Dear No Kill advocate,
For over a decade, the large national animal protection groups have promoted a campaign they call “National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week” which occurs the first full week in November.
According to these groups, we owe a debt of gratitude to the “dedicated people” who work at them. They claim that leadership and staff at every one of these agencies “have a passion for and are dedicated to the mutual goal of saving animals’ lives.” They tell us, “We are all on the same side,” “We all want the same thing,” “We are all animal lovers,” and criticism of shelters and staff is unfair and callous because “No one wants to kill.” The fact, however, tragically and frequently tell a very different story: roughly four million animals are needlessly killed at these institutions every year, while an epidemic of neglect and abuse goes largely unacknowledged and unchecked by the very organizations that have the power and resources to do something about it. That is why we are launching “National Animal Shelter Reform Week.”
Over the years, we have received reports of heartbreaking neglect and abuse in shelters across the country. These incidents are just the tip of the iceberg. Rarely a day goes by that another incident of shelter mismanagement, killing, neglect, and/or abuse isn’t brought to our attention, highlighting and substantiating an epidemic crisis of neglect and cruelty, followed by systematic killing, in our nation’s so-called animal “shelters.” In fact, the first time many animals experience abuse and neglect is in the very institutions which are supposed to protect them from it.
National Animal Shelter Reform Week is designed to confront the tragic truth about how most shelters in this country operate and to increase public awareness about how animal lovers can fight back and reform them. Despite the uphill battle many shelter reformers face, they are succeeding through ingenuity, perseverance, and because the American public, which loves animals, is on their side. The No Kill Advocacy Center would like to support their reform campaigns and honor their tireless effort.
Every day during National Animal Shelter Reform Week, the first full week of every November, the No Kill Advocacy Center will confront poor and neglectful conditions at shelters around the country and contrast them with progressive and innovative No Kill shelters. We will also honor No Kill activists working to end the systematic killing of animals, so that others can be inspired by their efforts. Finally, we will strive to give animal advocates the tools they need to succeed.
- To join the week-long discussion from November 4-10, 2012, please “like” our Facebook page at facebook.com/nokilladvocacycenter.
- For a sample letter to the editor to send to your local newspaper, click here.
- To determine whether your shelter is doing a good job, click here.
- To learn how to reform your local shelter and reorient it towards lifesaving, click here.
Together, not only will we save lives; but we will also create a future where every animal will be respected and cherished, and where every individual life will be protected and revered.
Very truly yours,
Nathan J. Winograd