Memphis Animal Services serves Shelby Co which has a population of 920,000. MAS intake for 2010 was 15,400. They killed 11,900. Washoe Co, NV saves 90% of their pets even though they take in about the same number of pets as MAS. A few comparisons:
- MAS takes in about 17 pets per 1000 people.
- Washoe Co takes in about 35 pets per 1000 people.
- MAS kills about 13 pets per 1000 people.
- Washoe Co kills about 4 pets per 1000 people.
- MAS RTO: 6% (not broken down by dogs/cats)
- Washoe Co RTO: 65% for dogs, 7% for cats (works out to 36% if dogs/cats combined)
I mention Washoe Co because I think the powers that be in Memphis would do well to learn from their success. But if for some reason Washoe Co isn’t good enough for you, try learning from Austin, TX. They are saving pets there too, even though advocates had to fight massive resistance from the naysayers.
Speak of the devil…
Last year almost 16,000 animals were taken into the shelter. That is 308 animals a week! If we tried to adopt all of them out it would take 61 adoptions a day. We wish we were in a position to find that many homes.
Oh crud. Someone’s been smoking that funny math again in Memphis.
Using the figures from the MAS 2010 report, the shelter took in about 296 pets per week. If 36% of those were returned to their owners before impound, like they do in Washoe Co, that would be 107 less pets at the Memphis shelter each week. Of the total intake per week, let’s say 10% are medically hopeless and suffering or are vicious dogs. That would mean 30 less pets to find homes for because they would have been euthanized. That leaves 159 pets coming into the shelter each week. Some of them will be feral cats, eligible for the TNR program (which MAS does not have but I hope will soon) so that will be even fewer pets to find homes for. Rescues and fosters will take some of the pets too. But for the sake of discussion, let’s go with the premise put forth by the “Friends” – that we have to find homes for all of them. And we’re only working 5 days a week at it (since that is how the “Friends” calculated their figures).
159 pets each week divided by 5 days=32 adoptions per day. There are nearly 1 million people in Shelby Co. And there are millions more on the internet doing rescue, crossposting, arranging transports, etc. Do you think 32 pets a day could be saved at MAS if you listed every pet in need online, had a strong foster program and worked with rescues? It seems very doable to me. Even more so if they put a TNR program in place and recruited enough volunteers that there would be people working on saving pets 7 days a week. If the staff at MAS and their “Friends” don’t think they can save all the healthy/treatable pets at the shelter, maybe it’s time to get some people in there who can.
Memphis, please – stop the lying. Stop the excuses. Start saving pets’ lives.