Lots of shelters and rescues, private and municipal, tout themselves as being "no kill", but is something as ostensibly plain as "No Kill" really subject to creative interpretation? Yes, it is...sadly so.
It's a fact of modern society: Some municipal shelters and SPCAs put their animals "to sleep"... Shucks, "put to sleep", how quaint. That's how some of us might describe what happened to grandma... "Gramma is dead, honey. Dying is like going to sleep, but only sleeping forever" Ah, but that's just a euphemism for the reality. For a dog, being "put to sleep" is anything but a sleepy affair. It's extermination, plain and simple.
Most modern kennels use the needle as the killing method of choice. No blood, no mess. How tidy. But, hardly like "going to sleep."
More ghastly yet, there is a "test" being peddled to shelters across the country. This test is a "temperament test." It "tests" the dog's disposition by subjecting him to a series of standards such as being prodded with a stick, slapped with a rubber hand, being teased with treats, then having it snatched away. Kind of similar to the way some dogs are tormented by abusers. In this case, if the dog "fails", that is, even snarls or curls a lip, he "FAILS" the test and is deemed "unacceptable", so he doesn't count toward being exterminated.
How many, scared, starved, abused and confused dogs, being thrown in a strange, hostile environment such a s a municipal shelter, "fails" these tests? The answer? Most.
But who cares, right? Once these ghastly and unscientific tests are administered, then a shelter can kill 1000s of dogs every year- bid-ness as usual- but now say they're a "no- kill" municipality! Dogs that are unplace- able don't count towards "killing!"
We have never turned away a dog, regardless of breed an we never will.
We get them all ways- owner turn- ins, dropped off in boxes in the middle of the night, sometimes we pay for air travel. If it's a dog in need, we take him. No questions asked
Some breed- specific shelters won't accept a dog of another breed. What do you think the owner does in that case- go home and search on the Internet for another rescue? Not usually. If that happens, the owner usually dumps the dog a at city pound or abandons the dog on the side of a road or at a park... or worse.
If a breed- specific shelter turns away a dog, they are in effect sentencing that dog to even more torture and suffering, and death.
We never refuse a dog. If we can't find a thoroughly qualified home to adopt into, we'll care for, love, and protect that dog until we find a permanent home for him or...he lives the rest of his life at our sanctuary, among friends and feeling loved.
We don't kill- ever.
We don't leave a dog to be killed or pass the buck- ever.
We don't make money. We lose money. Our officers and senior volunteers are typically thousands of dollars in debt for the dogs on our personal credit cards. Not one penny of donations goes toward overhead. We bear the cost entirely.
We stay up coordinating rescues, doing 50 loads of laundry a week at our homes, put miles on our cars and pay for gas. We haven't had a Saturday or ay other day off for months or years.
If someone calls and says that they have to get rid of a dog, NOW- we can't say, "Sorry, it's my day off."
We charge $250 as an adoption fee which includes spaying or neutering, micro-chipping, immunizations, food, care, laundry, housing and therapy. Sometimes we spend thousands in vet bills saving a single dog, but our adoption fee remains $250. It might not make sense, but that's what we do.
We're not a loose- knit network of part- time volunteers, we're professionals and hardcore.
The Founder and President of Chihuahua Rescue. Kimi Peck, LIVES with dogs. She PERSONALLY assumes responsibility for EACH DOG.
I do know that I sleep better knowing that she's there doing what she does. No body else does that type of sacrifice. I know the dogs in her charge are protected. No expense is spared, no one, and I mean NO ONE takes a dog home unless we can reasonably assure that the adopter will be at least as good as Chihuahua Rescue in caring for and protecting the dog.
That doesn't always win popularity contests. Many rescues have an emphasis on adopting out a dog...not us. Our emphasis is on PROTECTING THE DOG. Some people say that's not right, but we're not money driven. We're LOVE driven.
We've had dogs with legs cut off with scissors, doused with gas and burned, tortured with weed- whackers, eyes poked out, shot, starved, kicked, heads slammed in doors...and worse.
Are we being too careful in our standards for whom we adopt out to? I hope so. These guys deserve it.
That's what we're about.
We're about the all- encompassing selfless love for the littlest and most defenseless of dogs, and some bigger ones at at times. It's a cold fact of life- kids, cruel people and other creeps aren't as likely to abuse a Rottie or Pit who will bite back, Chihuahuas are easy targets and can be kicked and tortured more easily, so they are.
We save them. We *really* protect them. They are in safe harbor, here.
That is what we do.
We are a *no- kill* (as if we would consider anything else), no "turn- away", non- profit, volunteer- driven shelter.
Thanks for reading this, and thanks for your help. or your prayers.
Dave, Senior Volunteer and Humane Officer, Chihuahua Rescue.
Feel free to email with your questions or comments.