A "No-Kill Weekend" For Animals
By Harriet Steinberg
Feb 18, 2007 - 6:31:00 PM

LOS ANGELES — The city’s Department of Animal Services decided to take a holiday from euthanizing animals. “This is our declaration that death is taking a holiday,” said Ed Boks, general manager of the city’s animal department. Although this “No-Kill Weekend” took place on the week-end of February 11 through the 13, it is hoped that this act of kindness will be able to continue for another month. This will depend on the response of the public.

Many cities in the United States have decided in the past to declare a “no-kill” policy, but have not been able to succeed with the plan. This will be a new goal for Los Angeles pet lovers. Boks decided last weekend that there will be a few days when his sheltered animals will be able to live. It is hoped that this decision will make people aware that if they can adopt a pet from a shelter, it will help an animal from being euthanized.

In spite of the fact that there has been increasing pressure from animal welfare groups, it has been difficult to stop the euthanasia of healthy animals. On any given day in the six city-run animal shelters, there are approximately 1,000 dogs, cats and rabbits available for adoption. On average, 56 are adopted daily and 50 are euthanized.

Cats in a shelter. Jenna Skarzenski / Canyon News

Boks is hoping that there will be such a great response from the public that this moratorium will continue into four weeks or even several months and will attract future pet owners.

The six city shelters are offering discounted adoption fees. There was also a volunteer group, “Matchmakers,” that paired the right animal with the right people. If last week-end has proven to be a success, the volunteers will continue with their jobs for future "no-kill" days.

There were some concerns about the “No-Kill” weekend. It was feared that although it might attract some people to become pet owners, some people worried that many might change their mind and return the animal.

The purpose of the “No-Kill weekend” was to make people aware of how many healthy animals are being killed. Many people don’t know that there are shelters for animals and they are being euthanized. They think the animals are being taken care of as long as they live.

It is hoped that if the “No Kill” awareness weekend continues, more and more people will become aware of what happens when animals are not adopted, and will do their best to let others know that unless someone adopts one of the animals, they will be killed. It Is also hoped that people who plan to buy an expensive breed somewhere else, will change their mind and adopt a pet from a shelter.

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