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PETA’s ingrid Newkirk shouting like an old lady for No Kill kids to get off her lawn

In a recent article, PETA’s Ingrid Newkirk is shouting like an old lady for No Kill kids to get off her lawn.  Because she needs the room to kill homeless pets presumably.

So PETA is at it again and thought I might clear a few things up.  No Kill is being attacked and I felt the need to jot down some of my thoughts in this post.  Much better post from Francis Battista at Best Friends The no-“kill deniers” if you want a good, less snarky rebuttal than mine.  But for now, here are my thoughts.

To see the original article from Ingrid E. Newkirk, “‘No-kill’ Is Not the Answer to Animal Homelessness”.


Title – “‘No-kill’ is no answer” 


I would say that depends on the question.  If it was “What kind of shelter kills more than 90% of all animals it takes in for the last decade.”  No Kill is not the answer.  That would be PETA.  On the other hand if the question “was how did Austin Texas annually save more than 90% of all animals entering it shelter since January 2011?”  Then No Kill is the answer.  Confusing title without the question.  Hope that clears things up a little.

Let’s look at some of the rest put forth in this article.

“Considerable media coverage recently has suggested that the solution to dog and cat overpopulation lies with so-called “no-kill” animal shelters. If this were true, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals would be their strongest proponent.” 

Except for the fact PETA cannot seem to save more than a single digit percentage of the animals they take in with more than 30 million dollars at their disposal.  Kind of rings a little false, doncha think?

“Open-admission shelters — those that, unlike “no-killshelters, take in every animal brought to them” 

Maybe you missed all the articles relating to over 160 communities that actual prove that false.  We’ll give it to you that you had no time between killing animals in your shelter to read.  But take a little time tonight and check out some OPEN ADMISSION No Kill COMMUNITIES, not just sheltersAustin TX, Rockwall TX, Charlottesville VA, Washoe County, NV, Seagoville TX, Tompkins County NY, Rosemount and Hastings, Minnesota as well as Prescott, WI.  160 communities serving more than 3 times that number of cities and towns.  Reading is hard, but check those out., might be useful in this instance.  Or I can make it easy and send you to

“They [No Kill Advocates] use inflammatory language and labels such as “puppies” and “kittens” even if the animal was a 17-year-old dog who was unable to walk and gasping for breath because of a heart condition.”

If you kill a puppy or a kitten, I don’t feel bad for using that as an example. even if you kill other healthy animals as well.  Check the missing language here as it is very interesting.  There is no denial killing puppies and kittens here or healthy dogs and cats.  Just language used to suggest No Kill is in some way advocating for the lives of irredeemable suffering animals.  Which is clearly not the case.  This is where No Kill and regressive shelters clearly are at odds.  No Kill wants PETA and others to read the definition of euthanasiaNo Kill advocates shelters should never kill a healthy or treatable homeless pet.  But PETA does not distinguish between killing and euthanasia.  They simply use the word euthanize to kill any animal whether the act is one or the other.   It makes some people feel better about what they are doing.

PETA openly publishes its euthanasia figures each year”. 

Government compliance does not equal transparency, honesty or truth.  Here’s their records – LINK.

“We’d love for the “no-kill” people to join us in working for such a real solution.” 

See the OPEN ADMISSION communities above saving lives with the No Kill Equation or check out the 90% club.  It works.  You will need to stop using this tactic.  And the solution is being worked.  I suggest you try this real solution in your kill shelter.

‘And it’s easy to have a high adoption rate when a shelter chooses to take in only adoptable animals.” 

Simply a ploy to make one think No Kill shelters are limited and there are no open admission No Kill facilities in existence.  regardless of the fact that Newkirk knows the first one started in 2001.  No Kill Shelters can be and are limited and open admission.  See the OPEN ADMISSION communities above saving lives with the No Kill Equation.

“The “no-kill” movement is also responsible for the spike in hoarding cases nationwide.  “Rescue” hoarders make up one-quarter of the estimated 6,000 new hoarding cases reported in the United States annually.” 

There is no relationship of this rise in reported casesHoarding existed long before No KillHoarding is a mental condition, not a strategy.  Hoarders save newspapers, trinkets, any item you can think of.  There are cases that hit the news about people hoarding animals.  They have no connection with the No Kill movement.  This is a disingenuous maneuver at best and an outright lie at worst.  See this link for more on this.

PETA’s shelter helps — because no one else will — animals whose guardians can’t afford veterinary care or a dignified death for their beloved companions, animals who have been kept on chains in backyards and have never been socialized” 

When does a “guardians can’t afford veterinary care” and “animals who have been kept on chains” have anything to so with killing pets?  I’m trolling there.  Badly worded on their part but to put those two together as some sort of defense for killing is just silly the way it is worded. But really?  PETA helps here? Can anyone give me one good example of when a relatively healthy/treatable homeless person would be helped with a hypodermic needle filled with blue poison? Or more fittingly, a relative, brought into a hospital because you could not afford to keep them so could you “just put them down, Doc?”.  A person who brings an irredeemably suffering animal to a shelter to be euthanized because they cannot afford to do so otherwise, might be considered a candidate for euthanasia.  But if someone walks in and says, “euthanize my dog” and the animal is not irredeemable untreatable, a shelter should not kill that animal.  And they should not call it euthanize if they choose to do so.

PETA saves more animals’ lives than most of the “no-kills” put together, by stopping animal homelessness (and the resulting need for euthanasia) at its source. We’ve sterilized nearly 94,000 animals” 

That doesn’t save lives, it saves births.  And any No Kill Advocate would say low cost/no cost spay neuter absolutely helps with future shelter intake.  No Kill Programs of Spay/Neuter probably does more per year than PETA, but I don’t think that can be proved either way.  And the argument we are making is about the killing, not spaying.  You’re trying to trick me….

“We treat — for free — animals like Missy, a dog whose hip was dislocated after she was hit by a car, and Patch, a cat whose bleeding and punctured eyeball had to be removed.” 

I think you mean providing you don’t kill them first.  No Kill medical services does this every day, so, moot point.

“We will always consider and respect animals for who they are and what they have been through and do what is best for them as individuals.” 

Hope they never do what’s best for me as an individual.  Help me if I sneeze when they show up at my door.   Killing me because I have the sniffles (or I am old, or I am the unattractive man that I am) is really not what is best for me, or shelter pets, I assure you.

“”No-kill” advocates don’t mention any of this, and instead throw stones at shelter workers, which deflects attention from the need for personal responsibility.” 

Hmmm.  No.  We do point out regressive shelter management, and we do support progressive shelter management that through leadership, imagination and creativity SAVE LIVES.  And, uh, kettle, really?

“Blaming shelters won’t solve the homeless-animal crisis.” 

I could not agree more, but changing them, that could do it.  How about you shoot for only killing 1 in 2 animals this year?  Or better yet, save all healthy treatable homeless pets.  That’s what No Kill is making the goal.  And here is how to do it.

20 thoughts on “PETA’s ingrid Newkirk shouting like an old lady for No Kill kids to get off her lawn”

  1. As a foster in a no kill city, I have to laugh at PETA’s rhetoric. By PETA’s standards, most of the animals I foster should have been euthanized on intake for “pain and suffering”. Yet through a combination of quality medical care, patience, and more that a bit of human stubborness, over 50 cats and kittens have come through my home and transitioned to forever homes. This includes a blind kitten with cerebellar hypoplasia and seizures, her buddy with sinus damage, a cat who went into acute liver failure and required tube feeding, and an elderly cat with hyperthyroid. Two cats found a final forever home with me when we determined they were hospice kitties with squamous cell sarcoma. Both were managed using the Quality of Life scale from the folks at They had a loving home, appropriate pain management, and a dignified end of life. This is what no kill is.

  2. PETA is an organization that believes the existence of pets is immoral. They find euthanasia preferable to adoption because they view dogs and cats as slaves. Their mission is to end pet ownership, not save pets by finding them adoptive homes. It logically follows that they would oppose the existence of no kill shelters, as they similarly oppose other “animal welfare” initiatives.

    This is a group that finds the extinction of domestic species preferable to their humane treatment by humans. It’s hard to reason with that type of extremist.

  3. Why is anyone still listening to PeTA?

    It’d be great if they got out of the “shelter” business (slaughterhouse is more like it) and just stuck to the spay/neuter thing. They could do some good with their millions there.

  4. Rita,
    Actually I would have to disagree. A surplus of animals in any shelter is not an anomaly, No Kill or high kill. What is the difference is the way it is addressed. Since January 2011 Austin, as a community, has maintained a better than 90% save rate of its shelter pets. And they have been in this situation more than once. They have figured it out each time and continued to save lives. Before Austin went No Kill, The city was killing 55% of impounded animals, they were killing more than 14,000 a year. It isn’t easy. But Austin is the safest major city in the U.S. for homeless pets for over two years. So the example, I believe, is valid.

  5. Actually this is a great example of how no kill works. When your city hits capacity you have two choices. You start killing OR you ask the community to step up. That was what happened this weekend. Community animal leaders asked the community to step up and people responded. Nearly 100 cats and kittens were adopted from Austin Pets Alive. I have not seen numbers from the city shelter but I imagine they are similar. No kill isn’t about stockpiling animals. You need to communicate with the public, ask for help, and get these animals home.

    This was a great weekend in Austin. I’m proud to be part of it.

  6. I followed a link from Yes Biscuit to this page.

    The term “open admission” is defined differently by so many people. For instance, Shirley, on Yes Biscuit, recently derided a shelter for not accepting owner surrenders as not meeting its open admission goal.

    However, in this article, you comment on Austin, which, based on a comment on Ryan Clinton’s page, has also asked people to not owner surrender pets.

    Personally, I think any shelter which takes all unclaimed strays from the city pound should be considered open admission. Self described open admission shelters which merely open the door in order to kill a pet should not get a free pass to claiming to help all pets when what they do is kill them.

    If Shirley is confused on the basic definition of open admission, the general public has to be forgiven for similar confusion.

  7. Thanks Clara,
    When No Kill communities reach out for help, and step up to do what it takes to save lives, many haters use it as an opportunity to call No Kill a failure. You show what the reality is on the ground. Love Austin, you put the every other city in the U.S. on notice to step it up!

  8. Thanks Erich, good point. We have to continually refine our message. I am a No Kill advocate because it there are two things I think are imperative (outside the No Kill Equation) which are a) save lives and b) look at everything when you realize you did not save every possible life. So the definition is one of those things that need to be clearly defined and consistent to help everyone get on board.

  9. Wanting to believe that “no-kill” is the answer is understandable, but turning a blind eye to the reality of these facilities is not. No-kill means SLOW-KILL. Dogs and cats need love, attention, play and to be part of a family … not sitting in cages waiting for a home that does not exist. It’s that simple. I applaud PETA for doing the heartbreaking, thankless work and those who are condemning them are in profound denial about the scope and scale of this crisis.

  10. Spare me the dramatics with the intro.I knew about–and supported–PETA’s policy on euthanasia long before I joined. While “no kill” sounds nice on the surface, it is not a humane, realistic solution. If you really think about it, you’ll realize that there just aren’t enough good homes for the millions of animals euthanized in shelters each year. If there were, all the responsible, caring people who were interested and able to adopt would have stepped forward and done so and the shelters wouldn’t have to euthanize any animals. Instead, millions are euthanized every year.

    I volunteered at a “no-kill” shelter many years ago. Animals were turned away because there just wasn’t enough space for them all. The place was crawling with cats—you could barely take more than a step or two in any direction because there were so many cats, eager for attention. No matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t keep up. Even after the volunteers cleaned the place, it smelled. It just got dirty again very quickly. There was always food and litter everywhere. The volunteers cared deeply, but the cats needed individual loving families and room to run and play.

    Cramming homeless dogs and cats in cages or rooms isn’t a humane or viable solution. Until people boycott breeders and pet stores, and spay and neuter, euthanasia is the most merciful option. Shelters and animal protection groups like PETA aren’t the bad guy for picking up society’s mess.

  11. The “no-kill” philosophy is dangerous for another reason too: It leads people to believe that they don’t have to change their behavior at all. They can go on buying puppy mill–raised pups from pet shops, supporting breeding, letting their animals reproduce, and not worrying if they tire of an animal they acquired on impulse and decide to abandon that animal—all while they enjoy a clean conscience. The “no-kill” philosophy makes people believe that euthanasia is not their fault, but the fault of the shelters workers—who are left holding the needle because there are more homeless animals in the U.S. than there are homes, by the millions.

  12. Actually, shelters in several of the so-called “no kill” cities you cite were caught on tape refusing to accept animals that were brought in because they were “full”. That’s the basic problem with “no kill”–they leave the killing to someone else. They look good and puff themselves up while putting down and placing the blame on the shelters that take their cast-offs. To paraphrase Jane Austen, badly done, no-kills. Badly done, indeed.

  13. Giving an animal a quiet, painless and peaceful death is a sad indictment of our throwaway society, but until people spay and neuter their animals without fail and always adopt homeless animals from shelters instead of buy animals from pet stores or breeders, it will be necessary. “No-kill” shelters simply leave the dirty work to others, refusing to accept sick, aged or otherwise “unadoptable” animals. No one wants to see animals euthanized, but throwing blame at those who have devoted their lives to ending animal suffering solves nothing.

  14. I cannot applaud PETA for killing more than 9 out of 10 animals they take into their shelter – If you need to see the documents they submitted to the government CLICK HERE. I think any no advocate would agree with you if there were no homes available. But the math tells a different story. And as far as animals sitting in cages living a horrible life. that is not part of the No Kill protocol. Not killing them is. No Kill is about valuing animals, which means not only saving their lives but also giving them good,quality care until we find them homes.

  15. You say “I knew about–and supported–PETA’s policy on euthanasia long before I joined”. Does that mean you are not interested in the possibility of another approach to save lives? If so, I guess there is not a conversation to be had. If you do think there is an opportunity to save lives by looking at the status quo and reform shelters to improve, you would understand that is what No Kill is about. There are far more horror stories for traditional shelters than there are from no kill shelters. So a single or few anecdotes do not negate the success of 162 communities that report saving 90% or more of shelter animals.

  16. There is no reason to think that No Kill in anyway makes anyone think they can throw away pets. The majority of pet people love and treat their pets well. There are some 90 million cats and 75 million dogs in American homes. We are a nation of animal lovers. The very small minority that abandon pets for no good reason is incredibly small. Many communities have proved this with well over a 90% save rate. I find it odd why some people refuse to recognize this? Animal advocates of any stripe should cheer about this news.

  17. Yes I have seen the PETA funded, well edited, six month to make video. It would be interesting to see the same people film the animals PETA took into their shelter and the departure of more than 9 out of 10 of them in body bags. I don’t think they will show that film.

  18. Patricia, you should really click on some of the links. No Kill shelters can be public or private, large or small, humane societies or municipal agencies. And there are plenty of No Kill animal control shelters and thus No Kill communities which prove it. So your broad indictment is not backed by evidence. Something cannot be impossible when it already exists.

Bark Away!