Some are fighting for shelters to adopt “No Kill” policies, but is HSUS standing in the way?
Nathan J. Winograd, director for the No Kill Advocacy Center, recently penned an opinion piece featured on the Huffington Post. The op-ed, “HSUS Tells Animal Shelters: Go Ahead And Kill Animals If You Want,” brings to light what many of us already know about animal rights activists: the health and safety of the animals aren’t their top priority.
You might recall that the Center For Consumer Freedom reported that “PETA killed a staggering 89.4% (29,398) of the adoptable pets in its care during 2012. Despite years of public outrage over its euthanasia program, the notorious animal rights group has continued killing adoptable dogs and cats at an average of over 30 pets/week.”
The Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) is often characterized as “PETA in a business suit,” and although it appears to be less radical in its tactics than PETA, HSUS’s multi-million-dollar annual budget isn’t saving many dogs or cats either.
Winograd is an advocate for the “No Kill Equation” model for animal shelters, which seeks to offer care to animals that can potentially be adopted. According to Winograd, “Through the No Kill Equation, every healthy and treatable animal entering a shelter can have a new beginning instead of the end of the line they face, if those shelters commit themselves wholeheartedly to building the infrastructure necessary to create and sustain a No Kill nation.”
He says that today many shelters can save 90-99% of the animals in their care, while other shelters are killing up to 99% of the animals they house in their facilities. How can this be? And why?
Winograd writes, “Can anyone with even a hint of compassion actually say it is better to kill baby kittens than bottle-feed them? Kill animals rather than promote adoptions? Kill animals rather than work with rescue groups? Of course not, especially since implementing alternatives to killing is more cost-effective, and in many cases, cheaper than killing animals. Tragically, however, many shelter directors have decided that it is better to kill baby kittens, to kill animals despite rescue groups ready, willing and able to save them, and to kill animals rather than keeping them alive long enough to find homes. In fact, some shelters have no adoption hours, are not open to the public for adoptions, and refuse to do any adoptions, choosing to kill the animals instead.”
Winograd says there’s a proven alternative that isn’t difficult, expensive or impractical to employ, and that should be promoted by the nation’s large national animal protection groups.
“But they are not. Instead, after admitting that these programs are crucial to save lives, they tell shelters that not only do they ‘remain at the discretion of each community to choose whether and how to implement,’ but that they should not be criticized for refusing to do so, while millions of animals continue to lose their lives in shelters every year precisely because those shelters have chosen not to. Worse, they tell activists that they should not try to force shelters to implement those programs, even though doing so would save the lives of the animals they are currently killing. In other words, HSUS is telling shelters these programs are necessary to save lives, but they do not have to do them and can choose to kill the animals instead.”
Winograd says such policy changes in places like California have resulted in a 370% increase in shelter-animal adoptions, at no cost to taxpayers. Yet, HSUS opposed these laws and endorsed a rollback of the rule in California when it was proposed. Why? How does that make sense? It just shows to me that HSUS isn’t even bothering to hide its true colors anymore. This wolf in sheep’s clothing has dropped its camouflage and exposed its claws and fangs. Plain and simple, they are after your dollar and not much else.
At face value, this article about animal shelters doesn’t appear to have anything to do with livestock producers. However, I urge you to think critically about how this can impact your livelihoods. If HSUS and PETA are no longer even trying to pretend to care about dogs and cats, what do you think they are busy doing instead? Animal agriculture has had a target on its back for many years now, and it’s no secret that HSUS would love to abolish animal agriculture and promote a vegan society, if given the chance.
Are you outraged at the level of euthanasia in pet shelters? Why do you think so many people willingly send money to support HSUS and PETA? Do you think these groups are direct threats to animal agriculture? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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