From No Kill Advocacy Center director Nathan Winograd:
33 dogs, including a 10-day old puppy, are recovering in an animal shelter after being rescued from an abandoned apartment. The dogs are globally undersocialized and had untreated medical conditions. If this shelter killed the dogs, as a typical shelter would have, some people would not criticize the shelter. They would claim that the fault lies with the “hoarders.” And, of course, the perpetrators of the neglect and abuse deserve our condemnation. But thankfully these dogs didn’t enter a “typical” shelter. Because the team in Allegany County, MD, knew that once the dogs are in their care, the calculus changes. Once in the shelter, it is up to them whether those dogs live or die. And so they did what caring people do: a team of volunteers, veterinarians, and staff treated them after hours and all the dogs are safe.
In sheltering, we like to fall back on the cliché that killing is a last resort. But while some give lip service to that, it often is a first resort. The thing that is done when the cages get full. The thing that is done even when they aren’t full. Because that is just what we’ve done in shelters for 100 years and collectively, we stopped imagining a different outcome. But in reality, this response is the most inhumane and extreme of all possible responses. If we had never started doing it, the suggestion that we should would be unthinkable. Yet custom has reconciled us to it to the point that many often see it as inevitable. It is not.
One of the team at the shelter sent me this: “[O]n Friday, we received a call to pickup over 20 dogs from a abandoned house. What we found when we entered the house was beyond anything we have ever seen before. We pulled 29 dogs out of the house on Friday, on Saturday morning 3 more dogs and Sunday afternoon another dog appeared. But after the weekend, I also know that we can do anything, there is nothing we cannot accomplish. This experience made us stronger and bonded us even more. I was amazed from the response of our volunteers and our community, who rose up to help with whatever they were able to do. I will never forget.”
Whoever says “No Kill is impossible” has not met the team at the Allegany County Animal Shelter. A big thank you to the staff and volunteers who made a lifesaving difference for these dogs. Check out photos of the rescue on their page.
Read the story by clicking here.
Photo: A 10-day old puppy rescued by the Allegany County shelter. In this case, “rescue” and “shelter” are used in the true sense of the words.