Taking a Roach Motel approach with the title, this article about the Bay Co AC pound in FL looks at what’s behind the facility’s 76% kill rate over the last 5 years. Unfortunately, they get their information from pound manager Bill Olasin and his ACOs. One of the first things Mr. Olasin tells the paper is that he suspects his staff members lie about the reasons they kill such an astronomical number of pets, coding most of the killings as behavioral or medical cases instead of the truth:
“No one wants to say we put an animal down because we didn’t have room,” he said.
And the falsifying of public records is ok with the manager because…?
At maximum capacity, Bay County Animal Control shelter can house about 100 dogs and 125 cats, but maximum capacity is usually only used in the case of a natural disaster or another extreme emergency.
Apparently killing 76% of the pets in your care does not qualify as an “extreme emergency”. (Maybe they’re waiting to hit 100%?) So if they are not normally at capacity, that means they are needlessly killing pets for space (and lying about it) while cages sit empty.
The paper also spoke with the ACOs who mentioned that marketing pets via Facebook has been a “huge success” (hey, they’re not killing every single pet in the place – only 76%!) and that “the worst part of the job is the people”. Delightful.
Officer John Oliver said an animal can look like it hasn’t been taken care of in months “and then you get out to get them and (the owners) act like you’re taking their kid.”
If this is the case, why not seize the opportunity to educate and assist the owners in providing better care for the pet? When faced with someone who values his pet as a family member, use it to your – and the pet’s – advantage. Taking pets away from people who love them may not always be in the best interest of those involved. If there is an opportunity to safely improve the pet’s home environment and keep him out of the shelter, it’s an option worth exploring to my mind.
And then, there’s this:
No matter how hard animal control employees and volunteers work, though, Olasin said the cycle that leads to high euthanasia rates will continue until people become responsible pet owners.
Ah, yes. The pound is killing 3 out of every 4 pets that come through its doors and falsifying the records about the reasons for the killings. The pet owners of Bay Co consider their pets to be members of the family. And yet, the incredible kill rate at the pound is the fault of the irresponsible public? (I am so excited to think of that magical day when “people become responsible” and all the wrongs of the world are made right!)
Beatings will continue until morale improves.