This is a big issue in the rescue world. I've had conversations about this very subject a lot lately, and thought I'd share my thoughts with you. Because yesterday those nine white puppies I talked about last week were euthanized. And even though I only spent five minutes with them, I miss them!
Many people are concerned about whether or not a group is no-kill. I've had people tell me they wouldn't adopt from a group because they were not a no-kill group. I've had others tell me they wouldn't adopt from a group that was no-kill because they wanted to go to a city shelter and save one that was almost out of time. But in the end, whether a group is open or closed admission (kill or no-kill), we're all in this together. We're trying to save animals - trying to prevent unwanted litters from being born and then killed - trying to help those who can't help themselves. So the more important question to ask is not is this shelter a kill or a no-kill shelter, but how do they take care of the animals that they have? Some shelters have constant disease running rampant, animals suffering due to a lack of attention, and in the case of some no-kill groups, animals living for months or years in small cages with minimal human contact. Other groups have animals that are well-cared-for, with shelters or foster homes where the animals are given time and attention and worked with to make them more adoptable. Some shelters are open on weekends and evenings for adoptions, and others aren't. Some do off-site adoptions and some don't. There are a lot of things that can define a good or bad shelter or rescue group to me, but whether they are kill or no-kill is not high on the list - it's more about quality of life. Some shelters are more worried about their numbers than about their animals. I'd rather adopt an animal from a group that can tell me all about that animal instead of from a group that warehouses pets simply to "save their lives" and knows very little about them. The care that the animals are getting, and the efforts made to find them good homes, is what matters to me. So if you're thinking of adopting another pet, or donating money, please don't worry so much if the shelter is open admission or "no-kill". Because either way, you'll be helping to save a life - and just like those nine puppies I couldn't save, there are many more puppies and kittens and dogs and cats just waiting right now for your help.