These are some of the stories making headlines in animal protection:
Subscribers can also listen to the podcast above, which includes extended commentary on many of the issues.
A majority of domestic violence victims report that their companion animals are also being abused or threatened with abuse. Not surprisingly, 97% of domestic violence victims — almost all of them — reported that keeping their pets with them is an important factor in deciding whether or not to seek shelter. Of those, half said they would definitely “not consider shelter for themselves if they could not take their pets with them.” Yet, less than 10% of domestic violence shelters allow pets. This keeps women and animals in harm's way.
Thankfully, a new effort is underway that promises to make 25% of all domestic violence shelters pet-friendly by 2025. Of course, that’s not nearly enough as they should all be pet-friendly. It will, however, be a marked improvement over where things stand today.
As reported earlier, more than 30 dogs were killed by the McDuffie County, GA, Animal Shelter, even though they had rescue commitments. In addition to killing those healthy dogs, witnesses accused county pound staff of:
Placing animals “in body bags before they even stopped breathing”;
“Choking animals with leashes or kicking or stomping on them to get them under control, particularly if they struggled while being euthanized”;
“Slam[ming] their heads on the concrete”;
“Removing collars from dogs, though those collars suggested the animals had homes” to kill them;
Killing animals before their holding period expired and then lying on the paperwork in the event people come looking for their lost pets; and,
“Improper euthanasia procedures,” including heart sticking without sedation and on fully conscious animals.
The pound is currently closed while officials investigate. In the interim, McDuffie County officials have recently issued a statement noting that staff is “no longer associated with the animal shelter in any shape, form, or fashion.” They also indicated that they would reopen the shelter with “more internal transparency, community engagement through events, and even reducing their euthanizations” by embracing No Kill programs.
The No Kill Advocacy Center has reached out in order to offer assistance.
In “PETA official says no-kill shelters not answer to animal homelessness,” an OpEd published in a Killeen, TX, newspaper, PETA claims that Killeen’s animal shelter faces two extreme choices: kill healthy and treatable animals — which is what PETA prefers — or keep them in kennels and cages for months.
If those were the only two options, the kennel would still be the more ethical approach. It is better to spend a couple of months or more in a kennel (that includes being walked and socialized) before adoption, instead of being injected with an overdose of poison out of convenience. But there is also a third option: the shelter can embrace the No Kill Equation; a series of programs and services that include foster care, marketing and promotion, community cat sterilization, pet retention, volunteers, offsite adoptions, and robust adoption campaigns, including being open when people are off work and families are together, such as on weekends and evenings.
Communities across the country that embrace the No Kill Equation are placing 95% - 99% of animals entrusted to their care without turning animals away or warehousing animals. The average length of stay before adoption was only 14 days, about the amount of time a dog or cat would spend at a boarding facility during a family vacation.
By contrast, PETA kills roughly 90% of the animals it takes in, despite over $60 million in annual revenues and millions of animal-loving members it could adopt out animals to. So why should anyone listen to PETA on how to run a shelter when it is the functional equivalent of a slaughterhouse?