There are 31,536,000 seconds in an ordinary calendar year, meaning a non-leap year. An average of 4,000,000 animals, approximately half of which are feral cats, are killed within the walls of the shelters that are supposed to protect them in a typical year. In other words, a domesticated, loving animal…a companion animal who may have been adopted if given a chance to live, is put to death every 15.768 seconds in the United States. When feral cats are included in the calculation, an animal is executed every 7.884 seconds.
On a local level, Milwaukee’s only public shelter, the Milwaukee Animal Domestic Area Control Commission (MADACC), takes in an estimated 13,500 companion animals every year. According to published reports, Milwaukee Animal Domestic Area Control Commission kills 60 percent of the animals that enter its facility. Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission puts down 8,100 companion animals annually, in other words, which breaks down to one execution every 65 minutes. Knowing that 70 percent of all of the animals in a given shelter such as Milwaukee Animal Domestic Animal Control Commission are lost pets, Milwaukee’s public shelter may be responsible for killing 5,670 lost pets between every January 1st and December 31st that it operates.
These numbers are what drives the No Kill movement and defines its philosophy of advocacy for companion animals. No Kill is not about lions, tigers and bears, oh, my! The movement is about the furry little friends who visit groomers, veterinarians and, more often than not, their owners when asleep in their beds. No Kill is about companion animals, dogs, puppies, cats and kittens, who deserve the chance to live.
No Kill advocates against the needless slaughter of companion animals by demanding accountability for the actions taken by those who operate the countless shelters operating in the United States. No Kill is successful because it thrives on participation, not money. The movement consists of individuals willing to make inquiries of those in charge of their local shelters, both private and public. No Kill simply requires those who claim to work for the preservation and welfare of companion animals to do their jobs with complete and total transparency, with accountability.
No Kill attempts to put the days when killing companion animals was the easy solution for the over-crowding of shelters firmly in the past…forever. The movement survives and gives innumerable animals the chance to become pets because of citizens who are willing to ask questions.
If you are concerned about how a shelter treats the animals it houses, stop wondering and stop by. Ask the shelter’s director about the establishment’s policies and practices. Tour the facility and examine its cleanliness. Investigate whether the shelter is truly a No Kill institution or how it is evolving into one. Inquire about when an animal was killed most recently and the reasons for the animal’s execution.
By making inquiries, you command accountability and create transparency. By asking questions, you are a participant in No Kill.
This article has taken 62 minutes, or 3,720 seconds, to write. Across the nation, approximately 236 companion animals were killed during that time. Locally, Milwaukee Animal Domestic Area Control Commission may have killed one of them and that one may have been someone’s missing pet, someone’s true companion. Reducing these numbers to zero is why No Kill exists and what the movement is.