The problems uncovered at the Animal Care League are not surprising [Animal Care League leadership under fire, OakPark.com, June 26]. In fact, they are often business as usual for so-called "no-kill" shelters. The severe overcrowding, adoption of aggressive dogs, and animals becoming violent due to the stress of long-term confinement are further evidence that the "no-kill" policy that some at the Animal Care League want to institute isn't sustainable — or humane.
PETA has witnessed it time and again: When a shelter shifts its focus from trying to achieve the best outcome possible for every animal and instead becomes obsessed with eliminating euthanasia, the animals always suffer. Shelters fill up quickly and animals who aren't adopted may be warehoused in small cages for years. Conditions can deteriorate as staff struggles to keep up with the onslaught of animals. Overcrowding allows diseases to spread rapidly.
Many "no-kill" shelters resort to turning animals away when they are out of space. Animals left with owners who don't want them may be killed, severely neglected, or dumped on the streets where they face dehydration, starvation, illness, injuries, being hit by cars, and being tortured by cruel people. Those who aren't spayed or neutered breed, creating even more homeless animals.
The "no-kill" philosophy is a shell game, and animals are the losers. Oak Park can't humanely become a "no-kill" community without first becoming a "no-birth" one. Passing mandatory spay/neuter legislation and outlawing the breeding and sale of animals by breeders, pet shops, and puppy mills are the keys.
To learn more, visit www.PETA.org.
Animal Care & Control Specialist
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