Red Alert – Concern Troll!

The AP put out a piece earlier this month on rescue transports which take shelter dogs from the south and drive them north.  It provides some sad stats for shelter pets in the state of NC:

Last year, at least 305,222 dogs and cats were dropped off at North Carolina shelters, and 214,475 were euthanized. […] The real numbers are likely higher, because only 73 of 100 counties had reported their 2010 data to state government as of February.

That’s a kill rate of 70%, with roughly 3/4 of the state’s counties reporting.

The focus of the article surrounds the risks of using unvetted transporters, citing a lack of regulation, rescuers who take sick or bad tempered dogs on the transports, and those who simply lose the dogs at rest stops due to inexperience.

The reporter also spoke to Kimberly Alboum, director of the NC chapter of HSUS.  Some readers will remember that Ms. Alboum was very happy to send 10 of the AL 44 to the shelter in Lincoln Co, NC which promptly shoved 4 of the dogs into their gas chamber.  She cautions shelters who rely on rescue transports to help save lives:

“It’s scary to me,” Alboum said. “You’re always leery of folks coming and pulling multiple animals from your shelter if you don’t know where they’re going.”

The article does not note if the comment was made with a straight face.

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20 Comments

  1. Oh yes, it’s much less scary and safer to just off the animal yourself than worry that somebody else might, or might not! Gaaaaahh.

    Reply
  2. Ms. Alboum must be another one of those people that feel the animals are better off being killed quickly in the shelters than stressed by being transported. Hope she is retiring soon.

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    • Erica

       /  March 19, 2011

      If it was a quick death that would be one thing – remember the shelter that she was “so happy” that took 10 of the AL 44 and GASSED 4 of the immediately. So I don’t think she cares if it is quick or slow and full of suffering. She probably is also ok with heartstick to kill animals.

      Yep – no chance and a slow painful death sure makes more sense rather than giving an animal a chance. Hell, if the dog is going to end up dead anyways why the hell should anyone care where they are going? Talk about a dog running in circles chasing their own tail.

      And THIS is where animal RIGHTS people completely ‘lose’ me….we aren’t supposed to kill animals to eat, we aren’t supposed to kill animals to wear, we aren’t supposed to kill animals to use them so that humans can use them in any way to improve our lives….BUT when it comes to animals in shelters kill away! How can you justify one but not the other? It’s ok to kill an animal as long as you don’t use any part of it in your life, but you can’t kill an animal to survive?!?!? WTF!!!!

      Reply
      • mikken

         /  March 19, 2011

        And Erica, don’t forget feral cat colonies – those cats are SOOOOOO much better off dead than s/n, sheltered, and fed regularly by a caretaker. I wonder if we should hunt down wild animals too, you know, to “save” them? Oh but wait, hunting is bad. But…ouch, my brain!

      • Erica

         /  March 19, 2011

        Yes, the feral cats….the ones who are killing all the endangered birds and spreading disease to humans (she said with much sarcasm). Yep, hunting is bad – unless it is just to kill the animals for no reason other than to kill them….I think my brain is hurting too.

  3. The rescue group I volunteer with is generally anti-transport rescue because of a couple of bad experiences with taking in animals who had been shipped north by badly run transport rescues. The idea that there are well-run transport rescues, who actually either screen adopters and try to make good matches, or work with shelters on this end who will do so, and who either do proper quarantine on the departure end, or work with shelters here to make sure quarantine will happen here–it seems to be an idea we’re not supposed to entertain. They’ve had some bad experiences, and that’s all that matters.

    The idea that we’d never be asked to take in an animal from a well-run transport rescue also doesn’t seem to occur.

    But as silly as that can be, that’s on the receiving end, where some concern about how the dogs have been screened and vetted is understandable.

    On the departure end, where the alternative is These Dogs Die In The Gas Chamber?

    Concern troll, indeed.

    Reply
  4. Morgana

     /  March 19, 2011

    Could it be possible, OT a little here, that HSUS is responsible for the current DOA crackdown on rescues in GA???? LIcensed rescues are being raided and forced to “downsize”, and the shelters are now no longer allowed to send dogs on transports, etc….it just dawned on my with this article, that HSUS could be muscling the DOA/GA…???

    Reply
    • Jeanne

       /  March 19, 2011

      I work with a licensed rescue in GA and am not aware of a crackdown on rescues by the DOA or shelters not being allowed to send dogs on transport. It’s been pretty much business as usual. Also I’m not aware of HSUS ever having any influence over DOA policies, although they work with some GA humane societies like Atlanta Humane.
      If there have been internet rumors of a crackdown, I don’t think there’s any real substance to them.

      Reply
    • Anne

       /  March 20, 2011

      My shelter also works with Georgia Puppy Pipeline and we also have not heard of any ‘crackdown’
      we received a transport last week

      Reply
  5. db

     /  March 19, 2011

    May the fleas of a thousand camels . . .
    my wish for Kimberly Alboum and others of her ilk. Dead animals don’t get a second chance for life – period! Dead is better? It boggles my brain to try and understand how a human being can even entertain such thoughts.

    Reply
  6. Jeanne

     /  March 19, 2011

    My favorite part of the article is at the end–

    “The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals plans to have standards and guidelines on transports by the end of the year, covering issues from veterinary care to making sure animals aren’t being driven hundreds of miles when adoptive homes can be found nearby.

    “A single dog in a car is probably manageable, but anything more than that you need to know what you’re doing,” President Ed Sayres said.”

    Ed Sayres to the rescue! Where would we be without the wisdom of the ASPCA? And this is right after they quote transport coordinator Mary Blake–one of the best and most careful around and someone I’ve worked with for years. Uh, I believe she knows what she’s doing.

    Reply
    • I especially like the idea that the ASPCA – who *opposes Oreo’s Law* which would make rescue access to shelter pets a legal right in NY – is going to lay down the rules regarding rescue transports across the country. Oh yeah and if you’re transporting just one dog – well, whatever – one dog is expendable.

      Reply
      • Erica

         /  March 20, 2011

        I, too, found that bit about Ed a little “funny”. ASPCA doesn’t want Oreo’s Law to get passed – so no rescues to help there, but the ASPCA is doing the standards & guidelines for transports???? They’ve already proven they are NOT rescue friendly and don’t play well with others in the sand box, yet they think they are going to jump ahead in line and set the policies for transports…..okay, ummmm maybe Ed needs to be transported somewhere far away with no access to another animal and then we’ll talk.

        But to further add insult he says one dog is managable but more than that you need to know what you’re doing….what does he think that people just throw a dozen dogs into the back seat of a VW bug and drives 12 hours straight? Seriously – all the research I’ve done on transports they seem to do a pretty good job of covering the basics and making sure they have good folks handling each leg of the trip. Next is he going to be saying that people can ONLY have 1 child at a time in their car? Because you know any more than that could get unmanagable….

  7. I wish there was a way to make a national database for transporters. There are several around, but there isn’t one central place where a shelter can check out the people who would be involved in a transport.

    As far as stress on the dogs, yes, it can be stressful, especially for frightened dogs, but many times the dogs love the attention and have a blast along the way. We (the groups of folks I work with) have open communication with the senders and receivers, and each other, so we have as much information as possible to treat the dogs as needed. And the reward at the end of a stable safe place to stay is worth the temporary stress of traveling for a day or two.

    As far as where they end up? The transports I run with only send to approved adopters, fosters, or rescues. It’s not like these dogs are going to random places and dumped there.

    Reply
    • Jeanne

       /  March 19, 2011

      If it’s a volunteer transport, the coordinator is supposed to check out the drivers sender and receiving rescue and get references from all of them. The actual transport is monitored by phone with e-mail updates to everyone and usually photos taken along the way.

      If it’s a paid transport, the sender is responsible for checking references and maintaining contact with the driver and the receiving rescues to make sure everything goes well. Technology helps, too. We have a paid transporter on our forum who uses an iphone app that lets you track her progress and keep in touch. Pretty cool.

      Reply
  8. Matt

     /  March 20, 2011

    I wonder if PETA has some connection to this.
    Nobody wants to see pets dead more than them. And as Nathan Winograd pointed out, PETA DOES actually send out death squads….people who LOOK for pets to capture and kill.

    Looks like the Gestapo are still in business.

    Reply
  9. Canuck Dog Mom

     /  March 22, 2011

    “Next is he going to be saying that people can ONLY have 1 child at a time in their car? Because you know any more than that could get unmanageable….”

    Erica, you are SO right! There are so many stupid statements people like this Ed Sayres idiot makes that, if the word “pet” (or “dog” or “cat”) to “child” they’d either get laughed at or lynched.

    As a multiple dog family, we’ve had more than one dog in the car on ANY given day and never had a problem. Of course, our doggy seatbelt-harnesses help, but if a dog gets a bit whacky in the car there are always crates. Personally, I’ve seen more children than dogs that should be crated for car travel LOL! When I really stop and think about it, most of my four-legged kids have been far better behaved in the car (and pretty much anywhere else) than most two-legged kids I’ve known, heh-heh-heh.

    ————————————————-
    *Don’t club seal pups, club seal hunters!*
    ————————————————-

    Reply
    • Erica

       /  March 25, 2011

      I can personally attest to the fact that I have had multiple dogs in the car – not a single problem. Now, throw my 5 kids in the same vehicle for the same amount of time and I can’t tell you how many times I actually have to pull over to address an issue – one of them escaping their car seat, the fights, ugh!

      Ed is just one of those people that rubs me the wrong way – working with animals and yet he appears to not really like them. I wouldn’t be surprised to find a “Kill the doggie/kitty” video surface from HIS shelter…but only after they have made it suffer through multiple surguries, used it to fundraise the hell out of and then decide to kill it anyways. Nope just don’t like him AT ALL!

      Reply
  10. Oh, that Kim! Forever making HSUS look classy and caring. I’m so very glad FBRN tossed her out on her ass (finally).

    Reply
  11. Tessa45

     /  April 8, 2011

    The shelter I work for does transports from Alabama and Ark. to NH several times a year. There are 4 men on the truck and take turns driving non stop except for potty stops. A vet gives the dogs a calming med that is not narcotic nor harmful. They arrive next day and the trucks are eiher air-conditioned or heated. The dogs are given water but not food during the trip to prevent vomiting. The dogs sleep most of the trip except for the potty stops and water. There has never been an incident. Pets fly on planes cross country and placed in baggage compartments, no potty stops or water. Which is safer?

    Reply

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