Two Kinds of Shelters
From staff reports
Not puppies referred to in article.
Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Doo are two hound puppies with black and brown fur and thick wrinkles. They waddle and hop in their cages and look through the bars at people who could adopt them. They are in the Asheville Humane Society Shelter. They are two of the lucky ones, because the staff determined that they are adoptable and will not be euthanized. But there are other animals in the shelter that are not lucky like Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Doo because they are in a full access shelter and will be euthanized. There is also another type of shelter called a limited access shelter. That’s when a shelter does not put down animals for any reason. There is a big debate about full access shelters and limited access shelters.
The “full access shelters are important,” says Jim Fulton, volunteer coordinator at the Asheville Humane Society, but he does agree that some full access shelters do have their problems. Like sometimes they put animals down just because they do not have enough room for them. Lucky for the animals in Buncombe county, our shelters don’t do that. Also, it’s legal for some shelters in North Carolina to still use gas chambers. Gas chambers are rooms where they put animals that fill up with gas and suffocates the animals to death. Nazis used this to kill the Jews in World War II. It’s a slow and painful death.Asheville/ Buncombe shelters do not use gas chambers. They give the animal a shot that puts the animal into a deep sleep then stops the heart so the animal does not feel it. They only do this if the animal is injured, sick, too aggressive or too old.
A limited access shelter is a shelter that does not euthanize an animal unless it is extremely sick or injured. An example in Asheville is the Animal Compassion Network. The ACN uses foster homes for animals. The foster owners take care of the animal until someone adopts it. The ACN sticks with the animal until it is adopted or dies. Val Kula, a volunteer with ACN, says that ACN doesn't use the term limited access. They use the term "safe for life" which means that an animal that comes to them "will never, ever go to a place where it will be euthanized." They have a pet store, Pet Harmony, where they sell food and dog accessories like leashes and collars and brushes and beds. They do adoption events there. "Another thing that Animal Compassion Network does is offer obedience training," says Val Kula. This helps dogs be more adoptable. Sometimes , unfortunately, an animal might be really wild but we'll do whatever we have to, use trainers or classes, to keep that dog alive," Kula says. ACN is very careful about who adopts an animal. You have to fill out an application, then someone comes to your house to make sure it's a good match for the pet. They also check with your vet if you already have animals or had animals to make sure you'll give the animal good care. Ms. Kula says we still do need full access shelters, too. Mr. Fulton says that if there weren't full access shelters we'd "have packs of wild dogs running around." They both say that spaying or neutering will help solve the problem.
A solution to help stop the inhumane killing of animals in gas chambers in full access shelters is to pass a law that says gas chambers will be illegal in North Carolina and a law that says only an animal that is in serious pain , very old, very aggressive, or is too sick to be cured, can be put down. A way to get these laws to be passed is to talk to the Animal Compassion Network, a local shelter, or contact your legislators and see if they can help.
Remember Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Doo? They are the two hound puppies with black and brown fur and thick wrinkles at the shelter. They've probably already been adopted. But there will always be unlucky animals that must be euthanized because they are old or sick or injured. Our conclusion is that we need full access shelters and limited access shelters. But we would like to see more limited access shelters than full access, because we want to see more animals have a chance and that would be in a limited access shelter. If you want to help solve this problem try donating or volunteering to your local shelter. SavePreviewText Editor
Links to Local Shelters
Asheville Humane Society