“No-Kill” Shelters: are they real?

I’ve seen a lot of “rescue” sites that say no dogs should ever be euthanized in shelters.  That there is no reason for any dog not to be able to be rehomed.  Do you agree that it is that simple?  That all dogs are able to be saved?

What I’m about to say is probably going to rub some the wrong way, but I totally disagree.  My honest opinion is that not all dogs can or should be rehomed.  To think otherwise in my opinion is not being realistic.

First I’d like to start with some facts on the homeless epidemic in the US.  There are approximately 13,600 community animal shelters nationwide that are independent; there is no national organization monitoring these shelters. The terms “humane society” and “SPCA” are generic; shelters using those names are not part of the ASPCA or the Humane Society of the United States. Currently, no government institution or animal organization is responsible for tabulating national statistics for the animal protection movement. These are national estimates; the figures may vary from state to state.

  • Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
  • Each year, approximately 2.7 million animals are euthanized (1.2 million dogs and 1.4 million cats).
  • Approximately 2.7 million shelter animals are adopted each year (1.4 million dogs and 1.3 million cats).
  • About 649,000 animals who enter shelters as strays are returned to their owners. Of those, 542,000 are dogs and only 100,000 are cats.
  • Of the dogs entering shelters, approximately 35% are adopted, 31% are euthanized and 26% of dogs who came in as strays are returned to their owner.
  • Of the cats entering shelters, approximately 37% are adopted, 41% are euthanized, and less than 5% of cats who came in as strays are returned to their owners.
  • About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.


Since 26% of dogs are returned to their owners, that drops the number down to 2.886 million.  The cat percentage drops from 3.4 million to 3.23 million as 5% of cats are returned to their owners.  As a side note:  since only 5% of cats are returned to their owners, microchipping may be a factor to increasing that percentage.

Combine those numbers with the estimation that 70-80 million dogs and 74-96 million cats are owned in the United States. Approximately 37-47% of all households in the United States have a dog, and 30-37% have a cat. (Source: APPA)  So now we have approximately 72.886-82.886 million dogs and 77.23-99.23 million cats in total in the US.

Now according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, approximately 40% of pet owners learned about their pet through word of mouth, regardless of the source.  The majority of pets are obtained from acquaintances and family members. 28% of dogs are purchased from breeders (this will be addressed on a separate entry), and 29% of cats and dogs are adopted from shelters and rescues.

In a perfect world, all of those pets would be healthy, both mentally and physically, and that would make them good candidates for rehoming.  Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world and not all of those animals are healthy, mentally or physically.

Those that are critically sick or have aggressive temperaments (extreme dog/people aggression) that really cannot be rehomed due to a liability issue…and a big one at that or those that have a serious illness or disability are a different story.  These dogs are humanely euthanized as they’d have no life outside of that kennel or are already dying and it would be the humane thing to do.  So there really and truly is no such thing as a no kill shelter.  However, what they mean by no-kill to be is no healthy animals that are capable of being rehomed are killed.

Now this is where people are going to get pissed off.  Dogs are being imported in by the thousands by rescues.  A great many of these dogs are actually feral and with that brings assorted behavioural issues, not to mention diseases that our dogs are not vaccinated against simply because there was no way they’d have been exposed before.  Now most people know that you don’t buy puppies from a pet store simply because by doing so, it feeds the puppy mills greedy little appetites and just makes room for more pups.  It continues the cycle rather than ending it.  By not purchasing that pup you are ending that vicious cycle.  No demand means no need for supply.  That lesson we’ve all learned, right?

So why are we allowing dogs to be imported into the country that have probable health issues (there is no quarantine) and definite behavioural issues?  These animals have serious issues stemming from their owners spending months gaining their trust let alone allowing them to be touched.  This means that many homes have dogs that cower, snarl, growl and possibly snap at owners on a daily basis, let alone their children.  The average home is NOT prepared for this.  They neither have the skills nor the resources to fix this type of problem.

Not to mention the fact that by removing the dogs from the country of origin, all we’ve done is open up slots for more dogs to fill.  It doesn’t fix the problem, it simply fuels it.

So now we are deliberately bringing potentially dangerous dogs into family homes.  These types of issues would not have normally have ever passed the necessary testing nor would they have ever allowed these dogs to be sold and placed in homes.  Chances are very high that these dogs would have been humanely euthanized due to their issues.  Most reputable rescues wouldn’t take the chance of the dog biting someone, whether they be the owner, their children or someone, anyone, else.

One has to wonder why these rescues don’t seem to have a problem with selling a huge sob story and placing potential ticking time bombs in peoples homes?

It’s time we asked ourselves why we fall for the shtick that is thrust down our throats by these rescues.  It’s time to stop calling them rescues and call them brokers, which is what are.


Copyright © 2016 Sandy Monk/K9HotSpot blog. All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS BLOG ~ K9HOTSPOT ~ ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Sandy Monk, and may not be used, copied or reprinted without express permission from the owner. Copyrighted 2016






Cesar Milan: Friend or Foe?

I’m sure by now most of you have already heard of the video that is heating up the online feeds about the Dog Whisperer.  The great debate.  Was Cesar Milan being abusive…to the pig.

To the pig.  What about what he did to the dog?  Hell, to both of them.

This is a man that has no formal behaviourist training as per his own admission. This is a man that is not a trainer by his own admission. This is a man whose formal training is as a groomer, again by his own admission.
This is also about a man who CHOSE to set up this dog to fail in an astronomical manner. This man CHOSE to ignore all the positive behaviour he was getting from the dog (ignoring, walking away from the pigs etc) and had an assistant grab a pigs leg to make it squeal. That squeal of pain set off the predatory instinct in this dog. The assistant HELD the pig in place so the dog could bite it and then Cesar, in his infinite wisdom, chased the dog all over the place to alpha roll a dog that had already shown submissive behaviour. THIS is NOT the actions of someone who knows a damn thing about training or behaviour modification. THIS is the behaviour of a man that needs ratings. Period.
This man is dangerous and people need to realize his methods are ancient and long since been debunked.

Now to respond to all of the folks that love the man, I’d like to walk you through this video step by step.

Cesar Milan’s first decision was to walk this already established pig killer into an enclosure with loose pigs.  Kudos to the dog, he actually ignores all of them and even walks away from where they are.  He doesn’t seem too interested in them and continues to investigate the environment.  This is when Cesar should have rewarded the dogs behaviour as he is offering it all on his own.

Since the dog didn’t react to the pigs like he wanted, Cesar ups the ante and removes the leash.  Dog still offers good behaviour and still ignores the pigs.  This makes for boring tv so an assistant holds one of the pigs and grabs it  by the leg, making it squeal in pain.  That squeal sets the predatory instinct off in the dog and he takes off at the pig.  The assistant is still HOLDING the pig and of course, the dog is clearly able to bite the pig.  Cesar, in his infinite wisdom, decides the next best thing to do is chase the dog around.  Once he finally catches up to the dog, the dog offers submissive behaviour, to which Cesar responds by giving him an alpha roll.  Kudos to the man for making an already submissive dog, submit.

IF he used anything but being an abusive bully, he’d have avoided all of this.  He CREATED this mess.  He set this dog up to fail, to bite that pig, to create scandal and sensationalism.

For what, you may ask?  Ratings.  NOT the welfare of this dog and clearly not for the welfare of the pigs.

Time for him to step down and hang up the reins of being delegated the Dog Whisperer.


You can watch the video here.  Please turn your sound down as the audio is not the best, however the video shows everything quite clearly.





Brokers Posing as Rescues

The following article is all about the warm and fuzzy feelings of folks doing good rescuing dogs from certain death.  Everyone loves a feel good story but there are always consequences that are “unforeseen”.  In this case, this group is, by their own admission, a broker vs a rescue.

“We are so full of puppy mills here that there’s a lot of these purebred dogs that people can’t get, so I want to bring them over from Korea and then people can adopt with a clear conscience, like, ‘Hey I adopted — not bought —  a dog,’” Kathy Dunn-Melito said.

The above quote has many things I’d like to nitpick about.  One, an “adopter” pays the rescue for the dog.  It can be called an administration fee, adoption fee or whatever catch phrase they’d like, anytime money is exchanged for something, that is called a purchase.  To purchase something means you have bought it.  Whether it be from a rescue or a reputable and responsible breeder, the outcome is the same; you have bought that dog.

The second thing I’d like to point out is the “there’s a lot of these purebred dogs that people can’t get, so I want to bring them over”.  That statement isn’t that she is simply bringing them over to help them, she feels that there is a hole in the supply for such dogs and is fulfilling the demand.  That my friends is brokering.

I’m sure at this point, most are thinking that I’m against rescues, and there is nothing further from the truth.  I am very much for rescues, not brokers posing as rescues.  Rescues don’t do it to fill a hole, they do it because the animals are in dire straits and need to get out of their current situation.

My next issue is why are we spending thousands to bring them over.  Why not spend that money, and save some at the same time, at setting up, or organizing a rescue operation there?  Find homes for these animals where they come from.  Wouldn’t that make more sense?  We constantly hear how full our shelters/rescues are and how resources (foster homes and finances) are stretched thin to their breaking point.  So someone, please tell me why we are burning up such finances to bring them here?

Canada is being inundated with imports over the last few years.  Yet we are also experiencing regular culling of our own dogs (in the north) and over population in shelters and rescues.  There is constant call for foster homes and cross sharing to get the word out that help is needed.  Why are we feeding into that?

To me it simply doesn’t make sense to spend the thousands to ship them over.  It makes sense though to help those involved in Korea to set up a rescue over there and help them find Korean homes for those pups.

You can read the original article here:

Rescue dogs escaping Asian meat trade travel 10,000 km to Canada





Copyright © 2012-2016 Sandy Monk/Unleashthehounds blog. All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS BLOG ~ UNLEASHTHEHOUNDS ~ ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Sandy Monk, and may not be used, copied or reprinted without express permission from the owner. Copyrighted 2012-2016

Justice or a Quick “Fix”?

Breed Specific Legislation is still an ongoing fight.  Many (mostly non-dog folk) believe that it is an effective method of protecting the general public from so-called dangerous dogs.

I’d like to tell you that it’s not.  It’s not a fix, quick or otherwise.  Breed Specific Legislation is a people problem, not a canine one.  Once we’ve realized that, we’ll see, and quite clearly, that banning one particular type (it’s not a recognized breed here in Canada) of dog solves nothing.

Herein lies the real issue.  The statistics you hear about regarding seeing an increase in dog bites, particularly of those by the pit bull (or anything remotely looking like one) are not true.  By true, I mean they do not give you a proper outlook of those numbers.  They tell you there is a percentage increase over the last five years for example.  All is well and good, but what kind of numbers are we really talking about?  In what area was the poll taken?  Was it inner city where there are traditionally higher numbers of pits in small areas or was it state-wide with a variety of demographics taken into account?  If it was a small population of people then the percentage of pits vs bites would seem higher.  Whereas in a large population of people (inner city for example) with a higher number of pits per square kilometre, the percentage would seem lower, despite their being a larger amount of pits in that area.  So when there is a rise in pit bull bites (according to whom?) in said area, again, the geographic information can make a big difference to its significance.  Something that is not ever explained or shared.  It’s also something most don’t even think to ask about.

Now that we’ve got the truth behind the numbers being shown with the typical biased slant the media is known for, how about we tackle what Breed Specific Legislation actually does.

The reality is not so pretty as our government would like it to be.  It doesn’t lower dog bite rates.  It doesn’t lower the population of dogs in any one area, or any area for that matter.  What it does do is it puts to death hundreds of dogs that have not done anything wrong other than simply look like or be a pit bull.  It literally rips loving, friendly, non-aggressive pets out of the arms of their owners, straight into a shelter and disposed of.  A lot of times before the owner is actually able to do anything about it legally.  It sees children not comprehending why their beloved dog, who did NOTHING WRONG, killed simply because of what it looked like.

In humans that would be called racial profiling.  That would also go against our basic human rights.  It’s also something that is being fought against tooth and nail right now all over the world in light of the Paris bombings.  *holds my hand up* Yes, I know dogs and people are not equal.  But the same problem holds true for both.  With racial profiling in people, the reasons we have made it illegal is because you cannot, with good faith, condemn them all for the actions of a few.  Do you see where I’m going here?  So tell me why exactly are we allowing our governments to do that exact same thing to our loving pets?

The media.  The media “reports” dog attacks in such a way that in every case it is suspected to be that of a pit bull or pit bull mix or type that is to blame.  I have to ask.  Is it really the fault of the dog?  When children act out, do we look at the child and blame them?  Or do we look to the parents and wonder why they aren’t doing anything about it?  We blame the parents, of course and rightly so.  It is their job to teach their children how to properly behave etc.  It is the same with dog ownership.  Each dog owner is responsible in teaching their dog manners and how to properly behave in public.  It is for their safety as well as that of those around them.

So why, why are we blaming the dog for not having been shown what is rightly basic obedience and manners?  Should that not be the onus of owner?  Unless that animal has acted in an aggressive, non-provoked manner, they don’t deserve to die for their owners ineptitude.  The owner should be told to sign up for training to learn not only the skills necessary to teach and guide his dog in proper behaviours, but also how to become a responsible owner.  The trainer gives the owner and dog a pass or fail on whether they’ve (singularly or collectively) learned what they are supposed to out of the program.  If they fail, they (the owner) could face jail time or a second chance in the program.

Prisons are full of programs to rehabilitate inmates.  Why aren’t we doing the same to those that apparently don’t know any better?  Some just simply aren’t going to learn simply because they don’t want to.  But I’m betting others will.  I’m also betting the majority will.  I also think that their relationship with their dog will show them which is the better route to take.  Nothing strengthens a bond quite like working hard together towards a common goal.

I just wish we could implement this type of program instead of destroying the innocent and those that we can rehabilitate, which in all honesty is most, if not all.








Copyright © 2016 Sandy Monk/K9HotSpot blog. All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS BLOG ~ K9HOTSPOT ~ ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Sandy Monk, and may not be used, copied or reprinted without express permission from the owner. Copyrighted 2016