Why No-Kills Are No Solution

Euthanasia is a touchy, emotional subject. Some people get upset because animal shelters and animal rights organizations like PETA must euthanize animals (many of whom are abused, aggressive, and otherwise unadoptable). People need to understand that a painless injection of sodium pentobarbital, administered by a trained, caring individual, is a merciful alternative to a life of misery and loneliness.

As long as people buy animals from breeders and pet stores and don’t spay or neuter their animal companions, open-admission shelters and organizations like PETA will be forced to do society’s dirty work. Every year, between three and four million dogs and cats are euthanized in U.S. shelters alone. There simply aren’t enough homes for them all. Shoving animals into cages or kitchen cabinets, or warehousing them wherever else there is space is not a humane or effective solution.

It can be hard to accept this though. I once volunteered at a no-kill cat shelter. There were cages full of cats everywhere and countless more cats littered the floor, the kitchen counter, and everywhere else there was a spot. They were fed regularly, but they were starved for attention. The few volunteers spent as much time with them as possible, but between dishing out plate after plate of food, changing pan after pan of litter, and trying to keep the place presentable, there was just never enough time. Too many people came by to drop off unwanted cats (so many, in fact, that they were often turned away) and too few came by to adopt.

No-kill shelters may assuage our consciences, but they are simply not in the animals’ best interests. They’re often filled beyond capacity and cannot provide adequate care for the animals. Animals at these shelters often spend years living in cages with little human contact. Many become withdrawn, depressed, or acquire other anti social behaviors that further decrease their chances of being adopted.
Because of space limitations, no-kill shelters often can’t take new animals in. So while a no-kill shelter can claim that it doesn’t kill animals that doesn’t mean that it “saves” them either. If “refused” animals are lucky, they’re taken to another shelter that does euthanize. Others, however, may be dumped by the roadside, where they suffer fates far worse than a humane death by sodium pentobarbital.

Euthanasia may be unpopular, but those who truly care about animals must do what’s best for them. They deserve a peaceful release from a world in which they are often abused and neglected. All too often, the only kind word or gentle touch a homeless animal ever receives is from the person who must end the animal’s life.

Of course, open-admission shelters and groups like PETA wouldn’t need to euthanize animals if people would sterilize their animals; adopt animals from full-service shelters instead of buying them, and push for mandatory spay/neuter legislation. To learn more about PETA’s position on euthanasia, see www.PETA.org. To find out how you can help support PETA’s Animal Birth Control campaign, and its mobile SNIP (“Spay Neuter Immediately Please”) clinic, see www.HelpingAnimals.com.


Enoch C Gould
Enoch C. Gould3 years ago

Well, at least I do agree with you on one important point, Heather M., and that is, buying pets is no option: adoption is the only real option to help prevent animal abuse, neglect, abandonment, and euthanasia.
I do not agree, however, with euthanasia except in extremely severe circumstances, and here is the reason why:
The public opinion is the main deterent to preventing and eliminating the "pet overpopulation". If everyone "adopted" an animal instead of getting one from a pet store, the number of animals to be abandoned, neglected, abused or needlessly killed would significantly go down immediately. Thereafter, the number of neglected animals would further decline very rapidly. If proper animal control programs which did not include euthanasia were properly implemented at that point, there would be absolutely no reason for euthanizing any domestic animal, except for those is extreme pain.
If animal shelters kill these animals, there will just be an increase in the number of animals that get raised in confimed conditions at pet stores. Where's the difference than between the cramped conditions at no-kill animal shelters, and those at pet stores? At least the no-kill animal shelters don't breed these animals to be kept in and sold at these locations.
Why kill?
I support realistic reform. I feel it fit to argue with many of the points made in this article...

Thank you for reading and considering all of my points, everyone!

May God bless all of you a

joseph b.
Joseph b8 years ago

if you people read who publishes the website petakillsanimals.com you would be inclined to support peta... just wiki center for consumer freedom and you will see that a person who represents the tobacco and restaurant industry owns the site...so they want peta, hsus ect.to stop showing people the truth about these fast food places and cigarettes so you will indulge and he can make more profit.... i do support peta as their work is vital these anti rescue groups regularly use these groups to further their campaign acting as concerned citizens.....i in no way have a connection to any animal rights group excpt to the extent we support necessary campaigns... we just did our homework and found peta is being attacked because they are causing financial damage by telling the truth about these big companies..

Sylvie S.
Past Member 8 years ago

If we want to stop cat/dog euthanasia, the most important thing to do to save ourselves, animals and the planet is to stop all forms of child abuse around the world. When children are not abused they will grow up caring and doing all the wonderful things everyone talks about here: like spay/neuter and be responsible animal protectors, but until then sadly euthanasia will be with us and is the most humane thing do for the animals to prevent animal cruelty, if we cannot find good homes for. Most people that leave comments here are not in reality, they just say words that make themselves feel better, but until we stop all forms of child abuse around the world these words don’t have much affect.
Read the articles in the links below and wake up to the facts and reality:








Michelle T.
Michelle T8 years ago

Peta euthanized 97% of the animals they took in in I believe 2006. Guess they know what they are talking about when it comes to euthanasia. but they sure rake in the cash. And their VP uses drugs that are animal tested for her issues. She claims that the work she does is so important that the animal sacrifice is warranted, but just for her. It's simply astounding how many people are buffaloed into supporting this organization. And this info is so easy to find. try www (dot) petakillsanimals (dot) com and judge for yourself.

Chris O.
Chris O8 years ago

Sound like PETA needs to be brought up on animal abuse charges. Any animal shelter that has so many animals that it is unhealthy for the animal to be in even it it is feed properly is unhealthy.

Any animal that does not receive affection is an abused animal.

Abuse on an animal is the same as child abuse.

STOP PETA from abusing (mental cruelty) animals in no kill shelters. I think if I were to be stuck in a shelter where no one paid any attention to me and I became regressed and anti social I would welcome a human shot to a life time in a cage with out attention as one person mentioned about their "Time" at a no kill shelter

Karen J.
Karen J8 years ago

There's a difference between killing adoptable pets and euthanizing a sick animal...people forget that!!!!!

Lindsey O.
.8 years ago

Actually, Tracy, there are quite a few programs (and individuals) out there who do TNR (trap, neuter, release) of feral cats. Some people, however, feel that leaving the cats "in the wild" is not in their best interests since they didn't evolve to survive in that particular ecological niche (and may be unable to hunt for their food, thereby starving unless humans feed them on a regular basis). And, of course, some people object because the feral cats can really kill a heck of a lot of songbirds, squirrels, etc.

Just depends on one's point of view.

Tracy T.
Tracy T8 years ago

I have an actually question. Does anyone know why feral cats are captured and sent to humane societies where they may euthenize them? First, can't they just let them remain like squirrels,racoons,etc. even though they are from domesticated sources? Second, if they cant, would it be of comparible cost to neuter/spay and then release to inhibit population growth?

Felicia T.
Felicia T8 years ago

Excellent Point Susan.

I also wait up to a year (or longer, depending on the breed just picked up) before altering.

Enforcing a Mandatory spay/neuter is unjust to responsible owners. I do however think that extra fees should be implemented for those who decide to wait, or not alter their pets at all.

So pay a little more for licensing or treating an unaltered pet.

These funds would go toward affordable spay/neuter clinics, making Fixing these pets more affordable to rescues & loving owners on a budget.

I could use a big break on the 2 Big Labradors I picked up in the middle of a freeway onramp.

Neutering these boys will cost me close to $200. including a charitable coupon.

I can afford to feed them with the rest of the rescues here, provide them with clean & safe housing, with enclosed land to play on. But $200. is Not in my budget, & won't be until I get another job.

Which is why it is so frustrating to see our tax $ going to useless programs, special interests, exuberant Gov. Salaries, When there is such a demand from Tax payers to offer Affordable Animal Clinics.

But We're STUCK Paying for Useless abstinence programs, teen pregnancy which is beyond out of hand. When these kids KNOW they can't afford getting Knocked UP.
And We're stuck PAYING for their Existence. MAKE Parents Pay for their Horny Kids.

Mankind PUT ALL the Animals in our shelters So More $ is needed for Animals to Stop Euthanasia as Animals Have No Choices.

Susan S.
Susan S8 years ago

I do agree PETA is bad!

I also agree with spay/neuter, but there are some ligitimate reasons to wait until the dog has reached sexual maturity. Large breed dogs are MUCH more at risk to have an ACL rupture, for example, if spayed/neutered to young. The sex hormones tell their body when to quit growing. If spayed/neutered to young, their body tends to be taller, with less muscle and bone mass.

This is why I am against mandatory spay/neuter by a certain age. This could potentially be devistating to large breed dogs, who generally don't mature until 1-2 years old. I know there are reasons to spay before the first heat cycle, but I think this should be up to the owner and their veterinarian as to what is the best option for their pet, not law-makers.