Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The 'real' problems

As with any post about PETA or those other large organizations that claim to be animal welfare organizations, I received a random collection of responses. Of course, I do enjoy reading responses that are sent in an adult manner (i.e. no cussing or calling me names). Whether these adult responses are pro or against my views, I really do take the time to read and respond to each one I receive. I really care for my followers and my fans and if you have concerns, please, by all means share them with me!

The comment that always comes to me the most when talking about these organizations, whether I am talking in a blog post or in person revolves around commercial and backyard breeders. I'm sure that every person has heard the tired phrase "If puppy mills were shut down and everyone spayed and neutered their pets, PETA would not have to euthanize animals. That's the 'real' problem."

Well, along with the big secret that I shared yesterday, let me share another.... PETA and those other large 'animal welfare' organizations absolutely do NOT have to euthanize kill animals! They choose to kill them. 

Yes, they make a conscious choice every single day to kill animals.

So, don't get me wrong here, I do not condone puppy mill breeders. Ending Puppy Mills is a cause near and dear to my heart and I will never condone the conditions that puppy mill dogs are subjected to. However, even with every backyard breeder and puppy mill that is currently operating continuing their 'business,' shelter killing can be ended.

Currently there are dozens of communities representing around two hundred towns and cities across the United States that qualify as No Kill open admission shelters. Ranging from large city government run facilities to animal control agencies and rural counties, these 
shelters are saving 90% or more of the animals in their care.

So, what makes these shelters special? They have adopted the No Kill Equation and stepped up with a commitment to saving lives. 

I can guarantee that every one of these cities is not free of puppy mills or backyard breeders. I can guarantee that not every pet parent has spayed and neutered their pets because, quite frankly, that is an unrealistic hope. Even if we had spay/neuter laws (which I absolutely do not support) we would still have those that do not comply. (Spay/neuter laws tend to do the opposite when enforced and encourage owners to just surrender their pets to a shelter vs being fined for an intact animal.) 

So, if these cities can step up and save lives, why are huge organizations like PETA refusing to get on board with No Kill? I honestly couldn't tell you but I assume it's to 'save face' and avoid admitting that they are wrong and possibly has a lot to do with keeping their wallets full. 

The second comment usually revolves around 'Pet Overpopulation' and the lack of good homes being the 'real' problem.  

To this I will share an excerpt from the book, Redemption, the Myth of Pet Overpopulation and the No Kill Revolution in America by author Nathan Winograd;

"Current estimates from a wide range of groups indicate that between 4 - 5 million dogs and cats are killed in shelters every year. Of these, given the incidence of aggression in dogs and save rates at the best performing shelters in the country from diverse regions and demographics, about 90% of all shelter animals are 'savable'. The remainder consists of hopelessly ill or injured animals and vicious dogs whose prognosis for rehabilitation is poor or grave. That would put the number of savable dogs and cats at roughly 3.6 million on the low end and 4.5 million on the high end of the spectrum.

But even on the high end, it means that we only need to increase the market for shelter pets by 3 percent to eliminate killing. Today, there are about 165 million dogs and cats in homes. Of those, about 20% come from shelters. Three percent of 165 million equates to 4.9 million, more than all the savable animals being killed in shelters. ...

These same demographics also tell us that every year about twice as many people are looking to bring a new dog into their home than the total number of dogs entering shelters, and every year more people are looking to bring a new cat into their home than the total number of cats entering shelters. On top of that, not all animals entering shelters need adoption: some will be lost strays who will be reclaimed by their families, others are unsocialized feral cats who need neuter and release."

Then, to sum the majority of my comments, there is always the "But, those organizations do so many other good things for animals."

Okay, sure, maybe there is a good thing every now and then, but does that make up for the donations stolen from the animals they were sent to? Does one good act make up for the nearly 2000 animals that PETA killed last year? Or the 27,000 animals that they have killed over the last 15 years?

Even Charles Manson probably gave someone a hug once in his life, but that doesn't make him a great/nice person or excuse the executions that he ordered. The same stands for PETA and all of the huge animal welfare organizations out there. The few good (even great occasional) moments that you put forth into the world does NOT excuse the killing. Saving 4% does not make up for the 96% that PETA killed last year.

My donations go to organizations like the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter, Austin Pets Alive and the many other reputable organizations that use their donations and funds to save lives and promote positive adoption stories. I hope that yours will too!

Stephanie Conrad
The Pet Studio | Owner | Artist

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