Meriden Humane Society: No-kill Movement for Animal Shelters

Imagine for a moment that you are one of the people who desperately needs a place to stay because you are homeless. Then picture that someone tells you that your chances of surviving the experience are somewhere between 30 and 40 percent. Would you say that this constitutes much of a “shelter”? However, this is exactly what takes place in the United States, where the euthanasia rate for homeless cats and dogs ranges between 60 and 70 percent.

Because of this, would you please give me the opportunity to explain to you why the Meriden Humane Society is a no-kill shelter? The explanation for this is straightforward: we provide a safe haven for lost, abandoned, neglected, and abused cats and dogs who find their way into our lives. During the time that they are here with us, we will treat them as members of our extended family. Some only have to wait a short time until they are placed in permanent, loving homes. The search takes longer for those other people. Still other people can find a safe haven here, where they can spend the rest of their lives.

These animals are brought to us through no fault of their own, and we prioritize the preservation of their lives over the acquisition of the funds necessary to care for them. Even though we occasionally hear that we ought to run the shelter “like a business,” the fact remains that it is not a business. It belongs to the charitable sector. Because we operate as a charitable organization and try to assist the greatest number of animals that we are able, our funds are always restricted. When we are in a position where we require more money, we put in more effort to acquire it.

Some people wonder why we even bother, considering that our shelter can’t possibly help all of the animals that are without homes because there are so many of them. I tell them the story about the beach that was covered with thousands of starfish and the little girl who picked them up one by one and threw them back into the water as a way to teach them a lesson.

An elderly gentleman who was walking by yelled out to a young girl, “Little girl, what are you doing?”

“I’m trying to save starfish,” she said in response.

“There is no way that you can possibly save everyone. There is an excessive amount. What exactly do you think your efforts are going to accomplish?”

She said as she picked up another starfish and tossed it into the water, “It makes a difference to this one.”

But allow me to refrain from further philosophizing. Instead, allow me to tell you some stories about the souls who have come into our lives and strengthened our resolve to carry out our no-kill mission.

Logan is a one-of-a-kind canine. He is a young beagle-mix and he was looking for the perfect family to take care of him. Logan had no idea when he would be fed or even just petted during the two years that he was confined to a tree and chained there. Because he was always by himself and depressed when he was growing up, he never had the carefree childhood of a puppy. In addition to the poor care he receives, Logan is also completely blind. When he got loose one day, animal control was there to pick him up and bring him in. Animal control was aware of who he belonged to and made contact with them. They said in response, “He is no longer a problem for us. We gave him up for adoption.” The Meriden Humane Society took Logan in, as disheartening as this may sound. Logan adores his canine companions and enjoys nothing more than romping and snoozing alongside them. A kind couple who already have other canine companions adopted Logan. He is getting along fantastically, and his new human companion can even help him climb stairs by telling him to “step” as they go. He can climb both floors. Even though he is blind, he navigates his environment well and is very happy in his new, secure home.

Dumpster is a young domestic black cat who is looking for a home where he will be loved and cared for. She was found by the Meriden Humane Society looking around aimlessly in the trash, so they gave her the name Dumpster after that. She is a lively cat who enjoys being in the middle of the action whenever possible. She deserved to be in a loving home where she could get the attention she craved, and she deserved it. A senior citizen who lives alone took in the dumpster as a pet, and the two of them are now able to provide each other with a great deal of loving companionship.

Jethro, a mixed breed black and schnauzer dog, is two years old and was found abandoned and tied to a tree. Worse still, he had a gaping wound in his back that was infected, most likely as a result of a stab wound that appeared to have been injected with some sort of chemical. He is particularly afraid of men, but he has great behavior inside. He is house trained and enjoys playing with his toys. He also has a fear of men. Even he was able to find a loving home, this time with a volunteer who was a regular presence at the shelter and quickly became friends with Jethro.

We gave the orange tabby cat we found in the field the name Sunny. He was emaciated and unable to move because his flea collar had become entangled in his fur. When we first saw him, he was sitting at the back of a cage, and he gave off an unhappy vibe. After I brought him home to stay, he immediately perked up and hopped onto the couch between my wife and I. He seemed to be enjoying his stay. Sunny, who was filled with joy, had finally found a place to call home and a name that was fitting for his personality. Since that time, he has been my dependable and appreciative companion.

The animals that were discussed earlier are representative of the kinds that we encounter on a daily basis. They all want the same things that each one of us does, which are to love and be loved, to have a place to call home, and to lead a life free from suffering and pain. They are not particularly demanding, but in exchange they provide love without conditions. We are grateful that you have taken the time to read the reasons why we believe it is important to work to save these lives. We have high hopes that you will cooperate with us in achieving our goals.

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