There is no other topic that leads to heated discussion as the topic of kill versus no kill shelters. But many people are not familiar with the differences in these types of shelters because sometimes the status of a shelter can be misleading.To understand the differences in these shelters, it is important to learn what they are.
In New York City, over 150,000 children under five are poor. Last year, nearly 20,000 of these children slept in homeless shelters - enough to fill Madison Square Garden. From the moment they're born, children in poverty face an uphill struggle to survive, thrive and learn with so many odds stacked against them.
I believe two of the litmus tests by which we can judge any society are to investigate both the ways in which societies treat their children, and the ways in which they treat animals. In some countries around the world, we have clear evidence of the poaching of animals for their body parts, such as tusks and as trophies.
The ASPCA's Cruelty Intervention Advocacy is a holistic intervention approach that takes into account how the societal challenges that pet owners often face -- including poverty, housing restrictions, lack of transportation, and limited resources -- profoundly affect the animals under their care. I'd like to share why this uncommon approach is so necessary to keep animals alive.
Could you imagine having to give up your pet because you couldn't afford to spay or neuter it? Sadly, in underserved communities in and around the greater L.A. area, the biggest obstacles to spaying and neutering pets -- which is critical to preventing animal homelessness, suffering, and unnecessary euthanasia -- come down primarily to issues of economics and geography.
In a world rife with war, religious, racial, gender, sectarian, and political strife, when so many children lack safety, enough food, shelter, health care, and education and suffer unthinkable losses of parents to disease, violence, and war, I hope this New Year will bring adults closer to our common sense and moral responsibility for children's well being.