Biking for Animals

Why am I doing this? To save the lives of animals such as these two.

1. What does the term "no-kill" mean exactly? To put it simply, a "no-kill" shelter is a shelter that does not kill healthy animals, one that does not euthanize because of time and space limitations. A shelter that adopts the "no-kill" label is basically saying that they only euthanize terminally sick or extremely dangerous animals. Unfortunately, some shelters define these terms very loosely, and end up euthanizing relatively healthy animals. The best way to make sure you're dealing with a real no-kill shelter is to check their statistics (which many shelters publish on their website, or you can ask). A shelter that is truly commited to saving lives will have a "live release rate" of over 90%.

2. Why did you choose this particular issue? I believe that there is way too much unnecessary animal suffering in the world and I feel that in order to end this, we all have to help out as much as we can. I chose this particular issue (helping shelter animals) because I feel that the current system of killing healthy animals in shelters is cruel, and that we have to move towards a no-kill solution to this problem. The Best Friends Animal Society has a cool graph that outlines the road to a no-kill reality.

3. I've heard that euthanasia is the ethical solution to the pet overpopulation problem. Is this true?
I believe that euthanasia should be reserved for critically ill or extremely dangerous (and not treatable) animals. Killing healthy animals is the easy way out, but it is not an ethical solution; nor is it a necessity as some would have you believe. There are more and more no-kill shelters opening up that prove that it is possible to take care of these animals without killing them (see next question).

4. Don't no-kill shelters have a lot of problems of their own? I heard of reports about how animals live in horrible conditions in some no-kill shelters.
The way I see it, any kind of shelter can have problems. Making a shelter "no-kill" doesn't automatically improve the lives of the animals in that shelter. The trick is to incorporate all the important steps to make the process efficient: a strong emphasis on fostering and adoption, getting more volunteers, a system to help people keep their pets when they think might be unable to, etc. All this involves a strong community outreach program. There are very efficient no-kill shelters and refuges out there, and these should be the models to follow.

5. Why do many no-kill shelters still euthanize animals?
Please see my response to question # 1.

6. How will the money that you raise get to the charities?
I am using for this fundraising project. I chose them because they have a charity option which allows you to raise money for a charity, and have that money deposited by directly to the charity at the end of the campaign (January 1st, 2013). The fundraisers (like me) never see the money. I like this method because it is more transparent.

7. Who's paying for your trip?
For now, I am paying for everything myself. It's not cheap to travel for two and a half months, but if I can get folks to support these charities by donating to them, it'll be worth it. I'm not super-wealthy, so if some kind souls offer me their couch for the night, I'd appreciate it. :)

8. Are you a vegan?
Pretty much. I do not eat meat of any kind. On the odd occasion, I will eat dairy, if it's not from a factory farm. At home I only cook vegan.

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