Volunteering is a great way to help your community and it is very rewarding for you!
Why Volunteer for a kill-shelter?
People often ask, how can you support, volunteerand/or work for a shelter that is NOT "No-Kill"? Unfortunately in our society, a kill shelter has become neccessary. Consider these statistics from the ASPCA:
- Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
- Each year, approximately 2.7 million animals are euthanized (1.2 million dogs and 1.4 million cats).
- Approximately 2.7 million shelter animals are adopted each year (1.4 million dogs and 1.3 million cats).
- About 649,000 animals who enter shelters as strays are returned to their owners. Of those, 542,000 are dogs and only 100,000 are cats.
- Of the dogs entering shelters, approximately 35% are adopted, 31% are euthanized and 26% of dogs who came in as strays are returned to their owner.
- Of the cats entering shelters, approximately 37% are adopted, 41% are euthanized, and less than 5% of cats who came in as strays are returned to their owners.
- About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.
There are just simply not enough homes for them all. Shelters preach "Spay and Neuter" so much to help stop over-population. The hard decision comes when the shelter is already at max capacity, but new animals arrive every day. The staff must then make the decision of who gets a chance for adoption, who is even adoptable, and who has just been there too long. It is a heart-wrenching decision to make, but all we can do is tell ourselves that hopefully the animal will not suffer anymore.
Our intakes consist mainly of two groups: strays or owner surrenders. Strays are brought to us in order to give a chance for the owner to find them. Sadly, some of these strays were dumped by their owners and found by others. Being in a rural area, we see this very often. After our stray hold is up, then they are able to be adopted. Owner surrenders usually consist of either animals that they cannot care for anymore, a litter their animal had, or animals that they simply do not want anymore. The main difference between our shelter and a "No Kill' is that they can pick and choose who they intake based on adoptability. We intake all pets regardless of breed, age, color, or health.
Another aspect to consider is funding. Our shelter receives $3-$3.25 per taxpayer a year from both Madison and Oglethorpe county. Other than that, we rely only on donations and fundraising to help care for the animals. We are a non-profit organization so are main goal is to benefit the animals, not make a profit.
So why support a "Kill Shelter"? The most rewarding feeling you get when you see the happiness in an animal's face that has just given up. Or when an animal has been sitting in the shelter absolutely terrified, and the moment when they learn to trust again. Just the fact that you made a difference in their lives when, under other circumstances, they probably wouldn't have had a chance at all.
If not for the unwavering dedication of the shelter staff, board of directors and volunteers, hundreds of animals would (out of necessity) be euthanized. We do not create the problem, we just try to do what we can to assist in the solution.