Saturday, October 16, 2010

No Kill vs. Pro Kill

Today, as I wake up to check my daily blogs, facebook, twitter, etc.... I am APPALLED(!!) to read an article posted on the facebook of a fellow animal business right here in Austin supporting killing.

Boasting an article written by journalist Mike Stark condemning the No Kill Movement, this business is putting down all of the hard work the staff and supporters of Town Lakes already in progress No Kill implementation plan.

Stark goes on to say in his article that the no kill movement is more of a torture fest than it is life saving. "The flat truth is that [Nathan] Winograd's "No-Kill" model is limited. It can work when shelters serving smaller towns decide to limit intake (by turning away older, unsocialized or less attractive animals). It is simply unworkable in larger municipalitiesSheltering policy is difficult; it's a field in which the utopian ideal is seldom achievable. Instead, the animal lovers that run shelters make must make difficult choices and strive for best outcomes after considering the totality of the circumstances. [If Euthanizing] is the merciful decision, it may be the correct choice. Across America, there are thousands of shelters. "No kill" is probably suitable and the ethically sound choice for some shelters, but for many more, a "no kill" policy condemns animals to a miserable existence. In those communities, mercy must prevail."

I am amazed at how quickly Stark dismisses the facts: 
-Reno, NV, is saving more than 90% of sheltered animals at its open-admission shelter. 
-San Francisco, CA, is saving 86%. 
-Austin, Texas, is now saving 73%. (nearly 20% higher since Austin has first accepted the No Kill mindset.)

Ryan Clinton, No Kill Advocate for Austin Texas replies to Stark with a the solid argument that while Nathan Winograd (author of Redemption: The Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution) states in his No Kill Model "Stop the Killing", this is not necessarily the No Kill Method. 

The No Kill Method focuses on building programs to help decrease shelter intake (offering low cost spay and neuter programs, pet retention programs, return to owner programs, and successful TNR programs for our feral cat communities), implement new programs within the shelter (such as improving customer service and adoption counseling, improve marketing for your shelter, off site adoptions and improving volunteer and foster programs). 

It seems simple to me: Decrease Intake + Increase Programs = More Live outcome! 

Unfortunately there are always going to be those that oppose every idea, if for nothing more than to get a rise out of others. 

The No Kill Movement is showing it's face and making a huge impact on many communities around the country, and I am thrilled to be a proud supporter of Nathan Winograd and the entire No Kill Movement. 

Mike Stark, maybe you should spend some time promoting a shelter rather than wasting time trying to kill a positive and growing movement. 

-Stephanie Conrad
The Pet Studio


No Kill Austin:

No Kill Advocacy Center: