In Roanoke, VA, the Regional Center for Animal Control and Protection evaluates pets to determine adoptability, according to their website:
In accordance with Virginia law, stray animals are held for a minimum of ten (10) days if the animal has any form of identification and five (5) days if the animal has no identification. There is no minimum holding period for animals relinquished by owners, but the Regional Center endeavors to hold animals relinquished by owners for a minimum of two (2) days.
While at the Regional Center, animals are evaluated for adoptability. Animals that are not considered to be adoptable are humanely euthanized once the animal has been held for the required length of time.
The local news reports that the adoption process and the behavioral evaluations are resulting in complaints from potential adopters:
Several pet owners have complained to 10 On Your Side they had to jump through too many hoops in order to adopt an animal from the regional center.
Teresa Powell and Bonnie Moore said dogs they adopted recently were at first deemed “unadoptable” by the center’s behaviorist, Mary Marr.
Behavior evaluations should never be used as an excuse for killing treatable pets. They are a guide to learn what direction the pet’s rehab needs to head in – if any rehab is needed at all. Most shelter pets should be considered adoptable immediately after their hold period has expired.
Powell and Moore understood being deemed “unadoptable” meant the dogs were in line to be put down.
“That happens all the time as far as animals being deemed unadoptable that are adoptable,” said Amber Perrin, a former employee at the regional center.
All the time? The news station looked at the shelter’s stats and found that in 2010, the Regional Center for Animal Control and Protection killed more than 99% of the pets in its care:
State statistics show the center put down 3,432 cats in 2010 while adopting out 30.
The same stats show the center put down 1,139 dogs in 2010 while adopting out only 8.
What the heck is going on here?
[Executive Director Bill] Watson said he could not comment on the qualifications of his animal behaviorist, Mary Marr.
He said a question on if Marr had sole discretion on deciding which animals are adoptable and which ones aren’t was “more complicated than just saying it’s right or wrong.”
“Until we get a handle on overpopulation, [euthanasia] is inevitable,” Watson said.
Ack. Mr. Watson is “also executive director of the Roanoke Valley SPCA, which sits in the same building.”
Oh really? Do tell.
The SPCA had around a 90 percent adoption rate in 2010, according to state statistics.
Impressive. I bet those stats garner a lot of donations from unsuspecting animal lovers who don’t realize they are being scammed.
Speaking of funding, the Regional Center apparently gets plenty. The news station reports the following figures paid to the shelter in 2010:
Botetourt County’s finance director said the county made the check out to the Roanoke Valley SPCA.
Vinton’s town manager, Chris Lawrence, said it contributed more than $38,000, also making the check out to the SPCA.
Hmm. Curiouser and curiouser. I wonder if anyone besides the local TV news station is interested in investigating this place. If you live in one of the municipalities which sends your tax money to the Regional Center, you might like to contact your local representatives and ask.
Video of the piece here.
Thank you Clarice for sending these links.