When someone puts down another person, or entity, we almost always perceive that act as insulting that person, or group, etc. But when we speak of a put down in terms of an animal it has a far darker connotation.
As in the phrase, “Put to Sleep” “Put Down”, means euthanize, or end the life of an animal. Not necessarily due to illness or dangerous behavior, but to the fact that it is unwanted and finds itself in a place that does not choose to care for it and sustain its life.
Tragically, many millions of dogs, cats and horses as well as other former pets of other species, etc. are “Put Down” every year in the United States. Although the older a dog or cat is the less likely it will be to survive a shelter situation, even puppies and kittens too often are killed for lack of resources to keep them alive in the majority of municipal animal pounds. To refer to a place that kills instead of rescues a dog or cat as a shelter is probably the sickest irony.
Having just returned from a visit to San Francisco, a city that appeared to have as many issues with their budget as much as the next city if not worse, I was delighted and impressed with one thing that all San Franciscans are rightly proud of: A NO KILL ANIMAL SHELTER. This is not a shelter funded by the private sector although I am sure that many volunteers aid in its success. This is a city shelter.
Its design is that of a state of the art facility with a building that serves to offer rescue, rehabilitation of the animals and an adoption center that in its method and design, greatly enhances the chances of the dogs and cats finding permanent loving homes.
What about the greatest city in the world and the home of many of the visitors to this blog. New York?
In the near future, NYC’s own city shelter, with its main facility in East Harlem, Animal Care and Control has been given a long range plan by the current mayor’s administration to end needless euthanizing of its animals. One of the front running mayoral candidates has announced that one of the goals of her administration would be to make NYC’s shelters No Kill facilities as soon as possible.
Many animal lovers who reside in NYC are unaware that NYC shelters are currently “Putting Down “animals. The sad reality is that when an animal is brought to the NYC shelters they are on borrowed time so to speak and after a week or a bit more they are in danger of being euthanized. If it were not for the people of the many rescue groups who go into the NYC facilities and foster whatever animals they can, the numbers of animals killed would be significantly higher, but every day in the NYC shelters, they are killing dogs and cats.
We here at TSI feel so proud to have helped by supporting the foster volunteers with supplies and monetary donations as well as giving homes to Hennessy and Jackie, two wonderful dogs who were on death row in the NYC shelters and whose time had run out. TSI will continue to support the animals in every way we can and look forward to the near future in NYC when we can have NO KILL SHELTERS.