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C2010-33

Dear Christopher Cat

Animal shelters are overflowing with kittens these days, and I’ve decided to adopt two. Should I visit my local “kill” shelter or drive an hour further to support a “no-kill” shelter?

Christopher Responds

Before I answer your question, let me address your terminology.

Most animal welfare professionals eschew the terms “kill” and “no kill” because they are inaccurate and divisive. Instead, rescuers collaborate to end the euthanasia of healthy, friendly companion animals and those with treatable problems.

Animal welfare professionals more often use the terms “open-admission shelter” and “limited-admission shelter.”

An open-admission shelter accepts all animals. When the population of the shelter exceeds capacity, the least adoptable animals are euthanized.

Conversely, a limited-admission shelter or rescue group accepts only the animals they expect to place in permanent homes, and usually just those that are healthy and friendly. Sometimes “no kill” organizations euthanize animals, such as in cases of aggression or an untreatable medical condition.

My feline family members came to us from open-admission shelters, and they are wonderful cats. So don’t let the fact that your local shelter must sometimes euthanize animals stand in the way of adopting your new kittens from them.

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