Questions on Marion Co Pound, Again

Offered without comment (at this point), the Paws to the Rescue policies regarding release of dogs at the Marion Co pound in SC, as posted on Facebook:

Pups in Need of Sponsorship
By Kristin Kucsma (Albums)
Do you want to SAVE a PUP’S LIFE but cannot rescue or adopt? Please consider sponsoring a pup! EVERY PUP CURRENTLY in this album has a CONFIRMED RESCUE but they are NOT SAFE. Most will NOT make it out of the shelter if we do not raise funds for them. Every once in awhile, we will release pups whose bills have not been paid but as a general practice we will not do this. Pups must be vetted prior to transport; our vet demands payment in full prior to vetting and we (see below) do not receive enough money from the County to cover the full cost of vetting.

Sponsorship allows us to do two things:

1) Sponsorship money allows us to make sure a pup’s outstanding bills are paid

The true cost of saving a pup reflects the full cost of getting a pup to safety from the time he/she enters the shelter until the time he/she is safely with a rescue or in a forever home. This cost includes, but is not limited to, the following: the cost of food on a daily basis for the pup; any and all necessary medications and vaccinations required by a pup during his/her stay at the shelter and to prepare him/her for transport; payroll to pay employees to care for the pups during their stay at the shelter, etc.

The County of Marion provides Paws to the Rescue (PTTR), the 501(c)(3) organization that manages the shelter, $53,000 per year to run the shelter. The shelter took in approximately 3,000 dogs in 2011. That breaks down to $18 per dog – not $18 per dog per day – $18 per dog PERIOD. That was “plenty” of money when the kill rate at the shelter (pre-PTTR) was 95%+ . It is not nearly enough to support the transformation of this shelter into a low- or no-kill facility.

Consider the pup who stays at the shelter for just two weeks prior to rescue or transport. That is two (2) weeks’ worth of food, possible meds, payroll, etc. That amounts to considerably more than $18. Many pups remain at the shelter for longer than that because we are blessed with a director who will bend over backwards and give us extra time to save these beautiful creatures.

We cannot save these pups if we do not have time to find rescues and adopters, and we cannot “buy” time if we do not have the financial resources to keep the pups alive and healthy (mentally and physically) while we arrange rescue, transport and adoption for them.

2) Sponsorship money also allows us to assist rescues with the fees to have pups vetted, transported to them and, in certain cases, with the cost of HW treatment, so that they can find forever homes for these beautiful boys and girls.

Pups in this album are located in the Marion County Animal Shelter in Mullins SC. Some have rescues committed to them but they need sponsorship money to assist with either vetting, transport and/or HW treatment. In other cases, rescues may not require financial assistance but pups have outstanding bills that must be paid. If the outstanding bills of one pup are not paid, other pups suffer because we will not have adequate resources to buy food, purchase meds, hire additional staff, etc.

This shelter is severely overcrowded and is HIGH KILL so we need to raise these funds so that we can get these pups out right away. Any assistance you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much for your continued support ♥

If you have any questions or require any further information about the Marion County Shelter and specifically regarding issues of sponsorship, please do not hesitate to email me at kucsmak@gmail.com.

With warm regards,
Kristin Kucsma, Treasurer
Paws to the Rescue
A registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization

What do you make of these policies?

Leave a comment

151 Comments

  1. Tip Burrows

     /  January 23, 2012

    So they are holding puppies and dogs hostage for sponsorships? These policies are very confusing. A non-profit is running the “pound” which should be a good thing but in this case seems they are adhering to the party line of “not our problem”? They don’t have time to find rescues and adopters? I’m lost here. Do they honestly give a damn about the animals in their care? They have so many financial restrictions on rescuing them it sounds like they’d rather not be bothered and simply put them down, and where are the figures on those costs? Or do they still gas them there? This makes no sense.

    Reply
    • Kristin Kucsma

       /  January 25, 2012

      Tip: we work round the clock to save these animals and this is on top of full time careers that most of us have. Before we got involved with the Marion County Shelter, the kill rate was in excess of 95%; the save rate this past year was in excess of 70%.

      The cold hard fact is that it takes money to run a shelter and to save animals. With the paltry budget we receive from the County, we have no choice but to rely upon donations until we are able to get grant money. We are working on that diligently as well.

      Reply
      • Tip Burrows

         /  January 25, 2012

        I totally get that it takes money to run a shelter, but it doesn’t take that much to save animals. If you have a reputable rescue willing to take them, assess a small reasonable pull fee and SAVE THEM. I run a shelter myself and we are not yet no-kill, but if I have a rescue willing to take one or ten or fifty dogs and pups, WE find the money to get them to the rescue if that’s what it takes. And then that rescue assumes the cost of their care from that point. I think the confusion is resulting from the apparent need by your group to raise hundreds of dollars for even one dog or pup before you let it go to rescue? And no one seems able to find out what your actual adoption fee is or if you do local adoptions? And the need to pay salaries yet here you tell me most of you have full time jobs. NO offense and my hat is off to anyone that devotes their spare time to animal welfare. But to say an animal is spoken for by rescue but yet is not safe until hundreds of dollars are received for that animal, is confusing and concerning. And that an animal hasn’t raised enough money for itself yet has a willing rescue, is subject to being killed to make room for others is mind boggling. That’s not how rescue works generally speaking. I think a lot of people would be happy to get clarification on this and you might be amazed how many would also help.

    • queenbeejo

       /  January 25, 2012

      NO – REALLY? THEY DONT GAS – SO SHUT UP. WE GET DOGS TO FREEDOM SO STOP BEING AN A$$

      WE HAVE A LOW EUTH RATE BECAUSE PEOPLE THAT WORK THERE CARE… RECOGNIZE THAT WORD?

      Reply
    • Cheryl

       /  January 25, 2012

      How did you get involved with a shelter so far south compared to your own home in Rhode Island. That is a question I get asked fairly regularly. I have rescued with many people. I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. Then I came across Marion County and all of it’s great network of people. I saw from pictures how bad things were, and how much they were in need, and the more I got to know everyone, the more I knew there was something special about not only the shelter itself, but all the people working there and surrounding the shelter with love and support.

      Some people I have come across ask, why there though, why so far? Good question. My best answer is because I know how much help is needed, compared to around here. I had the opportunity to visit during a work weekend at the shelter. Before I went, people warned me to be prepared for different things I would see so that I was not in shock when arriving. So with all the pictures and words I read, I prepared the best I could. When arriving there it was pretty much as I imagined, but yes a little worse. Except one thing. When you go to a typical shelter, They have such high tech facilities, yet they complain. I keep telling people, that if shelters around here, could only really see and FEEL how bad it could be, they would think they were working in a Mansion!!! The staff of Marion County Animal Shelter have so very little to work with.

      So lets see, what would some differences be? Shelters around here have a real building for start! Marion, has an old barn with wooden beams, cobwebs galore, small cubical kennels, with no ability for the dogs to go outside, Air leaks everywhere, no possible way to block from cold, or keep cool when it’s too hot. Most shelters have a laundry room, Marion has a lean to off the front of the building that the wash machines (which is an average, every day washer and dryer) sit under, not at all protected from the elements. In the winter, just imagine taking frozen laundry out to wash and dry, and that is IF the water lines are not frozen again! Most shelters have a vetting area, that is clean and sterile. Equipment is free and clean from insects, and able to be kept sanitized. Marion has a very small desk in Jens new shed that was made into an office for her, and yes, the shed and work done for that was done by caring volunteers. If she isn’t able to do the vetting there, well their other option is on top of the washer!! Yes, just picture trying to vet an animal on the top of a washer. Needless to say, for the animal, it is not at all comfortable and very frightening to them, and for the humans, not at all convenient. Insects crawl all over any medical equipment they have, and leave their own mess behind all over it. There is NO possible way in my mind to be able to keep things clean even, never mind sanitary!

      So what else could be different? Typical shelters at least have a regular sink to wash dishes and things in. What does Marion have? Marion has a bathtub, in a small closet sized room. Again, insects everywhere, because there is no way to stop them. In the winter, the lines also freeze up there too, because even that area, has no running heat. Can you imagine trying to take care of hungry animals when you come into the shelter, and can’t even care for them proper, because you have to wait for the water to somehow thaw??!! Even when you do finally get running water, can you imagine getting a very limited supply of hot water, which by the way, isn’t even enough to fill up the tub once in hot weather, never mind cold? Can you imagine how badly your hands would hurt trying to do the best you can to sanitize animal dishes for a whole shelter, all while you still have no heat in the building? Most shelters have plenty of hot water, they have a bathing area for the animals, they have a dish washer, they have shelves and cupboards to keep the clean dishes in too!! Marion’s bathing area is also the same tub that is used for the dishes.

      I could go on and on about how bad off Marion County Animal Shelter is, because the things I just listed are just some of the most basic essentials that are not even provided to them. I pray for so much more for this shelter, and hope one day at least some of it will come true. Meanwhile, we will do all we can to Fight for Marion County Animal Shelter, while supporting the best we can, the awesome staff.

      If anyone who has questions about the way this shelter is running, or questions any part of anything that goes on in this shelter, or with it…. Feel free to join us in helping to save as many as we can!!! Get to know all of us working our butts off trying to make things better, fight the fight with us to save a life…. If after joining the team for a few weeks or so, maybe you will see what it is everyone there is trying to do. Taking time and mental stress to answer all these questions, is going to use up energy that needs to go to saving lives. All of us that have been doing all we can to help, need every ounce of energy to make these changes, not sit here and defend what and why things are being done the way they are. So once again…… IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS, TAKE THE TIME TO JOIN AND SEE FOR YOURSELVES WHAT IS GOING ON. If you don’t get why something is how it is, ask any in our group, and it will be explained! If there is still an issue with something you feel can or should be done better, make suggestions!!!!!

      Here is a link to our group page!! :) Now lets save more lives and stop wasting time!!!
      http://www.facebook.com/groups/216819665012025/

      Reply
    • Cheryl

       /  January 26, 2012

      Every one of us from Marion County Shelter, has asked everyone who has questions about what is happening there, to join us and see for yourselves….. Has anyone joined to learn the truth? Kristin and everyone else has so little time to handle things like this. Instead of using up more time, join us and see for yourselves. What is it going to hurt?? :) Here is the link in case it has been lost in all the words…. http://www.facebook.com/groups/216819665012025/

      Join us and you will see all the fund raising we try to do, all the animals we try to save, all the learning and improving we are all working on…. Join us and you will see each and every daily struggle to save as many as we can, and make the future brighter.

      Reply
      • “Joined (FB) to learn the truth” implies that lies have been posted here and truth is posted on FB. That is incorrect. No lies have been posted here. The Treasurer of Paws to the Rescue has indicated at least some of the information on FB has been misleading and is in need of correction.

      • Cheryl

         /  January 26, 2012

        I don’t mean it to sound as though lies are being told, just that misinformation and misunderstanding, maybe… As with any rescue, or any shelter, no one is perfect. There is ALWAYS going to be room for improvement, and there is always going to be people that do not believe and or see things the way others do…. All we can do is be as honest and open as we can all be, and try to better ourselves…. Marion County, and everyone supporting it, are fully aware that things are not yet ideal, or where anyone wants them to be, but everyone is trying to do the best we can to make any and all improvements.

        That’s one thing this group has always been huge on. If there are questions, go to the source and ask, if there are problems, go to the source and discuss, same for advice. Everyone sitting on the out side, isn’t able to see all we are trying to do to make improvements, which is why I say to join the group. There is where we do everything, and it would bring you right to “the heart of the beast”, and you would not only be able to see all that is going on, but be there to guide with suggestions, and help too! :)

        We welcome ANY help we can get, just don’t have the time to fight all of the negativity…. I am not there at the shelter, hands on every day. I can’t do nearly as much as I wish I could do to help. All I can do is be supportive, and try to help as much as possible.

        I have been in person at the shelter, and seen how bad things are there. They are expected to run this shelter, with nothing…. Can you imagine trying to clean and keep things sanitary with frozen water lines, because there is no heat? So many things need to be changed and made better, but as much as we wish all these changes would happen over night, they just don’t…. If doubt and negativity are thrown in the air, it’s going to hurt, and the ones that will be paying, will be the animals. :(

        Please spend some time getting to know what is going on, on the inside….. I know this will answer so much, and will help us too with making things better….. The more united we become, the more we can save….

    • Cheryl

       /  January 28, 2012

      Jen Nall (Marion County Animal Shelter’s Director) tried to reply, but was unable, so here is her response……

      This is Jen, the director of the shelter, and while I have not had time to sit down and read all of this blog word for word, this all makes me very sad. As someone who started in rescue and is now on the “other side” directly IN a shelter, I have seen both worlds, and the animosity astounds me! The bickering, nit-picking, accusing, etc. does NOTHING to help the animals – it only drives people away and results in more killing. Rescuers want to search out horrible shelters and “expose” them, which is great where there are horrible mistreatment’s, gassing, shootings, etc., but why pick on a shelter that is trying so very hard in such horrendous conditions?

      Shirley – I gave you the numbers you asked for but told you that I no longer had it broken down month-by-month as my computer crashed and corrupted that file. You never asked me about our euthanasia, so I’m not sure why you are saying you were getting the run-around? I have no problem giving you this information – you may call me at the shelter at (843) 423-8370, as I rarely have time to be on the internet and search to find blogs like this. I cannot answer questions if I am not made aware of them.

      If there is anything that led to the misconception that animals are “held hostage”, I apologize and will definitely work to correct this! I obviously want to get our animals out ASAP – but sometimes we do have to hold them at the shelter for a variety of reasons (awaiting spay/neuter, awaiting transport, etc.). Because we transport so many puppies, our policy is to ensure that puppies are not transported until a week after their second set of vaccinations. After being a transport coordinator for many years, I have found that this is the safest for the puppies, our transport drivers, and their own personal pets. While we do use some paid transports, most of our transports are volunteer, which are scheduled for once a week.

      Our local adoption fee is $100 for dogs/puppies and $80 for cats/kittens. This includes vaccinations (neopar & neovac and flu/bordatella for dogs and FRCPV for cats), worming with drontal plus, heartworm test or FeLV/FIV test, microchip and spay/neuter. Our dogs are also kept up-to-date on monthly heartguard preventative. The adoption fee nowhere near covers our expenses to pay for the vetting, etc. (not to mention food, capstar, vitamins, antibiotics, payroll, etc.). Fees for non-local adopters is higher (hence the $150), as we also must get a health certificate (which we do have to pay for), plus we do home visits and most often set up transports. Our fees may be a bit higher than shelters in larger cities, but we do not have a vet on staff or an on-site spay/neuter clinic, and since we are in such a rural area, our options are very limited. We are proud that we have been able to offer all of these services to our animals, as many shelters do not even vaccinate. We vaccinate all of our dogs/puppies upon intake to help curtail illnesses. If an animal comes in injured, they are immediately rushed over to the vet’s office for treatment. Personally, I think we do much, much more for these animals than other rural county shelters – and we’re trying to do it with much, much less money than others – and out of a tobacco barn, no less! As for pull fees for rescues, it varies depending on the vetting the animal has had. Some rescues request that the animal(s) they are pulling have been altered and microchipped, so obviously their pull fee would be higher. We do not “make money” on pull fees and ask for reimbursement only of what we have spent.

      As for the euthanizing, there is obviously some confusion about that, too. Again, I wish someone would have asked me directly. We contract out with a local vet’s office during their lunch hour. Due to employee schedules, possible emergencies at their office or here at the shelter, etc., the euthanasia is not on a set schedule. We NEVER put to sleep an animal that has a rescue! What kind of director, let alone person, would I be if I let that happen? That would go against every reason I came to this shelter to begin with.

      As the director of the shelter, I am confused as to why no one contacted ME directly? Like I tell my staff all the time, I am ALWAYS asking for ideas, suggestions, etc. to make things better for the welfare of our animals. Its sad to see people filled with so much negativity when their energy could be better directed at helping and saving the animals. If anyone has questions or comments or would like a tour of the shelter, please call me at (843) 423-8370.
      Jen Nall

      Reply
  2. Laceysmom

     /  January 23, 2012

    This is just horrible! They are actually holding these animals hostage and relying on payment in full in order to release them to adopters or rescue. Absolutely horrifying for these animals and it truly does not make much sense.

    Reply
    • Kristin Kucsma

       /  January 25, 2012

      Laceymom: if you had followed us from the start, you would know that we never “hold pups hostage”. In fact, if you look in the sponsorship album right now, you’ll see a note about the “M” puppies that says very specfically that they are OUT OF THE SHELTER even though their chip in did not fill. We would never jeopardize the lives of pups by refusing to release them until they were fully sponsored. The problem that we face, though, is this. If we are unable to pay outstanding bills we have with the vet or if we are unable to make payroll, we will be unable to save future pups :( Therefore, we try to raise funds for pups until their bills have been covered whether they are still in the shelter or they have gone to rescue.

      Reply
  3. Peter Masloch

     /  January 24, 2012

    This is kind of confusing:

    “EVERY PUP CURRENTLY in this album has a CONFIRMED RESCUE but they are NOT SAFE.”

    If a dog has a confirmed rescue it means the rescue will take the dog. What is the problem?

    Reply
    • Also confusing, from another FB Q & A attributed to Paws to the Rescue, which outlines the process for getting dogs out of the pound and indicates it takes 2 weeks to do so:

      6. Does this mean your pups are not really urgent if it takes two weeks to get them out?

      Absolutely NOT ! Every day is a potential kill day at the shelter. The ONLY reason it takes several weeks to get pups out of the shelter is because, once we have approved a rescue or adopter, we must sometimes raise funds; then get the pup spayed / neutered and then get the pup on transport. Because of the limited number of rescue friendly vets in the county and the shortage of funds, we are not able to get pups out as quickly as we would like. This, of course, adds to the pressures on the shelter (emotional, physical and financial) as Jen holds onto pups as long as she possibly can, especially when they have confirmed rescues.

      Reply
      • Lisa

         /  January 24, 2012

        The two-weeks-to-get-a-dog-out thing really seems not right to me. In my my previous experience with rescuing and volunteering at a shelter (a county kill shelter), the goal was to get the animal to a better place QUICKLY! Don’t let them languish, and free up that space because you know more will be here soon to fill it. It means phone calls, emails, networking, etc. Most of the time, the rescues who get the dog raise the money for the vetting,etc, not the shelter. In fact, almost never the shelter. Maybe Paws to the Rescue needs a new director who knows how to network with rescues?

    • queenbeejo

       /  January 25, 2012

      No dogs are held hostage. and unknown to you – they are getting to freedom. whoever chose to exploit this needs a job. WE HAVE GREAT PEOPLE here to save these dogs – don’t be ignorant

      Reply
  4. What I see is that they expect every *pup* to front their payroll…and if they don’t?

    They already have the building. They need staff to answer phones, clean kennels (no matter if there is one *pup* or a dozen…) I can feed a dog for a dollar a day, easy, and that’s in Alaska where prices are higher and the weather is colder. So if they hustle, and place an animal within the first two weeks, bingo, they’ve got a few bucks left to cover something else.

    Trick is, it’s easier to pull heart strings and purse strings with cute *pups* than with payroll.

    The solution? Fire people who can’t seem to feed/water/clean up after the *extra pups* and tap into the volunteer community to help! (What is their foster program like? Are they PAYING fosters?!)

    If they need more money for payroll, then they need to either go back to the government and renegotiate the contract, cut wages for employees or fire people who aren’t working hard enough, and basically stop begging from the public (for this anyway!)

    Vets need to make a living too…but many offer discounted services to shelters and rescue groups.

    So if a rescue wants a dog, they have to pay *daily boarding fees* in order to get that animal? Is that above and beyond an adoption fee, or in lieu of one?

    Who pays for stray holds? The person who comes to redeem their pet? What if they didn’t scan and notify the owner for ten days? Is the redemption cost 10x higher?!

    Reply
    • Kristin Kucsma

       /  January 25, 2012

      Our staff works incredibly hard under the most challenging of conditions. They are paid minimum. We asked the County for more recently and their response was that they would take back the shelter. When the County ran the shelter, the kill rate was in excess of 95%.

      Reply
  5. Lisa

     /  January 24, 2012

    LynnO, I have been wondering all these things as well. Their adoption fee is $150, which is higher than most other poor, rural municipal shelters in the South, and I think excessively high for an impoverished, sparsely populated place like Marion Co, SC. I have no idea what they do about redemptions and stray holds–they don’t say anything about that on their web site (petfinder: http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/SC41.html) or their facebook page (that I can see–correct me if I’m wrong).

    I have been following them for a while on FB (main page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-Marion-County-SC-Shelter-Animals/156332084420183?sk=wall&filter=2), and I even donated several times, before I started to realize that they were essentially dangling cute puppies in front of me and saying “Give us money or we kill this adorable dog.” Most of the Chip-in goal amounts for each dog seem to be in the neighborhood of $300, which is a heck of a lot of money for some poor homeless dog to have to raise to buy her own life!

    A while back they had posted a long note about how they really want to go “no-kill,” (I can’t find it now; they may have removed it) and I was all about trying to help them and sharing their animals on my page, etc. But the I realized they are going about the whole thing completely backward and upside down! The key to going no-kill is to STOP KILLING, not to make the animals in your shelter “earn” their lives through donations. But then again, if you stop killing, you need to come up with a different fundraising approach than “Give us some money or we kill this dog.”

    I believe that most of the employees and volunteers (and perhaps everyone) at Paws To The Rescue cares about animals and prefers NOT to kill them. It just appears that, sadly, Paws To The Rescue has decided it is in the business of fund-raising and not the business of animal-saving. And the animals are paying for that.

    Reply
  6. Let’s note the positives here:

    1.They are not blaming the Bad Public.

    2. They recognize that the Public wants to help.

    They might be amenable to an approach that leads with, “We see you’re trying to make things better and lower your kill rate…” rather than, “You’re doing it wrong and you’re EVIL.

    Not necessarily, of course. But they might.

    Reply
    • Lisa

       /  January 24, 2012

      Who said they are evil? Nobody’s saying that. Please don’t take this there.

      Reply
  7. I just posted this in their comments.

    Dot Kirby… To save money and lives… use the “Slow Kill” treatment for HWs and use volunteer transport. Here’s a link for transport that is working. http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.230860236980148.60456.100001685210523&type=3.

    At my local shelter, any animal that is NOT considered highly adoptable.. (Sick, scared, old, pregnant or injured) can be taken out of the shelter for $25. I have done this. I just signed a paper stating I agree to the, spay/neuter within 30 days if the animal is healthy enough for the surgery within that time frame. That’s it!

    That’s a no-brainer. The shelter then doesn’t have to pay for the vetting, food, meds, transport or paid employees. That $25 then can go towards paying the light bill, phone bill.

    Reply
    • Ginger

       /  January 29, 2012

      Dot, The “slow kill” treatment can take up to 3 years to work, and during that time the adult worms continue to damage the dog’s heart. Here in the South a HW positive dog is considered unadoptable, and there are alot of HW positive dogs in our local shelters. Unadoptable dogs must be pulled by rescues or they are pts.
      Your no-brainer is a great idea, but it won’t work here. Not at time anyway. Locals sign contracts promising to spay and neuter….and never do. There is no money and there is no manpower to follow up.
      There was a comment earlier (I don’t see it here anymore) about low cost s/n programs…WE NEED THEM HERE! In my county, the cheapest we can get a 50 lb dog spayed for is $95. Not exactly low cost!
      My local shelter has an annual budget just shy of $900,000, yet their kill rate is around 85%, and that’s just the dogs. If any shelter needs a good look-see, it’s that one. Jen is doing a great job with what she’s got, and that’s very little. Give her a break.

      Reply
      • $95 is dirt cheap for a spay on a 50# dog!!! Local vets here in Fairbanks Alaska charge from $125 up to $400 to spay a female dog depending on age and size and which clinic you call. (My vet is the $125…but I think the next cheapest is like $250)
        There is grant money available to help with this.

      • Ginger

         /  January 29, 2012

        People who earn $7.50 per hour, or less, and have mouths to feed besides their own do not have $95 to spay a dog! Also, that price is charged by 1 vet only. The others start at around $200. Add to that shots, HW tests, HW treatments, microchips, meds…..

      • No comments have been deleted from this thread. Anything that was here before is here now.

      • Thank you Ginger for your comment.
        First.. I used to work as a vet assistant. I know all about Heart Worms and treatment options.

        The “Big Kill” is very dangerous. Your dog could die from the treatment in the first three days which is why your dog must stay at the vet. For the next 8-12 weeks the dog must be kept very quiet. It is also not recommended that you do this treatment in the summer months, the dog must stay cool. The “Big Kill” .. kills all the worms at one time. All those dead worms floating around and ending up in the heart at the same time is what’s dangerous. It takes that 8-12 weeks for the body to absorb all decaying worms, maybe longer.

        Slow Kill is exactly that! The active ingredient is Ivomec. It’s the same ingredient that’s in heart worm preventative. Slow kill treatment kills all the babies the adult worms are giving birth to. Adult worm don’t live forever. There is no reliable study done on how long a heart worm lives from birth to natural death. Bottom line.. keep killing the babies and eventually the adults die off on their own and the dogs body is not overwhelmed all at once. A dogs body can handle a few dead worms at a time. Also it breaks the cycle and can not effect other dogs.

        I do recommend a heart worm test and to find out what level of positive the dog is. Dogs that are high positive need to be on the antibiotic doxycycline twice a day for the first 8 weeks. Dosage depends on the dogs body weigh.

        To me it doesn’t matter if your dogs is negative for hw’s or is positive.. the treatment for both is the same. Treatment to prevent and treatment to kill, it’s the same ingredient your putting in your dog. Slow Kill just stops the vets from over charging when there is another option. Either way.. your still poisoning your animal and cutting their life shorter. Why don’t scientist work on killing the source of the problem ? The mosquito! That bug spreads a lot more than heart worms.

        Again.. yes.. it may take three years to kill all the worms, but it’s My Dog for LIFE! I’d rather do as little damage as possible since there is a choice.

      • Ginger

         /  January 29, 2012

        Dot, Thank you for the advice. I assume the HIGH KILL you referred to is Immiticide shots. Immiticide is the ONLY drug that kills adult heartworms, period. We’ve rescued more than 1500 dogs, and 90% of them have been HW positive. Although one dog died from advanced HW disease before we could have him treated, we haven’t lost one dog to the treatment. Also, we do not adopt out sick dogs, and a dog that is HW positive is a sick dog. We follow the the advice of our Veterinarians to the letter. Even the worst case, and she was pretty bad, did not have to be kept quiet for 12 weeks. She had a hard time with the treatment, but she knew her limitations and today she is a healthy, happy 12 yr. old who is ready for her furever home. By the way, Hartguard is the ONLY hw prevention that can be given to a hw positive dog….and the dog should be watched afterward, preferably by a veterinarian, for any adverse reactions. I do not believe there is a choice when it comes to treating a HW positive dog. Treatment with Immiticide is better than death from heartworms.

      • On the subject of various HW treatments, some may find this page useful as it has lots of info: http://dogaware.com/articles/wdjheartwormtreatment.html

      • Thanks for sharing that. That one is dated 2006… I had another report that is dated 2008, but my computer crashed a couple of months ago. I will contact a friend and have him send me the link again and post it here.

      • Ginger

         /  January 30, 2012

        Dot, please stop scaring people away from treating their pets. Before you start giving Veterinary advice, I suggest you become a licensed Vet. The American Heartworm Society http://www.heartwormsociety.org offers the best advice on the subject. You should read it.

      • Great site for information. All the information is there. Including the other options. What scares me personally is the cost of the “Big Kill” and the danger to the dog. With this information, I am no longer afraid of adopting a dog that is HW+.

        copied from the site you recommended

        Macrocyclic Lactone/Doxycycline
        In cases where arsenical therapy is not possible or is contraindicated, the use of a monthly heartworm preventive along with doxycycline might be considered. Studies have shown that administration of doxycycline in combination with ivermectin provided more rapid adulticidal activity than ivermectin alone. Anecdotal reports on other macrocyclic lactones with adulticidal properties suggest similar results but no confirmatory studies have been published.
        Microfilariae from dogs treated with doxycycline that were ingested by mosquitoes developed into third-stage larvae that appeared to be normal in appearance and motility, but these larvae were not able to develop into adult worms, thus reducing the risk of selecting for resistant sub-populations. The administration of doxycycline at 10 mg/kg BID for a 4-week period every 3 to 4 months should eliminate most Wolbachia organisms and not allow them to repopulate. Exercise should be rigidly restricted for the duration of the treatment process. An antigen test should be performed every 6 months and the combination treatment continued until two consecutive negative heartworm antigen tests have been obtained.

      • Does anyone realize what is in Heart worm Preventative? It’s poison. All the preventative does is kill baby worms. My point is that .. adult worms don’t live forever… their life span is limited. The Big Kill method does more to the dogs organs than just kill the adult worms. This is just my opinion. I’ve done my home work. I have talked about this with both my vets. For me personally.. I’d rather kill the babies and stop more worms from maturing into breeding adults. The existing adult worms will die off one by one and it will do a whole lot less damage. Again.. this is just my opinion. Also my opinion.. it’s all about the drug companies and the money vets charge. When Jada came to me.. high HW+, she could barely walk without getting winded. A year later she runs and plays just a hard and long as a puppy that has never been effected. She is due for a re-check.

  8. One of the questions I tried to get answered in my previous failed attempts to learn more about this facility was who exactly makes up the kill list and who does the killing. I could not get a straight answer on this. The pleas from Paws to the Rescue make it sound to me as if they are powerless in the whole killing process – that they can not know when someone (who?) will come in and start killing pets nor can they know which pets will be killed. This is perplexing to me. Who is this person(s) who comes into the pound unannounced and randomly kills pets, even if they have a rescue hold on them? And why does ANYONE allow this?

    Reply
  9. Lisa

     /  January 24, 2012

    In response to people who think the things I’ve posted here are destructive and negative, I want to clarify that a) I have given this group money (of which I have very little!) and want them to succeed in saving animals; and b) I think they have made a difference for the better with this particular shelter, which used to be nothing more than an old run-down tobacco barn with a dirt floor and no door. But in answer to anyone who says it’s not right to focus on the bad (for example, the killing of healthy adoptable animals when there is someone willing to take them) because the group also does some good, I’ll paraphrase Nathan Winograd, who said that doing “so many good things” does not entitle a group to a “blank check” to do bad things. To quote:

    “So my questions to those who make these arguments:

    –How much killing is acceptable to you?
    –How many deaths are you willing to allow them before you draw the line?

    I’ll start: zero. First, do no harm.” (http://www.nathanwinograd.com/?p=7556)

    I’m not willing to excuse killing that clearly doesn’t need to happen, (which is the case when a dog has a confirmed rescue but Paws to the Rescue won’t let him go because he has to pay his “outstanding bills” first) just because the killers have also done some good.

    Reply
  10. KateH

     /  January 24, 2012

    I thought we outlawed debtor’s prisons in the US?

    Reply
  11. I have been asked by Kristin to help organize a large s/n event for folks in Marion Co. I am just beginning communications with them. If there are specific questions to be answered, I’ll see if I can get her to address them.

    Reply
    • If you can get actual stats, that would be great. I was only able to get partial info. If you could get an answer to the killing procedure question I posted above, also appreciated. And if there is some explanation for why they won’t release dogs with rescue holds on them and dub them “not safe”, that would be good too.

      Reply
  12. I agree with Morgana above. So confusing. Hope you can get more info about what is going on there.

    Reply
  13. mikken

     /  January 24, 2012

    What I don’t understand…it seems like they are saying that before they took over the shelter, it was 95% kill. They say their goal is low/no kill, but they also refer to the shelter as HIGH KILL. Eh? What is it? Still high kill now that you’ve taken over or no?

    Also – do they not adopt to locals? All I see refers to health certificates for transportation and whatnot. Nothing about local promotions to get dogs local homes.

    They could certainly move the puppies very quickly – maybe with a certificate to spay/neuter at a local clinic.

    Reply
    • It was said above they have gone from a pre-PTTR shelter they had a 95% kill rate. Now the have a SAVE rate above 70%…. or a KILL rate of less than 30%. Out of an average of 3000 dogs per year, a 30% KILL rate would be somewhere around 900 per year! Does that not qualify as a “High Kill” shelter?

      Reply
  14. Jennifer

     /  January 24, 2012

    I have seen chip-ins for urgent dogs in GA shelters. I thought it was odd! My understanding is that the dog is not able to be rescued until the rescue group/individual receives the money. I just looked at one and the person was needing $250 for a female adult dog-about 40 lbs. I guess the rescue groups/individuals do not have enough money to get them out and pay for all the vet care! I can understand a chip-in if the dog is hw+ or needs urgent medical care but just to get it out of the shelter makes no sense to me.

    Reply
  15. Shirley, can you feature my foster “Julie”. It seems the rescue that sent her to me to foster has just forgotten all about her. I don’t ask for a penny when any of my fosters leave for their forever homes.

    Julie is light HW+, but been on “Slow Kill” since she’s been with me, she’s spayed, UTD on all shots, house/crate trained, and is trained to the Pet Safe fence system. I believe she was a victim of sexual abuse, but the rescue won’t give me the previous owners name to find out if he’s a sex offender. Anyway.. Julie is a real doll baby that deserves more than I can give her.

    Reply
  16. Mary V

     /  January 24, 2012

    I think you should reserve judgment on this shelter. Maybe someone from that area could take a ride over there and see what they don’t have to work with. Take a look at the pictures of the shelter before they took it over and take a look now. They are slowly trying to make improvements. I foster for a rescue that pulls dogs from a high kill shelter that is very close to the Marion shelter. They now have a dedicated rescue team and their #’s for 2011 were 4008 intakes and 1500 saved.And that is a huge improvement over what it was a few years ago. They also ask for sponsership money so they can get the dogs out to the rescues. It covers the s/n and the shots and health certificate that are required to transport them across the state lines. This doesn’t even begin to cover the expenses for a sick or injured dog that needs treatment. A lot of the rescues do pay for this themselves, but sometimes, because of medical issues that these dogs come in with, the well runs dry. This past year we have had several dogs that had to have surgery for broken legs, amputations, and removal of bullets. It all takes money and, unfortunately, the only way to get it is to ask for it.

    I, too, wish for a no-kill nation and hope some day this will happen. I do have to ask – what is a small shelter, with no money, that holds maybe 75 animals suppose to do with 4008 animals a year? Where are they suppose to put them? How are they suppose to feed and care for them? It is going to take a lot more money and a lot more people who care before we can become no-kill. In the meantime, lets try to support the people on the front lines that are trying to save as many as they can.

    Reply
    • For starters, they should release dogs who rescues are asking to take. But more comprehensively, they should implement the programs of the No Kill Equation, which can be found here:
      http://www.nokilladvocacycenter.org/shelter-reform/no-kill-equation/

      Reply
      • Shimiah

         /  January 26, 2012

        I read the brochure and it’s highlighted points. Have to say we have or are implementing most of them.

        1) Compassionate director — check — Jen was an animal rescuer with a long involvement in rescue and rescue transport (See PTTR East and PTTR West runs–she helped start them!). She works tremendously long hours, is committed to PROPER veterinary care for the animals, etc.

        2) Adoption Program–check–we do local and out of state adoptions (with home visits). We even just had our first adoption of a heartworm positive dog! We do need to expand or shift our shelter hours to have better/more accessible times for working people to come by. This is a topic that has recently come up. Not a lot of locals come by looking to adopt, though. This is among the poorest counties in SC and most residents are looking for ways to feed a few LESS mouths, not more.

        3) PR–we utilize facebook, are constructing a webpage, are trying to find the volunteer hours to make better use of petfinder, have a newsletter, attend events and host spay/neuter events.

        4) Volunteers–we have a lot of volunteers–local, in state, and out of state! We need more (who does not need more, right?)

        5) Foster Care–we do have some fosters, and a foster coordinator who is looking for more help with this. It’s slowly expanding. Again, being in this poor and rural area, makes finding fosters difficult in an area where they have a hard time making ends meet. But it is expanding slowly but surely.

        6) Low Cost Spay Neuters–we have launched a low cost spay/neuter program for the general public. We still have not found a way to get around the exorbitant fees our local vets charge, but it continues to be a topic we routinely re-visit. If anyone has fresh ideas, PLEASE bring them to us. This is something we would LOVE to do more with.

        7) TNR–weak spot–and I don’t know why I have not brought this up yet. There is a cat rescue where I live that does a phenomenal program…definitely worth exploring and if any of you have some experience with this, we would definitely love to pick your brain.

        8) Lost animals–you know most of the dogs that come in have had no tags or microchips. The few that have been microchipped–when the owner was contacted the owner said they never had such a dog and they were not missing any…it’s hard to return a dog that no one will claim…but it’s not from lack of trying!

        9) Pet Redemption–this could possibly be strengthened–but honestly, very very few of the dogs in this shelter are OTI’s–the majority are strays, or court cases against neglectful/abusive owners. (which also hurts return rates–when you can’t because of a court order–not that any animal lover wanted to)…

        10) Medical and Behavior Programs…this is a toughy. Here we fight lack of space, dirt floor in the building (very hard to keep properly bleached and sanitized)…few exercise pens (and all of which are new additions within the last year). It is a full time job to clean out crates…trying to resolve behavior issues on top of that is tough and just has not yet been able to become a top priority.

        11) Reach out to rescues–WE DO! We have avid crossposters, multitudes of contacts–we provide transport, vetting at the request of rescues, try to arrange fosters and hw treatment in SC where it is often cheaper for the rescues, and try to help them raise funds for the dog’s treatments and even pull fees! We do everything in our power to cater to rescues and to reward the ones who take tough/hard to place dogs due to medical and/or behavioral issues by helping them with pull fees and even medical care.

        Have there been fumbles, stumbles, missteps? You’d better believe it. Is there room for improvement? Absolutely. Is there room for fresh ideas and perspectives, more volunteers? You betcha!

      • Ginger

         /  January 27, 2012

        They do release the dogs rescues are asking to take. I volunteer for a breed specific rescue, and when there are goldens at the Marion Co. shelter, we pull them. Never has a dog been held hostage, nor would it ever be. Anyone with doubts about the character of the people working and volunteering at this shelter should walk in and see what goes on there. You will not believe your eyes. Believe me, though, that Jen Nall has made a 1000% difference in the Marion County Shelter. It looks like a palace compared to the way it used to look. She does not choose which dogs die and which get to live; if she did, then none would die. Shirley, we all believe in shelter reform, and would love to see no kill shelters in this area, but in order for it to happen the community must care about its animals, and most of the residents of Marion County simply do not care. If they did they would not keep bringing their animals to the shelter for Jen to find new homes for. They would spay and neuter their pets. They would microchip them, or put up posters advertising a lost or found animal, or they would go to the shelter to see if their pet was brought there. But they do not do any of these things. When Kristen posts that the shelter is over crowded, she isn’t talking about the dogs that were brought in last week, she’s talking about the dogs that were brought in yesterday and today. One after the other they just keep coming!! Who is supposed to rescue all of these animals? The shelter in Marion County isn’t the only shelter, and it isn’t the only shelter that is always full. Don’t forget, either, that these dogs need to be vetted. They need shots, they need to be spayed or neutered, they need heartworm testing, and more than 90% of them need heartworm treatment! And veterinary care doesn’t come cheap….especially in this area! That’s where the chip-ins come in. The rescue I work with is a 501c(3); it is staffed solely by volunteers and funded solely by donations. We spend an average of $500 on a dog, and we have to beg for every penny of it. Many of the rescues pulling from the shelters are run by one or two people who are spending their own money on vet care for rescued dogs. The chip-ins are what keeps them going. They need them and they deserve them. I give the volunteers working at the Marion County Shelter alot of credit, and so should you.

      • You are of course entitled to your opinion based upon your observations. As am I. Paws to the Rescue has indicated the wording of their fundraising pleas gave some people the impression they were holding dogs for ransom, as it were. They have indicated this is not the impression they wished to convey and have made/will make changes to reflect the correct circumstances of animals being released.

        I’m sorry to hear everyone in Marion Co is such a sorry sack of shit. I thought Memphis had the corner on that market. And yet somehow, these sorry sacks keep pets and pay their taxes to fund the shelter. But I’m sure you’re right – they’re hopeless. Let’s see if we can alienate them further and ensure that shelter adoption will NEVER enter into their minds for future pets.

        As far as an open admission shelter being overcrowded, that sounds pretty standard to me. The shelters I admire most are the ones which avoid overcrowding by moving pets out the doors promptly and responsibly, allowing rescues to pull for free or very low cost, and aggressively marketing to and involving the local community. I give those shelters all the credit in the world for their hard work.

    • mikken

       /  January 25, 2012

      But…why do they insist on holding animals for two weeks or more?

      Why not work with local rescues to get dogs OUT? Why must they hold each dog for ransom?

      And I ask again – are they high kill? If so, why?

      Reply
      • Lisa

         /  January 25, 2012

        Good question … I’ve read their policies many times trying to get them all make sense from the standpoint of saving animals’ lives. The only actual, practical reason I can see is that their vet only does s/n for them one day a week and only issues health certificates on a different day each week. This problem could be solved by getting more vets on board. Maybe they are working on this and if so, good for them.

        But I think the real reason goes back to this one: “Most will NOT make it out of the shelter if we do not raise funds for them. Every once in awhile, we will release pups whose bills have not been paid but as a general practice we will not do this.” So if the poor pup has not earned its keep yet, they can’t let it go to its confirmed rescue. Most of the Chip-ins seem to be set at $300 per dog (or in the case of “Shauna’s Babies,” the little pups collectively have to earn $500: http://pttrmarioncounty.chipin.com/shaunas-babies). This takes time.

        They say if they let one dog go before he has earned his keep, it is not fair to the remaining dogs: “If the outstanding bills of one pup are not paid, other pups suffer because we will not have adequate resources to buy food, purchase meds, hire additional staff, etc.” So financially underperforming dogs and puppies must be killed, even if they have a confirmed rescue, because apparently that’s the only way to make sure other dogs don’t suffer.

      • Eucritta

         /  January 25, 2012

        So … let me get this straight … if a pet isn’t ransomed, it’s written off as a total loss and killed? Because it wouldn’t be ‘fair’ to those who’ve paid the ransom, to let some go for free? Even if it would save lives?

        This is why you shouldn’t run a shelter for profit, or even with the expectation that it will break even. Ugh.

      • Eucritta

         /  January 25, 2012

        Kristin, personal pages aren’t visible to those of us not on Facebook. Just FYI – even access to org/company pages is sometimes blocked, or log-in requests pop up with such frequency they make it impossible to read.

      • Shimiah

         /  January 25, 2012

        I am a volunteer with the Marion County Animal Shelter who helps organize the volunteer transports that move these dogs to their adopters and rescues. I can not answer all of the questions that are here, and frankly, some don’t even deserve an answer.

        But as I am directly involved with “why it takes 2 weeks or more” to get the dogs (and cats) out, I can speak to that.

        Once a rescue commits to a saving a dog, we schedule the dog for vetting. Some of the vetting is done at the shelter at intake (such as DHPP vaccinations, heartworm testing, etc.), but some of it, like rabies shots and spay/neuter, must be done by a vet. For those of you not familiar with the shelter, it is an old tobacco barn, drafty etc. and does not have a surgically sanitary area. So the animals must be transported to the vet. There are 2 vets in Mullins, and we utilize them both. The vet who does the spays/neuters for us also has a regular vet practice in which he must see other patients, so we have a limited number of slots each week. So we might have 20 dogs with rescues waiting, but only 15 can be vetted (per vet space).

        If you live in an area as populated as the area I live in you are probably thinking, as I did, “So go to another vet”. The next nearest vets are 30+ minutes away. The shelter does not have a vehicle at it’s disposal that will fit a large number of animals for this transport, but even to do such a transport, there is the added cost of fuel, vehicle maintenance, etc. So we would need to have volunteers do this driving–and of course, that means daytime/workday volunteers which so far have been scarce (though if you are reading this and want to help with it, we would love to have you).

        To get back on topic, there has now been a few days between the time of rescue commitment and appropriate vetting (which by the way, is something most of our rescues want us to do as it is MUCH cheaper to spay/neuter an animal in the south than here in the north in most instances).

        Next we have to plan transport. We are actually blessed with a shelter director, Jen Nall, who was previously involved with rescue and who had helped organize two large scale volunteer runs up the east coast (Paws To The Rescue East and Paws to the Rescue West — go ahead and google them). Part of planning these transports is recruiting enough volunteer drivers and OVERNIGHTERS to fit all of the newly vetted dogs. The volunteers who do this on a weekly basis are phenomenal, committed people who do an amazing job. I have yet to see one of these runs fail to fill (though it is always possible).

        On Friday, the day before transport, the OTHER local vet comes out to the shelter to do health certificates (mandated by FEDERAL laws for animals crossing state lines). Dogs and cats can fail their health certificate exam for many reasons, including a runny nose, runny eyes, a cough, diarrhea, etc. Those dogs do not get to go on transport until the following week, or longer depending on when it is well (things like ringworm and mange can take a month or more to treat so the affected animal will not effect the other animals on the transport).

        There are a lot of people who think the HC’s are a game, stupid, etc. but ultimately it is about keeping the animal safe. We are NOT one of the shelters who think that it is acceptable to knowingly transport sick animals–if you transport an animal and it dies during transit, you’ve completely failed to rescue the animal — and you have failed to act in a humane and safe way. Furthermore, the routine violation of these state and federal mandates are a HUGE part of why so many of the northeastern states are now making such stringent laws about transporting/rescuing animals.

        This is WHY it can take 2 or more weeks to get the dogs to safety.

        And when a local rescue comes in and can take a dog out NOW, even when it has been promised to another rescue, we usually let them (unless there is a compelling health reason that would prevent that happening)–because we all agree that the quicker the dog/cat is out the door, the better it is for the animal, and for the shelter.

        And as a side note re: Are we a high kill shelter? We are NOWHERE near as high as it was when the county ran it (95% kill)–but we are also not yet low enough to fit the No-Kill paradigm of 10%. Our dog statistics have improved tremendously, and we are now beginning to work on improving our cat statistics.

        I also think that when judging the results of how much or how little has been done to improve things at this shelter, one must look at the length of time that has been involved, as well. A LOT has been done in just 3 1/2 years — on a minimal budget, with a dismal building, etc.

  17. Lisa

     /  January 25, 2012

    OH GREAT GOOGLY MOOGLY! This poor awesome adorable fella has to raise $450 to make it out of the shelter alive! And he’s “a shelter FAVORITE”: http://tinyurl.com/85q3yds

    But if they don’t make him pay for fixing that broken leg he arrived with then some other dog could suffer, right? Right?

    Reply
    • I don’t get this. If Paws to the Rescue wants to set a rescue pull fee then they need to do that – $20, $25, whatever. But they can’t make up a different fee for each dog. And certainly the fee can not be something outrageous like in the hundreds of dollars. What if a member of the public applied to adopt this dog? Would that person be required to pay $450? Would the adopter even be allowed to take the dog if he hadn’t raised $450 for himself yet?

      Reply
      • Now that’s the way to say it… I’d like to know the answer to that myself. Shirley.. can I post that comment on their wall?

      • Sure thing.

      • Eucritta

         /  January 25, 2012

        I’ve been unable to find any information on just what they charge for ordinary adoptions – it’s not on their page, or their Petfinder page, or on their FB pages (there’s at least two).

        I did find this, which provides some info on their fundraising:

        http://www2.scnow.com/news/pee-dee/2011/nov/07/rescue-backs-marion-county-animal-shelter-funding–ar-2669786/

        One of their FB pages (I couldn’t get a link to work, sorry) has a bit on it about how it’s a part of their mission to create a model for no-kill sheltering. Which is worrisome, given their opacity.

      • The article Eucritta posted says Paws to The Rescue brought in about $200k in donations last year. The county gives them $53k a year. Paws to the Rescue says it costs about $250k a year to keep the place running.

      • so does that mean they need to give $3000 dollars worth of animals away for free?

      • mikken

         /  January 25, 2012

        “Opacity” is a good word for it. Something isn’t quite kosher about this whole thing.

      • here’s the post:

        Dot Kirby
        I don’t get this. If Paws to the Rescue wants to set a rescue pull fee then they need to do that – $20, $25, whatever. But they can’t make up a different fee for each dog. And certainly the fee can not be something outrageous like in the hundreds of dollars. What if a member of the public applied to adopt this dog? Would that person be required to pay $450? Would the adopter even be allowed to take the dog if he hadn’t raised $450 for himself yet?
        Like · · 2 hours ago ·

        Paws To The Rescue – Marion County Animal Shelter Dot Kirby: I am not sure what your “question” is since you did not post one but I have to assume that you are assuming that the goals for the chip ins are the pull fees. If you would like more information re: what the pull fees are, just ask :)

        Basically, the chip ins reflect the full cost of saving a pup from the time a pup enters the shelter until he / she leaves for rescue. Further, we will raise additional funds to assist rescues with the cost of HW treatment or other medical needs that a particular pup may have. Each year we receive $53,000 from the County. Each year we take in approximately 3,000 dogs. That means we receive approximately $18 PER DOG from the County. That is not nearly enough money to pay for the cost of keeping a pup safe (e.g., the cost of food, meds, payroll, etc.) until he / she goes to safety. This is explained in great detail in our Policies Regardng Sponsorship of the Marion Pups and Kitties. If you read that document, most of your questions will be answered there.

        To answer your question re: whether an adopter would be allowed to take a dog if the pup’s chip in was not filled: a) any interested rescue or adopter should contact Kay, our rescue / adoption coordinator, at SaveAMarionPup@gmail.com; b) if we are not able to fill a pup’s chip in (which means we will not be able to cover the outstanding expenses we have incurred to keep that pup alive), then many other dogs will die because we will have to use their $18 to pay past due bills.

        I hope this makes sense. If not, feel free to email me at kucsmak@gmail.com with any other questions you might have. You can review our Policies Regarding Sponsorship here:

        https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150416897286398 ~

        Policy Regarding Sponsorship of Pups and Kitties at the Marion County Shelter
        Policy Regarding Sponsorship of Pups and Kitties at the Marion County Shelter prepared by Kristin Kucsma, Treasurer Paws to the Rescue Effective December 15, 2011…
        By: Kristin Kucsma
        about an hour ago · Like
        Dot Kirby I’ll ask two questions. (1) I’m a person that has come to the shelter, I already qualify for the low cost spay/neuter program. (in my case the charge is only $10 which includes all shots) how much is the adoption fee? (2) I’m a 501 that walks into your shelter.. how much does it cost to get any animal out?
        34 minutes ago · Like

        Paws To The Rescue – Marion County Animal Shelter ‎#1) the adoption fee for a pup is $150; you must pay that and be reimbursed for the spay / neuter through the spay / neuter program; #2) the pull fees for local 501(c)(3)s who are approved are generally between $105 and $115. This covers the cost of s/n and routine vaccinations and shots. Health certificates – required for transport across state lines cost between $20 and $40. Keep in mind, though, that as I mentioned previously. The adoption fees and pull fees do NOT COVER THE COST OF SAVING AN ANIMAL. Saving an animal requires food for that animal during that animal’s entire stay at the shelter. We have had pups at the shelter for months at times because they were hard to place. The adoption fees and pull fees do not cover the costs of other medications and medical treatments for mange, colds, surgeries, etc. If we do not raise money to cover ALL COSTS then many, many pups will die. You cannot run a shelter if you cannot cover all of the costs of running that shelter. You cannot expect people to come to work for free; you cannot expect medical suppliers to ship meds for free; you cannot expect vets to provide services for free, etc. AND we are currently “living” in an old tobacco barn. You cannot expect capital improvements, (e.g., laying concrete so that we can sanitize the runs properly and prevent parvo, etc.) for free. I hope this clears up some of the confusion for you.

      • I waited two days to get this response to the “I don’t get this” I had to ask the question twice.. and then there’s my next comment

        Paws To The Rescue – Marion County Animal Shelter ‎Dot Kirby: we apologize but we have full time jobs and are following up on hundreds of PMs, emails, posts, etc. You need to “own” the pup FIRST to adopt for the spay / neuter program and be a resident of Marion County. That is the way the program is designed. You cannot be and will not have been qualified for the spay / neuter program ahead of time.

        So ….. if you are a LOCAL adopter; you come to the shelter, fill out an application to ADOPT, we go through all of the proper reference checks, etc., you must also apply to the spay / neuter program (handled separately). IF you are approved for both, then you will be required to pay approximately $30 for the pup. That is an estimate because it may very slightly depending on whether you are adopting a puppy or a full grown dog. If you have any further questions, please email Kristin Kucsma at kucsmak@gmail.com. You’ll get the fastest response that way. Thank you!

        By the way – I assume your statement “in my case the charge for spay / neuter is only $10 which includes all shots” is for demonstrative purposes only. That does not reflect the costs, terms or conditions of PTTR/MCAS spay neuter program. For more information about the s/n program, you may contact the coordinator of that program, Maureen Distler.

        This information is relevant for LOCAL adopters ONLY and is accurate as of today’s date. All information may be subject to change in the future if vet costs rise, we obtain grant money for the spay / neuter program, etc.
        7 hours ago · Like
        Dot Kirby That is much better information. Thank you. So all the animals at your shelter have to go threw your spay/neuter program, even if another county has cheaper spay/neuter programs. I live in Caswell County,NC. We have a spay/neuter program called the “$20 Fix”, but because I am on Social Security my cost is only $10 which does include all the shots, rabies. HW check and microchip at a small additional charge. I am also an approved foster. I foster for Shelters and Rescues. This is why I was asking the cost to get a dog out of the shelter and into a home.. whether it be a forever home or a in house foster. Not pulled by a rescue just to go into another cage somewhere else. Other shelters only charge $20-$25 with the agreement to spay/neuter/shots.. etc at the cost of the person fostering/adopting. When I foster independently.. I don’t even charge an adoption fee.

  18. Kristin Kucsma

     /  January 25, 2012

    Hi all :)

    I am the Treasurer to Paws to the Rescue and would be happy to answer any and all questions that you have. I also would appreciate any suggestions that you might have to make this clearer and less opaque. My intention was to do just the opposite with some of the notes that I have published. Apparently, I have done just the opposite and I apologize.

    The fact is that the budget we receive from the county each year is not even enough to cover the payroll necessary to run the shelter. Without raising money through sponsorship to cover the true cost of saving a pup (the cost to care for the pup from the minute he/she comes into the shelter until the time he/she leaves the shelter), we could not afford to save most of the beautiful animals that enter our shelter. Before we got involved with this shelter, the kill rate was in excess of 95%. This past year, our SAVE rate is in excess of 70%. We could not do this, however, without the generous donations that so many have made.

    In addition, for those of you who follow us, you’ll see that as part of our pledge to move toward no-kill, we have saved a significant number of pups that have come into the shelter in need of extensive medical treatment (surgery for shattered femurs from car accidents, riddled with bb pellets, with broken legs that healed incorrectly because they were not treated properly by their previous owners and the list goes on). The cost of the medical treatment for some of these pups (e.g., Jasmine, a gorgeous coonhound that we saved) was in excess of $1,200).

    Ordinary adoptions cost $150. That covers the cost of spay / neuter, vaccinations and a health certificate (needed for out-of-state transport). Our vet is not rescue friendly and charges between $20 and $40 just for a health certificate. We are ALWAYS looking for ways to cut costs so that we can save more pups for less money. If you would like to learn more about us, please feel free to email me at kucsmak@gmail. com and join our Group on Facebook, Capital Campaign for the Marion County Shelter. We have made such significant progress this year. I would hate to see our pups suffer because of misunderstandings circulating on Facebook so please do not ever hesitate to come to me (PM me, email me, join our Capital Campaign page and post there, etc.) with any questions or suggestions you may have.

    Thank you all so much !

    Reply
  19. Kristin Kucsma

     /  January 25, 2012

    I am the Treasurer to Paws to the Rescue and would be happy to answer any and all questions that you have. I also would appreciate any suggestions that you might have to make this clearer and less opaque. My intention was to do just the opposite with some of the notes that I have published. Apparently, I have done just the opposite and I apologize.

    The fact is that the budget we receive from the county each year is not even enough to cover the payroll necessary to run the shelter. Without raising money through sponsorship to cover the true cost of saving a pup (the cost to care for the pup from the minute he/she comes into the shelter until the time he/she leaves the shelter), we could not afford to save most of the beautiful animals that enter our shelter. Before we got involved with this shelter, the kill rate was in excess of 95%. This past year, our SAVE rate is in excess of 70%. We could not do this, however, without the generous donations that so many have made.

    In addition, for those of you who follow us, you’ll see that as part of our pledge to move toward no-kill, we have saved a significant number of pups that have come into the shelter in need of extensive medical treatment (surgery for shattered femurs from car accidents, riddled with bb pellets, with broken legs that healed incorrectly because they were not treated properly by their previous owners and the list goes on). The cost of the medical treatment for some of these pups (e.g., Jasmine, a gorgeous coonhound that we saved) was in excess of $1,200).

    Ordinary adoptions cost $150. That covers the cost of spay / neuter, vaccinations and a health certificate (needed for out-of-state transport). Our vet is not rescue friendly and charges between $20 and $40 just for a health certificate. We are ALWAYS looking for ways to cut costs so that we can save more pups for less money. If you would like to learn more about us, please feel free to email me at kucsmak@gmail. com and join our Group on Facebook, Capital Campaign for the Marion County Shelter. We have made such significant progress this year. I would hate to see our pups suffer because of misunderstandings circulating on Facebook so please do not ever hesitate to come to me (PM me, email me, join our Capital Campaign page and post there, etc.) with any questions or suggestions you may have.

    Thank you all so much !

    Reply
  20. Anthony Tripoli

     /  January 25, 2012

    Kris Kucsma has tried to post this multiple times tonight but has been unable to do so so she has asked me to.

    I am the Treasurer to Paws to the Rescue and would be happy to answer any and all questions that you have. I also would appreciate any suggestions that you might have to make this clearer and less opaque. My intention was to do just the opposite with some of the notes that I have published. Apparently, I have done just the opposite and I apologize.

    The fact is that the budget we receive from the county each year is not even enough to cover the payroll necessary to run the shelter. Without raising money through sponsorship to cover the true cost of saving a pup (the cost to care for the pup from the minute he/she comes into the shelter until the time he/she leaves the shelter), we could not afford to save most of the beautiful animals that enter our shelter. Before we got involved with this shelter, the kill rate was in excess of 95%. This past year, our SAVE rate is in excess of 70%. We could not do this, however, without the generous donations that so many have made.

    In addition, for those of you who follow us, you’ll see that as part of our pledge to move toward no-kill, we have saved a significant number of pups that have come into the shelter in need of extensive medical treatment (surgery for shattered femurs from car accidents, riddled with bb pellets, with broken legs that healed incorrectly because they were not treated properly by their previous owners and the list goes on). The cost of the medical treatment for some of these pups (e.g., Jasmine, a gorgeous coonhound that we saved) was in excess of $1,200).

    Ordinary adoptions cost $150. That covers the cost of spay / neuter, vaccinations and a health certificate (needed for out-of-state transport). Our vet is not rescue friendly and charges between $20 and $40 just for a health certificate. We are ALWAYS looking for ways to cut costs so that we can save more pups for less money. If you would like to learn more about us, please feel free to email me at kucsmak@gmail. com and join our Group on Facebook, Capital Campaign for the Marion County Shelter. We have made such significant progress this year. I would hate to see our pups suffer because of misunderstandings circulating on Facebook so please do not ever hesitate to come to me (PM me, email me, join our Capital Campaign page and post there, etc.) with any questions or suggestions you may have.

    Thank you all so much !

    Reply
  21. queenbeejo

     /  January 25, 2012

    This shelter is not a gassing shelter – to the surprise of all of you – this shelter and their DEDICATED workers go 24-7 to help these dogs make it to freedom… rumor that one shelter put down dogs so they could have off? One MARION COUNTY ANIMAL SHELTER would NEVER do that – They would come in on days off to help

    This shelter gets very little help from county…

    are you confusing with MARION OH? This is a NO GAS shelter…. they TREAT EVERY DOG as they should…. get your SHIT straight!

    I HAVE NEVER MET ANOTHER GROUP SO DEDICATED TO SAVING LIVES…. ya’ll need to see the real deal – join. $18 PER DOG – the whole time they are there? THEY SURVIVE ON US – the supporters…………… u got an issue? email me! queenbeejo@gmail.com

    Reply
  22. Hi all, I’m a dedicated volunteer at the Marion County Shelter…I drive 2 hrs at least every 2 weeks to be on the ground..and I have organized, with assistance, the Marion County Community Spay and Neuter Program, so I can talk with some authority. As has been mentioned the County pays us $18 a dog/year. This does not cover vetting, s/n, other medical as needed, never mind staff salaries. The chip ins in questions support the infrastructure needed to keep as many animals alive as possible in the healthiest environment. If they need surgery they get surgery, if they need tx for mange they get it, if they are hit by a car at the age of weeks..they get the care they need till adopted or rescued. A portion of the chip ins will go to the rescue to help with hw tx or other care that is needed in the immediate future. Our goal is to not just get the dogs out..but get them out to a reliable and accountable rescue/home. We all know there are worse things for animals than dying in a shelter. The last I heard our kill rate was 30%..on our bad months. The last dog I heard that was killed was aggressive and charging the staff. Its very sad but in some cases it cannot be helped. What we have done since I joined forces with Paws to the Rescue in June..tripled our storage facilities, built fiences, built runs, initiated a community spay and neuter for those wanting to S/N but may not be able to afford it, reach out to the community doing “events “ so folks know we have dogs for them and we don’t bite . We built a “Marion County Enrichment Center” , a place that the dogs can run loose, play with staff, and meet potential adopter…I go in there just to leave the stressor of work and single parenting; Its cheaper than therapy. Many other positives are happening , too many to list. To many folks this was just a kill shelter..so yes we need to continue to educate the community about the gem we have. We do adopt out to locals..and love it when our dogs stick around..our adoption fee is $150 and that includes all vetting and s/n. Our dogs are worth that..again it’s not a matter of just getting the animals out..but we want them in a safe and healthy environment. Hmmm what else .. I urge you to visit if you can , it rather appalling at first..when I went in the summer..Imagine no a/c, wet laundry and flies/maggots and i had laundry duty :)…not pleasant but we care deeply for our animals and take the very best care we can of them . No one is making money off the backs of our animals..any money coming in is used to improve their quality of life. While we may not agree I do ask that you not degrade our good name and just ask questions. We have worked hard to get a good reputation as a rescue/shelter and would ask respect for that. IF you have any more questions that I have not addressed please just let me know..i don’t want to spend too much time on that as I could be marketing our dogs at this time but wanted to clear up any misconceptions. As for me, I’m a mom, I’m a nurse, I work full time and I devote every spare minute to helping PTTR@ MCAS find home and raise funds to keep more dog alive and eventually in forever homes. Thanks all for reading as I know its long. Maureen

    Reply
  23. queenbeejo

     /  January 25, 2012

    Russell – a shelter worker would come in on his DAYS OFF TO TAKE CARE OF DOGS RATHER THAN PTS – ? Minimum wage? YEAH – he CARES ABOUT DOGS – not $$ – these people are GOLDEN!

    Reply
  24. I live Marion County and donate to the shelter plus do animal transports. Everyone is doing everything they can to stop euthanasia of animals at the shelter but its go to operate on something.

    Marion County current is sitting at at 20% unemployment and there at 2-3 industries left in the county that employ 100+ people.

    There’s no money and everything has to be paid for somehow.

    Reply
  25. Kristin Kucsma

     /  January 25, 2012

    Where are my posts? I posted a detailed reply to these questions, concerns, accusations, etc. but do not see it reflected here.

    Reply
    • Kristin Kucsma

       /  January 25, 2012

      Good evening folks,

      I am the Treasurer to Paws to the Rescue and would be happy to answer any and all questions that you have. I also would appreciate any suggestions that you might have to make this clearer and less opaque. My intention was to do just the opposite with some of the notes that I have published. Apparently, I have done just the opposite and I apologize.

      The fact is that the budget we receive from the county each year is not even enough to cover the payroll necessary to run the shelter. Without raising money through sponsorship to cover the true cost of saving a pup (the cost to care for the pup from the minute he/she comes into the shelter until the time he/she leaves the shelter), we could not afford to save most of the beautiful animals that enter our shelter. Before we got involved with this shelter, the kill rate was in excess of 95%. This past year, our SAVE rate is in excess of 70%. We could not do this, however, without the generous donations that so many have made.

      In addition, for those of you who follow us, you’ll see that as part of our pledge to move toward no-kill, we have saved a significant number of pups that have come into the shelter in need of extensive medical treatment (surgery for shattered femurs from car accidents, riddled with bb pellets, with broken legs that healed incorrectly because they were not treated properly by their previous owners and the list goes on). The cost of the medical treatment for some of these pups (e.g., Jasmine, a gorgeous coonhound that we saved) was in excess of $1,200).

      Ordinary adoptions cost $150. That covers the cost of spay / neuter, vaccinations and a health certificate (needed for out-of-state transport). Our vet is not rescue friendly and charges between $20 and $40 just for a health certificate. We are ALWAYS looking for ways to cut costs so that we can save more pups for less money. If you would like to learn more about us, please feel free to email me at kucsmak@gmail. com and join our Group on Facebook, Capital Campaign for the Marion County Shelter. We have made such significant progress this year. I would hate to see our pups suffer because of misunderstandings circulating on Facebook so please do not ever hesitate to come to me (PM me, email me, join our Capital Campaign page and post there, etc.) with any questions or suggestions you may have.

      Thank you all so much !

      Reply
    • Kristin Kucsma

       /  January 25, 2012

      Good evening folks,

      I am the Treasurer to Paws to the Rescue and would be happy to answer any and all questions that you have. I also would appreciate any suggestions that you might have to make this clearer and less opaque. My intention was to do just the opposite with some of the notes that I have published. Apparently, I have done just the opposite and I apologize.

      The fact is that the budget we receive from the county each year is not even enough to cover the payroll necessary to run the shelter. Without raising money through sponsorship to cover the true cost of saving a pup (the cost to care for the pup from the minute he/she comes into the shelter until the time he/she leaves the shelter), we could not afford to save most of the beautiful animals that enter our shelter. Before we got involved with this shelter, the kill rate was in excess of 95%. This past year, our SAVE rate is in excess of 70%. We could not do this, however, without the generous donations that so many have made.

      Reply
      • Kristin Kucsma

         /  January 25, 2012

        In addition, for those of you who follow us, you’ll see that as part of our pledge to move toward no-kill, we have saved a significant number of pups that have come into the shelter in need of extensive medical treatment (surgery for shattered femurs from car accidents, riddled with bb pellets, with broken legs that healed incorrectly because they were not treated properly by their previous owners and the list goes on). The cost of the medical treatment for some of these pups (e.g., Jasmine, a gorgeous coonhound that we saved) was in excess of $1,200).

        Ordinary adoptions cost $150. That covers the cost of spay / neuter, vaccinations and a health certificate (needed for out-of-state transport). Our vet is not rescue friendly and charges between $20 and $40 just for a health certificate. We are ALWAYS looking for ways to cut costs so that we can save more pups for less money. If you would like to learn more about us, please feel free to email me at kucsmak@gmail. com and join our Group on Facebook, Capital Campaign for the Marion County Shelter. We have made such significant progress this year. I would hate to see our pups suffer because of misunderstandings circulating on Facebook so please do not ever hesitate to come to me (PM me, email me, join our Capital Campaign page and post there, etc.) with any questions or suggestions you may have.

        Thank you all so much !

      • Kristin Kucsma

         /  January 25, 2012

        In addition, for those of you who follow us, you’ll see that as part of our pledge to move toward no-kill, we have saved a significant number of pups that have come into the shelter in need of extensive medical treatment (surgery for shattered femurs from car accidents, riddled with bb pellets, with broken legs that healed incorrectly because they were not treated properly by their previous owners and the list goes on). The cost of the medical treatment for some of these pups (e.g., Jasmine, a gorgeous coonhound that we saved) was in excess of $1,200).

      • Kristin Kucsma

         /  January 25, 2012

        Ordinary adoptions cost $150. That covers the cost of spay / neuter, vaccinations and a health certificate (needed for out-of-state transport). Our vet is not rescue friendly and charges between $20 and $40 just for a health certificate. We are ALWAYS looking for ways to cut costs so that we can save more pups for less money. If you would like to learn more about us, please feel free to email me at kucsmak@gmail. com and join our Group on Facebook, Capital Campaign for the Marion County Shelter. We have made such significant progress this year. I would hate to see our pups suffer because of misunderstandings circulating on Facebook so please do not ever hesitate to come to me (PM me, email me, join our Capital Campaign page and post there, etc.) with any questions or suggestions you may have.

        Thank you all so much !

      • Kristin Kucsma

         /  January 25, 2012

        Ordinary adoptions cost $150. That covers the cost of spay / neuter, vaccinations and a health certificate (needed for out-of-state transport). Our vet is not rescue friendly and charges between $20 and $40 just for a health certificate. We are ALWAYS looking for ways to cut costs so that we can save more pups for less money. If you would like to learn more about us, please feel free to email me at kucsmak@gmail. com and join our Group on Facebook, Capital Campaign for the Marion County Shelter. We have made such significant progress this year. I would hate to see our pups suffer because of misunderstandings circulating on Facebook so please do not ever hesitate to come to me (PM me, email me, join our Capital Campaign page and post there, etc.) with any questions or suggestions you may have.

  26. Oh, i missed a few points..we do love to work with local rescues…if you go to my page you will see me reaching out and i personally know the majority of rescues in the CHS area…an adopter would not be required to pay the chip in fee..that is why we get donations to help cover that costs.. we dont pay for fosters..we do if needed cover the food and of course the medical expenses..and even when our dogs go out to rescue , if they run into unexpected costs..then we rally and help them. Our animals are Marion family forever. thanks now i’m really done. :) Have a good night all.

    Reply
  27. Kristin Kucsma

     /  January 25, 2012

    It is very difficullt to provide you all with the information you are seeking when half of my posts are not showing up. Ordinary adoptions cost $150. That covers the cost of spay / neuter, vaccinations and a health certificate (needed for out-of-state transport). Our vet is not rescue friendly and charges between $20 and $40 just for a health certificate. We are ALWAYS looking for ways to cut costs so that we can save more pups for less money. If you would like to learn more about us, please feel free to email me at kucsmak@gmail. com and join our Group on Facebook, Capital Campaign for the Marion County Shelter. We have made such significant progress this year. I would hate to see our pups suffer because of misunderstandings circulating on Facebook so please do not ever hesitate to come to me (PM me, email me, join our Capital Campaign page and post there, etc.) with any questions or suggestions you may have. Once again – my email address is KUCSMAK@gmail.com. Please contact me anytime with any questions or suggestions for how we might improve our public relations.

    Reply
  28. Kristin Kucsma

     /  January 25, 2012

    If you would like full and accurate information about our mission and our shelter, please email me at kucsmak@gmail.com. My posts are not showing up and I have two jobs to get back to – my “day” job and my job of saving lives in Marion County SC.

    Reply
    • There are MORE comments than the many from you showing here?

      Added: I just let loose a bunch from the spam filter. If you come on someone’s blog and post dozens of comments all at once, some spam filters are going to think you’re a spammer, FYI.

      Reply
  29. Hmmm…Ok….so, you really think that just setting a pull fee for rescues at $25, is the answer? Really?!? Well, from the comments I have read on this thread, it seems like no one here is ACTUALLY involved in rescue….. or at least a TRUE rescue. I am with a local lab rescue and I have pulled 30+ dogs (and adopted a special needs dog) since May 2011. 10 of those dogs were HW+. One had a severe case of demodox. One had been hit by a car and left to DIE with severe road rash. (And if it were not for the director of this shelter leaving to go pick him up off the road by herself, he would have more than likely died.) 3 were severly emaciated (and HW+) and near death when they were brought in. One who was literally gang raped by a pack of dogs and brought in by animal control. Along with being HW+, she had to have her eye removed because it had suffered severe trauma from being attacked. The one currently sleeping at my feet was and still is about 40 lbs under weight. These employees rushed to his side when he was brought in unable to walk, RIGHT before Christmas. He was given fluids, and the medical attention he needed right then. I picked him up and brough him home on Christmas Eve, since the employees WERE WORKING a regular shift in order to care for the dogs.

    So, how do you think rescues are even able to pay all these expenses? I sure don’t have the extra money. I have never been lucky enough to have it fall from the sky either! To vet a healthy dog, it cost around $300. They need to be spayd/neutered, vaccinated, dewormed, HW tested, flea/hw preventative, HC if crossing state lines, a physical exam, etc. Unless Im missing something, I believe that cost money. Please tell me if Im wrong!

    Heartworm treatment in this area is $375-450 for immiticide treatment. This is the ONLY effective treatment for heartworms. Period. There is and will be no debate about that.

    We are a non-profit organization. Without the funds to PROPERLY care for these dogs and get them fit for adoption, we would be unable to save them. Or any dog from any shelter, for that matter. It takes money to rescue. Correct?!?! Also, the chip-in funds RARELY cover all the expenses needed to properly care for the dogs. RARELY!

    So until you decide you would actually like to do a little research into all the GOOD this shelter has done, and all the lives they have saved………. I suggest you keep your comments to yourself. Because you have NO evidence to back it up. NONE! You sound like absolute fools on this thread.

    Now that I have gotten that off my chest……… I will get back to saving dogs.

    Reply
    • The above post was in response to the post:
      “I don’t get this. If Paws to the Rescue wants to set a rescue pull fee then they need to do that – $20, $25, whatever. But they can’t make up a different fee for each dog. And certainly the fee can not be something outrageous like in the hundreds of dollars. What if a member of the public applied to adopt this dog? Would that person be required to pay $450? Would the adopter even be allowed to take the dog if he hadn’t raised $450 for himself yet?”

      It would not let me reply…. so I just posted :)

      Reply
    • This wonderful lady took it upon herself this past October to take our Dexter into her home at her expense to save his life. He came into the shelter in late September as a scare, underweight and mangy mixed breed puppy (photos available on my FB page). His shelter photo touched our hearts and we just had to save him! From comments I’ve seen on his newer photos, several people did not expect him to live! My guess is MOST county run shelters would have killed him as soon as his stray hold was over. This shelter gave him a second chance and he is now living a happy life with 2 new sisters and 2 new brothers!

      Reply
  30. janson

     /  January 25, 2012

    These people go above and beyond the regular care…..they are the outline for a great rescue

    Reply
  31. Deb Bellamy

     /  January 25, 2012

    I have read all this and am totally amazed at what people will write who have never been to the shelter. I network our dogs trying to find shelters that will take them, I have worked on transport to get dogs and cats to safety. I am in no way an official of Paws and do not speak here as such. But I can tell you what I know.

    This shelter is an old tobacco barn – Do you know what that is? Do you understand the strides that have been made to improve the conditions for the animals while they are there? You say cut the wages of the workers – well, they make minimum wage and work their butts off 7 days a week to see that these animals are well cared for. Do we want any to die??? Most definitely not. Those who are my friends on FB know I, along with everyone else have been trying to get a shelter to take Brody to no avail. He is blind in one eye, has an old broken jaw, broken teeth, HW+, dog and cat agressive. Will he make it out? Well if everyone here would try to help. maybe he will. He doesn’t need money, he needs a rescue and none, absolutely none have said they wanted him. Do you realize that Jen sees that every animal is vacinated and get medical treatment if needed? Do you realize that no animal sits and waits for someone to take them before their injuries are addressed? Vets, someone said get better rates, more vets – well there are 2 vets in the entire county!!! Local adoptions are slim to nil – I live in the next county over – Horry – the cty shelter gets $800K+ a year and the last numbers they put out have a kill rate of 93%. When we hear of someone local wanting a new animal, don’t you think we carry them out there? I know I have done it. You ask about holding them hostage for a chipin to be filled – totally untrue whoever stated this. Take a look at this weeks transport sheet and you will see that there are dogs on there who do not have their chipin filled going to rescue. That speaks for itself dont you think? You don’t even have to take my word for it as its been posted a couple of days. And it is like that every week!!! You ask why other pups suffer if a chipin doesn’t get filled? Well when a vet bill isn’t paid and they won’t treat another dog until it is then someone suffers. You throw the cty figure an the donation figure out there like an absurd amount of money is being taken in. Use your own figures and divide the $250K by 4K dogs you get a whopping $62.50 per dog to feed, meds, vetting, s/n…That $62.50 really goes along way now doesn’t it??? Oh, and don’t forget the cats, chickens, and all the other farm animals that come in. They aren’t even figured in those figures.

    Kristin can answer any question you throw out there about this shelter, the policies, the animals, the accounting. Me, I can only tell you what I see – not what someone has told me, not what someone has written, but what I see with my own eyes.
    And I am not afraid to use my name in signing this!!!

    Reply
  32. Joan

     /  January 25, 2012

    Shirley, right? I am sorry but I do not know you and I was wondering what your credentials are. Are you a financial expert? Have you run a shelter? Do you bust your ass every day actually DOING something to assist shelter reform or just WRITE about it? (If you ARE more than a keyboard cowgirl, I apologize profusely!)YOU are confused? Well, so am I. And I am saddened every day witnessing how so-called animal advocates would rather spend their valuable time hunting down and criticizing others trying, against extremely difficult odds, to do right by our animals in need. Good God, people! These witch hunts are exhausting!
    Not for nothing, Shirley or Yesbuscuit, but I must say this seems personal.. . . you seem to have it out for this shelter specifically. Is there a reason why you picked on Marion while there are other shelters who still gas, shoot, hell . . . some even kill them right outside the building without ever bringing them inside!?
    The wording bothers you? This is about semantics?? Let’s see if I can help . . If a dog has confirmed rescue, this is often on the condition that they will receive the dog debt-free or with funding for additional care. Most real rescues are strapped for cash. They want to help but cannot afford to. The chip-ins are mostly incentives to offer rescue groups to save a dog’s life. That is my understanding of it. So maybe they shouldn’t say CONFIRMED rescue. Maybe they should say PLEDGED rescue. Because without the “donation” to the rescue pledging, that rescue might need to back out of the agreement. And that is not a confirmed rescue at all then. But THAT is not PTTR’s fault.
    Why do they transport so many to the northeast? I would think for the same reason i work to get them up here . . . there are folks up here WILLING TO ADOPT THEM!!!! These dogs are networked all over the place but who comes to the rescue? NOT the local community. They are broke and over run with rapidly reproducing pets already. As for using paid transports . . . it is not their ONLY form of transport. They have flown dogs to their new homes via Pilots n Paws and have members volunteer for transports. I know. Because I have transported for them and fostered a few dogs from there.
    I admit I don’t know all the ins and outs of the financial side of things. But I do know any other business operating with a measly $3000 annual so-called surplus would surely go under. And to see how far this shelter has come, only to see people with their own agendas come in and threaten the safety of those animals because they didn’t get a call back from a woman trying to do it all the best she can . . . that is disheartening, to say the least.

    Reply
  33. Lisa

     /  January 25, 2012

    Since Kristin asked that questions be sent to her email address, that’s what I did. This is from the email I just sent to her:

    “First, I want to say that the turnaround of the Marion Shelter has been a good thing. I have been following the shelter on Facebook since last spring and I even donated to several dogs’ chipins. Trying to go no-kill is very commendable and I know it involves a lot of hard work.

    But the biggest question that bothers me, and a few others who have been discussing it at the YesBiscuit post is: Why do you hold dogs who have a confirmed rescue when, as I read so often on all the posts, they are not safe in the shelter and could be killed at any time? If they can get out to safety, why do they have to stay until their “bills” are paid? This seems a little contrary to the desire to go “no-kill,” which really hinges on getting the dogs out alive. And yes, I understand that it costs money to vet and feed the dogs–that’s true at all shelters and rescues, no less so at the places that have succeeded in attaining “no-kill” outcomes than at high-kill facilities. (In fact, even more so because, as you know, it’s easier to stay under budget if you kill most of your dogs). But how does hanging onto the dog even longer cost you less money? If anything, it’s costing you more because you have to feed it and staff time is required to care for it, plus it is taking up space that could be used to house an incoming dog. As far as I know, not a single “no-kill” shelter hangs onto an animal any longer than necessary if that animal has a rescue. In fact, your policy of keeping dogs until you collect their “bills” appears to be completely unique. I don’t know of any shelter anywhere that does it.

    (And honestly, it strikes me as rather unsustainable and a rather quick road to donor fatigue, once it becomes obvious to the donor that the money she is giving is not resulting in any lasting change and the sad stories and urgent appeals just keep coming and coming and coming … and the shelter she hoped to help go no-kill is starting to seem even killier than ever. But I digress …)

    So, back to my question: Why are dogs with confirmed rescues being kept where they are not safe from being killed when your goal is to keep them from being killed?”

    Reply
    • MVPR

       /  January 25, 2012

      Lisa – Please see Shimiah’s post from above: “I am a volunteer with the Marion County Animal Shelter who helps organize the volunteer transports that move these dogs to their adopters and rescues. I can not answer all of the questions that are here, and frankly, some don’t even deserve an answer.

      But as I am directly involved with “why it takes 2 weeks or more” to get the dogs (and cats) out, I can speak to that.

      Once a rescue commits to a saving a dog, we schedule the dog for vetting. Some of the vetting is done at the shelter at intake (such as DHPP vaccinations, heartworm testing, etc.), but some of it, like rabies shots and spay/neuter, must be done by a vet. For those of you not familiar with the shelter, it is an old tobacco barn, drafty etc. and does not have a surgically sanitary area. So the animals must be transported to the vet. There are 2 vets in Mullins, and we utilize them both. The vet who does the spays/neuters for us also has a regular vet practice in which he must see other patients, so we have a limited number of slots each week. So we might have 20 dogs with rescues waiting, but only 15 can be vetted (per vet space).

      If you live in an area as populated as the area I live in you are probably thinking, as I did, “So go to another vet”. The next nearest vets are 30+ minutes away. The shelter does not have a vehicle at it’s disposal that will fit a large number of animals for this transport, but even to do such a transport, there is the added cost of fuel, vehicle maintenance, etc. So we would need to have volunteers do this driving–and of course, that means daytime/workday volunteers which so far have been scarce (though if you are reading this and want to help with it, we would love to have you).

      To get back on topic, there has now been a few days between the time of rescue commitment and appropriate vetting (which by the way, is something most of our rescues want us to do as it is MUCH cheaper to spay/neuter an animal in the south than here in the north in most instances).

      Next we have to plan transport. We are actually blessed with a shelter director, Jen Nall, who was previously involved with rescue and who had helped organize two large scale volunteer runs up the east coast (Paws To The Rescue East and Paws to the Rescue West — go ahead and google them). Part of planning these transports is recruiting enough volunteer drivers and OVERNIGHTERS to fit all of the newly vetted dogs. The volunteers who do this on a weekly basis are phenomenal, committed people who do an amazing job. I have yet to see one of these runs fail to fill (though it is always possible).

      On Friday, the day before transport, the OTHER local vet comes out to the shelter to do health certificates (mandated by FEDERAL laws for animals crossing state lines). Dogs and cats can fail their health certificate exam for many reasons, including a runny nose, runny eyes, a cough, diarrhea, etc. Those dogs do not get to go on transport until the following week, or longer depending on when it is well (things like ringworm and mange can take a month or more to treat so the affected animal will not effect the other animals on the transport).

      There are a lot of people who think the HC’s are a game, stupid, etc. but ultimately it is about keeping the animal safe. We are NOT one of the shelters who think that it is acceptable to knowingly transport sick animals–if you transport an animal and it dies during transit, you’ve completely failed to rescue the animal — and you have failed to act in a humane and safe way. Furthermore, the routine violation of these state and federal mandates are a HUGE part of why so many of the northeastern states are now making such stringent laws about transporting/rescuing animals.

      This is WHY it can take 2 or more weeks to get the dogs to safety.

      And when a local rescue comes in and can take a dog out NOW, even when it has been promised to another rescue, we usually let them (unless there is a compelling health reason that would prevent that happening)–because we all agree that the quicker the dog/cat is out the door, the better it is for the animal, and for the shelter.

      And as a side note re: Are we a high kill shelter? We are NOWHERE near as high as it was when the county ran it (95% kill)–but we are also not yet low enough to fit the No-Kill paradigm of 10%. Our dog statistics have improved tremendously, and we are now beginning to work on improving our cat statistics.

      I also think that when judging the results of how much or how little has been done to improve things at this shelter, one must look at the length of time that has been involved, as well. A LOT has been done in just 3 1/2 years — on a minimal budget, with a dismal building, etc.

      Reply
    • Kristin Kucsma

       /  January 25, 2012

      Lisa,

      I would appreciate it if you also would post my reply here – the one that I sent to you via email quite promptly ;)

      Thanks!

      Reply
      • Lisa

         /  January 26, 2012

        Kristin, no worries, I posted it below as its own thread!

  34. Well, you folks seem swell.

    If you are charging $150 to adopters and slightly less to rescues while still putting animals in the dumpster, that’s tragic.

    Reply
    • Shimiah

       /  January 25, 2012

      I’m not sure what the issue is with an adoption fee given that the adoption fee covers: Heartworm testing, spay/neuter, rabies vaccination, DHPP vaccinations, heartguard for as long as the animal was in the shelter, borditella/influenza vaccination, and de-worming and often a health certificate as we do out-of-state adoptions (complete with home visits so we know we are not sending our animals to fighters/hoarders, etc.)? It is not a “padded” amount. It’s what we are charged. There is no profit, just a re-coup of expenses incurred. Rescues might be charged a bit less based on some of them requesting NOT to have certain vetting done because they have cheaper access in their area.

      I would understand the issue if the animal were not arriving vetted, but $150 for a fully vetted pet is a bargain. I paid $350 for my dog’s spay alone. $45 for the rabies. $25 each for 3 DHPP vaccinations–which required 3 office visits at $45 each.

      Reply
  35. mikken

     /  January 25, 2012

    Ok. I’m having a bit of trouble sorting through all of this. So…if I want to adopt a dog from this shelter, I have to either wait for the dog’s chip in to be paid by donations or I have to pony up the chip in myself, THEN I pay $150 adoption fee? Or have I gotten confused wading through all the multiple postings?

    Please clarify.

    Reply
    • If you want to adopt a dog, it is JUST the adoption fee! Not the ChipIn plus the fee. Adoptions are $150.00 if you pick them up AT THE SHELTER. Transportation MAY cost extra.

      Reply
  36. Just a reminder to anyone following this thread that there are NO OFFICIAL RECORDS documenting either an old kill rate of 95% or current kill rate of 30%. I have filed a FOIA request for the shelter’s records and it was only partially answered, after much runaround. So consider these figures as opinions.

    Reply
    • Kristin Kucsma

       /  January 25, 2012

      Shirley: there was no runaround. Jen clearly explained to you that her computer crashed over the summer and that as a result she lost a lot of data that was irrecoverable. Whatever records Jen has, she has provided to you. I also encouraged you to reach out to the County to obtain a copy of the RFP that we submitted in October 2011 for additional information about us. That document is public record. There is a lot of information that you never requested from Jen or me. Nonetheless you allowed people to make wild accusations here and post things irresponsibly. I have always made myself available to anyone (including you several months ago) who wanted any information about our mission and our accomplishments. Once again, I invite anyone here to contact me directly for full and accurate information about the Marion County Shelter. Thanks to all who have supported us and thanks to all who contribute to the rescue community by working together to improve the lives of animals everywhere rather than spending their time criticizing one another. I can be reached on Facebook or via email at kucsmak@gmail.com.

      Reply
  37. Tip Burrows

     /  January 25, 2012

    So. An animal can be adopted from this shelter for $150. But a rescue wishing to pull an animal must wait for enough chipins to amount to far more than the $150 adoption fee; in some cases up to over $400. Or pay it …then still incur all the future costs of taking care of the animal including medically til it’s re-homed. That is what seems to be put forth here including by the shelter’s staff and volunteers. If this is true it is making it almost impossible for the average rescue to help.

    Clarification is still needed. Statistics would go a long way to showing the shelter’s claims are valid and that they are saving in excess of 70% with this wacky method of expecting hundreds of dollars for each animal before it is released to rescue.

    Reply
    • Kristin Kucsma

       /  January 25, 2012

      Tip: Please read the revised description under our Sponsorship Album. I cannot make this any clearer. A rescue does NOT have to wait for a chip in to fill. No one ever said that. All anyone has said is that the outstanding bills for one pup must be paid or there will be no money to cover the costs of saving other pups. We have released many, many pups when their chip ins have not been filled. I encouraged people earlier to look in the sponsorship album right now at the “M” puppies – puppies who are out of the shelter but still need their chip ins filled. Please take the time to read the detailed description of this under the sponsorship album or email me if it still not clear. I have to get back to saving our pups. You obviously are completely unfamiliar with all we have accomplished this past year – I encourage you and Shirley and everyone else hear to learn more about us – join us at the Capital Campaign for the Marion Shelter group on Facebook and you will see all the nuts and bolts of what we do every day.

      I will say this one last time: We do not hold onto pups until their chip ins are filled. If we have a rescue and the pup is ready to roll, we send the dog to rescue (with or without a full chip in) BUT if we said pup A out to rescue while pup A still has outstanding bills, then pups B and C suffer when, for example, the vet will not treat pups B and C because we still owe them money.

      Reply
    • Shimiah

       /  January 25, 2012

      Adopters pay $150 for a VETTED animal (spayed/neutered, rabies vacc, DHPP vaccinations, heartworm test, de-worming, etc.).

      The money that is RAISED for the animals (that is the $450, $250, etc.) is money that HELPS THE RESCUE pull the dog. THey can apply that toward the rescue fees (which is a reflection of the cost of vetting–if the rescue wants the dog spayed, and our vet charges us $100, we charge the rescue $100 for the spay), and in many cases it helps to pay for transport (which is approximately $135 per crate — we work with several rescues in the midwest and to date have not been able to put together a reliable midwest transport, though we are working on that). Additional funds are often raised THAT GO TO THE RESCUE for additional treatment that a dog may need (HW+ are common and treatment is not cheap–particularly in the north where we routinely pay $1000 for HW treatment).

      Someone here included a link to the No Kill brochure. One of the things it states is to reach out to rescues. We are doing that–and we are actually helping them raise funds so they can PULL MORE of our dogs and cats!

      Reply
  38. Trish

     /  January 25, 2012

    In this time of the economic downfall, many small rescues are not receiving enough donations to sustain the cost of rescuing animals. Currently it is a hard life out there for animals as well as people. There are times when a rescue would love to help, however they do not have the upfront funds for vetting, QT and transport in addition to the costs for the animal (some times for life) when the animal arrives. By working TOGETHER with shelters, volunteers and other animal lovers, more lives are being saved on a daily basis. There are no hostage situations at Marion, and by far the opposite is true. They would be thrilled to be able to walk into an empty shelter.

    The animals that I have personally met from Marion and have found homes for, were very well cared for, socialized, healthy and wonderfully well rounded animals. To be able to say this with confidence, knowing what the conditions are at this potato barn shelter, is a tribute to the Director, her dedicated staff and all of the wonderful volunteers and animal lovers working to save animals as a single entity together! Please don’t forget that down in this area it is more normal than not for the pups to be HW+. If medication can be found, it is costly. Raising funds upfront to cover the costs ensures these pups will have all they need to begin their new lives with loving homes. The volunteers/animal lovers here are some of the largest monetary donors week after week to help these animals on their new journey. I have faith that if you ask them, you will hear them echo, it was money well spent, and they are thrilled to do it all again tomorrow!

    Reply
  39. Joan

     /  January 26, 2012

    Okay, Shirley . . . when you get snarky you lose credibility.
    “Well, you folks seem swell.” ???? people are trying to answer your questions and THAT is what you have to say in return?

    Shirley~ Are you with a rescue group? I really do want to know. What are YOUR credentials? Seems to me the one pointing fingers and filing for records should also have to come clean about who they are right here, as well. Shouldn’t the accused have the right to know their accuser? Give a last name at least so someone can do a background check on you. Or fill us in here and now. Why did you pick Marion, of all the hundreds of shelters in the country, to go after? Is it because you live nearby but do NOTHING to assist their efforts by showing up for a work week-end or to walk some dogs so they don’t go kennel crazy or to help bottle-feed some abandoned pups at 2 am or help winterize the kennels so the dogs without space inside can stay a little warmer? IF YOU ARE SO CONCERNED, SHOW IT! SHOW UP! You would then be right there, helping AND investigating at the same time. Much more constructive way to get some answers than what you are doing now, don’t you think? Oh you can still file for any reports you like, of course. But I have to wonder WHY you had to attack publicly when you live close enough to do all this in person. Is it for notoriety? If it is indeed an effort to help the animals then why the need for the attention? Most truly good deeds are done by those who don’t require cheerleaders. And that’s what it seems you are really after here . . . a following, not a resolution. Or you would have refrained from sarcasm and condescension.

    Reply
    • Joan,
      Freedom of Information Act records requests are made by members of the PUBLIC!!! You don’t need qualifications or anything, you just have to ask. It’s the law. (You might have to pay for photocopies, or the salary of the schmo that has to dig through the files to get you the information you requested.)

      If you want to know more about Shirley, READ THIS BLOG. You can also like her on Facebook just like Kristin wants all of us to like your shelter on Facebook.

      Shirley filed the FOIA records request in order to PROMOTE your shelter!!! (She requests that readers who submit an animals for her *shelter pet of the day* feature also include the save and kill rate for their rescue or for the facility where the animal is held.) Shirley has a thing about numbers. She cares, numbers matter.

      Seems to me her first post about your facility mentioned that a reader asked her to PROMOTE the Marion County facility…and Shirley tried…but couldn’t get information. Her first post documented her inability to get the information. And on this thread, Kristin (IMO) embarrassed herself by posting and reposting the same old shpeel over and over. (I know, that happened to me once…but not fifteen times!) It is a sure sign that Kristin was cranked up. Why? Well, because people were asking questions and thinking less than perfect things about the Marion facility.

      Okay, so you guys like what you are doing and are proud of yourselves. You’ve raised a lot of money, you’ve saves some animals. But those numbers that Kristin put at the tail end of the first post show that you’re killing way more than 30%.
      R/A PTS
      January 140 39
      February 101 51
      March 94 31
      April 109 72
      May 98 154
      June 141 81
      July 146 86
      August 198 113
      September 92 90
      October 141 45
      November 92 28

      In May you killed way more than you returned or adopted out. September, life and death were about equal. February was two saved for every one killed.

      What about cats? Are they included in these numbers?

      Reply
  40. Tip Burrows

     /  January 26, 2012

    Do you want to SAVE a PUP’S LIFE but cannot rescue or adopt? Please consider sponsoring a pup! EVERY PUP CURRENTLY in this album has a CONFIRMED RESCUE but they are NOT SAFE. Most will NOT make it out of the shelter if we do not raise funds for them.

    Taken from the shelter’s facebook page. If as your volunteers have posted it is NOT true that pups and dogs have to meet their chip ins to be rescued, perhaps you want to re-word the above. Cuz it sure makes it look like you only want those hundreds of dollars for each one and if you don’t get it that animal won’t leave the shelter alive.

    I can only imagine the challenges you face as I face them too. But complete honesty in stats and fees and policies will go a long way in getting support for your animals. And perhaps directing your fundraising differently would get you more support and less criticism. If I had a puppy and no money donated for him and a rescue was committed to taking him, there is no way on this earth I would kill that puppy – I would get him out and raise the money myself which I have done countless times for HUNDREDS.

    The way you are presenting this is offensive and appears that you are holding the pups hostage for money before you will release them to rescues. This is why you are encountering a PR problem plain and simple. We as shelters are supposed to be refuges and havens for these poor animals. It is pretty damn sad that they need rescuing from us who are supposed to be a shelter and haven for them. The least we can do is make it easy and affordable for those amazing groups willing to save them from our crappy shelters.

    Reply
    • wendy henry

       /  January 26, 2012

      ” If I had a puppy and no money donated for him and a rescue was committed to taking him, there is no way on this earth I would kill that puppy” -tip burrows

      As we all know -most rescues operate in the red.A lot of committments are contingent on the dog being sponsered as a lot of rescues can’t afford it otherwise.
      If the dog has to be transported to other areas of the country -until iron clad volunteer transport is in operation -paid transport is used.Vets have to be paid,Feed vendors have to be paid..etc..The dogs are held over for as long as possible, if other dogs get adopted out or sponsered, or fostered -then the space is available for any pups not sponsered.But to assume that love and concern alone is going to keep these animals alive is unrealistic, especially when intake numbers far outnumber space.Paws to the Rescue busts its ass to make sure as many pets as possible make it to good homes.They constintly strive for long term solutions,fundraising ideas, new rescues able to help out and ways to insure that the pets they are currently responsible for are kept healthy,happy and loved.But the electric company,water company,vets,pharm. companies,feed companies ect..don’t care -they still demand payment.

      Reply
    • Deb Bellamy

       /  January 26, 2012

      Tip, I’m sure that it would be much better if someone truly affiliated with the shelter answered rather than a crossposter who tries to save Marion’s dogs, but I think it’s what is being read into the words that is the problem “EVERY PUP CURRENTLY in this album has a CONFIRMED RESCUE but they are NOT SAFE. Most will NOT make it out of the shelter if we do not raise funds for them” means that rescues have offered to take a dog but they need to know that the initial bills for the dog (meds,vet, s/n, etc) will be paid for on our end and the dog delivered to them or they can’t take them because they are strapped for money. Some say they can’t take a HW+ dog unless it is treated here first which makes sense due to the cost here vs other areas. But “Safe” is what I personally consider a dog when he is in that vehicle pulling away from the shelter on the way to an adopter or rescue…Not simply when a rescue has said they want the dog.

      If you have looked at our page you will see that we have had adopters and rescues back out at the last minute. Poor Macon right now had this happen to him and we are fighting desperately to find someone else – for Macon and all the others. In the time I have been involved with Marion, I have never heard of a dog being killed when a rescue wanted him even if he had no money – Where in the world did you get the idea that we did that??? That is totally crazy.

      You end with, ” The least we can do is make it easy and affordable for those amazing groups willing to save them from our crappy shelters.” This is what we do everyday of every week. We make it easy and affordable for a rescue who is stretched thin on their finances to save a Marion dog. If Marion was not raising monies for their dogs like we do, do you realize how many of our dogs that have gone to rescues would not have made it??? Have you talked to any of the rescues that take dogs on a regular basis from Marion about how easy it is??? You make it sound as though you have a rescue – Have you saved even one of Marion’s dogs???

      I ask you one final question Tip, are you on our FB page Capital Campaign for the Marion County Shelter??? I can only believe you aren’t otherwise the things you have said in your posts here wouldn’t have been said. You would have known better.

      I personally, as a crossposter, transporter, and sometimes pain in the butt, invite you and every other person who has posted here to get on the FB page and see what we do first hand. I further invite you and all the other posters here to come to Marion, see the building, the staff, and experience first hand what we are doing. The tobacco barn is beyond terrible, the paid workers make minimum wage to work in conditions that most would even think of doing and they do it with love and concern for the animlas.

      So many things have been said here and the folks who are directly with PTTR have tried to answer. But each time someone comes back with something else. Yours was the last post when I started this response and had I not known Marion, I would have thought that Marion was killing dogs rather than giving them to the shelters that wanted them. When we, all of us, write things we know exactly what we mean however what we dont think about is how the person reading those written words will interpret them.

      I’m not a young person and after many years I learned that no matter how much good is being done there will always be someone to throw a monkey wrench in the pot and stir things up. But I also learned that before I go off half cocked about something that someone has told me about I have to SEE it. Marion tonite has been accused of many things that are total falsehoods and at this point since no one is reading the answers from PTTR, I can only suggest you hang out with the folks there for a bit and form your own conclusion.

      Reply
  41. wendy henry

     /  January 26, 2012

    Just curious -how much money do you folks think it costs to quaratine,vet,spay and neuter 3,000 dogs?Add to that utilities,supplies,food and making a tobacco barn functional as a safe and clean place to house animals? Rescues in NH commonly charge $350 -and those are rescues with actual buildings and a network of vets,sponsers and fosters in place for years.
    The shelter director asked that the budget be revised to allow for the shelter to function properly (intake vaccinations,outside runs,running hot water,quaratine area etc) and was told that she could accept the current budget or be replaced by an “employee” that would put the bottom line over and above the welfare of the animals.The only one being “held hostage” is the rescue that puts their time, energy and soul into saving as many pets as they can.
    The worst thing a rescue can do,is to function half assed.To not vaccinate,to release nonvetted animals for transport or to any person willing to take them,to adopt out animals of age not spayed or neutered…Yes, you may be able to adopt from a shelter for $45, but reputable rescues have a larger responsibilty than shelters do.When a “rescue” opreates irresponsibly, it reflects poorly on the rescue community as a whole.
    What makes Marion County EXCEPTIONAL is the fact that even though they are located in a poor rural community that until a year ago had no involvement and the remotest of information about the county shelter, even though they are operating out of a shack,even though they have had very little time to set up a network of vets,fosters,fund raisers,grant writing,community involvement,county budgeting,spay and neuter clinics,low cost vetting etc….all the things necessary (and in the works) for a no-kill shelter – they still REFUSE to give up on the animals.It would be easy to say “yeah, WHEN we can set things up, we’ll stop the wholesale killing that has been happening in this shelter for years before we came in.”Instead, they use what-ever means they can to save as many as they can, the right way..If that means asking for help -count me in.

    Reply
  42. MaryZ

     /  January 26, 2012

    WOW! I am shocked at some of these posts…have you ever been to SC? Have you ever been to any shelters in SC? Do you work in rescue in the south? The over population issue in our state is HUGE!!(just like it is most eveywhere) Most of our shelters are small, in rural areas and have barely enough money to even be open.It is an everyday occurence for say the shelter to be able to hold 40-50 dogs but they acutally have over 100!!! Many shelter directors I know do not even take a paycheck- and they spend their own money on things for the shelter and dogs before they even pay their own bills- and all shelter workers get minimum wage. In addition they most likely have shelter dogs at their own houses that they are caring for- ones that might be ill, pregnant, injured, etc…. The county budgets for the shelters are a joke-not even close to what they need to run them.Sadly there are a handful of animal folks in SC trying to make the world a better place and are up against many county officals in mnay counties that do not see shelters as even important- they do not really support spay/neuter- because they do not even spay/neuter their own dogs- they do not find the issue of animals important in our state- we barely even have any laws that protect animals here. We are fighting a major uphill battle here and the folks that I have met and worked with at the Marion shelter are amazing! They are fighting that fight everyday with everything they have- and they are VOLUNTEERS! Kristen can certainly answer all of your questions about the finances- and trust me- it is all on the up and up. Everything to do with saving dogs costs money- and lots of it- chip ins help raise that money- because rescues never have all the money they need to save, vet, care for, etc…. all of the dogs they take in- I do not know one single rescue that is sitting on a fat bank account with nothing to do with the money- most struggle to pay every bill they get and beg and plead for discounts and payment plans so they can help the dogs- which is most important. Local rescues can help- but every single one of those I know is slammed full of dogs- overloaded with no more room, no foster homes and little funding. So the idea of transporting dogs to areas that can get them adopted is fabulous- and it COSTS MONEY! Very few locals are adopting- with the unemployment rate sky high in that area- a large percentage of those local people are the ones that have dropped their dogs at the shelter- so who is left locally to adopt? I really do not think that adopting dogs back out to people that have dumped their dogs is a very good idea- something tells me that is not going to work out well. I am SC born and raised and animals are my passion and will be part of my life long work- I want to see our state become better- and Marion Co- the staff- the volunteers-are doing just that. What has been accomplished at that tiny little shelter in just the last year is nothing short of amazing. I am hopeful that it will spread like wildfire througout our state and ultimately make all of our shelters better. It gives me hope that the situation here might not stay the way it is forever-I would welcome any of you “nasty posting” folks to come for a visit to our beautiful state- I would personally take you on a state wide shelter tour that would blow your doors off- you have NO idea until you are here- busting your ass for animals here in SC- what it is like- or how hard people are working to make changes. So please- unless you are willing to come here- do the work- make a difference- say something positive- I would hope that you might reconsider all of the nasting posting- I am willing to bet that one week here in a rural shelter- if you could make it that long- would make you ashamed of some of the things you have posted and you would wish you could take it back. SO…Either be part of the solution or be quiet..

    Reply
  43. mikken

     /  January 26, 2012

    Ok, new question then – why are you killing 30% of your intakes?

    Reply
  44. Deb Bellamy

     /  January 26, 2012

    I have to leave that question to someone actually with PTTR to answer and I doubt anyone is still up (I will be dieing myself in the morning). I do know that those who attack the workers and other dogs have been PTS since I was involved. This is for safety sake, remember we are in a tobacco barn with very limited room. Dogs for the most part have to be able to somewhat socialize as there are not enough cages for each to have their own – and remember when I say cage I mean 3 walls made out of cinder blocks with fencing on the 4th side…There are no outside runs attached to the cage.. Each and every dog has to be taken out by a worker to get any exercise. That is why right now we have 4 dogs who have been there for a very long time going cage crazy. Some may think there are loads of workers there but there aren’t, we are talking about a handful of people who 7 days a week, clean cages, feed dogs, give meds, give baths, wash towels, clean bowls, etc. They are there all day every day taking care of the dogs – they are the best around. And they make min wage and do this with a smile on the face.

    I know I’m not answering your question, as I don’t know all the figures. I just want to give you a feel for this shelter. We are trying really hard to become no kill, we discuss this all the time the campaign page which is why I’d really love it if you would join us there so you can see. One of our shelter dogs that was there for a very long time, Petey, is the spoksperson for the spray/neuter program that has been set up. After all the root of the problem comes from reproduction. We can send 15 dogs out on a Saturday morning and by Monday morning there are that many more that are brought in by AC or dropped by owners or tied to a fence overnite that we start all over again. Same day, different dog. I am so proud of what they do there, so many dogs are saved, Do you do transport Mikken??? Do you see our run sheets each week???

    Down to 30% in 3 1/2 yrs in this economy is really a huge step. Many people everywhere are turning in their dogs or putting them on Craigs List or dropping them on the side of the road because they can’t afford them anymore – this is everywhere not just Marion. There are always those dogs who come in that are so very aggressive, those that come in that are so sick that the vet says they can’t survive, those that have been hit by cars and left on the side of the road till a kind soul stops and brings them to the shelter when it’s too late. Although I am not there to deal with these situations, I do know first hand about choices, I adopted a dog from Robeson last May and had to make the decision in August to put him down. I used all my savings to try and help him, had the vet tell me that I could bring him home til I couldn’t take it anymore, and I stood there and looked at him and knew if I did that it would be for me and not for him. So I held him and loved him and let him go. It’s hard when you love them. And if you seen anyone from the shelter interact with the dogs you would know that we are doing the very very best at this time. Being No Kill means the kill rate is less than 10% – we are getting closer each week to meeting that.

    I was very ill earlier tonite when I learned of this blog and what was being said. Not only was it wrong but it took everyone who read it, whether a Marion volunteer, or a crossposter, or anyone who really works to save animals away from those very animals. I am guilty of it. Normally I would have continued trying to find someone to rescue Brody, but instead I plastered Rico everywhere real quick and neglected my continueing search for Brody’s angel. And I knew I was doing it, but at the same time I so dislike when an injustice is done when it comes to children and animals, that I just can’t stop myself from running my fingers. Again, I ask you to personally come to the Campaign’sFB page and watch what we do. You do that for 10 days and you will see exactly how hard we go after rescues for each of these dogs. Amd if you are also from Cola, please visit the shelter, spend a day there, see what goes on. As they say – the proof is in the puddin.

    Reply
  45. mikken

     /  January 26, 2012

    It seems to me that this shelter struggles with sub par facilities, but has good and decent people working their asses off to try and save the animals.

    Which is why the whole “ransom” message (and make no mistake, that’s how it comes across to someone who is seeing this for the first time) is so strange and off-putting. The the way it’s written (“this is a high kill shelter”, “these animals are not safe”, “most will not make it out of the shelter if we do not do this”) honestly does make it sound like animals are going to be put down if their bills aren’t paid NOW and I have to wonder how many donors you’ve burned out with this kind of tactic? I suspect it’s far more than you realize.

    It also sounds like you’re getting royally screwed by whomever is doing your vetting – is there any way to take your business elsewhere? Or find a mobile vet who can stop by regularly for s/n and health certs? Because a vet charging a shelter top dollar is unconscionable.

    Reply
    • Shimiah

       /  January 26, 2012

      Thank you for explaining how the phrasing can be misleading. It’s something I look at all the time and because I am so familiar with the shelter and it’s methods, top concerns, and the different communication styles of the different board members and volunteers, I don’t “see” it the way that others do, and having outside, fresh eyes and different perspectives certainly helps us to adjust/amend/re-iterate/edit, and overall IMPROVE.

      Regarding the vetting-as I mentioned in an above post (a lot to read to find it : ) )–there are only 2 vets in Mullins. The next nearest vets are over 30 minutes away. We don’t have a vehicle (or the means to maintain a vehicle), and have not yet been able to find reliable daytime (read vet-day) volunteers to drive dogs to alternative vets. The topic of a mobile vet did recently come up and we’ve started to explore that and two of the concerns raised about this are: The local vets employ local people. We are very cognizant that the overall lives of animals in the county are dependent on local business/revenue. So whenever possible/feasible, we do try to contract locally. Also, if we were to completely take away our business (as a means of protesting the rates they charge) — who would then care for the emergency animals? It is not uncommon for dogs to come in having been hit by cars, having been chained and abandoned and so emaciated they are unable to walk, dogs who have been used as fight or bait dogs with serious open wounds, etc. If we protest the fees by not using these accessible vets, are they then going to tell us to go elsewhere with an animal needing immediate care?

      In fairness to the vets–while the rates are higher than what other SC vets are charging rescues and shelters, they do try to accommodate us as much as possible–they will squeeze in an extra spay or neuter, and they do come out to the shelter on Friday’s for HC exams, rather than making us bring all the animals to them. It’s just that they charge accordingly–and frankly I can understand that-they too have to make a living.

      This is definitely one of the many issues we struggle with and continue to re-visit, and re-hash in an attempt to cover all bases.

      Reply
    • From what I understand, there are only two vets in the entire county! That should say something about just how poor this county is.

      I’ve adopted from MCAS and I help with crossposting. We personally paid $60.00 for the dog we adopted in the way of Chip-Ins. The rest was paid by other donors just wanting to save his life. We drove 3+ hours one way to pick him up on Dec 3rd, 2011. This also happened to be a “Work Weekend” at the shelter. What a GREAT group of volunteers they had on hand! We wish we could have stayed to help, but with 4 other dogs at home, we had to leave to get Dexter home to meet his new family.

      Please join our FB page and make a difference instead of just making noise. I do agree the “Doom and Gloom” marketing could be reworked, but I do not have the talent to do so.

      Reply
      • I know the county is poor. That’s why a $150 adoption fee seems way too steep to me. By excluding most of the local community from your adoption pool (because they can’t afford the fee), Paws to the Rescue is not only doing a disservice to the pets currently in the shelter but also to future pets. And since Paws to the Rescue is putting pets into the dumpster, certainly a reconsideration of the adoption fee seems in order to my mind.

        Thank you for adopting a shelter pet in need.

  46. The terms of release sound to many like ransom. The explanation that it’s not ransom and we will release Dog A if rescue steps up but that means Dogs B & C will suffer sounds even worse.

    I have no personal agenda here except that two readers asked me to look at this shelter, resulting in my two most recent posts on the place. I specifically withheld commenting in the interest of fairness. I have blogged on this shelter before it was taken over by this rescue and will continue to follow developments as i do with other SC shelters.

    In the interest of what I considered fairness to Paws to the Rescue at the time, I withheld certain information from the previous post (the one documenting the shelter’s failure to comply with the SC FOIA). After reading your personal attacks and due to the fact that you have blown up my blog comments in order to spread misinformation and hostility, my sense of fairness has been trampled.

    As such, I’d like to share that Marion Co stated it receives no records from Paws to the Rescue. Further, the county “has no idea how they (Paws to the Rescue) spend their money” which the county gives them. Even more troubling was the clarification I attempted to get on the whole issue of killing. Paws to the Rescue makes it seem as if killing is not under their control in any way and could happen at any time without their knowledge. In fact, the information I received from the county was that Paws to the Rescue not only makes up the kill list, but they also do the actual killing by contracting with a local vet. I tried to get confirmation on this but was unable to do so due to the extensive runaround and game playing. Therefore I chose to withhold both these pieces of information at the time but now hardly feel inclined to hold onto them any longer.

    I’m not a financial expert. If you require a financial expert to tell you that your fundraising tactics are deceiving and throwing pets in the dumpster is wrong, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

    The free for all is now over. Anyone attempting to post personal attacks, misinformation or general rants will be banned. The same goes for Facebook. I dislike banning people so please behave as you would when a guest anywhere on the internet. Spirited disagreement is fine, what has happened here is not. Please play by the same rules as all the other readers here. I’ve granted you a wide berth in getting your frustrations out but of course that isn’t going to go on forever.

    If Paws to the Rescue is truly interested in saving pets’ lives, I hope they will clean up their act, stop charging rescues over $100 in pull fees per pet, reconsider the $150 adoption fee when the local community only earns $30k/yr per household, publish their complete stats online each month, and put the proven programs of the No Kill Equation in place – none of which includes anything I’ve seen from Paws to the Rescue to date.

    Reply
  47. Kristin Kucsma

     /  January 26, 2012

    Thank you all for your feedback. I have modified the language under the Sponsorship album and will continue to modify the language in our documents this weekend once I am through with a long week at work.

    Once again, I would like to invite anyone that has questions, comments, etc. to come to me for full and accurate information by posting publicly on my Facebook page, sending me a PM or sending me an email at kucsmak@gmail.com. Sadly, I do not have time to play undercover, rescue-world private eye and keep an eye on posts whenever and wherever they pop up on blogs, other Facebook pages, in email distributions. That is why I have always encouraged people to come to me and I have always replied to them right away.

    I even gave you, Shirley, my phone number back in the fall but you never called me.

    Anyway, there is a lot of misinformation here and there is still a lot that we can do to improve things on our end so please keep the suggestions coming.

    I am going to leave this blog with just two (2) questions:

    1) for those of you who are local, why don’t you come to the shelter and help us implement the changes that you have suggested? I don’t mean visit the shelter once or twice and mean become a partner with us as we work against unimaginable odds to transform this shelter into a low- and, ultimately, no-kill facility. We could really use the help and we would welcome it immensely.

    2) What do you suggest we do when we get only $53,000 from the county but take in 3,000 dogs per year? How do YOU suggest we save them them if we do not raise money and we do not kill any of them? Would we like to save every one of them? Absolutely! Are some simply too sick to be saved. Sadly, yes :( But what about the rest …. would we like to save every pup, even the ones that have serious behavioral issues? Absolutely ! Can it be done responsibly when we receive $18 per pup? No. Can it be done at all when we receive $18 per pup? No. Is the model that we are striving to build “wacky” or unique? Not all. It is a model being pursued successfully by shelters throughout the country. Forming a partnership between a 501(c)(3) organization and a county shelter is becoming more and more common as it allows shelters with miserably low government budgets to legitimately and legally raise funds through a non-profit organization.

    I really cannot spend much more time on this blog because it has sadly taken away from obligations I have to our pups and to our rescues.

    I am deeply saddened that so much misinformation has been provided here. There are some very wonderful stories that a “journalist” could write about this shelter. There are fabulous before and after pictures; pictures of the recent “development” projects that a “photojournalist” could take. None of that was done here. Instead, the only “research” that was done was an attempt to get data from Jen that she simply does not have (and yes – we are working on improving that aspect of our operations as well); get data from the county when the county is wholly uninvolved with what goes on at the shelter and by reviewing a few (not nearly all) statements available on my Facebook page.

    PLEASE join us at our Capital Campaign page so that you get full and accurate information about the amazing work that we have done in a very short period of time.

    And please do not take my lack of response here as any indication of “guilt” or “not caring”. I simply cannot monitor all of the various pages on which the Marion County Shelter is discussed. That is why I provide full contact information for myself including phone numbers (cell AND work), addresses (home and work), etc. I have always been very public and open about what we do at Marion and, despite people’s decision to select “sound bytes” and to form their own conclusions rather than coming to me, I will continue to be very public and I will continue to work tirelessly for our little shelter that could. This is why all of the work I do for Marion is under my own name. I don’t hide behind a Facebook persona. I am Kristin Kucsma.

    The director of our shelter closes every one of her emails with the following:

    “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”

    We need help – we welcome help and we will never turn away anyone with questions, suggestions, etc. We will never become no-kill if we refuse to remain open-minded and if we refuse to acknowledge that we need to continue to improve our operations. Having said that, this nation will never become no-kill until we all learn to work together constructively, honestly and respectfully. I am available if you need me but I will no longer have time to keep up with this blog every minute.

    Reply
    • I stand by my posts and comments as containing accurate information and honest opinions.

      I don’t know that anyone here is in Marion Co except for those who have said they are already contributing to the shelter’s rescue efforts. As I understand it, you are not in Marion Co either Kristin.

      Fundraising is appropriate when done in a transparent manner without threats or misinformation about who is responsible for the killing of pets.

      I’m not a “journalist” – in quotes, as you wrote. Should I refer to you as a “rescuer”? The continued personal attacks undermine any interest I might have in calling you on the phone.

      The reaction from Paws to the Rescue and its supporters to the asking of a few simple questions has left a bad impression on me. Whereas I started out wanting to extend every possible benefit of the doubt to Paws to the Rescue, I am now uncomfortable with the group. I’m just one person but it’s possible there are others who feel as I do after this exchange. Perhaps this can serve as a learning opportunity for your group.

      Reply
      • Kristin Kucsma

         /  January 26, 2012

        As clearly stated in the RFP (a document that is publicly available and on file with the county), I am on the Board of Directors of Paws to the Rescue, the legally registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was granted a contract to manage the shelter.

        Once again, thank you all for the feedback. I have learned a lot here and will be making several changes this weekend that will hopefully clarify things. As always, I encourage anyone and everyone to email me or call me at anytime so that we can move forward and continue to incredible work that has taken place at this tiny shelter over the past twelve months.

        Mikken: we would love to have you join our group. You have some terrific ideas :)

      • Have you EVER been to this shelter? You’re just 2 hours away. Shouldn’t you have gone to see for yourself just what they are working with before starting this blog?

      • Alan R. Thomas has been banned for trolling. Please don’t engage this commenter further here.

  48. Lisa

     /  January 26, 2012

    I received a very nice email from Kristin Kucsma in response to my question, and I have asked for permission to share her answers here. Also, I was glad to read the reasoned responses by some of the posters above who tried to answer questions and concerns without swearing at us or attacking us personally. As a past (and perhaps future) donor to the shelter, I do want it to succeed in saving lives, and I applaud the hard work and dedication of volunteers and staff.

    But any public and/or donor-supported shelter or rescue needs to be completely transparent in their policies, practices and outcomes, or they are going to raise questions. The PTTR policies and the text of the posts in the Facebook albums gave me the distinct impression that dogs who had confirmed rescue were being held at the shelter (and hence had death threats hanging over their heads) until their Chip-ins filled up. It struck me as a “ransom” situation and made me reluctant to donate more (especially considering I usually only have about $15-$20 free to donate each month. I try to be careful.) In fact, the more I thought about it, the more shocking it seemed to me. I’ll come out of the closet as one of the people who emailed Shirley and asked her what she thought about the polices, because I had never seen any other shelter that did this. There was no vendetta or crusade involved, just a few honest questions about shelter practices.

    Anyway, if Kristin gives me permission, I will post her answers here later.

    Reply
  49. mikken

     /  January 26, 2012

    Kristin,

    No one said you couldn’t raise money. In fact, donations from the public of time, food, and funds can be your life’s blood. But the way you’ve been doing it is just…creepy. The threatening of animals’ lives if this dog doesn’t get this much in his chip in is really, really off putting and makes the whole thing sound viciously mercenary. Fund raising should be a positive thing that gets the public happy to be involved with your group, proud of the work being done, and seeing you as an asset to the community. The method you’re using will hold a passionate few and run off the vast majority.

    If you have a special case – a dog hit by car or whatever where the funds need to be raised quickly for medical treatment, start a chip in! Photos of the dog, the vet’s report, etc. But a chip in for every, single dog is too overwhelming.

    Puppy season coming? Have bake sales for puppies. Set up change cups at gas stations and local small businesses. Encourage local businesses to be shelter sponsors – plaster their names all over your media as “friends of the puppies” or whatever and have your members patronize them and let them know that they’re there because of their support of the shelter. Raffles. My local SPCA has an annual “barn sale” where people donate items and they sell them all at pure profit, raising many thousands of dollars at a time. It got so big, they had to leave the barn and move to the fairgrounds (and, of course, they’d have animals there for adoption, too!). See if the local paper will donate space to advertise your shelter and your animals. Mine does a few times a week and it costs the shelter nothing.

    You’ve got a lot of creative, passionate people there – have them brainstorm fundraising ideas! Make it fun, make it effective.

    And you’re telling us that if the public came and adopted every single pet you’ve got right now for $150 each, you’d be in the red? That tells me that you’re getting screwed on costs and that needs to be addressed immediately.

    Reply
    • mikken

       /  January 26, 2012

      And grants – have you applied for any grants? You might be able to cover all your s/n or something with the right grant…

      Reply
    • Deb Bellamy

       /  January 26, 2012

      G’morning mikken….You have a great many ideas for fundraising and I do wish that you were actually a member of our Campaign page so that you would be aware of the fundraising. You would know that we do have raffles, one ended right before Christmas and another starts next week – really great things, did you know that? Donation jars were put out at local businesses and they were stolen – even from the vets, nice huh??? Perhaps you are not actually familiar with Marion Cty – there are no large stores that will support the shelter with donations. Well, there is a Walmart in Mullins, but other than permitting fundraisers out front they offer no support. Mom and pop stores are fighting to keep their head above water and even if they could be talked into it do not have any way to assist. The local paper is a weekly paper that does not donate space, we have to depend on news media from neighboring Florence and Myrtle Beach for any coverage we get.

      I think one problem is that some of you that are posting here are not in any way familiar with the area. We cannot simply say we will not kill any more animals when there are subject to be 30 – 50 more come in each week ( then consider that in the spring you may get 10 litters of pups in one day). We cannot stop raising funds when the only funds coming in amount to $18 per dog – and remember that doesn’t not include any of the cats or other farm animals that come in. When you are dealing with a community that has been raised for generations believing that animals are disposable, that if they are no longer wanted you can just drop them on the side of the road or quit feeding them, there is a hard uphill battle to educate the community that they are not an item that can be thrown away at will. Locals do not adopt, dogs are running free down the country roads, their buddies dog has puppies and give them away. Where you live, how many hunters drop their hunting dogs off at the shelter at the end of each hunting season because they don’t want the cost to feed them. People here do not understand that a dog will get HW – they don’t use preventative – they don’t take them to the vet at all. Look in our albums, the urgents, sponsorship, and safe albums and you tell me how many of them are HW+. Education is the answer on these fronts and something the shelter has been working on but it does not happen overnite.

      It’s easy to have solutions to the Marion problems when one is not familiar with the problems or community. So I would like to turn this around and ask that you and those who tell us not to ask for money to keep the dogs alive to devise a budget, based on $53K a year that will keep all dogs, cats, and farm animals fed, healthy, excercised, and not reproducing indefintely. Remember when devising this that the county pays nothing extra, You will have to decide how many employees you will need to care for 100 dogs per day plus the other animals. How you will pay utility bills, How you will make repairs and improvements on a barn that at its best should have less than 50 animals and thats doubling up in a small cage. And that is just the basics.

      Also, recruit new vets that will give discounts to the shelter. There are currently two in the county. If you go out of the county for vetting, you need to have a plan on who will take each dog, how they will get them there, and how you wil pay for it.

      Then devise a plan on how to find the rescues that are also broke and begging for funds and fosters, to take our dogs who now have no vetting, are HW+, un-neutered/un-spayed. As it is we have dogs that are healthy, vetted, well adjusted, happy pups that no one wants. There are dogs like Brody that are handicapped, that no one wants. And yet people here are saying don’t PTS, keep them forever, stretch out that $18 you get from the county per dog to care for them until someone comes along and says they will take them and if it’s never than keep them until they die a natural death – don’t ask for money unless its a specific case of immediate vetting is needed.

      These things are discussed all the time, we are not unaware bumpkins. We just realize that to save these dogs we need to get their faces out there, we need to raise money.

      I for one am proud to be part of the team of volunteers who try to find homes and rescues for our dogs and raise funds to get them there. I am part of it and see first hand the changes that come all the time. When you have shelters not too far away that are gassing animals weekly, have animals sitting in pools of excrement, lying in a cage waiting for medical attention that never comes, and have deputies using dogs for target practice, I would say we are doing pretty darn good!!! So I will continue to ask for money, put our dogs out there in hopes someone will fall in love, and do my best to be part of the solution. Those who don’t like it, well so be it.

      Reply
  50. Deb Bellamy has been banned for trolling. Please don’t engage in further discussion with this poster here.

    Reply
    • wendy henry

       /  January 26, 2012

      Let me first say that I am a supporter of the shelter only and not a member of the rescue or shelter staff.With that being said -trying to keep a civil tongue in this discussion is becoming a chore. Your lack of comprehension and lack of any background on the subject of the Marion County shelter is your own responsibility.Making flipppant statements and accusations that can be damaging to the efforts of the rescue under the guise that you are simply asking questions is now blatantly transparent.
      You are banning a person with first hand knowledge of the area and shelter for “trolling” and yet you claim to be seeking information?
      To play a part in any irresponsible or “shady” group that uses animals for personal gain is akin to a moral sin for me -to solicit friends ,families and business associates to donate on my request is a matter of personal character , which I value more than gold. I thank you for your “investigative” measures – and please don’t take this personally, but I have spent more time and energy in the past year “investigating” Marion County Animal Shelter.They have consistently proven themselves to be legitimate and authentic.

      Reply
  51. Lisa

     /  January 26, 2012

    Kristin gave me permission to post the answers to my emailed questions, so I’m pasting them below, verbatim (I’ll reserve my own comments and opinions for now). She also sent me two documents about PPTR to read, which I have shared publicly on googledocs:

    https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_VI0BkMeaRqMDA1NDY5ZGUtNWFjZC00MWVmLThkZjEtNjBkN2QzODAwYjA2

    https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B_VI0BkMeaRqODM3ZjVhZDgtNmQwYS00NjUyLWFhZGQtNDlmODRjNDdjNTk5

    Q: Why do you hold dogs who have a confirmed rescue when, as I read so often on all the posts, they are not safe in the shelter and could be killed at any time?

    A: We do not do that and I take full responsibility for giving the impression that we do. What we typically do is move the pups into the sponsorship album immediately once a rescue comes forward. Most pups are not able to get out of the shelter at that time because they cannot leave the shelter until they are vetted and that takes some time because we do not have a very rescue friendly vet. He does spay/neuters just one day a week (sometimes two if we beg) and he comes to the shelter one day a week to provide health certificates. If a pup does not pass his/her health certificate and that pup’s rescue is from out of state, the pup must stay in the shelter for another week – at least. No pup has ever been held back because his/her chip in has not been filled. I apologize for the confusion but there have been many times (for example, the “M” puppies right now) that pups have been sent to rescue even though their chip ins are not full. In fact, we were almost $1,000 in the hole right after Hurricane Irene hit because we put a substantial number of dogs and puppies on transport to the midwest even though we had raised hardly any money to pay for the paid transport that we had to use because of the fact that the pups had to get out the shelter immediately before the hurricane hit.

    Q: If they can get out to safety, why do they have to stay until their “bills” are paid? This seems a little contrary to the desire to go “no-kill,” which really hinges on getting the dogs out alive. And yes, I understand that it costs money to vet and feed the dogs–that’s true at all shelters and rescues, no less so at the places that have succeeded in attaining “no-kill” outcomes than at high-kill facilities.

    A: One thing that is regularly overlooked when people talk about no-kill facilities (and I have a good friend who runs one) is that people forget (or not aware of the fact) that most no-kill facilities have a limit on the number of dogs that they take. They do not continuously take dogs unless they are able to adopt others out. We do not have that luxury. We must take every single solitary animal (dogs, cats, rabbits, pigs, etc.) in Marion County that does not have a home. We have to take the most “unadoptable” pups right alongside the cute ones and that makes it an extraordinary challenge to become no-kill. Despite that, we are doing an amazing job keeping our precious pups safe and keeping the kill rate way down.

    Q (Actually, more like comments than questions): (In fact, even more so because, as you know, it’s easier to stay under budget if you kill most of your dogs). But how does hanging onto the dog even longer cost you less money? If anything, it’s costing you more because you have to feed it and staff time is required to care for it, plus it is taking up space that could be used to house an incoming dog. As far as I know, not a single “no-kill” shelter hangs onto an animal any longer than necessary if that animal has a rescue. In fact, your policy of keeping dogs until you collect their “bills” appears to be completely unique. I don’t know of any shelter anywhere that does it.

    (And honestly, it strikes me as rather unsustainable and a rather quick road to donor fatigue, once it becomes obvious to the donor that the money she is giving is not resulting in any lasting change and the sad stories and urgent appeals just keep coming and coming and coming … and the shelter she hoped to help go no-kill is starting to seem even killier than ever. But I digress …)

    A: I agree with your last point but … we all must remember this (and this is the economist in me speaking now – lol). We have TWO goals here. One is short-term and one is long-term. Our long-term goal is to build a new facility; develop a broader system of fosters; form partnerships with rescues and obtain grant money. This is all doable – very doable – but it takes TIME. In the meantime, the pups keep coming in which means our short-term goal must be to keep them moving. I have been involved in charitable work all my life and for me the question is quite simple: If I am giving you money to help with the day-to-day operations, will I also see evidence of long-run change or at least evidence that you are diligently working toward that change? As long as the answer to that question is yes, I will continue to provide you with “short-term” funds. I can tell you that while we have been using donor money from you and many others to save pups on a weekly basis, we have also initiated a low-cost spay / neuter program for the residents of Marion County; we have fenced in some of the property and devoted that area to what we lovingly call our enrichment center (an area where we can improve the mental and physical health of our pups by giving them a place to run and play – with other pups and with people); we have paved some of the outside runs in anticipation of puppy season so that we will have additional space that can be aptly sanitized so we can save more puppies (unlike many other southern shelters, we have not had an incidence of parvo in several years – we have had no incidence of distemper for an even longer period of time, and so on. The point is that our approach to saving the Marion pups involves both short- and long-term planning.

    Reply
  52. Lee King

     /  January 27, 2012

    Yes Biscuit/ aka Shirley,,why dont you reveal your true name? Until you have come to this shelter on a work weekend and cleaned crate after crate after crate of dog feces to only put the pup back in the crate to mess it up again you will never ever know what RESCUE work involves. how DARE YOU criticize this old dilapidated tobacco barn that has gone from over 95% KILL RATE to less than 23% in 12 months. Most of the pups that are euthanized are terminally ill, horrible trauma cases, end stage heart disease which results in congestive heart failure and often times very aggressive behaviors both dog and human. Thats it. I dont recall euthanizing any healthy adoptable animals in the last six months. Our form of euthanasia is lethal injection. Our Director even takes it a step further as she holds them and tranquilizes them prior to the IV injection starting. Not that is acceptable anywhere, WE ARE NOT A GASSING OR A HEARTSTICK FACILITY! You do not hear torturous screams from the animals for half an hours while they are being KILLED!. HOW DARE you write a BLOG on this shelter without your facts straight. If I didnt know better I would say this is a witch hunt. Who do you have the personal vendetta with? Why hide behind a blog? Make yourself public and quit behaving like a coward. This shelter has done such an incredible job in spite of “haters” like you! Come in to the 21st century and realize that it takes LOTS Of MONEY to run a shelter and a rescue….Do you know what it cost to feed over a 100 dogs twice a day? Do you know what it cost to worm, vaccincate for parvo, distemper, flu, bordetella, adeno virus, to treat with antibiotics for pneumonia, kennel cough. We dont send out sick dogs Shirley,,,,,,Because it costs more money to treat a sicker dog than to vaccinate to prevent. Sure we could give the dogs for 25.00 to rescues, no spay/neuter, no vaccinations, no nothing, but you know what happens if ONE PERSON doesnt take that female in to be spayed,,,,,,,,,,,,,30,000 more pups on this earth in 5 years because we didnt do our share to prevent PET OVER POPULATION! Where will those pups end back up? Well right back at a Marion Shelter. We have made the best out of what we have and what I find is so disturbing that you are such a dark individual to actually make a blog out of this. Almost like someone with OCD completely obsessing over this. For the record, we do not HOLD DOGS…It may take us a while for a rescue to step up and if you knew anything about rescue you would know that black dogs, brindle dogs and pits are a dime a dozen and every other shelter in the south has the same inventory trying to move them out……….You can ban me, block me, curse me or whatever you want but I have given almost every red cent of my day job to save dogs from this shelter. I have paid for surgeries, gas for transporters, medicines for the pups, and anything in my scope that I could do to save another animal from dying a needless death. You should be ASHAMED of YOURSELF SHIRLEY, AKA YES/Biscuit. The other volunteers have been most gracious to you but I dont sugar coat anything and I am not going to listen to another absurd minute of your trash. So make sure your facts are correct especially on an electronic medium,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Have a wonderful evening! Maybe you could volunteer at a shelter this weekend near you instead of wasting time behind your computer screen……Lee King

    Reply
  53. Viki Singleton

     /  January 27, 2012

    So basically – anyone who speaks in support of this shelter gets banned??? That makes me wonder what you are trying to accomplish?? As we have all said – come to a work weekend at the shelter – help us work at the shelter – help us save lives.

    Reply
    • No – anyone who speaks in a trollish manner gets banned. Supporting one’s shelter does not equate with personal attacks, baiting, etc. I won’t be coming to work with you people. You can quit saying that now.

      Reply
      • Viki Singleton

         /  January 27, 2012

        “You people?” Well – you have shown your colors…

      • I was going to say the same about the folks who have posted here with personal attacks and such.

        But allow me to rephrase – I will not be coming to work with you people who have insulted and harassed me. Clear enough?

  54. Kristin Kucsma

     /  January 27, 2012

    The number of dogs in our beloved shelter has tripled in one week. We have twice the number of pups for which we have the capacity. We do not have time to deal with this any longer. Any questions regarding the Marion County Animal Shelter, Paws to the Rescue, its operations, policies, procedures, etc. should be directed to me by posting on my Facebook page; sending me a PM; sending me an email (kucsmak@gmail.com) or calling me at 201-602-6815. We have done amazing work and beaten astonishing odds with very little support from the county, in a community where people are unable to help even if they wanted to. This county has been losing jobs and population steadily since 1995. Per capita median income is between $15,000 and $16,000 per year. The unemployment rate is in excess of 20%. We took on this challenge because this is a shelter and, more importantly, these are beautiful creatures who need us.

    I cannot stop anyone from asking questions (I just wish people came to ME with the questions); in fact, I love and welcome questions. I have no way of knowing where the “problems” are or what needs work if it is not brought to my attention. Whether personally or professionally, we can always improve and grow and learn from our experiences. Having people question us forces us to reevaluate things and improve upon existing practices.

    What I cannot do, though, is waste time replying over and over again on random sites. It saddens me deeply that I have a shelter full of dogs – beautiful dogs – who deserve a second chance at life – who were lucky enough to end up in a shelter with a director who does anything and everything she can to SAVE lives – and instead of saving these lives, I have to waste time “finding” these random posts because people will not take advantage of the numerous methods of contact I have provided.

    I am very publicly visible and always (without exception) ready, willing and able to answer any questions you may have about our shelter.

    Reply
    • Kristin –

      You have said several times you can not keep commenting here. No need to repeat.

      Keep in mind that some people may have already approached you with questions and been unable to get the answers they sought (such as myself) or may simply choose not to approach you. No need to repeat your wishes that people approach you. You’ve stated it numerous times. Readers here are capable of making up their own minds and acting accordingly.

      Reply
  55. Jacqueline Stoner

     /  January 27, 2012

    I certainly have made up my mind. I have no respect for someone who goes after hard working volunteers and self sacrificing employees of one of the poorest shelters in the country. Go ahead, ban me as you are not worth listening to, young ‘lady’.

    Reply
  56. This thread is now closed unless a previously approved commenter has something new to add to the discussion. “New” means something that hasn’t already been stated.

    There doesn’t seem to be anything of value here and I don’t blog simply for the thrill of being spat upon. No new commenters will be approved for this thread as it is now closed.

    Reply
  57. Gee, get busy for a few days, come back, and Wowza! Busy day at the blog.

    Shirley whateveryournameis, (isn’t it listed on the *about me* page?!) thanks heaps for hosting the party.

    One last comment: the *guest comments* from supporters of the tobacco shed sure sound a lot like the generic commenters on various other public sites. (Like newspapers and such.) I’ve been spoiled by the readership of blogs like PetConnection and the like.

    Could you maybe, in a year or so, post another blog post about the Marion County shelter? I mean, I already have enough facebook friends and I’m a scatter brain, so I don’t want to try to remember to keep myself posted. But it seems to me, that spot-checking thing is right up your alley. Or will a reader keep us all informed?!

    Reply
    • Shh! You will blow my cover. I think my brilliant plan to hide my identity by posting my full name on a page called ABOUT ME has been working really well.

      No doubt I will follow up on the Marion Co shelter in future.

      Reply
  58. I have rescued 6 dogs out of different shelters , they all different on price , one i transported my self and hd no adoption fee , still cost me money for vetting , spay i got christmas special 10$!!!! and christmas package all shots , worme hw test , 30$ so 40$ total . four others i got from whiteville nc? total was after pull ,vet, baording , transport 550$ !!!!!!!!!! each of the four , and this is when none are sick!! last one from rutherfordton. and he was about 220$ after everything . so where do you all get off thinking 250$ to 300$ a dog that bad????? other shelters have like i did you run your own chip ins and jpeople give , well this way kristin stopped all those out there trying to cheat people out of funds saying they were going to get this pup or that pup from them but never even sent a email to rescue or adopt . and us that have posted for this place for a long time (me for one seen one individual make off with about 1,ooo$ saying they were taking a litter ! this way kristin runs the chip ins , it all acounted for and she puts out the statement with each donation so we can see , we know her love animals and trust her. so back off ! you people are stupid!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  59. mikken

     /  January 29, 2012

    I have a question about return to owner pets – do the owners pay the full adoption fee or is there just a “care and board” fee to reclaim their pets?

    Reply

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