Thoughts on the Wording That Both Inspires and Divides

We recently shared the TedX talk below with our employees. In response, one of our staff members, Edward Burch, penned the following thoughts when sharing the video with his friends. We were so moved, we felt it was worth sharing here.

By our stats, we could probably call ourselves “no kill.” But we don’t. For many of the reasons outlined here. I agree that the term is divisive as well as misleading.

I’m proud that our live placement rates are very high, and that those numbers are up from last year at this time. And it’s because of the committed work of our phenomenal staff.

We’re open admission, which means we’ll make room when other places say they’re full—even when we are also full. We do our best for every animal who comes under our care. Most of them find homes very quickly; some take a bit longer. And we never euthanize for space. We commit ourselves to finding a home for every adoptable animal.

Like the speaker, I am grateful for the progress of the past quarter century that has saved millions of animals thanks to the advocacy of the no-kill movement.

The optimist in me says we will continue to progress in saving animals at higher rates. The pessimist knows that the cruelties of the world ensure that my work, my vocation of finding homes for animals is in no danger of being rendered obsolete.

I’d love for us to be so successful that we put ourselves out of a job. I don’t think it will ever happen, but I’ll do my damnedest to make us so good at what we do that I have to start polishing my resume because the shelters are empty.

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