Let’s Stop Lying and Stop Using the Words Euthanize and Animal Shelter

In our book RESCUE RENEW REHOME we laid out 20 intelligently thought out points to dramatically increase homeless pet adoptions in America. A 20 point program to end the killing of 4 million dogs and cats in our animal shelters each year. For this article we want to share with you point number #20.

10-16 - 2014 Revised Book Cover from DD

 To me this was the most difficult point to create. While the others are logical and use un-common, common sense, developed in our 10 years in dog rescue this last point was the hardest to say out loud.

I always try to be optimistic. I try to never judge anyone. I practice Zen and meditation and try to always focus on happiness. So this final point has weighed hard on my soul. But I could not write this book unless I expressed what I felt in my heart.

And that is: If we are to finally end the killing of healthy, loving, homeless animals in America we must speak the truth.  We must look inside ourselves and really ask, why do we allow 4 million animals to be killed every year in America?

The first reason we kill shelter animals is because as I said earlier in this book… we are a disposable society. If we don’t like it we get rid of it. If something shinier comes along we get rid of it. If our pet acts out we get rid of it. If we tire of it we get rid of it.

The other reason is because as humans we always prefer to run from and avoid reality…and  then lie to ourselves about it to make ourselves “feel good” rather than speak words of truth and own what we have done.

What are the two lies we tell ourselves?

The two lies are the two words we use to make ourselves feel good about doing something bad…something real bad…killing.

To deny it to ourselves we use two nice sounding words “Shelter” and “Euthanize”


But Shelter is not a truthful word. The definition of a shelter is …a place of safety and refuge. A shelter saves lives and brings help and hope to those that go there. So knowing that – why do we continue to lie to ourselves and use the word “shelter” when our supposed shelters are not shelters?  What do you call a place that kills the homeless beings that come to it? I don’t need to name it, but we all know that “shelter” is not the name.

The other lie we tell ourselves to stay in denial and feel good about ourselves is the word “euthanize“.We tell ourselves that we “euthanize” homeless pets. We should use the word of truth –  which is kill, not the lie of euthanize.

 The definition of euthanize: (Medicine) to kill (a person or animal) painlessly, esp to relieve suffering from an incurable illness.

What incurable illness do our 4 million homeless animals have?  What suffering do these 4 million homeless animals endure? And the procedure most shelters use is not a 2 step euthanize, but a one step. And that one step is not painless!  What we are doing is killing. We must stop killing and stop using the word euthanize.

We must be honest with ourselves and our children and talk words of truth. The truth shall set you free. And if we start telling the truth we will set our souls free from the horrible burden we are bringing upon our society, by allowing innocent animals to be killed, while we use words that lie, keep us in denial and cover it up.

Steve Monahan, founder

Green Pets America

GPA Charities FB


10-16 - 2014 Revised Book Cover from DD

Our Sympathy with Animals Makes us Human

animal quote

“We must never let the voice of humanity within us to be silenced.

It is mans sympathy with all animals that first makes him truly a man”


Please don’t discard precious lives

rescue recycle rehome picture

Please don’t discard precious lives.

In the throw away society we have become we cannot forget that each life is precious…human and animal

..all created by the same loving God.

Freedom of Speech being denied to Animal Rescue Group

Freedom of Speech in America -Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and by many state constitutions and state and federal laws. Even criticism of the government and advocacy of ideas that some people may find distasteful or against public policy are almost always permitted.Additionally, Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, states that: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media.”
Freedom of Speech is today being denied to Green Pets America.Green Pets America has recently been told by the police and government of Clayton County Georgia that with a new police shelter manager now in place we must sign a legal document that we would not say anything to anyone about what goes on relative to shelter animals in their care in the Clayton County Animal shelter. It is a gag request. If we refused to sign away our rights to free speech and say anything about the care of animals in the shelter we would no longer be allowed to rescue and save death row dogs.Additionally to go into the government shelter we would be required to turn in our cameras and turn in our cell phones upon entry to rescue death row dogs. We were to be escorted by an armed police officer to get in to rescue dogs. We were required to get a costly Police Criminal Background check. We and our staff and volunteers are are being treated like criminals when all we are trying to do is save shelter animals.Courageously our Executive Director Kristen refused to sign this illegal agreement. She refused to give up our free speech rights – and now Green Pets America has been physically banned from the government shelter. Now GPA cannot save the lives of Clayton County Shelter dogs.Green Pets America is a state of Georgia non-profit.
GPA is an IRS approved 501c3 animal rescue non-profit animal advocacy organization. We are licensed by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, with a shelter license to rescue dogs from Georgia shelters.We have been recognized by the State Senate of Georgia and our home City of Woodstock, Georgia for service to Georgia’s families and animals. Yet we are being denied our freedom to rescue dogs per our State license. We and our thousands of supporters, all American citizens and tax payers, are being treated as criminals.We have rescued dogs for years from Clayton County. Under the previous shelter management we rescued and then vetted and cared for at our own costs, and adopted a thousand dogs. This has saved lives and perhaps $100,000 in euthanization and food costs for Clayton County. Green Pets America has helped improve their kill rate from 90% too much lower.We have saved hundreds of death row dogs from this shelter through the years and placed them into loving homes throughout Georgia…and now we cannot.

They have illegally taken away our free speech rights and refused our help to save lives.

Is this America?

We will not give up our constitutional rights. Too many soldiers have died for these rights. Too many wars have been fought to allow our First Amendment rights to be taken away by our own government. We will not give up our rights and we will sue Clayton County to stop this immediately.

Green Pets America Charities

Please do not take just our word for this. Read this email sent to us from the local Clayton animal humane society group that previous to the new appointment of a shelter director helped the shelter rescue thousands of the shelters animals.

This no-profit humane Society is rallying the local TV stations and media to make everyone aware of what is happening at the Clayton Animal Shelter.

Wednesday July 23, 2014

Clayton County Animal Control is a high kill “shelter” run by the police in the city of Jonesboro, GA. The captain in charge retired last month and his replacement has thrown out the volunteer group, the Partners, which over several years had saved thousands of dogs lives and slashed the kill rate, which had been 85%. This group saved Clayton County tens of thousands of dollars in fees the vet would have charged to euthanize. (The Partners and their attorney had very legitimate concerns about the restrictions the police Memorandum of Understanding would have placed on them. When they refused to sign they were asked to leave.) That highly effective group was replaced by one volunteer who resigned in less than two weeks due to the excessive restrictions placed on her by the police. 

Volunteers had been able to take photos of the dogs to post on Facebook (Partners with Clayton County Animal Control). Now only Animal Control staff can take pics. You need an escort to go back where the kennels are — even to go to the restroom. And you cannot take a cell phone or purse with you. Licensed rescue groups and transporters need a police background check. These are proven people with established track records working with CCAC. Never needed it before.

Monday, July 28 2014, fifteen outdoor kennels which the humane society partners had donated to CCAC were taken down — 15 fewer kennels to hold dogs — and now CCAC is full again!


Animal rescue organizations were told that Jonesboro, Animal Control would be closed on Thursday for maintenance and to pick up dogs on Friday. But then on Friday they were told that 22 dogs and 1 cat had already been euthanized the day before, including 7 that had confirmed adoption rescues. 

What is a “Green” Animal Shelter?

Green Pets America eco green animal shelter
Green Pets America eco green animal shelter

People often ask me; how did you come up with the name Green Pets America. They generally say I understand pets, and America, but why green? They laugh and ask are your rescued dogs green? Well they aren’t green, but green is very important to us. Green plants us {excuse the pun} into the green movement.  

What is the green movement?

The green movement as we think of it today has evolved considerably since the early days. To understand the modern green movement, we have to trace its origins back to the beginning.

So, let’s get started: While many people associate the beginning of the green movement with Rachel Carson’s breakthrough book Silent Spring green environmentalism is in fact rooted in the intellectual thought of the 1830s and 1840s. In fact, the “environmental movement” is a significant thread in the fabric of American philosophical thought most famously accredited to Henry David Thoreau. And later tangibly expanded upon during the era of American pragmatism in the latter half of the 19th century. Green Environmentalism is at once innovative and practical, idealistic and active, one could easily define modern environmentalism as quintessentially American.

“Green Conservation is as American as Teddy Roosevelt”

Though the federal government had begun taking actions to preserve our open lands in the late 1800’s, it was Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir who publicized and popularized conservation. Teddy’s visit to Yosemite in 1903 gained national publicity. By 1916 the National Park Service had been established with leadership by Stephen Mather.

But just as swiftly, the World Wars – sandwiching the traumatic Great Depression – forced environmental concerns to the background of public thought. While the Sierra Club continued to grow rapidly and became instrumental in establishing many vast National parks during these years, environmentalism as we know it today was not a concern for most Americans – or, consequently, the federal government.

It would take disasters and threats to bring environmental issues out of the sciences into the mainstream America again. Green environmentalism in America today is defined as leaders who advocate and educate for the sustainable management of resources and stewardship of the land and the environment through changes in public policy and individual behavior.

And, in its recognition of humanity as a participant in (not enemy of) ecosystems, the movement is centered on wellness, ecology, health, and human and animal rights.”

What is a Green Business?

What does it really mean to be a green business? Sure, many businesses are talking the green talk, but are they really walking the green walk?

  • People, Planet, Profit  – Triple Bottom Business Line
  • People, Planet, Pets, Profit   – Quadruple Bottom Business Line

A  “green business” has the environment, a social benefit to America, as well as profit. Hence the term Triple Bottom Line; standing for Profit, People, and Planet.

Essentially, the triple bottom line takes ecological and social performance seriously, building it into a three-part organization model that functions along three axes: people, planet, and profit. In other words, rather than considering only profit in measuring a business’ success, the triple bottom line gets companies thinking beyond money to social and environmental factors as well

“Green” is a term that’s thrown around a lot these days to refer to all types of things. From consumer goods, to automobiles, to building to lifestyle choices, everyone’s talking green.

At the very core, green businesses choose to operate in an earth-friendly fashion. They work to adapt their policies, practices, and principles so that they produce a positive result for the environment–whether they’re trying to solve an environmental or societal problem, or they’re just attempting to produce a product that has a smaller footprint.

Green Pets America is a green non-profit business. We have to mentally operate as a profit business however to carefully manage our resources and assets. We however go one step further. We add one more criteria. We expand from a triple bottom line to a quadruple bottom line. We add Pets. Our “Green” definition is People, Planet, Profit, and Pets.

So, in practical terms what does “Green” in our name have to do with the green movement? It means many things on multiple levels. It ties us into the green movement. People, who understand and respect green, understand our values. They understand and relate to our mission and goals. Green is a mission and a value to us. It means we focus on the triple bottom line as any good 21st century business, planet, people, and profits.

But we also add pets. Those who practice “green” understand the desire to not dispose of garbage and pollute our waters and land. Those who respect our planet and people and businesses making profit understand if we should not dispose of garbage, shouldn’t we not dispose of our animals as well. So it means don’t dump, discard and dispose of 4 million shelter animals a year. To us green means recycle, it means fresh and new and sustainable. We educate about the green concept of rescue and recycle. Recycle means adoption. It means foster homes. It means save lives, not destroy lives.

And Green means community animal shelters that are built green. Green shelters protect the environment. They save money for taxpayers. They are cheaper to maintain. They respect the land. And green shelters are good for the animals and the employees and volunteers who work there. Green shelters are open and airy. They are beautiful places for the communities’ citizens to go reclaim a lost dog or adopt an abandoned dog or cat. Green shelters save more animals.

Green Pets America – the leaders in eco green shelters. The future of animal welfare in America”

A New Model of Innovation – Compassionate No-Kill Community Animal Shelters

Jack Russell Terrier Picture GPA

No Kill is an innovative, cost-effective model of animal sheltering that allows open admission animal control shelters to save all healthy and treatable animals. Unlike the “adopt some and kill the rest” form of animal sheltering that has dominated in the United States for the past 100 years and is responsible for the needless deaths of millions of healthy and treatable animals every year, No Kill shelters are saving as high as 99% of all animals entrusted to their care.

How It Works

No Kill shelters implement a series of programs and services collectively known as “The No Kill Equation.” The No Kill Equation decreases a shelter’s impounds and increases a shelter’s reclaims while vastly expanding adoptions. The programs of the No Kill Equation include augmenting paid staff with community volunteers, foster care for sick, injured, unweaned or traumatized animals, neuter and release for feral cats, medical and behavior rehabilitation, partnerships with rescue groups, pet retention and effective public relations among others. When implemented comprehensively and with integrity, these programs are transformative.

Achieving No Kill is not complicated, but it does require replacing the traditional model of animal sheltering which is passive, complacent and plagued by convenience killing, with a proactive, can-do attitude and work ethic that rejects killing. The programs of the No Kill Equation require dedication and effort and for this reason, are sometimes portrayed by the traditional sheltering establishment as “controversial.” They are not. They are simple procedures that Americans would be shocked to learn shelters are not already doing.

When a shelter director says they are “opposed to No Kill, It means they reject foster care in favor of killing, reject vaccinations and medical care in favor of killing, reject knocking on doors to get lost dogs’ home rather than killing, and reject adoptions in favor of killing. In other words, they are advocating killing in the face of readily-available, cost-effective alternatives to killing. The same is true of each and every program of the No Kill Equation, because when a shelter implements them comprehensively, they achieve No Kill.

Success across America There are now hundreds of communities representing roughly 500 cities and towns of every conceivable demographic (rich/poor, conservative/liberal, large/small, Northern/Southern, urban/rural) across America that are saving in excess of 90% of all animals.

They range from new communities which have recently achieved that level of success to communities which did so and have continued to do so for more than a decade; from small communities taking in a few thousand animals to large ones taking in as many as 23,000 animals a year. Even Communities with high rates of impounds, foreclosures, unemployment, poverty and transient populations have achieved save rates in the mid-90th percentile.

The vast majority of communities which have achieved success have done so in six months or less. Over one new community per week saved in excess of 90% of all animals in 2012.

More Cost-Effective Than Killing No Kill is good policy that reduces costs associated with killing, enhances community support, increases user fees such as adoption revenues, and brings in additional tax revenues.

Statistics Disprove the Traditional Excuse for Killing There are roughly three million dogs and cats killed in U.S. shelters annually because they lack a home, but about 23.5 million Americans add a new dog or cat to their households every year. We do not have a “pet overpopulation” problem; we have a market share challenge. When shelters compete for the market share of homes and keep animals alive long enough to find those homes, shelter animals are saved rather than killed.

Consistent with Public Safety Since the No Kill philosophy does not mandate that truly vicious dogs and irremediably ill or injured animals be adopted, it is consistent with public health and safety.

Good Public Policy – Popular with Voters Seven out of 10 American believe that it should be illegal to kill animals in shelters unless those animals are suffering or are dangerous. As such, No Kill is a bipartisan issue with broad public support. A No Kill shelter can be a public, municipal agency and there are many No Kill animal control shelters run by government to prove it.

America’s 4 Million Shelter Animals Deserve Better Regardless of whether or not a shelter director believes No Kill is possible, he/she is obligated to try. Even if a shelter director fails to implement the No Kill Equation to the point that it replaces killing entirely, they will certainly save more animals than they would without it, and that is worth doing.

In short, No Kill is a humane, sustainable, cost-effective model that works hand in hand with public safety while reflecting the compassionate, animal-loving values of the American people. To learn more contact Steve Monahan at Steve@GreenPetsAmerica.org


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