"National Animal Shelter Reform Week"

Declaration of the no kill movement of the United States:

November first full week

Every day during National Animal Shelter Reform Week, the first full week of every November, the No Kill Advocacy Center will call out 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.

"National Animal Shelter Reform Week"


Please Note: The first part of this article is extremely graphic, highlighting violent animal abuse in U.S. animal “shelters.”


In Georgia, shelter workers bury animals alive. In Mississippi, a shelter starves animals to death. In North Carolina, an animal control officer shoots a beloved family dog because he did not want to spend the time trying to catch her after she got out of her yard. In New York State, shelters refuse to work with rescue groups and then kill the very animals those groups offer to save. In California, an animal control officer beats a puppy with a baton and is not fired, his manager then returns a dog set on fire back to the abuser to avoid the costs of boarding pending trial. In Texas, puppies are drowned by being flushed down a trench drain. In Washington, a shelter employee punishes a cat who is fearful of being handled by drowning her in a bucket of bleach, while the whistleblower who brought the incident to light must be transferred to another department fearing retributive violence by shelter employees. In Pennsylvania, shelter workers neglect and abuse animals, but a whistleblower is outed by the Health Department, only to have his car vandalized and be threatened with violence by other employees. In other shelters: Prison inmates who work at a shelter throw animals in the incinerator alive for amusement; Cats are left without food or water during a long holiday weekend; and, Rabbits are not fed and forced to cannibalize one another.

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 institution’s which are supposed to protect them from it.

These are your animal shelters; the ones that blame you for the killing.

The Nation’s Cheerleader Says We Should Celebrate Them

But rather than hold these “shelters” accountable, the Humane Society of the United States asks us to celebrate them. For the last several years, HSUS has promoted a campaign they call “National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week” which occurs the first full week in November (this year, November 7-13, 2010). According to HSUS, which describes itself as the nation’s “strongest advocate” for shelters, 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.” That is why groups like HSUS can boldly publish, without the slightest hint of sarcasm or irony, a picture of a puppy—a young, healthy, perfectly adoptable puppy—put to death with the accompanying caption: “This dog was one of the lucky ones who died in a humane shelter… Here caring shelter workers administer a fatal injection.”

The Nation’s Watchdog Says We Should Reform Them

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 organization that has the power and resources to do something about it: HSUS. That is why we are launching “National Animal Shelter Reform Week.”

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. Despite the uphill battle many shelter reformers face, they are succeeding through ingenuity, perseverance, and because the American public loves animals. The No Kill Advocacy Center would like to support their reform efforts and honor their tireless efforts.

clicking here.

Download our free guides to reforming animal control, saving feral cats, adopting your way out of killing, forcing transparency on your shelter, your rights as a volunteer whistleblower, and much, much more by
  • clicking here.

    Learn about model shelter reform legislation and why you should try to get it passed on your home state or community by
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    Read about what other animal advocates are doing to end the killing in their communities by
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    Read the book that helped ignite the revolution by
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    Sign the U.S. No Kill Declaration and add your name to the tens of thousands of Americans demanding an immediate end to the killing by
We Deserve Better

We are a nation of animal lovers. We spend $50 billion every year on our animals. We miss work when they are sick. We cut back on our own needs during difficult economic times because we can't bear to cut back on theirs. And when it is time to say good-bye for the last time, we grieve. We deserve shelters that reflect our values. And we deserve large national organizations to fight for, not hinder, reform of our nation’s regressive and cruel animal shelter system.

Only when shelters stop neglecting, abusing, and killing animals in their care will we will have something to truly appreciate and celebrate. But until then, we can celebrate the many animal advocates working to make a lifesaving difference in their cities and, more importantly, give them the tools they need to succeed.


Help us highlight the truth about U.S. animal shelters for the American public. Join the discussion on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nokilladvocacycenter.



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