It’s interesting how a seemingly simple solution to a perceived problem can have traumatic unintended consequences. Consider tethering. A tether is a rope, leash, or chain used to restrict the movement of a dog.
More than a policy and statistical objective, “no-kill” is a principle, an ethic, and once applied the practical consequences begin to fall into place. The principle is that animal shelters should apply the same criteria for deciding an animal’s fate that a loving pet guardian or conscientious veterinarian would apply. That is, healthy and treatable animals are not killed simply because of a lack of room or resources to care for them.Continue reading “Applying the No-Kill Ethic by Ed Boks”
Imagine a person chasing a terrified puppy across an open field. The puppy is suddenly and brutally clothes-lined by a rope thrown around her neck from behind. Her legs fly out from under her and she falls on her back with a thud. Her attacker grabs her, lifts her up off the ground and body slams her. She would cry out, but she can’t breathe. In shock, the puppy’s legs are quickly tied together so she can’t run from her tormenter; and she is dragged by the neck with the rope.
Now imagine this scene occurs not in an open field, but in an arena filled with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of cheering fans; and the puppy is not a dog, but an animal sometimes referred to as a “doggie” – a baby calf. Continue reading “Rodeo: Legalized Cruelty by Ed Boks”
Imagine being responsible for the life or death of 55,000 dogs and cats every year. As the General Manager for the City of Los Angeles Animal Services Department, the desperate need of these animals weighed on my mind every day. I was determined to end pet homelessness and the practice of killing and disposing of our society’s surplus companion animals.
In Judeo/Christian literature the word “sin” originates from the idea of “missing the mark”. Our understanding of missing the mark has been explained by theologians through the ages as resulting from sins of commission and sins of omission.
While pondering this idea, I wondered how the concept of sin, or “missing the mark”, might apply to our responsibility for the environment and the animals who inhabit it. It occurred to me that there are three deadly sins we commit when we fail in our responsibility for animals: cruelty, neglect, and hoarding. Continue reading “The 3 Deadly Sins: Cruelty, Neglect and Hoarding by Ed Boks”
Imagine how you would feel if your boss told you he was so happy with your work performance that he decided to give a bonus to your coworker. I suspect you would be dumbfounded. Yet, in my line of work, it is not uncommon to hear, “I really love the work my local humane society does – so I sent a donation to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) or to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) to help support you.”
In the quest to achieve No-Kill (which I define as applying the same criteria a loving pet guardian or conscientious veterinarian would apply to deciding a shelter animal’s fate), we must learn to overcome the many widespread myths regarding shelter animals.