Some shelters in LA report decreasing admission numbers while others report an increase.
Lafourche Animal Shelter has seen fewer pets admitted, especially cats, in comparison with this same time last year:
One of the reasons for the decline, shelter workers said, could be a new policy that requires owners surrendering an animal to pay fees for doing so.
It costs $20 to surrender an unwanted pet to the Lafourche shelter. If the pet isn’t adopted and is killed, an extra $10 is added.
In the past, there was no fee.
Last month, the shelter admitted 108 cats and killed 95, calling them feral. 13 cats made it to the adoption floor. The article does not address the issue of who deemed the 95 cats unadoptable but questions immediately arose for me: Does the shelter charge the surrender fee for good samaritans turning in stray pets? (I’m guessing the fee may be waived but I don’t know.) Could owners unable or unwilling to pay the surrender fee be turning in pet cats to the shelter and calling them feral to avoid paying the fee? Does a qualified person at the shelter actually evaluate the cats individually to determine adoptability? Is the community interested in adopting a TNR program for the community’s cats instead of killing them or has anyone even asked? I’d be interested to know.
The shelter also admitted 82 dogs last month:
Twenty were adopted or rescued, 41 were killed, 11 were claimed by their owners and 10 remain at the shelter.
Overall, Lafourche killed roughly 72% of the pets they took in last month. Comparing Lafourche with a neighboring shelter:
Neighboring Terrebonne handled 7,806 animals last year, said animal-shelter Manager Valerie Robinson. Of those, 456, or 5.8 percent were adopted, 500, or 6.4 percent were rescued while 6,369, or 81.6 percent were killed. It remains free to surrender an animal in Terrebonne, though you will be asked to provide identification proving you’re a parish resident.
Another shelter in LA reports rising admission rates:
Over the last three years, the number of animals handled at the Mobile County Animal Shelter has increased by 36 percent.
Mobile County managed to find homes for about 2,004 animals last year, according to Nancy Johnson, a spokeswoman for the county, but more than twice as many were euthanized.
In Baldwin Co, an 11% decrease in admissions over the past 3 years:
Charlotte Plumb, director of the Baldwin County shelter, said that her operation handled 5,504 animals last year, the continuation of a small but steady decline over the last few years. She said she couldn’t be sure why the numbers have been decreasing.
“I don’t know if it’s education, or people are just starting to take more responsibility for their pets, or what,” she said.
I don’t know either but if the taxpayers of Baldwin Co paid me to care for the community’s pets, I’d consider it my job to find out. Especially with shelter kill rates in my state being so much higher than the national average. That’s the one thing all these shelters have in common. So if something is working in one LA county to help keep pets in homes, I’d think that would be an important issue to track down.