Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - 42

42

Section I
Many shelters and communities across the United States are considered
no-kill shelters and communities. "The most widely accepted definition of
a no-kill shelter is a place where all adoptable and treatable animals are saved
and where only 'unadoptable' or 'non-rehabilitatable' animals are euthanized."3
A widely accepted definition of "unadoptable" or "non-rehabilitatable"
is set forth as follows: 1) Animals for whom euthanasia is the most humane
alternative due to disease, injury, or suffering alleviated; 2) vicious dogs, the
placement of whom would constitute a danger to the public; and 3) dogs
who pose a public health hazard. Interpretation of the term "unadoptable"
varies drastically between individual municipalities and organizations.4
What is considered unadoptable in one community or at one shelter
may not be the definition of unadoptable at another. Many believe that only
young animals are adoptable, because they will live longer and are more active. Others believe that older dogs that are less active are adoptable to older
people who are also less active. Some would consider pit bulls unadoptable,
whereas others would disagree. Some consider animals with certain medical
issues unadoptable, but others might consider them adoptable if adopted
into a family who has more time to devote to that type of animal.
The amount of funding, the amount of time, and the number of volunteers in a community shelter can determine the number of animals that are
adopted, returned to their owners, or must be euthanized.
These issues can cause arguments and conflicts among shelter workers
and community members.
The percent of animals euthanized in no-kill shelters is considerably
lower than in shelters that take in all animals. Opponents of no-kill shelters
say the lower rate of euthanasia is because no-kill shelters turn away many
animals. The number of abandoned animals may increase, and stray animals
may become a problem in those areas.
The decreasing number of animals euthanized may be a result of five factors:
1. The strong influence on spay/neuter programs has decreased the number of unwanted animals and decreased the number of animals showing up at shelters
2. Strong adoption programs that allow more animals to go into permanent homes and make more space for incoming animals.
3. Informational programs that provide advice on selecting adoptable animals, behavior classes, and training sessions.
4. Partnerships between shelters, veterinarians, and local businesses.
5. The changing attitudes of the public which is finding it unacceptable for
animals to be killed or euthanized and that pets are members of the family
and not just disposable items to be dumped along the road or left at shelters and forgotten, or left to fend for themselves when their owners move.

Selecting a pet
No matter how cute an animal appears, careful thought should precede the
purchase of a pet, because a hasty decision may lead to later disappointment,
for all concerned.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition

Contents
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - Cover1
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - Cover2
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - iii
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - iv
Small Animal Care & Management - Fourth Edition - Contents
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