Letter to the Editor: ‘No-kill’ state nothing to be celebrated

The announcement that Delaware is a “no-kill” state isn’t the cause for celebration that it may appear to be. Delaware’s sheltering system, if you can call it that, has gone downhill at breakneck speed in recent years, leaving animals off of euthanasia statistics but suffering and dying on the streets instead.

Because of fanatical pressure to avoid euthanasia at any cost, shelters in Delaware have resorted to harmful practices, including refusing to accept most cats. Animals are routinely abandoned — including by those who are supposed to protect them.

Last year, for example, an Office of Animal Welfare officer reportedly dumped a kitten in the woods even though she had such a severe infection that her eyes were sealed shut and she was too ill to eat or drink. Reports of cats with rabies and cats being hoarded are also on the rise. Is this “no-kill,” or slow kill?

Turning animals away from shelters may make statistics look falsely rosy, but it means that animals suffer and die — painfully — on the streets, under sheds, in ditches, and in backyards. Policies that place more value on statistics than on the safety and well-being of animals who need refuge are nothing to applaud. Instead, states should focus on curbing animal births, through mandatory spay/neuter ordinances.

Teresa Chagrin 
Animal Care and Control Issues Manager 
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) 
Norfolk, Va.

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