Pets Still Being Needlessly Killed at Orange Co Pound

The Orange Co Register apparently likes to get readers’ hopes up and then cut them down.  The title of the CA paper’s most recent piece on the local pound is “More pets survived at O.C. shelter in 2012“. Yay.  But if you read past the first few sentences, you get to the sad truth of the matter:

The 54 percent overall death rate was pretty much the same as 2011.

Not yay.

The director of the pound, Ryan Drabek, told the paper via e-mail that in 2012 “1,868 stray animals total came into our shelter with some form of identification (license, microchip, ID tag, etc.).”  The Register crunches the numbers:

Of animals that came into the shelter with some sort of identification last year, 61 percent were returned to their owners and 13 percent were euthanized.

Let’s be clear on the overall numbers.  The Orange Co pound took in 29,723 animals in 2012 and returned 3346 of them to their owners.  That is a RTO rate of 11%.  Of the 1868 pets who were impounded with identification, the pound killed 243 or 13% of them.  That’s 243 pets with tags and/or microchips, thrown into the dumpster by the people paid to shelter them.

Not yay.

And if you make it to the end of the article, there’s this horrifying tidbit:

Feral cats and kittens younger than 6 weeks old accounted for 70 percent of the total cats euthanized at the shelter in 2012, Drabek said.

Feral cats and kittens younger than 6 weeks old have the right to live.  Being feral is no more a medically hopeless condition than is being newborn.  If these basic truths are not self-evident to you as an animal shelter director, there is cause for concern.

The ASPCA is reportedly giving the pound $20,000 to start doing TNR for feral cats since trap-and-kill “has done little to decrease the number of wild felines in Orange County.”  I hope the pound stops killing ferals but I’m concerned that the director does not seem to know it’s wrong to kill healthy/treatable cats.  Further, since no one is giving them $20,000 to stop killing neonate kittens, I assume that slaughter will continue in 2013, which is tragic.

(Thank you Clarice for the link.)

7 thoughts on “Pets Still Being Needlessly Killed at Orange Co Pound

  1. Not to mention that the definition of “feral” is probably “didn’t have a tag and/or hissed at someone”.

      1. One of my beloved pets came to our local shelter in a trap – this was before i was banned from helping there due to “bad questioning behaviour” – sorry, i degres,. but anyway, the humane officer who trapped her and brought her in, warned me that this was a feral and dangerous cat – to use caution with her etc. Yep, she greets me daily by jumping on my shoulders and wrapping herself around me like a scarf with a loud purr.

    1. you got it. people who do not understand cat behaviour, do not know how to properly identify what behaviour means. i remember a few years ago the state animal rights group dedicated a good portion of their yearly training to cats. Attendence was lowest ever, due to the feeling on the part of animal control people that they did not need to learn about cat behaviour. so sad,. but shows the attitude of people toward learning more about cats.

  2. What gets me is the most helpless and vulnerable – neonate kittens are KILLED!! what???? Thus is being born a hopeless condition? these little ones need a chance. I know that takes work… you know take cute kitten pictures, do a news article and make posters asking for foster care help. yep, I know, you probably would have to teach some of the responders what to do, and that takes time. and buying all that milk substitute takes money and hey, you can’t take money from the “blue goo” fund….(sigh) BUT we want the same things – all of us – no one likes killing!! Blue goo cupcakes anyone?

    1. And they want it both ways – they kill neonates for being unable to survive on their own and ferals, with a proven track record of surviving on their own. I guess “mildly dependent” is the criteria for survival in a shelter?

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