A blog by spcaLA president, Madeline Bernstein

Jun 26, 2015

Stop Playing Three Card Monte With Our Pets

this is what no-kill should look like
The term "no-kill" was abandoned years ago by enlightened and legitimate organizations as it became synonymous with horrific and sometimes hoarding conditions, as well as touted  by ignorant politicians, less than savory “rescue” groups and fundraisers to assuage a concerned public that all was well with the animals. After all, it's a catchy, quick concept phrase that achieved its original purpose of sparking an aspirational dialogue which advocated that all animals able to be physically and mentally rehabilitated should be placed into homes. (Even San Francisco, the birthplace of the term ceased its’ use a decade ago.) 

this is often what no-kill looks like
Unfortunately, mayors using the term to set goals, "rescues" promising life to a heartbroken pet owner who can no longer keep a pet, or city pound struggling to reach said no kill goal, are perpetuating a major fraud on the humane, well-meaning public. (Nothing here is intended to criticize those legitimate rescue groups without whose help we would be lost.)

 A major "adoption" festival in Los Angeles, where most of the pets were simply moved to "rescues" and could well be condemned to live out their lives in agony in an airline carrier is disgraceful. These are not adoptions into loving homes but rather a Three Card Monte game with our pets. Un-vetted "rescues", often just hoarders, some who may have already been convicted of animal cruelty, may be holding your former pet in miserable cesspools of anguish while advertising and soliciting funds for their “sanctuaries”. Other "sanctuaries" are simply warehousing our pets in crates in places where they will never be seen by potential adopters and will never find a home. 

The shell game of moving pets from location to location solves nothing - except maybe soothing the collective consciences of the perpetrators and the uninformed public. I don't expect that the public be knowledgeable in the nuances and ins and outs of this business. I do expect that they be told the truth. I am also not talking about legitimate transports such as our Air Chihuahua™   program where our excess of little dogs is sent to a state with no little dogs and is greeted by a line of adopters awaiting their arrival. I am speaking of removing animals from the shelters and stashing them in the dark corners and recesses of our city.
or this - from a no-kill location

Finally, those vestigial clingers to this sham suggest they are the righteous and the rest of us are - what - pro-kill? 

It is time that we expose this for what it is and commit to treating our animals humanely, to finding them forever homes, to educate those who know not what they are saying, and to prosecute those that deceive us and harm our pets.