Save Them All

Every day, approximately 9,000 dogs and cats die in shelters in the U.S., simply because they have no place to call home. That's more than four million unnecessary deaths a year. A true, present-day tragedy.

For close to 30 years, Best Friends Animal Society has been working to reduce the number of deaths and put an end to this senseless killing once and for all. Many of you, as individuals and as part of animal welfare organizations large and small, have joined this effort. You may have adopted a shelter animal yourself, found homes for them, donated to rescue organizations or volunteered your time at a shelter.

Collectively, we have had a lot of success. In fact, 30 years ago, the daily number of deaths was more than 45,000. While bringing this number down is a tremendous achievement and a tribute to everyone who has been working to stop the killing, it remains a travesty. We still have many lives to save. In short, while the balance has shifted in the right direction, there is more to be done.

At Best Friends we have always believed that it can be done. Together, so far we have taken care of 80 percent of the problem. But there are still 9,000 animals dying each and every day, and I know that those of you who feel the same as we do will not rest until the only deaths in shelters are cases of true euthanasia — a genuine mercy for an animal with a disastrous quality of life with no realistic hope of remediation.

So, Best Friends is committing to lead the drive to end shelter killing, and our call to action for this is an expression of the imperative that we have always lived by: Save Them All. This is our rallying cry to all those who share our sense of urgency that so many dogs and cats are dying daily in the nation’s shelters, and who wish to help end it. We all need to come together in this endeavor. No one can do it alone.

Yes, we can take heart from the fact that the number has dropped from 45,000 per day to 9,000. In a sense, we are in the end game. What’s needed is one last determined push from all of us who are committed to bringing it about — embracing (as we always have) the principle of no-kill, spreading the word, supporting one another’s efforts and believing that we can do it.

Together we can — and we will — save them all.

Gregory Castle