To the editor:

The 39 animals reportedly found in such poor condition that the operators of Cat Purr Sanctuary were cited for "possible neglect, no healthcare and lack of food, water and a clean living area last month" are just the latest victims in a national epidemic of animals suffering and dying in "no-kill" facilities.

Institutional animal hoarding has become a troubling trend - and these so-called "rescues" are being raided across the country at an alarming rate. Under pressure to avoid euthanasia at all costs - or risk being vilified by "no-kill" campaigners - some animal shelters acquire more animals than they could ever possibly handle and keep them caged indefinitely, sometimes even for years. Animals are being handed to hoarders and scammers calling themselves "rescues" bya shelters pressured to put statistics before animal protection.

Until "no-kill" is nationally exposed as the pie-in-the-sky marketing slogan that it is, animals will continue to suffer at hoarding "rescues." And law enforcement and animal control officers' time and resources will be spent raiding "no-kills" and seizing scores of neglected and dying animals when they could instead be used to promote humane guardianship and population reduction.  

The humane way to reduce the number of homeless animals in the community is by passing a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance, providing low-cost spay/neuter services, and banning sales of animals by pet shops and backyard breeders. Until these steps are taken, "no-kill" is really only "slow-kill."

Teresa Chagrin

Animal Care & Control Specialist

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Norfolk, VA 23510