Macomb Co is a suburb of Detroit where about 10% of the population lives below the poverty level. The Macomb Co Animal Shelter in MI has 5 dogs and 6 cats listed on its website – none have photos. They sell dogs for $162 (if they have to neuter) and cats for $94 (if they have to neuter). The shelter’s mission statement reads, in part:
The Animal Shelter has adopted a no-kill philosophy, and will make every effort to promote pet adoptions of healthy, non-aggressive animals by the general public and by approved animal rescue organizations.
I was skeptical after reading that for several reasons. Listing so few animals online and posting no photos at all hardly seems like they are making “every effort to promote pet adoptions”. The high adoption fees are prohibitive to saving lives. There are no stats posted on the website to verify they are saving at least 90% of their animals. Then there’s this report which indicates Macomb Co saved only 27% of its animals in 2010. In 2011, the shelter took in 7337 dogs and cats, killing 5027 of them (a kill rate of approximately 69% for dogs and cats). And the Detroit Free Press reports that things aren’t getting better for cats:
The shelter’s feline euthanasia rate, as reported to the state, has jumped in two years, from 54% for kittens and cats in 2010 to 83% in 2011[.]
So definitely not no kill. Not no way, not no how.
Just as disturbing as the needless killing is the account from a rescuer of how 4 newborn kittens suffered due to negligence on the part of the shelter staff last week. A near term pregnant cat was housed in the same cage with another cat when she gave birth to 4 kittens last Monday. The shelter staff then removed one of the adult cats. The neonate kittens suffered and died because the cat they were left with was not the mama cat. As usual, a local politician has an expluhnashun:
[Assistant County Executive Al] Lorenzo said shelter staff believed they had left the kittens with the right adult, as staffers witnessed the cat cleaning the kittens. He said he was told that the kittens likely died because the mother was stressed.
Oh. Right. After giving birth, the shelter staff took the mama cat away from her babies, leaving them to starve to death. That probably stressed her out. And the NotMama cat tried to help out by licking the kittens so of course any trained animal professional is going to assume that’s the cat who is full of milk and keeping these babies alive, right? Yeah but oops. Anyhoo, it’s all good. No kill and stuff.
There is a petition for the removal of the shelter director here.