To Kill....or Not?
The No Kill Declaration is in the file section for your review. The basic premises are also copied at the end of this email.
We will soon be posting a poll that covers the various aspects of the No Kill Declaration. We want to know where everyone stands on the individual issues, as well as on the declaration as a whole. We'd like to know if membership wants to officially support it or not, and we want to know where the areas of disagreement are, if any.
Some of the premises will probably not be attainable in the short term, but our support would assume a long term plan for those items that require more time.
Please read over the document, and watch for the poll to be posted on the board.
III. Statement of Rights
We acknowledge the following:
wSheltered animals have a right to live;
wFeral cats have a right to their lives and their habitats;
wAnimals, rescuers, and the public have a right to expect animal protection organizations and animal shelters to do everything in their power to promote, protect, and advocate for the lives of animals;
wAnimal protection groups, rescue groups, and No Kill shelters have a right to take into their custody animals who would otherwise be killed by animal shelters;
wTaxpayers and community members have a right to have their government spend tax monies on programs and services whose purpose is to save and enhance the lives of all animals;
wTaxpayers and community members have a right to full and complete disclosure about how animal shelters operate.
IV. Guiding Principles
No Kill is achieved only by guaranteeing the following:
wLife to all healthy animals, and to all sick, injured, or vicious animals where medical or behavioral intervention would alter a poor or grave prognosis;
wThe right of feral cats to live in their habitats.
These conditions can be achieved only through adherence to the following:
wShelters and humane groups end the killing of healthy and treatable animals, including feral cats;
wEvery animal in a shelter receives individual consideration, regardless of how many animals a shelter takes in, or whether such animals are healthy, underaged, elderly, sick, injured, traumatized, or feral;
wShelters and humane organizations discontinue the use of language that misleads the public and glosses over the nature of their actions, such as "euthanasia," "unadoptable," "fractious," "putting them to sleep," and other euphemisms that downplay the gravity of ending life and make the task of killing easier;
wShelters are open to the public during hours that permit working people to reclaim or adopt animals during nonworking hours;
wShelters and other government agencies promote spay/neuter programs and mandate that animals be spayed or neutered before adoption;
wPublic shelters work with humane animal adoption organizations to the fullest extent to promote the adoption of animals and to reduce the rate of killing;
wShelters provide care and treatment for all animals in shelters to the extent necessary, including prompt veterinary care, adequate nutrition, shelter, exercise, and socialization;
wShelters are held accountable for and make information publicly available about all the animals in their care.
V. No Kill Standards
The implementation of these lifesaving procedures, policies, and programs must be the immediate goal of every shelter, and animal control and animal welfare agency:
wFormal, active commitment by shelter directors, management, and staff to lifesaving programs and policies, and dedication to promptly ending mass killing of shelter animals;
wImmediate implementation of the following programs by all publicly funded or subsidized animal shelters:
wHigh-volume, low- and no-cost spay/neuter services;
wA foster care network for underaged, traumatized, sick, injured, or other animals needing refuge before any sheltered animal is killed, unless the prognosis for rehabilitation of that individual animal is poor or grave;
wComprehensive adoption programs that operate during weekend and evening hours and include offsite adoption venues;
wMedical and behavioral rehabilitation programs;
wPet retention programs to solve medical, environmental, or behavioral problems and keep animals with their caring and responsible caregivers;
wTrap-Neuter-Return or Release (TNR) programs;
wRescue group access to shelter animals;
wVolunteer programs to socialize animals, promote adoptions, and help in the operations of the shelter;
wDocumentation before any animal is killed that all efforts to save the animal have been considered, including medical and behavioral rehabilitation, foster care, rescue groups, neuter and release, and adoption.
wAn end to the policy of accepting trapped feral cats to be destroyed as unadoptable, and implementation of TNR as the accepted method of feral cat control by educating the public about TNR and offering TNR program services;
wAn end to the use of temperament testing that results in killing animals who are not truly vicious (e.g., shy/timid cats and frightened dogs) but who can be placed in homes, or are feral cats who can be returned or released;
wAbolishment of trapping, lending traps to the public to capture animals, and support of trapping by shelters, governments, and pest control companies for the purposes of removing animals to be killed;
wAn end to owner-requested killing of animals unless the shelter has made an independent determination that the animal is irremediably suffering or cannot be rehabilitated;
wThe repeal of unenforceable and counter-productive animal control ordinances such as cat licensing and leash laws, pet limit laws, bans on feeding stray animals, and bans on specific breeds.
As always, we thank you for your participation, your interest, and your support for improving the treatment of pets in San Antonio.
CPR Steering Committee