We thank Robert Jumper for his compassion for homeless animals. We agree that more resources are needed to prevent animals from becoming homeless in the first place.
While “no-kill” policies may sound nice in print, in practice they result in more animals being born, and more of them dying—often in terrible ways. Always full, “no-kill” facilities turn away animals who are desperately in need of shelter and safety. These animals don’t miraculously vanish—they are abandoned on the streets (where they breed and add to the homeless animal crisis), cruelly killed, fatally neglected, or palmed off on other people who can’t provide them with proper care.
Many facilities with “no-kill” policies also warehouse animals, often for life, in cages and pens, or turn them over to anyone who will take them—including hoarders and abusers—without adequate screening. Homeless animals require and deserve protection, safety, and comfort, including a peaceful end when they are suffering or no suitable homes can be found for them.
Requiring animal guardians to spay and neuter, helping them do so by providing subsidized, low- to no-cost sterilization and transportation services, and prohibiting the unregulated breeding and sale of animals are critical to ending animal homelessness before it starts, which is what we should all be striving for.
Teresa Chagrin, Animal Care and Control Issues manager
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
Editor’s Note: The One Feather contacted Ms. Chagrin and we clarified that “No-Kill” for the Qualla Boundary is a goal. We agree that education, aggressive spay/neuter programs, and communication are the keys to reducing or eliminating the kill rate at our shelter. And we understand that getting there will take work and time on the part of all of us who care about quality of life for animals.