I’ve been a part of the No Kill movement for about two years. And despite all that time, with all that I’ve been exposed to, all the lies and excuses I’ve heard from shelter staff and government officials, all the horrific stories I’ve heard and things I’ve seen – it still shocks me each and every time I hear of an animal being unnecessarily killed.
It happens every day. Thousands of times a day across the country. Shelter workers stick needles into baby kittens, puppies, beautiful, healthy animals of all shapes and sizes. And why? There’s no good reason. There’s no acceptable reason. (The ONLY acceptable reasons for euthanasia are those that actually define the purpose of euthanasia: irremediably suffering or hopefully vicious (rare).)
I see the photos and bios pass through my Facebook stream, all day, every day, from dedicated groups like Urgent Part 2, Undercats 4 Life and others across the country. There are more photos of gorgeous, healthy, friendly animals on death row than I can possibly comprehend. And far too often, there are “gone but not forgotten” photos of tiny baby kittens, handsome pitties, malnourished pups, starved for food and love. These beings, these sentient creatures who feel emotions just as we do – are piled en masse into garbage cans and hauled away to landfills.
It’s sick, it’s inexcusable and there is NO reason why it should continue to happen. But it does. Every day. And every day I ask myself:
How can a human being stick a needle armed with Fatal Plus into the arm of a two week old fuzzy kitten, mewing and squirming as kittens do?
How can a human being shove a gorgeous, young, happy-go-lucky dog into a gas chamber, and flip the switch only to hear the dog scream and struggle before it dies?
How can a human being walk a perfectly healthy, friendly dog straight from impound back to the kill room, without a second thought?
I cannot comprehend. I can’t. No matter how many times I hear about it, see it, think about it – it’s still astonishing to me that human beings do this, as part of a daily routine. The excuses, the lies, the blame placed on the “irresponsible public” – it’s all irrelevant. Because it comes down to shelters making the decision to kill.
It could stop tomorrow. If every shelter worker put down their needle and refused to kill, a revolution could arise.
The public wants to help: they want to save lives, adopt kitties, donate materials and give money. They want to see these animals live. But the cover ups, the rhetoric, the constant lies have all erected barriers that keep the compassionate public from knowing the truth.
Are we making progress? Absolutely. There’s no doubt in my mind that one day we will be a NO KILL NATION. But in the meantime, innocent animals continue to be slaughtered indiscriminately. And it’s horrific.
It doesn’t have to continue. We can stop it. So for those of you who DO know the truth, never stop telling it. Tell everyone. Tell every animal owner you know, every co-worker, every random stranger on the street. Tell the world. Because the more people who know the truth, the more pressure our public officials will feel to FORCE change at our local shelters.
We have to stop the killing. Those of us who cannot understand how the slaughter continues have to be the ones to stop it.
Do me a favor. Look your dog (or cat or ferret or rabbit) in the eyes, see his soulfulness, his sentience, and imagine every dog just like him that will be killed today, for no crime other than homelessness. Hug him, and remember – it’s up to us.