NC Shelter President to My Office Please

The board president of the Lenoir Co SPCA in NC wrote an opinion piece in an area paper.  It’s titled “Let’s Stop the Killing” which sounds, you know – awesome.  I want to stop the killing of healthy/treatable pets in shelters too so yeah, I’m listening.

The piece starts out with some figures, both nationally and locally, on shelter killing:

We do our part in Lenoir County as we intentionally kill from 2,200-2,500 dogs and cats every year. Every month, animal control officers bring some 300 dogs and cats to the local shelter. Sadly, 65-70 percent of these animals will be killed … and we kill less than the national average where 75-80 percent are killed.

The national average of needless shelter pet killing is 75-80%?  Source, please.  I’m familiar with figures closer to the 50% range.

Only a few of the animals saved are adopted locally. Most of those saved are hauled to other, more enlightened communities that have enacted regulations that encourage population control.

Your local adoption rate is “a few”?  Sounds like there’s room for improvement there.  Are you doing weekend adoption events at high traffic retail spots, extended shelter hours, reduced adoption fees, and other things to bring up your adoption rate?  Maybe this shelter thinks they can’t improve because they aren’t in an “enlightened” community, I don’t know.  But dang, if I lived there, I don’t see myself running down to this place after reading this article.  “Hi, I’m a member of the local dimwittery. I can haz pet?”

For those who haven’t already guessed what comes next – it’s a call for county-wide MSN:

Others have done it. We can, too.

Other communities have stopped the killing by enacting MSN?  Do tell!  I am eager to hear about these previously well guarded secret communities.  The ones I am aware of have failed to end the killing of pets after passing MSN and in fact, they often end up increasing the number of pets killed at shelters.  Read the stats and weep.

I may not live in one of your so-called enlightened communities but I know a snow job when I see it.  You are not killing less than the national average – you are killing more.  You’re only adopting out “a few” pets and the others who escape death are “hauled” away to where smart people live.  Now you want a law likely to increase killing?  70% isn’t good enough for you?  Aiming for 100?  Gimme a break.  How about a title do-over for your piece:  Let’s Stop the Lying.

In order to stop killing you need to work with the people in your community, not disparage them.  Get the public involved with saving lives by developing an expansive foster network and volunteer program.  Support programs that help low income pet owners get their pets neutered.  Get lost pets reunited with their owners.  Participate in area TNR programs.  Use your voice to reach out to the public as you vow to commit to change.  Also:  stop killing.

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9 Comments

  1. I am REALLY liking this National Shelter Reform week…can we make it a month? How about the rest of the year?!
    Keep it coming. It’s helping me, and I’m thinking we can all help the world. Thank you.

    Reply
  2. Once again you made me laugh, cry and bang my head on the wall. How can they continue to get by with spewing so many lies?

    Reply
  3. Anne

     /  November 17, 2010

    the ‘i can haz pet?’ line made me laugh out loud. thanks for the pick me up!

    Reply
  4. Maybe these shelter directors are not lying so much as being lost in space and don’t have a clue? With so much good info to be found about animal sheltering online why aren’t they more up to speed on this subject when it is what they are being paid for? Our cities across this land are not actively hiring people that have learning defects and can not do research, so why do we keep seeing this type of media communication that lacks correct figures and rehashing of public blame games.

    I am so happy to see that more and more of the public are beginning to do their own research and are learning that the high kill numbers of so many shelters can be lowered and adoption rates vastly improved with the correct actions and attitudes.

    Thank you so much for writing these articles that are part of this needed education of the public.

    If shelter directors were paid bonuses based on the number of animals saved I bet we would see the kill numbers plummeting. Why do we continue to give our hard earned tax dollars to shelter leaders that are not leading us to a safer community for our pets?

    Reply
    • Shelter Directors make WAY more money than the lowly folks who clean kennels, answer phones or file paperwork.

      Why can’t they STOP killing pets without a bonus? What’s wrong with THAT idea? (The bonus to the people who really care about animals is that they live!)

      Why can’t we just make it their job to do their job without death? Why isn’t that possible?!

      Reply
  5. Donna

     /  November 20, 2010

    Our local municipally funded shelter also transports pets “to other, more enlightened communities that have enacted regulations that encourage population control.” Except, huh, the places the pets go to do NOT, N.O.T., have MSN. I cannot decide whether the shelter director giving the interviews and getting quoted in the newspapers is a) stupid/misinformed or b) purposely lying.

    Reply

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