7/6 Community Conversations: Kill or No-Kill Animal Shelters: Is It Really That Simple?

Jul 7, 2015

(l to right) Janelle Dixon, Betsy Bode, Joey Johnson (Animal Allies alumnus), Chris Maddox, Shane Courtland, Mike Fry and Johnny Johnson
Credit Pupparazzi Companion Animal Photography

You hear a lot of conversations about "kill" and "no-kill" animal shelters these days.  No one likes the idea of a "kill" shelter, but is it really that simple?

Last spring, UMD's Center for Ethics and Public Policy held a panel discussion on the appropriateness of euthanizing hard to adopt animals. The discussion addressed questions like: "Euthanasia" v. "kill" - when and why to use which word?  Are healthy animals being needlessly killed?  Is a death in a "kill" shelter more or less humane than life in a kennel in a "no-kill" shelter?  Is having a persistent Kill/No-Kill conflict counterproductive to the animal welfare movement?

Guest speakers for the emotional debate included Janelle Dixon, President/CEO of the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley; Betsy Bode, Shelter Program Manager of Animal Allies Humane Society in Duluth; Chris Maddox, Board Member and Bully Breed Coordinator, Ruff Start Rescue in Princeton, MN and Mike Fry, animal advocate, public speaker, educator and blogger.  Shane Courtland, the director of the Center for Ethics and Public Policy, moderated the discussion.

Special thanks to Mary Olson-Reed, the Hub Coordinator at ITSS's Multimedia Center for assistance with the program recording.