Okay I am back from and I want to eleborate a bit on what I said (I have a reason!). I had once worked at a high kill shelter. Now I work for the County pound/shelter. I hate being called the pound because it's such a negative term. We are very advanced in our progression contrary to popular belief. We are one of the only shelters in the State of Oregon that implements Open Paw training on our dogs. We do not euthanize for breeds. They are all temperment tested 2 days after they come in. It's not just a five minute test either. The animal behaviorlist spends at least an hour with each dog. She's amazing. If a dog is aggressive towards people it's euthanized, if it's just plain scared it's transfered to rescue. We just had a dog in the news because he was turned into a drug police dog and he made a huge bust! Cats are the same story. They get health exams and their behavior is assessed on a daily basis. I must say working there is just Wonderful!
Especially from where I came from. An underfunded, underspaced over untilized shelter. It was an open door, no appointment needed shelter. It was awful. On any given day during kitten season we would recieve a 100 animals. Mostly cats. When they were owner released and we were full I would put the euthanasia sticker on the release form just to show the owner the pet they are about to surrender is going to be euthanized. It NEVER PHASED THEM! That made me a very angry and bitter person. There were moments when I would collapse to the floor crying about how heartless people were. And when I would hear "Oregon Humane sent us, they are out of room." I would looked at the stacked of cat carriers we had piling up with cats in them, all signed off...thinking "Because we have so much?" I will never forget the last dog I held for euthanasia. He was a black lab. They called me in to hold him because he was too wiggly and his tail was wagging away. I scratched his back and told him "I love you." and down he went. Not even one minute after this happened I was sent back to receiving to take in more animals. You have no idea what I have seen and what still haunts me. It's why I say for this area. There is no such thing as no kill.
I had a woman surrendering her cat question our euthansia policy once. I told her we can't find homes for them all. She asked rudely "Why not?" I just said "You know how you couldn't find a home for your ONE cat? Well try finding homes for a 100 cats today, and then another 100 tomorrow and then maybe 80 the next day." She has nothing to say after that and took her cat back with her. Good for me.
One dog was surrendered to us because "they had no time". The dog was obviously and outdoor dog and undersocialized. She surrendered the dog. The dog was scared out of his mind. He was signed off for euthanasia to be done next day. The woman didn't even care about giving him away. Throw away. I walked him back to the kennel. He collapses to the floor. I have to pick him up and take him to kennel. He wonders "why did my family leave me here?" And yet the next day she called because she had a change of heart. Came in to get dog. When that dog saw her he was so happy he peed on the floor. I cry to this day still thinking about that dog. Because that's how they love you.
They have no idea the sin the owner commited on their behalf or the betrayal that went on. That dog just saw her and lit up like life had begun all over again. All was forgiven.
I guess I never understood how one gives up an animal. I have been homeless. My dog cost me 2-3 thousand dollars worth of damage. Give or take. Yet not at any moment did I think "Gotta get rid of the cats and dog." I never knew until I worked for a shelter that giving up a pet is an option. If only the rest of the world were as clueless as I once was.