A quick check of the Petfinder listings for the Lowndes Co pound in Valdosta, GA tells me the place is not serious about finding homes for pets. Hardly any photos or personal information is included with the listings – two criteria essential for getting pets adopted. Minimal marketing efforts could turn the Petfinder listings into a lifesaving tool but no one at the facility is apparently interested. The pound’s numbers make it plain as day:
In 2012, the Lowndes County Animal Shelter received 5,870 animals. Of this number, 1,433 were adopted or rescued, 386 were reclaimed and 4,031 were euthanized.
That’s a 69% kill rate for 2012. And the Valdosta Daily Times reports that this month is off to a horrifying start:
Since June 1 of this year, meaning in the last 11 days, more than 260 animals have been brought into the Lowndes County Animal Shelter. Of the 260, 167 have had to be euthanized.
This is not a shelter. The primary function of the Lowndes Co facility is pet killing. And county officials are in full blame-the-public mode:
Paige Dukes, Lowndes County clerk and public information officer, said, “The over-population of animals in Lowndes County is not an animal problem, it is a people problem. […] It is a problem that can be fixed with one simple solution, the spaying or neutering of pets.”
Low/no cost spay neuter is one of the eleven core programs of the No Kill Equation. But to state that spay/neuter is the one and only “simple solution” that would end the killing of shelter pets is not only false, it’s objectionable. The county is blaming the public for the killing at a taxpayer funded facility where employees are failing to do their jobs to shelter animals.
There is a “Friends” group for the Lowndes Co pound and the best I can say about that is – second verse, same as the first. What the community pets of Lowndes Co really need is a voice. Advocates who engage the public instead of blaming, who demand that the shelter actually shelters animals in need and who won’t give up on shelter reform until every dog and cat in Lowndes Co is respected as having the right to live.
(Thank you Clarice for the links.)