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.