Speak Out: No-kill not celebrated

Readers reacted to a recent letter by Teresa Chagrin, Animal Care and Control Issues Manager, with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), headlined “‘No-kill’ state nothing to be celebrated.”

•“No-kill” sounds appealing, but such policies often result in “no help” for animals who need it most. When “no-kill” facilities fill up — as they inevitably, and quickly, do — stray and surrendered animals are left with nowhere to turn. Some end up languishing for years in hoarding facilities, or they die painfully on the streets of injuries or starvation. We all want to end the need for euthanasia in shelters, but the way to get there is by preventing unwanted animals from being born in the first place, through spaying and neutering, not simply changing policies without addressing the root causes of animal homelessness and overpopulation. — Lucy Post

• My granddaughter rescued two kittens that had been dumped in a ditch 2 years ago. I really didn’t want to keep them since we already had two cats, a dog and a rabbit. We had to keep them, morally, as no cats were being accepted at any shelters. Even though I’m retired, living on a fixed income, we were fortunate to get reduced fees for shots and neutering thanks to the Camden shelter. The rescues are part of our family but financially, we would have been better if the shelter would have taken them and adopted them. We see stray cats in our area often and kittens later. As much as I hate the thought of euthanasia, it’s kinder in the long run. Someone also had “dumped” a domestic rabbit in our yard. Hence, the bunny. We adopted the dog and other 2 cats from the shelter so we are definitely into rescues. — Joan Fry

• This so-called “achievement” of the first no-kill state is nothing but a big fraud perpetrated on the unwitting public so that some government officials and some high-profile shelters can pat themselves on the back and ignore what is really happening out in the community. To many it is all about appearances, and “no kill” sounds great. I see it every day as a rescue volunteer. Shelters too full to accept animals (almost always) means they are dumped anywhere and everywhere instead, and left to be killed or die on the streets, often breeding and increasing the misery. What are we doing about these animals, especially dumped cats? Yeah, great job Delaware! — Doreen Peterzak

• Seems Delaware is a slow learner. Didn’t they learn a lesson with that vile CAPA program? The rest of the country is laughing at Delaware’s miserable failure with CAPA and still the state is chasing after this nightmare. Why? Because officials don’t want to be called names like killers, murderers, if you aren’t for no kill, then you must be for killing. Once you open the door to no kill, you can’t close it again even with the facts that it is destroying your state shelter system. Wise up, bite the bullet, and send no kill packing out of Delaware. — Harve Morgan

• Although I do not support many of PETAs positions, I am thankful that someone is speaking the truth about this “no-kill” statistic. The widespread praise for this so-called “achievement” is deceptive. The situation here in Delaware only looks good on paper. Even House Bill 235, which offers protection for community cats and their caretakers, did not come with the necessary services to support it. Suggestions for simple strategies to help the community cats often go unheeded.

Those of us who try to manage community cats in Delaware with Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return (TNVR) are completely overwhelmed and heartbroken over what we see. Many of the cats we find outdoors are abandoned pets. There are not enough homes for kittens and the best that we can do sometimes is spay/neuter/vaccinate them and return them to their managed colony. Not ideal by any means, but it allows these lucky few to live out their lives as best as possible. When an entire colony of cats is TNVR’d and properly managed, people in the community also benefit from rabies protection.

The No Kill Advocacy Center makes it very clear that a long list of services must simultaneously complement the move to “No Kill”, including, but not limited to, education, high-volume no cost/low cost spay/neuter, and programs to prevent pet abandonment. This did not happen in Delaware, and animals, particularly cats, are suffering the consequences. It’s time for shelter directors, veterinarians, government officials, and animal welfare nonprofits to put past differences aside and work together to put these services into place. — Gail Bottomley

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