The No Kill Revolution Editorial

2000 by Richard Avanzino

Audience: Executive Leadership, Foster Caregivers, Public, Shelter/Rescue Staff & Volunteers, Veterinary Team

Is your furry, four-legged purr machine a possession or a cherished loved one? In a recent nationwide poll, 75 percent of the respondents said their companion animals were as important as human family members.

But there's a huge disparity between how we, as individuals, think of our beloved companion animals and how they're handled by many community animal shelters entrusted with their care. At some facilities, the animals come in; they're maintained in small cages or noisy, cramped runs; and, if they aren't adopted in a few days, they're killed to make space for more. This killing of "surplus" pets is deemed a necessary evil.

The no-kill movement demands that every healthy and treatable dog and cat be saved. It's about acknowledging the value and importance of each individual pet's life, including canine senior citizens like Reggie, a gray-muzzled 8-year-old with two teeth or the diabetic Miss Kitty.

The no-kill movement is about the responsibility of humans as a species to cherish and protect the living creatures on this earth who depend on us for care. When we allow defenseless animals to die needlessly, our own human spirit is diminished. In a world that has become more violent, more crowded and more competitive for scarce resources, the no-kill movement envisions our larger hopes of creating a more peaceful, tolerant world.

With everyone working together - humane organizations, government agencies, volunteers and community groups, the no-kill dream can become a reality. A growing number of people are eager to join the cause, and with Maddie's Fund, a lot more resources are at hand to rescue companion animals whose lives are at risk. It's all within our grasp. The time for this revolution is now.

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