Wednesday 9 December 2015

Shelter Kitten Euthanised Because She Was Black

At a shelter in or near San Diego, USA, a tiny black kitten named Ember was euthanized (in truth killed) because she was considered to be either unfriendly or unadoptable. No doubt she was considered to be unadoptable because black cats are unpopular. They are not unadoptable and neither are they unfriendly. They are just unpopular because people still harbour strange misconceptions and superstitions about black cats even today in the 21st century.

The shelter concerned changed their policy in July 2015 to allow them to euthanize animals that they considered to be unfriendly or unadoptable. It is, though, a bit of a shock to read that they decided that a small, sweet black kitten was automatically deemed to be unadoptable without any effort to see whether she could be adopted. Sometimes somebody comes along who is unconcerned whether a kitten is black or any other colour. Couldn't they have tried a bit harder? It all seems very harsh to me.

The same shelter, through San Diego County officials, have acknowledged that many cats are killed by animal services at the shelter simply because the shelter runs out of space. This may be true but I wonder how committed they are to exploring alternative ways to find adopters for their cats rather than through the conventional channels.

Some shelters use enlightened ideas to maximise the chance of adoption and these shelters have lower kill rates. It is, as usual, about commitment and valuing the lives of each individual cat.

This information comes from the San Diego Union-Tribune via the Santa Maria Times.

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