To Kill or Not To Kill?

No Kill Shelters

PALM DESERT, Calif. - It's hard enough knowing some dogs call a shelter home. Knowing their "home" isn't a no-kill shelter can be almost unbearable.

To kill or not to kill? Simple question, easy answer.

"It isn't controversial. It isn't like gun control, or abortion, or illegal immigration. Nobody really wants to kill animals," Lindi Biggi, President of Loving All Animals, said.

Though the answer may be easy, implementing it is not.

Biggi wants change in the animal community.

"It isn't ok. It's similar to saying, 'Hey our school is too full, so go in there and call out 50 kids and kill them. It doesn't need to happen," Biggi said.

In some cases, shelters have no other choice. Charlottle Lasley took us behind the Animal Care Center of Indio, the City of Indio's animal control - an example of a shelter with no other choice sometimes.

"We're a kill shelter because when we're full, we cannot say, 'ok, we're full, can't bring in any more animals until we get other animals adopted out.' We don't have that choice," Lasley said.

Charlotte says often euthanasia is necessarry.

"When a dog is vicious toward other animals and people," Lasley said.

Like the dogs rescued in Duroville just weeks ago. Left out to fend for themselves, many stray dogs become aggressive. While euthanasia is always a morbid thought, many people understand it for reasons such as temperament. The reason that upsets animal lovers the most, though, is overpopulation.

"That means we're so full and to we weren't able to get them out and we have to make the choice of which adoptable animal it's going to be," Lasley said.

She fought back tears as she explained the process of choosing which animal would go.

"We hold the animal, we talk to the animal during the process. It brings tears to our eyes," Lasley said.

As you can see, Biggi is right -- nobody wants to kill animals.

One of Biggi's favorite lines is 'If people knew better, they would do better.'

It's on that note that she created this proclamation, in hopes the community will get on board.

She read some of it aloud.

"Whereas research has show 24 million animal lovers will bring a new dog or cat into their homes in any given year, and need to be encouraged to adopt from a local shelter," Biggi read. "Really all it's saying is we want to quit killing."

"I think it's wonderful, the most awesome thing. Over the years, these organizations have been growing and helping out more and more, and that's what we need," Lasley said.

"It's just trying to make people aware that these animals are homeless and they're being put to sleep because there is no home for them," Biggi said.

So far, 60 communities in the United States are no-kill, meaning 90% of animals leave shelters alive. Biggi wants the Coachella Valley to be the 61st.

"If people knew how hard they're trying to get these animals out of the shelters alive, and if everybody would jump in and help support the shelters, go volunteer, write them a check, go adopt. If the whole community got onto this, we would be a no-kill community," Biggi said.

Biggi and Lasley said it will take the entire community to choose better lives for these dogs. Spaying and neutering will stop rapid reproduction.

"We need to get supply and demand in wack, and we need to get the ones already on this planet adopted," Biggi said.

"An animal is going to love you no matter what, and unless you've really ever experienced that, and a lot of people haven't, you don't know how wonderful it is," Lasley said.

Many people say it's even more wonderful with a rescue pet, because they know - and don't forget - you gave them a real home.

Bianca Rae and local non profit Loving All Animals are hosting a benefit for the Animal Care Center of Indio, where she adopted her dog, Jack, from. The event is on Sunday, February 24th at the Eldorado Polo Club in Indio. To buy tickets, go to LovingAllAnimals.org. 

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