters they have their animals produce each year.
    The ASPCA is not an advocate for mandatory spay/neuter laws, but they do have suggestions for communities trying to stop animal overpopulation:
    1) The community should have in place an adequately funded, readily accessible, safe, efficient, affordable spay/neuter program.
    2) Community research should identify the particular segments of the population that are contributing disproportionately to shelter intake and euthanasia, and the community should produce programs that are targeted to those populations.
    3) The community should strive to maximize the accessibility of spay/neuter services and provide compelling incentives to have the surgery performed.
    4) The spay/neuter program should deliver high quality spay/neuter services to all patients.
    5) The program must adequately address the contribution that feral and stray animals make to overpopulation.
    Page 2 of 2 - 6) The program must be adequately supported in terms of financing, staffing and infrastructure.
    7) The efficacy of all aspects of the program must be monitored and revisions made as necessary to achieve its goals.
    Groups such as PAWS and Great Plains SPCA among others work hard to keep the animal population down with their spay/neuter programs while rescue groups scramble to save as many lives as possible. Unless the county and city can implement some sort of program to curb the animal population in our area, the goal of a no-kill shelter may be hard to achieve.

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