by Kate Elisha
I came across an interesting article recently that I can’t get off my mind. The article, which can be read in its entirety here, was titled “ Shelter Revolution: Homeless Pets Never Have To Be Euthanized.” I found this concept of an entire revolution of the United State’s animal shelters to be both innovative and quite logical.
“The Shelter Revolution movement says, ‘Current municipal animal shelters are prisons that breed anxiety, depression and aggression in homeless pets.’ Dogs are forced to live in isolation or in crowded conditions in cages where they smell the scent of death every day. Animals are warehoused until they are euthanized. The purpose of the current system is to control strays from roaming on the streets. It is not a system that can be reformed; it must be completely restructured.” As one proponent of the movement says, “There is not reason that a dog needs to be in a cement room with chain link fences.”
The movement is based on the model of human daycare centers and wants to see animals living a natural, communal setting as opposed to the current model of isolation. (However, the shelter revolution movement plan does accommodate for sick animals and a quarantine area for new arrivals.)
Communal housing places large number of dogs and cats (separated, of course) in a home-like setting where they are separated by size and personality. Volunteers walk the animals daily, provide food and water and supervise open playtime.
The Spirit Animal Sanctuaryis a great example of successful communal housing. The sanctuary takes in unadoptable, unwanted, old and sick dogs where they happily live out there lives on 128 acres of forest and fields with people who love and care for them. Through the method of communal housing, along with extensive training, this rescue has seen hundreds of once fearful, aggressive dogs transform into loving, friendly animals.
Check out the Shelter Revolution website for more information. Could this be the future of our animal shelters?