Rescuers do think
As a pro-choice animal rescuer, I recognized some truth to your editorial last month, but it also made me uncomfortable to be categorized as feeling-driven over logic-driven. Those who know me wouldn’t ever categorize me as driven by emotion, in fact I have far more in common with Data than I do with Deanna Troi.
That said, I have been in no-kill long enough to recognize differences within the overall group. There are those who will not euthanize an animal regardless of circumstance, with the idea that any life, regardless of quality, is better than none at all. I have seen terminally ill unadoptable cats languishing in cages for months with minimal human contact until they die. I have condemned that. I have also divorced myself from a no-kill group that will euthanize if a dog bites once. No vet visit, no trainer, no question, done.
As with many things, the middle of the road is often the best path. I come from a philosophy of no-kill but also consider individual circumstances. Specifically, euthanasia decisions are made from medical data. Animals with behavior problems are evaluated, and if unadoptable placed in a safe, humane environment. Some dogs, for the safety of all, must be put down. Pregnant animals early in gestation are often spayed.
I honor the lives of the animals, and it crushes me when Roswell euthanizes 3-month-old puppies rather than feed them for another few days until they find a home. The logic here is that a puppy is very adoptable, and an 18-year-old sick dog is not. If a choice must be made, it seems clear to me. The choices we are faced with as rescuers are not easy, but they need to be made.
I do consider myself to be a thinker, but the best balance is most likely a combination of thinking and feeling when making any decisions,