The no-kill shelter movement can be traced back to the early 1990s when the president of the San Francisco SPCA decided to stop killing unwanted strays brought in by government animal-control officials.

It was a decision made with the heart, but not the intellect. Yet the movement caught on and spread, because no one wants to kill the animals we’ve domesticated.

However, the result of this misguided endeavor could have been predicted. Eventually there would be too many animals for too few homes, and not enough space or money to house and feed the cats and dogs perpetually at shelters.

“Eventually” arrived locally in 2018 when at least one shelter advertised for people to take “barn cats” and a neighbor of mine complied — although the cat then came to my wildlife sanctuary to eat instead of staying at her house feeding on rodents as “advertised.”

Barn cats “are feral, un-socialized, or free-roaming cats (also called "Community Cats") who cannot be placed in a home environment,” according to the Humane Society of Tacoma/Pierce County, Washington. In other words, they are not capable of being companion animals to people.

Instead, they roam outdoors, killing wildlife, which is something every thinking person should be concerned about at this time in history. Do the research; it’s easy to see that the natural world is in big trouble in too many ways to enumerate here, and it’s all thanks to mankind. It’s high time to stop adding insult to injury.

We can’t make our own rules for living within the natural world, and when we ignore this truism, harmful consequences result. One consequence of overpopulations of pets (and people) is the need to produce enough food for them, the difficulty of which has brought about the creation of factory farms with their inherent animal cruelty and environmental pollution. This reality may be out of sight, but it shouldn’t be out of anyone’s mind.

There isn’t enough room or food to keep unwanted pets alive, and governments shouldn’t be supporting this unsound idea with tax dollars. Rather, government policy should forbid ownership of unneutered pets, and those animals found roaming free must be killed if homes (not barns) aren't found within a reasonable amount of time.

This harsh reality can be changed, but only by severely limiting puppies and kittens created in the first place.

Marlene A Condon

Albemarle County

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