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Oliver and Pickles were both abandoned at a young age. They were forced to live on the streets, sleep in boxes, eat whatever they could find, and try to find a home. Eventually people found the two cats, and brought them to completely different places. Oliver went to a no-kill shelter, and Pickles went to a kill shelter.

These two cats have the same past, but opposite futures.

Oliver is at the no-kill shelter. He has been there for two years. He plays with all the other cats and gets to go outside in the outdoor enclosure (that's his favorite place). They have many structures there and many toys for the cats to play with. Oliver is going to stay there until he gets a home. He’ll be sad to leave but he is excited to get a home of his own.

Pickles is at a kill shelter, and has also been there for two years. She is confined in a cage all by herself and she rarely sees the other cats. She gets to play with a small toy, but that just isn’t enough for a playful cat like Pickles. She only has one month to get adopted. If she doesn’t, she will unfortunately be put down like thousands of other cats. She is determined to find a home, but is nervous that she won’t.

Who has a better life?

Oliver is my cat now. I went to the no-kill shelter a couple of times. There were very few cages. No sad cats. No lonely cats. No nervous cats. But there was a lot of fun. Cats got to roam around on their own, sleep wherever and whenever they wanted, and eat all day. There were many places, high and low, for the cats to sleep and play. There were tons of ladders going up to all different types of platforms. Food was all around the shelter as well as toys.

Every cat seemed to be enjoying themselves at the shelter. Cats were playing with toys such as crinkle balls and strings. Older cats have a space of their own so they can just lay around and chill out by themselves. The young, playful cats get to run around in a little house with all the food and toys and they get to go outside in an outdoor enclosure. Oliver’s favorite place to be was outside. All of the cats enjoyed themselves at the no-kill shelter.

Imagine if your cat or dog ran away. If someone found them and couldn’t find you then where would you want your pet to end up? In a place where they could die in a month if they don’t get adopted? Or a place where they can live happily and play with other animals until they get adopted?

Everyone knows what a kill shelter looks like from the ASPCA commercials. You see how depressing life is like for the animals. Cats and dogs curled up into little balls in the corner of their cages with no freedom, no toys, no animals to play with. But, imagine if those commercials were filmed at no-kill shelters. You would see animals roaming around, playing with toys and other animals, and they would still have enough freedom to enjoy life as animals. Yes, they would still be scared about the abuse or abandonment they just went through, but they could still live a happier life outside of a cage.

About 1,000 - 3,000 animals go into kill shelters a year. People only adopt about 3% - 30% of the animals. That means that 70% - 97% of animals get put down a year. In the year 2006 kill shelters received 3,061 animals and they killed 2,981. 97.4% of the animals got put down. From the years 1998 to 2011 kill shelters received 31,815 animals. They put down 2,981 animals. Thats 87.23% of the animals.

There can be two solutions to this problem. One is that people can be responsible pet owners and take care their pets the way they should. Don’t abandoned them or abuse them. There have been various stories of people throwing bags of puppies or kittens onto the side of the highway. You should spay and neuter your pets so there wouldn’t be that issue. It’s not fair to defenseless baby animals to just be thrown out onto the road because irresponsible pet owners can’t take care of them. The other solution is that there should be no-kill shelters. There can’t be all no-kill shelters because there would be an overpopulation of animals, but there should be more to decrease the number of animals deaths.

Oliver and Pickles are a great example of why there should be more no-kill shelters. There could have been a lesser chance of Pickles ending up in a no-kill shelter the day she got found. The person who picked her up was only trying to help but in the long run they could have been the reason that she died. She did get adopted, but only a week before the day she was going to get put down. She was so nervous, but Oliver never got nervous knowing that he wouldn’t be put down. Why would anyone want to put an animal through that? Knowing if you can die if someone doesn’t adopt you? Majority of animals go through that kind of stress, along with just getting over abuse and abandonment.

Is it fair?

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