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Dreadful shelter policy!!! (vent)

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
One of the neighboring counties, mostly rural, some urban and suburban, has an animal control policy that is just dreadful.

They are a high-kill "shelter" if you can call it that. Homeless animals are only given one week in the adoption area and if they aren't taken, they are put to sleep - EVEN THOUGH THE SHELTER IS NOT FULL!!!!! There can be EMPTY CAGES and the animals will be euth'd anyway.

I am horrified by this! I had a long talk with one of the rescue people there - she said AC is NOT public friendly, that the animals' bodies are sold to vet schools and they make money that way. The AC doesn't really do much to advertise that they even HAVE adoptable pets... and charge $90 for cats. Granted, the cats do get fixed, vetted, tested and microchipped for that price - and the County AC STILL makes money on them.

Three cats just today were PTS because their "time was up" and there was no place to put them! ie: fosters or adopters

Because the AC makes money for the county, the board of commissioners is not about to change anything unless there was some kind of huge public outcry. To paraphrase the rescuer I spoke to, they don't care and most of the commissioners are not animal lovers.

I am going to write a letter - but I am just one person AND I don't live or work in that county. So I doubt anything I say will help.

This is just so sad ... and I know this sort of thing is multiplied many times over all over the country.

Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest.
post #2 of 11
They have a similar thing here in Okinawa Japan. Pets brought to animal control are held for 5 days to be reclaimed or adopted, then gased...

People don't seem to eager to round up strays, wonder why?
post #3 of 11
i actually don't think this is that unusual for kill shelters, whether they have room or not, they put animals down after their 'grace' period. in nyc, there was just a case of a lost dog being brought to Animal Control and being killed after only 4 hours!

i know in some places that have laws stating that a (city) kill shelter can't kill any animal that a rescue group offers to take in, it's pretty despicable this shelter doesn't even wait for its cages to fill up. it's so ridiculous that paid shelter workers so rarely seem to have any interest in animal welfare whatsoever.
post #4 of 11
I know that there are folks on this site that volunteer at shelters where they do euthanize animals and I don't know how they manage to keep their sanity. I've volunteered for rescue organizations, but mostly no-kill shelters or groups that supply low cost spay/neuters. I wouldn't survive at any shelter that euthanizes.

For those of you that find this practice despicable, you might find Nathan Winograd's book Redemption very interesting. He talks about the issues in many shelters across this country and things that can be done about them. He's walked into high kill shelters to find most of the cages empty and their hours of operation don't allow your average person to come and adopt. The problem has many facets and he talks about all of them. There's not a single solution to the problem - you have to tackle this issue from many directions.

http://www.nathanwinograd.com/
post #5 of 11
I volunteer for a small humane society. We are city & county impound, and must always keep space for strays (we have x amount of cages/kennels we must have open at all times). Strays are held for 5 business days, at which point they become 'shelter property' & are evaluated. Yes, we do euthanize. Feral cats, very ill cats. We have euthanized 1x a year the past two years for overpopulation - last year it was 2 ill kitties, so technically not for overpopulation.

We do our best to avoid euthanizing, and we don't have a set timeframe on how long we keep animals. We've had dogs for 6+ months, cats for 8+ months. We do place both dogs & cats as outdoor farm pets - but are strict on who can/cannot be an outside pet.

For example, we have plenty of open cages right now for cats. However, we recently euthanized a cat - he was feral. He bit someone.

Every animal is evaluated on a case by case basis. There is no general rule for who you do/don't euthanize. And yes - it breaks our hearts & we are often crying. But it boils down to - there aren't enough homes for them all. We do our best, we have never made any money on a cat adoption. In fact, if we get them fixed, it costs us $50/cat to adopt them out.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
I know that there are folks on this site that volunteer at shelters where they do euthanize animals and I don't know how they manage to keep their sanity. I've volunteered for rescue organizations, but mostly no-kill shelters or groups that supply low cost spay/neuters. I wouldn't survive at any shelter that euthanizes.

For those of you that find this practice despicable, you might find Nathan Winograd's book Redemption very interesting. He talks about the issues in many shelters across this country and things that can be done about them. He's walked into high kill shelters to find most of the cages empty and their hours of operation don't allow your average person to come and adopt. The problem has many facets and he talks about all of them. There's not a single solution to the problem - you have to tackle this issue from many directions.

http://www.nathanwinograd.com/
Thank you! I think I will order the book.
post #7 of 11
In our town, stray cats are only kept 3 days and then gassed. The policy for dogs is different, I think. They have two separate rooms at animal control for cats - the strays aren't even in a room that accessible to the public. They're back in the area off where the dogs are kept with a "no trepassing" type sign on the door. The way I found out about it was I went in with the big boss from my job one day and he sort of regards himself as being above the law, or at least above a sign telling him to keep out. In speaking with a lady from the local Humane Society, she expressed shock that I went in there. She described that room as being "death row" and it is my understanding that only people from rescue groups are allowed in. The "donated" cats are kept in a front room for potential adoption. And the receptionist there is so rude and nasty that most people would probably opt to go to the next county over to adopt a pet anyway. It sad and it makes me very angry. I got Speck from the much nicer facility in the next county; at the time, our Animal Control said they did not put kittens up for adoption and I wanted a kitten. Sorry for the unexpected rant...I knew all this would spill out sooner or later.
post #8 of 11
3 days??

God, that IS SHOKING! In Germany if a cat is found (even if it is obviously a stray) the owner has 6 months time to reclaim it, even if it is not chipped or tattooed. In reality this means the cat is kept in quarantine for 1-2 weeks before going out for adoption and if you adopt you must sign that you are aware that the real owner might claim it within the 6 months period (which never happens). It is not allowed to put an animal down other for medical reasons.

When I was volunteering at the shelter one of the main jobs after cleaning and feeding in the mornings was showing visitors looking for their pets the cats that had been found/ brought in in the last week.


christine
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Yeah, in many ways I think our animal control policies are barbaric. Some places in Michigan.... hard for me to say....still GAS the animal to euthanize it.

I signed a petition for a change in state law to keep that from being done.
post #10 of 11
I too have heard of some animal control centers (often in rural ares but urban ones as well) were the waiting time is 72 hrs. Sometimes, it takes a family that long to call all the carious places! Or what if they go got a few hrs, come home and kitty manages to get outside or is an outside cat (for want of a better term, sigh) and by the time they think of animal control because they are so upset, the cat may be euthanized. Those are horrid disgusting policies!

I also think there should be universal scanners. We invested in one for our clinic of course but we need to wait another month to buy another. Granted, we would never euthanize a healthy cat (ie one not suffering and dying) even given the lack of space. Even though we are not a Rescue tho I do volunteer for one, we will ask some of our best "customers" if they mind adopting furry friends until we can find their people or find them people!

Gosh, it such a sad world sometimes and with the recession, it is getting worse! I really fear for animals with people losing their jobs and so forth - tho you know we have had several homeless people who will starve yet bring their cat into the vet! To those people, we buy vouchers for restaurants or ask these for some and offer them if we know they won't be offended.

Good luck with your letter - print it in your local newspapers and blogs as well!
post #11 of 11
I know that in New York State it is illegal for shelter animals on death row to be sold to the veterinary colleges for research, which then allows for the death of two dogs or two cats.

all these policies are backwards crap shoots.
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