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This Week in Animal Protection
News and headlines for the weeks of July 19 and July 26, 2021
As director of an animal control shelter, I eliminated any “behavior category” for cats and thus any killing of cats for “behavior,” “aggression,” or being considered “feral.” And for the several years I ran that shelter, no cats were killed for these reasons. That was 20 years ago. It is long past time for every other shelter in the nation to replicate that success.
The Rensselaer County, NY, legislature has unanimously passed an animal abuser registry law. Dogs identified as “pit bulls” are welcome again in Oconomowoc, WI, and Greensburg, KS. New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu has signed three animal protection bills into law. The No Kill Advocacy Center celebrates its 17th birthday. An author championing the killing of animals laughs at a review critical of his book. A little dog’s life is changed for the better by assuming the best in a person. Wildlife groups are wrong to argue we have no duty to help animals when we do not cause the harm. France will ban the live-shredding of baby chicks next year. Israel imposes a first-of-its-kind national ban on the sale of fur products. Poorly run shelters are claiming that pandemic pets are being returned in droves, but the data does not bear it out. California earmarks over $50,000,000 to reduce killing in animal shelters, but its allocation is a missed opportunity to maximize lifesaving. The number of communities placing over 95% and as high as 99% of the animals is increasing. And why cats should never be killed in animal shelters for behavior reasons.
These are some of the stories making headlines in animal protection:
The Rensselaer County, NY, legislature has unanimously passed an animal abuser registry law, modeled on those which currently exist to protect children. Officials in nearby Greene County, NY, will vote on creating one, too.
Out of the shadows and into the sun. Dogs identified as “pit bulls” are welcome again in Oconomowoc, WI.
Similarly, dogs identified as “pit bulls” are welcome again in Greensburg, KS. Because the new Greensburg ordinance limits the number of dogs deemed “pit bulls” to one per household and imposes other requirements, it’s not a full repeal of breed discriminatory legislation. It is, however, a step in that direction.
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu has signed three animal protection bills into law. The first would expand the animal cruelty law to include wild animals. The second increases penalties for stealing dogs in response to the “growing problem of ‘dog flipping’ in which people steal dogs to sell for profit.” The third requires motorists to stop and render aid if they hit a cat with their car or (if known) notify the “owner,” giving cats legal parity with dogs.
The No Kill Advocacy Center is celebrating its 17th birthday.
Clubbing seals to death, harpooning whales, fighting dogs, breeding them to supplement drug dealing income, and killing them in pounds are no laughing matter, but Harlan Weaver, a professor of gender studies at Kansas State University, thinks it is. In response to an article criticizing “Bad Dog,” his new book, for promoting, defending, rationalizing, or excusing these things, he responded with “LOL.”
A little dog’s life is changed for the better by assuming the best in a person and giving them the opportunity to prove it.
Many wildlife groups argue that we have no duty to stop wild animal suffering if humans didn't cause it. This is wrong. Might does not make right but it does create an obligation to help.
France will ban the live-shredding of baby chicks next year. It won’t spare the females from being eaten. But it will spare millions of little boys from getting ground up alive shortly after birth.
Israel becomes the first country to impose a national ban on the sale of fur products.
The headlines are once again sounding the alarm that “People are abandoning their pandemic pets nationwide,” but the data does not bear it out. Poorly run shelters are once again blaming the public for their own failures.
California earmarks another $45,000,000 to reduce killing in animal shelters. This comes on the heels of a prior commitment of $10,000,000. Unfortunately, its allocation is a missed opportunity to maximize lifesaving.
The number of communities placing over 95% and as high as 99% of the animals is increasing:
Rifle, CO, reported a 99% placement rate for dogs, 95% for cats, and 100% for rabbits and other small animals. For dogs and rabbits, it is part of the most exclusive club in the movement: those placing 99%+.
Pitkin County, CO, reported a 98% placement rate for dogs, 98% for cats, and 100% for rabbits and other small animals.
Routt County, CO, reported a 97% placement rate for dogs and 97% for cats.
The municipal shelter that serves both Clear Creek County and Gilpin County, CO, reported a 98% placement rate for dogs and 95% for cats.
Longmont, CO, reported a 97% placement rate for dogs, 96% for cats, and 96% for rabbits and other small animals.
These shelters and the data nationally prove that animals are not dying in pounds because there are too many or too few homes or people don’t want the animals. They are dying because people in those pounds are killing them. Replace those people, implement the No Kill Equation, and we can be a No Kill nation today.
And, finally, an article claimed, “Euthanizing a cat for behavioral reasons should be exceptionally rare. After all, very few cats pose a significant safety risk to health or human safety and appropriate alternative placement is an option for most cats.” In reality, killing a cat for “behavior,” “aggression,” or being considered “feral” should never occur. As director of an animal control shelter, I eliminated any “behavior category” for cats and thus any killing of cats for these reasons. That was 20 years ago. Others have since done the same. While it is gratifying to see more organizations catching up (it’s been 20 years!), the movement should not aspire for anything less than it has already achieved. That makes no sense.