It’s good to know that 96% of Americans believe that we have a moral duty to protect animals and that we should have stronger laws to do so (Source: No Kill Advocacy Center). Saving more homeless animals seems like a bipartisan issue, especially at the state level.
Only two states – California and Delaware – have strong laws that require animal shelters to save more animals by simple measures. In other states, efforts to get comprehensive new laws for animal shelters have met with resistance. Change is always hard. Maybe we need to take small steps.
It should be relatively easy to pass amendments to existing state cruelty laws mandating that legitimate rescue groups be allowed to save shelter animals. It’s hard to even understand why there has to a law for that. However, an incredible number of pounds would rather kill animals than allow rescue groups to take those cats and/or dogs. Why? It makes absolutely no sense.
I can’t imagine how such a legal mandate would cost money. Most state legislators ought to be able to understand this. It’s like motherhood and apple pie, isn’t it? Of course it would be necessary to check out the rescue group to make sure it’s legitimate and has a good track record. That could be done by a citizen advisory committee. I wouldn’t trust a shelter to decide. That’s because shelters might turn down rescue groups for irrational reasons, such as disliking the rescue group’s comments about shelter operations. That happens all too frequently.
The need for change is clear. At this time about 40 million Americans live in places where over 80% of shelter animals survive. That sounds good until one realizes that there are over 323 million people in the nation. Thus, only about 12 % of us live in those jurisdictions. And yet a huge majority of us want animals saved. States need to wake up to what the public wants.
It should be feasible to save more than 80% of the homeless dogs and cats if rescue groups are allowed to save animals. There are shelters across the nation that save 90% of the animals. And some shelters have achieved a 98% save rate. Those shelters rely heavily on rescue groups, as well as implementing other sensible practices.
The ways to save more animals are well defined in the No Kill Advocacy Center’s Toolkit. Nobody has to reinvent the wheel. My point is that if we can’t get comprehensive laws passed in the states, why not take small steps? We can start by mandating that approved rescue groups be allowed to save animals.