PETA leader responds to shelter not accepting animals because of space issue

Published 8:43 am Monday, August 20, 2018

To the editor:
If the Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter isn’t accepting animals, then it should no longer call itself a shelter, because it is not providing a vital service that defines such an institution (“Animal shelter remains critically over capacity, intakes still suspended,” 8-15-18).
So-called “no-kill” shelter policies may sound appealing, but they often mean “no help” for animals. With an endless flood of animals needing refuge, the only way most shelters can avoid euthanasia is by turning animals away when they run out of room.
When shelters refuse to accept animals, they set animals up to be drowned like the litter of kittens that was saved in the nick of time by a passerby, or neglected, abused, or abandoned to subsequently die from car strikes, diseases, infections, parasites, exposure, starvation, or attacks by predators and cruel people.
Turn-away shelters also make animals vulnerable to abuse with lax screening policies that enable cruel and irresponsible people to obtain animals and both intentionally and unintentionally neglect and abuse them.
This is not a humane solution. In fact, it’s no solution at all. If shelters really care about saving animals — not just making their euthanasia statistics look good — they must admit all animals — no waiting lists, no surrender fees, and no excuses.

Teresa Chagrin
Animal Care & Control Issues Manager
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
Norfolk, VA

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