Reader responses to No Kill Is a Complicated ‘Simple’ Concept

Pit Bull puppies await adoption at a municipal shelter.

Tuesday we released our second segment in our ongoing series exploring the No Kill movement: No Kill Is a Very Complicated ‘Simple’ Concept. At the risk of No Kill becoming overkill, I plan to regularly highlight reader comments on the articles in hopes of keeping this conversation alive. Thanks to all who posted this week — comments were submitted with respect and passion, reinforcing the fact that there’s room here for a variety of different perspectives.

This week’s comments of note:

Jmillerwolfe writes:

“It is very obvious, reading this page, that no one has read up on the successful No Kill shelters or bothered to contact Winograd for more information. It is a way of managing shelters not some pie in the sky. All the issues raised on this page are management issues, and once they are seen as management issues, the concept becomes very doable.”

As I said in the intro post, I did speak with Nathan Winograd (on two occasions, actually) — our conversations were both animated and courteous. While we don’t align on every aspect of how to address this particular piece of animal welfare (what two people do?), I very much see Mr. Winograd as a brilliant visionary. He was nothing but gracious and forthcoming, and I am deeply grateful for his time and insight.

And I completely agree with jmillerwolfe: we do have management issues. But no matter how succinctly one may summarize it, the problem remains extremely challenging. Doable, I want to believe — but certainly not easy. The “right” managers, not to mention abundant financial and human resources, are hard to come by. I encourage the commenter to stay tuned for my May 24th installment titled Shelters Could Be Doing (A Lot) More.

DesertPits writes:

“No-Kill does not mean the same from one person or organization to the next. It can be very grey. The county shelter where I live has gone from a high-kill shelter to a very low kill shelter over the last several years. They want to reach the goal of not euthanizing any healthy, adoptable animal but they can’t quite get there… On the other end of the spectrum, we have a rescue in the area that touts themselves as no-kill. They take in most any dog or cat and people believe their pet will be safe and adopted to a new home. What really happens is they decide if the animal can be quickly adopted and if not, the animals get turned over to the county shelter.”

Again, I agree. The term No Kill, like any phrase or even set of statistics, is construed through human perception, and is subject to interpretation. What’s considered healthy and adoptable at one facility may not be at the shelter in the next county over.

Finally, mrskcrump writes:

“No kill as a concept is laudable, but it does not work in every community. In rural, moderate to low income areas where irresponsible pet owners dump pets; it would take an enormous amount of money to create and maintain facilities to keep all the animals. It’s just not realistic.”

Many in the movement would beg to differ, arguing that with the right management No Kill is within reach. I wish I had the answers. But all I know is that a better solution won’t be reached unless we keep communicating, keep thinking, keep striving to work together.