In Clayton County GA, the police department runs the AC unit. On their webpage, they give information about their adoption program:
Adult stray animals that remain unclaimed by their owners for three days become Clayton County property and are placed up for adoption. All puppies younger than three months old have to spend five days in quarantine before they are available for adoption.
On Saturday, a good Samaritan in Clayton Co saw about a dozen adult dogs and puppies who had apparently been abandoned in a vacant lot. The man didn’t want them to get hit by cars so called AC to pick them up. The article contains photos of the dogs, described by the good Sam as “very friendly”, and some are clearly younger than 3 months old. And yet, rather than being offered for adoption after 3 days (for the adults) or placed on 5 day quarantine before being offered for adoption (for the pups), AC may have other plans:
Police in Clayton County said the animal shelter is near capacity and if they are not adopted they could be put down within three days.
Near capacity – so the shelter is not full. Within three days – so clearly not in accordance with the policy stated on AC’s webpage. If they are killed within 3 days, they wouldn’t even have been given a chance at adoption.
According to HSUS, the national average for a U.S. community is approximately 12.5 animals killed per 1000 people. In 2009, Clayton Co killed 21.4 pets per 1000 residents. That amounts to more than 6000 pets killed via the heartstick method in 2009. In August 2010, Clayton Co AC was reportedly “preparing to do away with” killing by heartstick although I don’t know the current status of that plan.
So the possibility appears to exist that these abandoned dogs will be killed by heartstick without ever having a chance at adoption while cages sit empty at the shelter. Regardless of how unlikely owner redemption might seem in this case, shouldn’t these friendly dogs at least be given that chance? Failing that, shouldn’t they at least be offered for adoption for as long as possible while the shelter has empty cages?
Not that I’d ever want to choose between these two options but if forced, I think I’d rather take my chances avoiding cars than end up in the “care” of Clayton Co AC. Better yet, it would be great if the AC shelter was reformed and its 80% kill rate drastically reduced. Any animal advocates in Clayton Co with a mind to take on reform efforts?
Thanks Valerie for the link on the abandoned dogs.