This Saturday, Shane and I will be walking in the 14th Annual Walk for the Animals in support of the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. We adopted Mina from the AWLA, and the AWLA was very kind to us when Sid was so very sick.
I had a bit of a moral dilemma in writing this post and asking for donations for one reason: the AWLA isn’t a “no-kill” shelter. In addition to being an animal shelter, they are also animal control for the county, so they take in all animals – sick, healthy, abandoned, surrendered, etc. Having been in the facility a number of times in the last year – with Sid when she was so sick, again to pick up her ashes, buying various supplies for the cats, donating household items, looking for a new kitty, adopting Mina, and visiting other kitties when we were in the neighborhood – I can echo the comments of the reviewers on Yelp. The AWLA is clean, staffed by kind and caring doctors and volunteers, and provides services like microchipping to the community. Animals are kept in clean and comfortable cages, and are given lots of love and attention. There are quiet areas for play and cuddling.
If you have spent any time with Shane and I, you know that we love our cats to pieces, and that we did everything we could for Sid when she was sick. We volunteer for a no-kill shelter, and I feel conflicted about the fact that the shelter spends thousands of dollars on surgeries for individual cats – when that same amount of money could provide for the spaying or neutering of 80 cats at the AWLA.
It makes me sad that not every animal can be saved. I did some looking around for information about no-kill shelters, and PETA reports that no-kill isn’t always the best option. From PETA’s website: “Open-admission shelters are committed to keeping animals safe and off the streets and do not have the option of turning their backs on the victims of the overpopulation crisis as “no-kill” shelters do. No one despises the ugly reality of euthanizing animals more than the people who hold the syringe, but euthanasia is often the most compassionate and dignified way for unwanted animals to leave the world.” I worry about the quality of life for the animals in either situation – kill or no-kill.
I choose to support both organizations with my time and money, because I believe both are doing the best they can. I believe in the work that both are doing, and I believe they are both good causes. I know that many animals have gone to wonderful homes. I didn’t intend for this post to be about kill or no-kill shelters – but I felt like if we were asking for money, we should be up front about an aspect of shelters that some may be concerned about.
If you have a couple of extra bucks for a good cause, please consider supporting our team – Team Pettu – in this year’s Walk. If you’re in the area, think about joining our team! It was a nice way to spend an hour or two, even in the rain.
Thank you for considering a donation – and for supporting us!
P.S. If you have a couple of extra bucks for a good cause but would prefer to support people, please consider supporting our team for the Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure. My friend Tina and I will be running as Team Helpful Paws.