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What’s in a Name?

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William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Juliet:

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”img-thing

Here Juliet tells Romeo that a name is an artificial and meaningless convention, and that she loves the person who is called “Montague”, not the Montague name and not the Montague family.

A beautiful sentiment and a great lesson to learn and live by. It is not what we are named but who we are and our actions that are important and that define what it is for which we stand.

And then there is No Kill or no kill or nokill or NOKILL or NO KILL or whatever. Let us not forget my personal favourite a la Mary Lou Davidson, “ Responsible No Kill”” as opposed to irresponsible no kill which is of course what we all wish to aspire to? Seldom have I seen a name elicit the kind of emotion that can be attributed to these two little words. Seemingly, sensible, intelligent people become complete and utter lunatics when these words are uttered. Why?

Those of you that have been following this blog since its inception last October are very much aware of my own personal concern for the welfare of animals. In my case I mean all animals and that also includes humans. Though occasionally not one of my favourite species I do care for the rights and well being of uprights as I do for other creatures.

Last September when a small like minded group of people determined it was time to stop the wholesale killing of healthy and adoptable dogs and cats at Lincoln County Humane Society, it was determined the most effective and reasonable manner of doing so was to work with the present Board of Director and Management.  The intention was to facilitate shelter reform by working on good governance that meant opening up the membership to anyone regardless of their attitudes as long as the animals were number one priority.

The premise was very simple. Members would be admitted, the tired and regressive Board structure would be changed to those who were concerned about the killing and the manner of killing, the poor adoption programs, the lack of foster homes, the inability to maintain a Veterinarian or RVT on staff, the lack of the promised TNR program, the lousy pet retention record and the abominable reputation of LCHS within the general community. Yes, all of the steps in the No Kill equation that I totally agree are a true method for success.

It became very clear very quickly that the B of D and Management were not receptive to any sort of effort neither to reduce the killing nor to become compliant with By Laws and the Ontario Corporations Act.

October 19th, 2012, brought about significant change as a result of the introduction of, here we go, No Kill that included the at times fanatical, ranting often abusive and destructive behavior, and the relentless spewing of statistics (mostly of which US) that for the most part has brought us to this point, which is “enough already”.

It became very clear to me back in November that the NKN and NKA methodology was not conducive to success. A number of people have agreed with me (at least to my face) the bullying, fanatical flag waving No Kill “message” is not appropriate to the present situation which is why I made the choice to remove myself from the “movement. ” The others have stayed on and continue with the standardized No Kill machine. While I do not agree with this method I completely support the rights of those who do and wish them the very best of luck. More than anything else I hope their efforts will result in the Killing being stopped but frankly I have serious doubts this will be the case.

This is usually the point when NKN and NKA bring in the “big guns”. No doubt I will begin receiving “hate” mail and threatening letters and a constant barrage of  “you are an apologist or you “deflect blame” and apparently there is a new weapon in the NKA tool box about to be released, Coming soon! “The newest FREE tool from the No Kill Advocacy Center: Countering the Opposition.” And of course the favourite, “we will sue you”!!!!!

It is staggering the number of laws suits that have been filed by NKA and NKN against ordinary people that just “do not agree” or god forbid openly challenge the No Kill movement. Why? How does this stop the killing? How does this prevent cats and dogs from being killed? Tell me how many animals have been saved at LCHS since October 19th? How many? How many have been killed? I really don’t know but I would really like to know.

I totally agree and promote the 11 steps to achieve No Kill, NOKILL, NO KILL, no kill, nokill. I truly believe and concur   with the fundamentalists that Management, staff and the Board of Directors must all be in complete agreement and support of this program in order that it succeeds which is why under the present circumstances, there is not a hope in hell that there will be any degree of success at LCHS.

It saddens me that such a really good and positive philosophy like promoting the cessation of killing healthy treatable animals becomes such a cesspool for fanaticism, cruelty, and mean spirited behaviour by those who profess to “care”. So be it.

What I can do is care for some animals that is exactly what I am doing.  I have the privilege and honour to be working alongside some really great people who just want to help animals. It is a really good place to be. No flag waving, no pontificating, no slinging verbal arrows, no threats of lawsuits, no demeaning and demoralizing barbs at good people, just plain old hands on down and dirty hard work.  You can call it NO KILL, no kill NOKILL, No Kill, I call it saving lives.dog-and-cat-prev123059925525di95

4 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?

  1. Rachel Dawes: Wait! You could die. At least tell me your name. Bruce Wayne: It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me. Rachel Dawes: Bruce? In the Narrows, after he saves her a second time, Batman reveals his identity to Rachel. (Batman Begins)

  2. And would Batman have ever been needed if EVIL didn’t exist and needed to be resisted? Would there have ever been the need for no-kill by whatever NAME one chooses to use or organization to belong to if KILLING didn’t exist in the first place? But, of course, unlike Batman who most often didn’t have to figure out who his evil enemies were, the “kill advocates” have been the greatest masters of disguise by skilfully using such “masks” as propaganda, lies and obfuscations such as, undoubtedly, the most effective and insidious of all in their appropriation of that misnomer “EUTHANASIA” ; and KILLING or MURDER by any other name is still KILLING and not euthanizing when it comes to savable and treatable animals (and no, the arbitrary judgement of “adoptable” should not even enter the equation if we truly believe each and every life deserves to be saved!)I agree that the NKSC group are most likely at an impasse at this stage and that a lot of “spinning of wheels” is going on with little forward movement(hopefully I am proved wrong) ; even with the supposedly 80% public support according to two CKTB polls there appears to be little “appetite” for engagement by either the city representatives or public at large ; if the no-kill messages and methods are becoming a case of overkill it may not be so much because the message has gotten through because there is evidently still a lot of ignorance out there,especially among those who adamantly refuse to think at all about other options even for a moment…but,I believe, the repeated citing of U.S. statistics and examples(while having validity in itself) does not sufficiently address the LOCAL problems with the LCHS and has even created a backlash and excuse for those who argue that “it won’t work here!” The fact is it will work here and the proof already exists in many communities right here in Ontario where no-kill is or has already become a reality by using many of the strategies of the no-kill equation and, sadly, this has not been emphasized as it should have been ; and for those critics asking for a “real plan of action”, a business model for implementation proving that no-kill can actually work in St Catharines if allowed to have a chance, well, those models actually do exist as well and can be provided by a number of municipalities which have taken decisive and collective action to stop the killing; perhaps there has to be some divisiveness among no-kill advocates because many of us bring a variety of thoughtful contributions to the table but these views should be welcomed and respected if one wants to really make the movement stronger and achieve common goals; unfortunately, there is evidence to believe that personal agendas and egos are involved which sounds very much like what the LCHS has been criticized for and when that happens (do we need to be reminded?) SAVING LIVES might be forgotten…and mustn’t be…not even for a moment!

  3. While no doubt distasteful, fanaticism does have a place before change can occur. This is the path of sociocultural evolution. The status quo weighs heavily. In order for movement to take place, the extremists (NKN) must jump on the other end of the balance scale to upright the heavy load of intransigent views (high kill shelter). In other words, balance cannot be achieved without the dynamic of opposing forces at play. Eventually, the rest of us Saving Lifers will maintain the delicate balance that will become the ingrained philosophy of animal welfare in our region.

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