=^.^=  Another article about the abuse animals take in shelters.. after volunteering at one myself for community service hours in high school I was naive and charmed by the cute animals, upon coming back nearly a decade later I couldn’t even bring myself to go back there after a few times.. keeping cats in pens next to sick cats and spreading disease.. I can no longer bring myself to go to another animal shelter. Which is why my cats were all adopted at the Leon County Humane Society, because I know they got the care they needed, received food, water and attention and were not kept in pens 24/7.

I am currently feeding a stray cat at my house who is very loving and I thought perhaps it would be best to have him trapped and neutered and re-leased, in speaking with one of the people at the humane society I was told not to call Animal Control as they will trap him take him to the shelter and kill him if no one adopts him. I can’t have that on my conscious.

(Ghostie the stray happy as can be, I can’t bare the thought of him being in the shelter on display like the others when he is used to running wild coming and going as he pleases.. and if no one adopts him he is “humanely” put to sleep.)

A friend of mine posted this on facebook and I wanted to share..

(Taken from http://www.nathanwinograd.com/?p=5771)

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Images That Will Haunt You Forever

April 27, 2011 by Nathan J. Winograd

Warning: Very graphic images below.

When I left the Tompkins County SPCA is 2004, I had a mission: to spread the No Kill Equation, the model of sheltering that had created the first No Kill community in the nation’s history, to the rest of the country…(et al)

Sadly, as I traveled the nation visiting filthy, abusive shelter after filthy, abusive shelter, and as word of my work spread and I was increasingly contacted by activists and rescuers nationwide who were battling the cruel and regressive shelters in their own communities, I came to realize that I had as much to learn about the state of animal sheltering in the U.S. as I had hoped to teach the animal sheltering industry. And what I learned was that the reality was much worse than even I could have ever imagined.

The dirty little secret of the animal sheltering industry in the United States is finally out. Too often, our nation’s shelters, in addition to being little more than death camps, are also torture chambers. Completely unregulated, and historically receiving no guidance or oversight from any of the large, national animal protection organizations, our nation’s shelters are much too often places where animals are abused, routinely neglected, allowed to slowly starve to death, and go without needed medical attention. Shelters where employees beat cats to death with pipes. Shelters where employees throw live puppies into the incinerator to watch them burn. Shelters where employees throw dogs and cats together into the gas chamber so they can fight each other while they slowly suffocate. Our shelter system is broken. And in too many places, these facilities are little more than badly mismanaged houses of horrors. And I have the pictures to prove it

(caution graphic images)

A puppy as he enters Memphis Animal Services. The same puppy near death from starvation after weeks in the shelter’s custody. They refused to feed him

The “feral cats only” kennel in Collier County, FL’s animal shelter. Terrified cats were forced to watch other cats be killed and many of them defecated in fear as staff hunted them down with catchpoles. They were then lined up dead in neat piles after a mass kill. The director did not believe in TNR because cats “might” suffer on the street.

This photograph is not “graphic” but it speaks volumes. An empty plate, a bone-dry water bowl, a filthy cage: A cat reaches out, begging for food and water. Staff at King County Animal Care & Control outside of Seattle, WA did not provide food or water over a three day weekend.

A rabbit furiously tries to drink water from an empty container in Los Angeles. This follows promised reforms after what has become known as “Spinal Monday.” Staff did not take care of the rabbits who began cannibalizing other rabbits in the face of starvation. When they were discovered on Monday, one of the rabbits had an exposed spine as other rabbits began eating him alive.

In our homes, our dogs and cats are part of the family. We are devoted to them. We give them food and fresh water, a safe, warm place to sleep, needed medical care, and our love and attention.  In the “shelters” we fund with our tax-dollars and our philanthropic donations, animals are routinely denied the most basic of necessities. They are frequently the victims of neglect, and often, of cruelty. In fact, the first time many animals are neglected or abused is in the very shelter that is supposed to protect them from it.

It is time to take our shelters back. It is time to regulate them to ensure that not only are animals no longer needlessly killed at these facilities, but that they are also treated with compassion and decency. We have the right to expect that our shelters reflect our humane values.

But what we do not need are more promises that shelters will do better. We already have such promises and as the above photographs show, and as 4 million dead animals every year prove, those promises are not sincere. What we must demand are strict laws that regulate shelters; laws that force them to live up to their names and mission statements. In short, we must pass the Companion Animal Protection Act in all 50 states