“We hate this.”

This is a Facebook posting from Vermilion Parish Rabies Control in LA:

Let’s give this information some context.  First off, this pound does not adopt pets to the public.  They will allow 501(c)3 rescues to pull pets but if a member of the public sees a pet they want and can’t (or doesn’t know how to) find a 501(c)3 to intervene – too bad.  To reiterate – they kill pets while refusing to adopt them to the public.

Secondly, when the pound says “euthanize”, it means “stuff into a gas chamber”.  And if it’s the same gas chamber they had in 2009, it’s apparently faulty.

Lastly, and I’m not sure exactly who to contact with this bit of information, but my pets are neutered so, uh – good news?  You don’t have to kill any pets?  My point being that neutering pets is an important message to continually market to owners but it does nothing to save the pets in the pound TODAY.  Only a compassionate, innovative director who is committed to saving lives can do that.  Does anyone know where Vermilion Parish could find someone like that?  Someone who believes there is SO MUCH we can do.  Someone who “hates” to kill pets to the degree that it’s not even an option.  Someone whose hands are not tied but busy being a progressive leader.  Maybe it’s YOU.

40 thoughts on ““We hate this.”

  1. I love the way you get the point across and that your postings drill down to the obvious truths. Now if we could just get thoughtful people like you into every animal shelter…

  2. If they hate it so much, why don’t they DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT???? Like adopt out to individuals? Like reach out to other rescue groups? Like try to have adoptathons? Like ask the locals for help?

    Whining about how you “have” to kill pets in your antiquated gas chamber on facebook isn’t going to fix anything. TAKE ACTION, people. Stand up and say, “No, we’re not killing today. Today we’re brainstorming solutions that may actually save lives.”

    1. They are deleting responses on their FB page if you post after their note. I left a note on their message page as they requested, but I won’t be surprised if it is deleted too. At least someone may read it who might think twice…

      And by the way, anyone who has access to FB should try to leave a note because we need to drill it in their heads that they have to do more than one thing at a time to save animals.

      1. Here is their response after several people posted on their page:

        Vermilion Parish Rabies Animal Control:

        “If they give the parish an adoption program, can you imagine the number of dogs they would be picking up? They already remain full of animals the local community releases, and refuses to spay or neuter. If they start an adoption program, they will still be picking up the animals, but more of them. To many individuals in the communities of these and possibly other parishes that dump, are not responsible. They want to call a pet theirs, but don’t feel they have to actually care for the animal…they let them wander loose, and don’t vet them….That facility is small, and only has 4-5 employees. They are swamped with phone calls to pick up animals that irresponsible owners just let wander. They allow rescues that are 501(C)3 to pull the animals. Local individuals may contact AAVA to adopt from the facility. So no the facility does not have an adoption program, but the animals may be adopted thru an approved rescue. I have spoken with the staff at the facility and They have to legally hold an animal for 4days before the animal can leave with a rescue. So if they pick up 15 or 20 dogs on tuesday, they cannot post and release an animal until friday, which means they are full before they are able to even post animals online. You can only fault the individuals not being responsible for their pets. Also the proceedure to get approved is under the info tab. They need to follow this, and give them time to verify the information. It is best to email the 501 then wait for the rescue profile. Fill it out completely and email it back to them. They post comments like that to get rescues to act fast. You may not like it, but it works to save the animals. The shelter said that rescues step up fast, and that this time no animals were euthanized. This may not occur next time, so we need to act fast on the animals that go online. After 4days they can be euthanized, and this shelter gives them as much time as they can after that 4 days. In some cases an extra week or even a month or two. They have just been so busy that there is no extra time right now. They remain full!”

      2. I posted a note so we’ll see if it gets deleted. I’m sure it will since I suggest that the person in charge be fired and someone who knows how to run a shelter be put in place. I read the response from them and all I have to say is “wow”. Let’s blame the public and not think outside the box. How about volunteers to help with adoptions? I will never understand why a group would rather kill animals then try new approaches. It makes me sick!

  3. I called,I talked to someone,they said go to Vermillion website,fill out an app and we will see it when it comes in and call you. I made application and NEVER HEARD BACK. I posted and called again…NEVER HEARD BACK!
    It really PISSES me off! What is the point to paste picture of helpless animals if you have plans of KILLING them anyway?…

  4. I am reminded of your post *Where is the Love?* about shelter hating. Um, I confess, I HATE this *shelter!* Poor them, irresponsible public, blah, blah, blah.

    So if I lose my beloved pet, they’ll kill it in four days unless some 501(c)3 snaps it up and then won’t let me have it back because I am *irresponsible*…how many ways can I make this seem less horrid?!

  5. Hmm, We have 8 shelter employees where I work, we still adopt dogs and cats out send them to rescue and keep them waaaaay longer than the 4 to 5 day hold. I agree they need to do something and keep whining!!

  6. Who wrote this? First thing I noticed… there’s no mention of volunteers being one step ahead of the time schedule. Why can’t there be a volunteer there (even if it’s a different one every day) to take photos of animals as they come in and post.. that says.. “Will be available”… etc? That will also act as a “found” post.

    All the other excuses are just lame.

    Every time a shelter is exposed for murdering animals.. fingers are pointed at the director. Who hires these people? Why aren’t people that want “No-Kill” in place hired?

  7. Devil’s Advocate time:

    1. Posting on Facebook is in fact “doing something” (many places don’t). Look at all the response this has gotten, and none of these animals were put down.

    2. As much as I hate the “we are full”…”we are going to have to euthanize” sob stories, this is what moves animals the quickest. Why criticize them for building their message around what appeals to people the most? The shelter where I volunteer keeps things positive, which I like. But sometimes I think we could move animals more quickly if we cued up the maudlin music and the sad eyes.

    3. Whining on Facebook may or may not help the animals. Here it apparently did. But we’ve got a lot of people whining about the whiners. What does that do, apart from create a lot of spam?

    1. “We’re going to have to euthanize” doesn’t move pets the quickest in Reno or Austin or Charlottesville… In fact, “We’re going to have to euthanize” doesn’t move any pets at all in these places because they choose not to keep their local rescuers in crisis mode which merely perpetuates the “save a few, kill the rest” philosophy that has put the US shelter model in the ditch. They implement the programs proven to save pets’ lives and they continually come up with innovative ways to market their pets and include the public as part of the solution instead of wagging the finger of blame at “irresponsible people” to cover their own failings.

      1. Shirley, I did not address the “irresponsible public” angle, which I do not like. And I don’t need the entire No-Kill Conference content in bullet form.

        But in this case, they played the “we’re going to have to euthanize” card, and according to Miss Molly Moo they moved the dogs. Not the most elegant solution, but it worked in this situation. So now, apart from having to ignore a bunch of emails from No-Killions, what is the incentive to change?

        What your goal for this blog entry? Criticize their social media efforts? Is there an opening at this facility for a director, since you seem to be doing some recruiting for that position? Start a campaign for them to start adopting to the public? Just use them as an example of a bad message? Is there a specific plan to help make the changes you think are necessary at this shelter? What are we doing about it, apart from posting things from Afar on the internet? Do you have people on the ground in this parish?

        Just wondering. Otherwise it looks like a rant.

      2. Joel, Please don’t call us names. It makes us cry.

        Only joking, carry on with the name calling. I swear to science I’m not crying.

        I guess I think of myself as a light shiner-on-er. And hopefully a power to the people-er, on a good day. I want to call out the behavior on its own but in addition, I’m hoping some people will recognize their own local shelter in there. And maybe not from this particular post, and heck maybe never from any post I’ve written to date, but if I keep working at it, I hope one day to make one person somewhere think, “I could do better and I’m going to give it a try.”

      3. Thank you for being a voice of sense, Joel. This blog post was pretty pointless IMHO, unless the point was to stir up resentment and hatred towards this particular animal control.

    2. Joel,

      Because it’s a band-aid, not a solution. They haven’t “fixed” anything for the next batch and they’ve taken another step towards burning out their rescue groups.

      They “hate” killing? Then DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Stop being victims and start taking positive steps towards making changes.

      1. Amen mikken.
        Joel, it’s her blog, she can rant if she wants to! And maybe I’ll start posting my available dogs on Facebook so you all can criticize and/or rant at me too!
        It’s like Pueblo PAWS telling everybody they need to either come physically SEE their facility, or shut up. There is some middle ground! (But not for those who choose the short end of the stick.)

      2. Lynn, I agree with you that she can do whatever she wants with her own blog. But I was just reading highlights from Shirley’s own presentation at the No-Kill Conference about advocacy blogging, and one of the points was that ranting should be avoided because it’s not helpful. Then I read this post, which read mostly like a rant to me. But I always remind myself that I went to public school, so I asked Shirley for clarification.

    3. Joel, is it spam when it makes you think? (When I was in a bipolar state of manic I started reading *special* messages into some of the spam I got and boy was THAT weird?!)

      Whining about whiners is not such a terrible thing. I find it less offensive than those who wish to electrocute and drown Vick, or euthanize shelter workers. Pepper et al were complaining about threats, and I venture it is this whining-turned-violent that gives these complaints weight.

      Yea, I need to hear whiners complain about whining. It helps keep me honest and helps me to focus.

      Shirley has a marvelous skill for discovering bad behavior and labeling it appropriately (usually in a fashion I can see clearly, but that also is fine, accurate, and usually just a titch humorous.) If she incorporates a rant, I think that’s actually sometimes better. But then, I usually jive with her rant-factor.

      Yes, it takes people *on the ground* to effect positive change. And no, I ain’t there, and Shirley probably isn’t either. But this blog HAS made a difference in a lot of places. And I’m hoping the *spam* from this post makes more people think, look, and act more appropriately and save more critters in the process.

      1. Lynn,

        The post did make me think, and I posted exactly what it made me think.

        There is value in advocacy blogging, but its effects only go so far. I have no problem with targeting a place like MAS, and hopefully Shirley has helped set wheels in motion there although time will tell.

        But I don’t want people to get caught up thinking that sitting around at a computer screen, commenting and posting about something they read, and congratulating each other for agreeing with one another, is the end outcome. Nor is sending out emails to the shelter director. It’s got to go beyond that. Which is why I’m interested in the goal of this particular entry.

  8. How about animal control checking the tags in the field and returning them to the owners instead of hauling them in knowing they will be killed. Use your heads people. The neighbor may even be willing to hold the loose animal until the owner gets home. And stop blaming the public. There is enough blame to go all around, even to you.

    1. I totally agree. It is completely irresponsible for an animal control officer to take an animal in if they have a tag. Idiots.

      1. It’s also ridiculous to bring in feral cats when it is obvious they will be killed because they are wild. That is why TNR is so vital. This place doesn’t seem to even understand the basics.

  9. That great book of worship in the Bible – the Psalms – reveals that all God’s creation have contact with God (Psalm 93). All God’s creatures praise Him (Psalm 145:10). It is only mankind who needs forgiving and saving and teaching as to how to worship (Psalm 36 & 51), the animal kingdom worships God continually and naturally.

  10. I don’t know about some of you, but I get mass emails like this at least twice a week. “Help, help! our shelter is full and we are being forced to kill if someone doesn’t step up and take in these great dogs and cats.” Never mind that the shelter is not making any attempt to increase adoptions or redemption rates for strays. Basically they think that they are off the hook to try to do any work on their own as long as they put out the last minute kill list emails. Sure, it’s better than nothing but it’s still a big fat fail. Working with rescue groups is only a small part of making a shelter succeed and I think we are obligated to call them out on this.

  11. I called the animal aid group, the one listed on the pound website and who posted on facebook, and asked how many animals the rabies control officers bring in.
    I was told, a bunch.
    I asked how many they remove each week from the pound, I was told, as many as they can.
    I asked how many people are in the parish and was told it was a huge parish.
    I said 500,000+ and was told it is mostly swamp and lakes and that the large cities have their own animal control and very good shelters.
    So, I say…post away on facebook. But if you are trying to bring about change…at least know how many animals are brought in each day and how many you remove.

  12. ALL the posts were DELETED and this is what they stated:

    Vermilion Parish Rabies Animal Control

    The one that started the wow topic may post here. The post was deleted by accident. Appoligize for the inconvience. You may post again. Your post will not be deleted as long as the post does not have any colorful words.

    The posts were comprised of suggestions about No-Kill and offerings of help. Don’t ya love open-minded people?

    1. Oh, and the original posting that Shirley put up is gone now…replaced by a more positive posting about adopting a pet through contacting one of their rescues!

      1. And Joel…

        I too become concerned when everyone just whines to each other about something and does nothing about it. It does happen here at times, but there is going to be venting here and there. I do believe though that Shirley’s blog informs her readers about current issues and inconsistencies with a wit that you don’t find in most rescue work, sparks discussion that leads to action off of the page, and moves us forward in our efforts. She typically only starts the conversation (and maybe you were expecting advice), but it allows those participating to discuss the issue and many times go beyond the page to participate, pressure, and help those she wrote about. No one blog can be everything to everyone…you have to pick and choose what works for you.

  13. I sent in an email inquiring about this whole setup of rescue-pulling and have heard nothing back. I imagine I won’t either. This is commensurate with the executions of the Jews during the Holocaust. Don’t deny it, it is. I am a Jewish woman and take great exception to this form of “euthanization”, which I think is just a clever way of disguising what it really is — mass murder of our animal friends.

    On another note, Nathan Winograd is a horrible model for our movement and does nothing but serve his own ego. There are plenty of people who would do a much better job than him, including myself, I am sure, whose egos are not inflated to the point of silencing their followers and getting caught up in pointless minutia, which has absolutely nothing to do with the issues at hand. I know many people who he has culled from his following, who did nothing but tirelessly advocate for animals and participate in his movement. Needless to say, many, many, MANY people have been turned off by his tyrannical way of dealing with anyone who dares cross him. Not the qualities I look for in a leader, especially when said leadership has so many innocent lives in its hands. We need to look to another role model, as Nathan Winograd is not the person to make this happen.

    1. I have never interpreted Nathan Winograd as someone who requires obedience in order to subscribe to the philosophies he puts forth. I’ve actually felt the opposite – that he encourages individuals to stand up and be leaders themselves. If you (or anyone) feels you could do a better job, I say go for it. We need more people willing to lead – lots more. Please let us know about your work.

      1. Who and where are these many people who have been culled from “Nathan’s group” for not saluting and thinking on their own??? I’ve never once read anything to that effect. I don’t feel that from him at all.

  14. joel – ‘the goal of this particular entry’ that you asked about is public exposure which stimulates public outrage and public activism, if you dont need the no-kill story explained to you then you shouldnt need to be told thats how it works; its not the bloggers role to have people on the ground or to recruit for the shelter or start campaigns for them; further i see no evidence that these commenters are ‘caught up thinking that sitting around at a computer screen, commenting and posting about something they read, and congratulating each other for agreeing with one another, is the end outcome’ – on the contrary, many of these commenters are active in their local rescues and shelters as well as spreading the word and contributing money thru this and other blogs; as for mass emails this is a tactic that does in fact affect politicians whose jobs depend on public image -you better believe it- tho of course they pretend to ignore them… personally i believe your complaints are unfounded

  15. Joel, do you expect news reporters to go and reform their local shelters? They’re the ones that live in their community. No? Their job is to report the news.

    Can you expect rescue groups to reform their community animal shelters? They can help by speaking with the public, but my experience shows they are often intimidated & blackmailed by the shelters who threaten to kill animals or forbid them to pull animals if they make public comments about their local shelter.

    So who will reform the shelters? I think “YesBiscuit!” & others can play a part as a catalyst to stand up & say “The world is not flat!” or “The emperor has no clothes!”

    I think some shelters and cities are like the pot calling the kettle black if they haven’t educated about & advocated for the other life-saving parts of the No Kill equation. If the public are the ones you want to help you, you shouldn’t be bashing them.

    People know when someone is trying to manipulate them. If you hold up a dog & say you’re going to kill it unless you get what you want, that is manipulative AND abusive (common behaviour used by animal abusers in relationships to try to control their partners and/or children in the home; see “The Animal-Cruelty Syndrome”, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/13/magazine/13dogfighting-t.html).

    Remember the New Mexico “shelter” that used it’s air time on local TV this year to kill a dog & blame the public rather than advertise dogs for adoption? (“Killing them with kindness” http://bullmarketfrogs.com/blog/2011/07/killing-them-with-kindness/)

  16. A low cost spay/neuter clinic is a good way to start. It puts those words in peoples minds. That’s the beginning of educating and advocating. I didn’t read all of the posts above because frankly, they seemed to go off topic, but this facility can’t claim that they are heart broken about having to put animals to sleep when 1)they don’t adopt, 2)they don’t educate.

  17. Id maybe feel a tiny bit sorry for them if they did everything they could do to adopt out animals (like adopt-a-thons, low-cost s/n and adopting out to regular folk rather than rescue groups (who does that? And wouldnt that limit their income because of adoption fees?)) but since they dont, I dont.

  18. I have come across several shelters that do not have public adoption. We are only so many rescue organizations that can only take on so many. This is where the problem lies. Im tired of seeing them post there is so many and their time is up.. Well then the shelters in question need to change there rules. Then they end up with an overwhelming amount of animals that could be adopted by loving families only to be gassed. Horrible practice that needs to be changed. If your not going to be part of the solution, then dont keep making it the problem… Change your procedures about public adopting and you might be surprised how the numbers will come down, until you do that, then your rules will just continue to add to the problem.

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