Article on FL Pound Raises Questions

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.

7 thoughts on “Article on FL Pound Raises Questions

  1. you are so right.. “sheltering in place” or helping people care for their animals does not seem to be in the “shelter industry manual” but the chapter that says “people bad, animals dead” is well worn

    1. I can not wrap my brain around the attitude that on the one hand says “They are fighting like mad to keep their pets” and on the other says “For the protection of the pet we must take him from the home to our facility where we kill 76% of pets”. If the owners are fighting to keep the pet and you’re most likely going to kill the pet, why not try to make the situation work by counseling and follow-up? I understand that may not be feasible for EVERY situation but certainly for many I would think.

  2. Still stuck in the old catch and kill paradigm.

    It doesn’t matter how much your staff “cares” or how often they weep for the dead, if you don’t CHANGE YOUR APPROACH, you’re going to keep killing pets in record numbers.

    Why don’t shelter directors understand this?

  3. Well I am at a loss for words – seems to be a ‘problem’ I’ve been having lately. Here we have a shelter that has a 76% kill rate – and employees falsifying records.

    Now I did check and at least they DO use PetFinder and Facebook – doing better than some other shelters we know of….I also went to their website and found that they charge $75 per animal – doesn’t matter if it’s old or young or if it’s a dog or cat. They will microchip for $10. They preform euth for $15 – and even offer cremation at no charge. They also provide traps for stray cats – but I can’t find any mention of a TNR program – so I am assuming that ferals are killed. Adoption hours are not very great – but better than some places…Tuesday thru Friday they are open 10 to 6 and Saturdays from 10 to 3. Not ‘bad’ but could be a LOT better.

    I also found that ACO’s appear to also be taking calls about wildlife in this area too (raccoons & opossums. How normal is that? Where I live we have a separate division that handles only wild life and the ACO’s are only hired to handle pets…actually just dogs. I wonder if that’s not a part of the equation that leads them to not have enough time to handle calls very well? Yet they director you to Fish & Wildlife for snakes, gators, & birds and a professional for rats.

    I also found that Bay Co. AC (FL in general) has a law that all animals that leave the shelter must be spayed/neutered. One area that they work – Panama City has a pet limit of 4 of any type of mix of cats/dogs….doesn’t mention any other types of animals though.

    Just have to wonder about this place…falsifying records because it’s too hard to deal with the reality? What the hell is THAT? Seriously – what does that accomplish? Records that the whole world can read that implies that for some reason Bay Co, FL has a high rate of animals with behavior problems. I know that some people will have issues with the fact that they dislike the people that they serve – I have to say that while they need to deal with them – I’d prefer they hate the people and love the animals! In a perfect world we wouldn’t still be dealing with the *hate the public* mentality – but then again we wouldn’t have a need for Bay Co. IF this were a perfect world!

  4. Oh My! A “shelter” blaming the public?!? Geez…We are such a bunch of losers out here! Do you think you could possibly hold some “Responsible Pet People” seminars?

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