As an open admission shelter, we do NOT turn away animals based on age, tendencies toward aggression, or behavioral issues. These factors make it difficult to adopt & re-home animals, many are turned away due to these reasons. Not here at HATA.

We believe that all animals should be saved from suffering the terrible fates of street life, being left alone on rural roads to starve slowly, or being harmed by humans or other animals they stumble upon along the way. We aim to protect animals from cruelty, neglect, abandonment, hunger, starvation, thirst, and long term exposure to the elements by providing an open admission shelter. We serve our community and others, simply because our door is always open to animals in need. We are serving a much needed purpose. If we choose to be “limited admission” (only accepting highly adoptable animals and saying no to hundreds in need) then there is nowhere for the others to go. To us, this is not acceptable. However, it does not come without a cost. 

Turned Away: A Closer Look at ‘No-Kill’ Animal Shelters

Limited admission shelters pick and choose the pets they admit, they are often referred to as “no kill” shelters. This simply means that they are not taking in all animals, including animals that are not able to be re-homed. These “no kill” operations are simply leaving others to the euthanasia burden. This burden is often shifted onto shelter & county pound employees like those here, who remain open to all animals in need at whatever volume presents that day. We know that doing the right thing is not always easy, and may not always be understood. But because we care about animals, we will not allow them to die painful deaths. We also do not release animals we have observed & determined to be dangerous. We feel deep compassion for our animals, and want more for them than lives restricted to a cage with no hopes of adoption. We must euthanize due to severe illness, failure to thrive, & behavioral problems. Sadly—this also includes overcrowding. Cats and kittens are received at a higher volume than dogs and puppies, with longer shelter stays, resulting in overcrowding related euthanasia. Very few surrounding area counties accept felines, leaving us overwhelmed by those in need. We must utilize humane euthanasia in order to be open admission. It cannot be avoided without saying NO to hundreds of animals with nowhere to turn. Canines are often adopted and pulled by rescue/transfer partners at a higher rate than felines. Spaying and neutering is the only answer, and we can help. 

The Deadly Consequences of ‘No-Kill’ Policies

Our mission & duty as animal caregivers is to prevent the suffering of hundreds of unwanted animals. HATA is committed to ending pet overpopulation. But this cannot be accomplished without the support and proactive approach within our community, and personal responsibility for unwanted litters. Choosing to buy or breed animals vs. adoption also harms those sitting in shelters all over our country. We do not put them inside the shelter, YOU do. 

Private adoption, transfer and rescue networking, and owner redemption efforts— help us to succeed in our live release rate goals every, single, day. 

Being an “open admission” shelter has its challenges, but we are committed to our initiatives and vision. Spay/neuter programming is the only defense against unwanted litters, we continue to use a majority of our funding for assistance programs in hopes to reduce those litters. Contact us for more information on our low cost spay & neuter clinics and how we can help you. Until the number of homes available meet the number of animals in need of those homes, we will be here for those in need. 

With the help of our community & surrounding community members dedicated to addressing the overpopulation crisis, we are saving the lives of hundreds of animals each year with spay and neuter assistance and programs & provide resources to facilitate responsible pet ownership.