Thank you for pointing out that opening a “no-kill” animal shelter is not the answer to Johnson City’s dog and cat overpopulation crisis.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has seen, over and over again, the suffering that results when shelters or communities arbitrarily end euthanasia before animal births are brought under control. Shelters’ cages quickly fill up, and animals may be warehoused in cages for years or the rest of their lives — often in deplorable conditions.
Just last October, 41 cats were reportedly seized from a “rescue” in Knox County, where they were kept in a dark, unventilated basement with overflowing litter boxes and puddles of urine and diarrhea covering the floor. And in February, the operator of a “rescue” in Rhea County was arrested after officials found a reported 40 dogs at his property, many of whom were crammed with up to four other dogs in feces-filled carriers and deprived of food and water. Several dogs showed signs of parvo, mange and malnutrition.
“No-kill” shelters also try to avoid euthanasia by turning animals away, leaving them on the streets to starve or be killed by cars, or in the hands of people who don’t want them — which puts animals in danger of being dumped, shot or fatally neglected.
Unspayed and unneutered animals who remain in the community breed and reproduce exponentially, creating even more homeless animals.
I urge Johnson City to become a “no-kill” city the humane and sustainable way — by first becoming a “no-birth” one. Passing mandatory spay/neuter legislation and outlawing the unregulated breeding and sale of animals by breeders, pet shops, flea markets and puppy mills are the keys to reaching the day when every animal has a loving home. To learn more, visit www.PETA.org.
PETA Animal Care Specialist