No-Kill Animal Shelters: Wave of the Future?Published July 17, 2012
Countless shelters across the country are only able to provide care for these homeless pets for a very limited period of time due to their serious overcrowding conditions. Sadly, if these animals are deemed un-adoptable due to behavior considered unacceptable, or if they are sick or too old to be chosen, untold numbers of these needy animals are sentenced to death.
Fortunately, for many of these forsaken pets, there are a growing number of no-kill animal shelters and sanctuaries appearing. Their mission is saving the lives of these discarded animals. With rehabilitation and re-training, many animals under their care will be able to find forever loving homes.
What makes these humane no-kill facilities so remarkable is that even if an animal has suffered such extensive emotional or physical damage that adoption is an unrealistic plan, those animals who would most certainly be euthanized in traditional shelters will be cared for compassionately for the remainder of their lives.
As an example, according to an entry on the Modern Cat website, in the Heights of Houston, Texas, the non-profit group Friends for Life recently opened its $1.4 million Don Sanders Adoption Center, a facility with a no-kill philosophy. The adoption center is Executive Director Salise Shuttlesworth’s “Dream come true”. The lion's share of the cost was paid for by Don Sanders, a community leader and philanthropist. Chris Sanders, his wife, is an active Friends of Life volunteer.
The no-kill philosophy lived out by Friends of Life is giving many less adoptable animals a chance at life. "Seventy-five percent of the animals adopted through our program fall into the unadoptable categories in other area programs," said Shuttlesworth. The facility had just adopted out a leukemia positive 7-year-old cat who was missing part of both back legs. Considered un-adoptable, two other shelters rejected him before Friends of Life took him in and re-homed him.
Other animals are also benefiting from the no-kill philosophy; the staff has found homes for 15-year-old dogs, a cat that had difficulty walking and numerous pit bull dogs. Even though big shelters are informing people who wish to adopt a pet that a pit bull or an injured animal is un-adoptable, Friends for Life says that’s wrong; and are proving that these dogs and cats are actually adoptable.
With the increasing number of shelters already embracing the no-kill concept that are searching for means to transform their complexes into righteous no-kill facilities, in the near future, it’s highly possible it will become a reality that no animal will be needlessly euthanized.
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