Salise Shuttlesworth J.D.
Frank Yeverino J.D.
Does "No-Kill" really save all the animals?
“No-Kill” does not mean shelter animals are never destroyed. “No-Kill” means animals that can be adopted are adopted and not killed. Animals that cannot be adopted due to an incurable disease or condition should be humanely euthanized because that’s what the word euthanasia means: “the act of putting to death painlessly or allowing to die, as by withholding extreme medical measures, an animal suffering from an incurable, or especially painful, disease or condition.” Extremely aggressive dogs that cannot be rehabilitated, even by experts, and that pose a genuine danger to the public must also be destroyed. However, before labeling a dog as aggressive, shelter operators must remember that very few dogs behave “normally” in shelter environments. A shelter is anything but normal for a dog that’s used to living in a home or a yard. Dogs must be evaluated for aggression fairly using double-blind tests and not by methods that may set them up for failure with no chance for success.
Are there enough homes to adopt all the animals?
The U.S. is a nation of animal lovers. Billions of dollars are spent every year just to care for all our pets. Americans bring over 23 million animals home each year while at the same time shelters destroy almost 4 million. Our problem is not too many animals and too few homes. Our problem, at least in part, is that we do not market shelter animals effectively to find them loving homes. “No Kill” programs that have already been implemented successfully across the country prove that when we reach out and engage the public effectively, we can adopt ourselves out of the need to kill.
Isn’t "No-Kill" an expensive solution to implement?
“No-Kill” is extremely cost-effective. It’s the fiscally responsible way to manage animal shelters and provides great economic benefit to local communities. Shelters can lower their operating costs when they stop spending money to destroy adoptable animals and instead support a robust pet adoption program. Shelters can simultaneously generate additional income via pet vaccination and adoption fees. And increased adoptions invariably lead to increases in municipal sales tax revenues as new pet owners stock up on food and supplies for their newest family member. Given the cost savings and additional revenues, a community cannot afford not to embrace “No-Kill”.
How does “Trap, Neuter, Return” work?
Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) is a highly successful strategy for controlling feral cat populations and is supported by leading national animal welfare organizations. It’s the most humane and effective method of controlling the free-roaming cat overpopulation crisis facing virtually every city, town, and rural community in the country.
TNR involves trapping all or most of the members of a feral cat colony. Once in custody, the cats are neutered and vaccinated for rabies, and their left ears are clipped (eartipped) to mark them as “processed”. Then they’re returned to their territory where they are monitored by a caretaker and provided with food and shelter. Whenever possible, young kittens and friendly (not feral) cats are removed for vetting and socialization, and placed for adoption. The successfully TNR’d colony prevents other feral cats from entering the area and breeding since cats are naturally territorial. This is why TNR works so well.
TNR will immediately stabilize the size of the colony if at least 70% of the fertile adults are neutered. Neutering closer to 100% will result in a gradual decline of the population over time. In addition, nuisance behavior associated with feral cats is dramatically reduced. This includes yowling and other noises associated with fighting and mating, and the odor of unneutered males’ spraying to mark their territory. TNR cats tend to roam less and so become less of a visible presence, yet continue to provide natural rodent control, a valuable benefit in urban areas. Because there are hundreds of thousands of free-roaming cats, and because the vast majority cannot be homed, TNR is ultimately our best solution to controlling the feral cat populations in our communities.
Are there other ways to help?
Yes! The truth is there’s an abundance of misinformation about what “No-Kill” means. Many in our community assume it’s an unattainable goal, while many in the public sector are simply resistant to change. We recognize that our goals aren’t always on the top of the agendas of most elected officials.
If you want see ours become a “No-Kill” community, then please speak out! Otherwise your silence becomes consent. Contact your public officials by phone, by email, by letter or in person, and let them know you want your tax dollars supporting “No-Kill” solutions.
The message is not so complex. Tell them you don’t want tax revenues used to destroy healthy, adoptable animals when that money can be used to save lives instead. Tell them that you want to see change sooner rather than later. Tell them you want our community to be a “No-Kill” community!
Have other communities achieved "No-Kill" status?
Yes! Many communities all across the U.S. have achieved No Kill status. These include Ithaca NY, Richmond VA, and Reno NV. Texas boasts the following nine No Kill communities: Austin, Georgetown, Kirby, Pflugerville, Rockwall, Seagoville, Taylor, The Colony and Travis County. Let’s make our community next on the list!
What does my donation support?
Your generous donation allows Fort Bend Pets Alive! to continue our work in effecting change where it counts… in the hearts and minds of elected officials and the communities they serve. We’re effective on several fronts.
Strategically, we’re moving attitudes and opinions forward toward understanding, pursuing and implementing “No-Kill” programs in municipal animal shelters. We also provide tactical assistance with “No-Kill” concept adaptation and facilitation for area shelters. We do this thru well-organized and highly publicized pet adoption events and thru public outreach to support responsible pet ownership.
We’re NOT a rescue group. However, as part of our mission, we maintain and cultivate strong strategic alliances with rescue organizations throughout Texas. We are eager to share our information, processes and procedures with others who work to benefit animals in need.
What can I help with as a volunteer?
Everyone has a unique ability and we are looking for passionate volunteers like you to help us move our “No-Kill” mission along. Your contribution of time, ideas, opinions, and political action are just some the ways you can help us improve conditions in area animal shelters and ultimately save innocent animals from being destroyed “just because it’s always been done that way.”
We urge you to attend a volunteer orientation session soon so you can get to know us better, understand our important goals and help us determine where you can fit.
These defenseless animals need you and so do we.
Are my donations tax-exempt?
Yes! Fort bend County Pets Alive! is a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.