I agree with you, Annie. I just rescued a dog, two days ago. Her owners moved out of state and left her behind. Their neighbor is a friend of mine, and when he asked when they would be coming back to get their dog they simply stated that they wouldn't. They didn't want to take her to the pound because, they felt, she would have a better chance of survival on her own. Just this one time they were right because I got ahold of her and I'm never letting go. Despite the fact that I have a small one bedroom apartment, despite the fact that I can barely feed myself, I have taken this dog to be my family member. It's not easy and so many other people probably would have just looked the other way. I don't want to seem like I don't care, because I do, but I see a problem we have and like Oliverian mentioned earlier, if these animals are going to die anyways, at least dignify that death with a purpose.
As far as intelliegence goes, it is still irrelevant to me... just because one creature has a greater capacity for understanding than another doesn't mean the 'dumb' one deserves to die first. It doesn't mean that 'smart' ones should be spared. It means nothing because a life is a life, no matter which way you look at it...
The zoo idea might also be something that is viable, but again, to get that idea socially accepted is a feat probably impossible. Thanks for your comments!