Euthanasia. Translated from Greek, it means "Good Death," so why does that word leave such an icky taste in someone's mouth? Is it because Death hardly ever feels good to the ones on the other side of the tunnel? Is it because it brings back memories of some of the hardest times in a pet-lover's life? Maybe it's because it's associated with other, equally icky terms, like "Kill-Shelter." The reality is- the difference between a "Kill-Shelter," and a "No-Kill" is 1%.
Organizations that have a live release rate of 90+% are granted the heroic, coveted title of "No-Kill Status." No matter how ethically or un-ethically they are operating, these people are viewed as God's right hand, serving the world with only the kindness in their hearts. On the other hand, organizations with a rate of 89% or less, are coined with the societal term of "Kill-Shelter." They are seen as heartless, scum-of-the earth people who exist solely to murder innocent puppies on a daily basis. Man, oh man, there is so much that doesn't meet the eye.
Your pet Hospice organizations? Most of those are classified as "Kill-Shelters." They aren't walking around euthanizing everything they can. Honestly, they are doing the exact opposite.
Your City municipal shelter? Typically also a "Kill-Shelter." Meanwhile, they are the only organization working to prevent your town from being infested with street dogs. You can't even imagine the amount of networking that gets done behind the scenes. These people are working tirelessly to place the dogs that society has forgotten about. We are contacted almost daily from exhausted, defeated rescuers just looking for a place for their dogs to land.
The reality is, even your private rescues will still face the reality of euthanasia. A live release rate just tells you how often they are faced with the hardest decisions of this field. Of course every organization has things they could improve upon, but I promise you- Euthanasia is not taken lightly for anyone who truly cares about these animals. If you really want to help, adopt a pet that truly suits your needs from a reputable organization. Next time you see an organization drowning in pets, making impossible decisions, avoid passing judgement. Instead, ask your friends who's looking for a pet and send them that direction, or share their adoptable animals on your social media. Every little bit helps take just an ounce of weight off of some very, very tired shoulders.