Thu, 2 Sep 1999

From: Sylvia A. Rolloff


As promised, here is the info about no-kill versus low-kill animal shelters.

No-kill animal shelters hold their animals until they are either adopted or die. This means that the animals can be held in cages for a very long time. No-kill animal shelters, while very appealing to some people, are illegal due to anti-cruelty laws. The main problem that animal activists have with no-kill shelters is that they (the no-kill shelters) preserve life itself with no thought about the quality of the animals' lives. Of course, there are great differences of opinion as to what constitutes high quality of life for an animal. Some people think that holding an animal in a cage (although not 24 hours a day) for up to a year until adoption is a viable alternative to killing the animal. Others think that cages are awfull, and should an animal be in one for more than a month, the human caretakers should put that animal to sleep in order to put him/her out of their misery.

Low-kill animal shelters are the current rage. I worked for one in DC for two years. The reason they are called "low-kill" is that, unlike no-kill shelters, they will put down animals that are seriously ill or unadoptable due to agressive behavior. Additionally, they hold (healthy) animals until they are adopted, unlike shelters which have animal control contracts which kill 80-90% of the animals that arrive on their doorstep. Their is, of course, controversy over whether animals should be kept in cages for a long period of time.

If you have anymore questions, feel free to contact me. Cheers,


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Bob Corbett