How Would Your Pet Fare If Impounded by Putnam County Animal Services?

The sheriff’s office runs the pound in Putnam Co, Florida. The website states “the shelter is on N Highway 17, at the landfill.”

I reached out to the sheriff’s office for comment after seeing this photo posted on Facebook:

Photo posted on  Facebook of a sign at the Putnam Co pound in Florida
Photo posted on
Facebook of a sign purportedly displayed at the Putnam Co pound in Florida

I haven’t yet received a response from the sheriff’s office but if I do, I will update this post.

In researching this facility, I found… enablers!

Facebook posting in which a member of the public advocates for the lives of pets at the Putnam Co pound and gets swatted down by their "Friends".
Facebook posting in which a member of the public advocates for the lives of pets at the Putnam Co pound and gets swatted down by their “Friends”.

We so often hear from killing apologists that “Nobody wants to kill animals.” Since it is impossible to accurately assess temperament in ANY dog or cat upon impound at a shelter, the sign at top is instructing pound employees to ignore standard protocols, pretend to assess all animals upon impound and then, based upon the false assessment, kill all “feral” and “aggressive” animals whom the state does not mandate be held. And their “Friends” blame the public for the killing – the very people they demand rescue, donate and adopt from the shelter.

These people want to kill animals.  Or to put it more accurately, these people really want to kill animals.

How would you expect your pet(s) to score in an assessment administered immediately upon impound at a pet killing facility by people who want to kill animals?  I imagine most of mine would fail.  In which case I’d be relying on the state of Florida statute requiring a mandatory stray holding period to save their lives.  Assuming someone didn’t trap and falsely “owner surrender” my lost pet or that no one at Putnam Co put an X in the wrong box somewhere or DOT DOT DOT.  Gee, it seems like evaluation and killing upon impound is not the swell idea it’s made out to be.  I don’t suppose anyone in Putnam Co would be interested in scrapping that plan in favor of doing their jobs to shelter animals?

(Thanks Bonnie for the link to this photo.)

30 thoughts on “How Would Your Pet Fare If Impounded by Putnam County Animal Services?

  1. I am in no way a shelter apologist, but at some point, people need to realize the root of the problem, nationally, is irresponsible pet ownership. Period. We are killing upwards of 10,000 healthy, adoptable animals every single day in shelters across the US, while more litters are coming in. It seems to me the solution is very simply. Mandated S/N until the problem is manageable. Essentially, all we are doing right now, is shifting animals around like pieces of a chess game, hoping to save their lives…and they are still dying. Why haven’t people put two and two together? Until S/N is the forefront of the mission, there really is nothing to discuss. Killing will continue happening and it will not stop, which is disturbing and upsetting. I am fully aware of the components of the NKE, and there are a few aspects I don’t agree with for this very reason. Number 1: No mandated S/N. That should be common sense, given the current crises we’re facing as a nation, in regards to the number of animals being killed in shelters. Number 2: The math for the pet to person ratio is seriously flawed. The number for determining pet overpopulation are taken from a general census bureau. People who are in nursing homes, incarcerated, living in restricted housing areas, already have several animals, cannot afford to adopt, have severe allergies, are children who are not old enough to adopt, and service men/women are not subtracted from this equation. I see a problem and I see a very clear cut solution. I’m not sure why we’re dancing around the issue, making things more complicated than they must be.

    1. Nicole, Everything you’ve said is wrong. Not only is it my opinion that it’s wrong, but the hundreds of communities following the NKE and saving more than 90% of their animals prove you are wrong. There are places online to spew misinformation and bash the NKE – this is not one of them. May I suggest any number of “Friends of the Local Pet Killing Facility” pages on Facebook, perhaps?

      1. Shirley,
        I too, was on the No Kill bandwagon a year ago. In fact, I was in direct communication with Nathan Winograd. I started digging deeper, and while I agree with the general philosophy of becoming a no kill nation, the way it is set up is not the way to do it. Again, we are still killing millions of shelter pets per year. All the no kill movements in the world aren’t going to help if S/N isn’t being enforced, which is the reality of the situation. People are not being help accountable. Yes, the math is flawed in regards to pet overpopulation. As previously stated, I am in no way, a shelter apologist. I am however, a realist. This is the reality of the situation we are facing. Are you aware of what Kentucky citizens are up against in terms of the law, or should I say, lack thereof? Are you aware of the demographic in KY in terms of education and money? Yes, I know you’re going to say money is not a factor, and give me a slew of poor communities who attained NK/LK for short amounts of time. Can you give me a plan for turning KY around? Caring staff and volunteers aren’t going to do it when there are no laws. This is a good ole boy’s system. We are trying to pass legislation to strengthen laws, but it won’t change what’s happening within our shelters. Are you familiar with the shelter standards for Kentucky? How would you implement low cost s/n for all of KY, not just the large cities? How would you provide funding for TNR programs? I would love to hear your thoughts regarding these points, addressed.

      2. My plan for turning KY around involves political action on the part of animal advocates pushing for implementation of the NKE – which you have already stated you don’t believe in. I know of no other proven set of programs that have transformed a community from killing to no kill so I can’t recommend something I don’t know about.

        Here is a classic post from KC Dog Blog which I have referred to many times over the years and it seems appropriate here again:

      3. Shirley, Are you familiar with the current bill that is being worked on in KY? Again, none of my questions were answered. Could you be so kind as to answer them? How do you plan to implement legislation, in a state where there is none, in regards to animal welfare-specifically shelter standards? Especially as an outsider? Do you know where KY ranks in regards to APLs? Do you know where they rank, in comparison to the nation, in terms of income? Do you know where they rank, in comparison to the nation, in terms of education? Can you give me a plan for turning KY around? Caring staff and volunteers arent going to do it when there are no laws. This is a good ole boys system. We are trying to pass legislation to strengthen laws, but it wont change whats happening within our shelters. Are you familiar with the shelter standards for Kentucky? How would you implement low cost s/n for all of KY, not just the large cities? How would you provide funding for TNR programs? I would love to hear your thoughts regarding these points, addressed. Pushing for change-demanding it from CJEs is not going to get the job done. In fact, it has been proven over several years, that it doesn’t work…it does the opposite. Shelters have closed their doors and will not reopen them. ACOs are shooting dogs and cats. Again, this is the reality of what we are facing. So…do you have a definitive plan? I don’t want a general outline of regurgitated NKE information. I want your plan.

        Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2013 23:35:59 +0000 To:

      4. Nicole,

        You are not the first person to come to this blog empty handed, demanding *I* provide you with all the answers to fix your local shelter(s). My answer is this: you fix it. You come up with ways to solve your own problems. Do not look to me (or anyone else) to fix it for you. I can’t. If I could, I would have done so years ago. What I can do for you is this: Offer support if you are committed to shelter reform and suggestions for how and where you can obtain the tools you need to solve your own problems. To that end, start here:

        No need to reinvent the wheel, follow the model set forth by other communities who have moved from killing to saving shelter animals. Look at what they did and customize the plan to fit your own community. (Hint: none of them demanded a blogger from SC design a plan for them.)

      5. Shirley, Thank you for regurgitating NK information, I specifically asked you not to do. Information I am very familiar with. Are you familiar with the NK shelters in KY and how they are doing? You may want to look into that, as well. (Hint: Perhaps you should do your KY research before blindly handing out a program that does have several flaws.) The reality is, you have no answers. I have been following your blog for over a year. You put so much research into your posts, to assure they are accurate, and your readers are well informed with the facts. I find it ironic, that you are not willing to do the same when a problem is presented to you on a silver platter. Interesting. Thank you anyway, Shirley.

        Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2013 00:20:59 +0000 To:

      6. One more thing…they didn’t demand someone from SC design a plan for them? They did however, demand a plan, designed from a man living in the NE region of the US…to which you respond by handing out this regurgitated information like a Johova’s Witness with a pocket full of pamphlets.

        Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2013 00:20:59 +0000 To:

    2. I think your reservations about the population statistics are conceptually flawed, and also, you appear to be looking at the issues involved as intractable, rather than potentially addressed through decreasing unnecessary restrictions, increasing available housing, and providing support services. Like through the shelter system, if they’d get their heads untucked.

      But look: just in my personal experience alone, I know poor people who have pets, and many people with allergies – among them severe allergies – who keep pets, including sometimes the species to whom they’re allergic. I’ve visited nursing, board & care and assisted living facilities which accept pets (and no, none of these are high-end places), almost everyone I know has pets and it doesn’t prevent them from considering adoption when they’re thinking of bringing home another, which generally happens every few years. I’ve known people in military service who had pets and while it could be problematic, that too is an issue that can be addressed by other means – like, say, having shelters step up to the plate to help network for fosters during deployment rather than kill them, that would be nice.

      Then too, you might not be aware, but there are programs operating now in some prisons here in California and other western states – and probably elsewhere that I don’t know about – where prisoners work with homeless cats, dogs, and horses. I’ve heard very good things about these programs too. I’ve also heard that some prisons have in-house pets. So, don’t write off prisons.

      Come to think on it, I don’t know of a single demographic category within my orbit with no pets whatsoever.

    3. Nicole, mandated s/n has been proven to *increase* shelter killing – how is that a good thing? It’s unenforceable in any balanced and meaningful way.

      You know what works? Making low cost/free s/n options available and accessible. Most people will do the right thing if the option is there for them.

      1. Clearly, you have not done your research on KY. We do have low cost s/n options available. It isn’t stopping the killing. Neither are the NK shelters we have in our state.

      2. Nicole, Trolling is not allowed here. One time warning to knock it off. You’ve represented your interests and knowledge clearly. This blog is not a repository for your random nonsense.

      3. Shirley, You feel I am “trolling?” I have followed your blog for over a year and supported your endeavors. However, now being involved deeply in KY, I see how out of control the problem is. We can go around and around. The fact of the matter is, you have no facts or information to present to me. I never asked you to do it for me. In fact, quite the opposite. I already have all the information and clearly explained there is a bill being introduced as we speak to improve laws. Apparently, you have nothing useful to offer, nor do you have any statistics, or solid proof as to what’s happening in KY. I find this quite disappointing.

        Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2013 14:54:55 +0000 To:

  2. All of mine would fail. Come to that, just about every pet I’ve ever had would likely fail.

    What that sign also tells me is that, whatever their enablers might have to say, this place has decided that convenient and efficient kills are their priority. The partially obscured hand-written addendum about trash also suggests that they equate homeless pets with trash.

  3. I “liked” their page some time ago and every time the friends post about the ones that did not make it out I tell them they have the power to change things there. I am met with the same excuses…they have to kill,people are always dumping their pets,they are so overcrowded,bla bla bla. It is a continuous blaming the public.

  4. Most of mine would fail. Especially if they ended up there because of a traumatic reason (car accident, house fire, burglary, etc.)

    Ironically, my feral cat would pass. When very stressed, she tends to “shut down” and appear docile (when really, she’s going someplace else in her head, checking out of the reality around her). Which is one of the reasons the shelter had no idea she was a feral cat (apparently, no one noticed or thought much of the “full body spasm” flinching she would do whenever touched) and they popped her into a cage as if she were tame.

  5. All of mine, now and in the past, would likely fail. And my 6 year old would likely purr all the way to the kill room . . . . and they really need to correct that sign from “be euthanized” to “be killed”. Clearly, killing cleanly and efficiently is sop for these folks. (I noticed the trash sign, too, and thought it said a great deal about their attitudes toward animals.)


  6. Almost all of mine would fail, and I would fail SPECTACULARLY! “Put note on door so IT can be removed the next day.” These are a sad lot of humans that need to find other jobs because THIS isn’t it.

  7. I do not want my neutered/spayed animals who would probably be fearful but not aggressive and so would be labeled feral to be killed if they were lost! It obviously does not matter to this shelter if an animal was lost and was neutered/spayed and/or had a home. Does the state of FL have a law that states how long a lost animal must be held and/or if the animal is considered aggressive and/or feral and who determines it?

  8. Most cats driven anywhere in a vehicle to a strange place would be extremely frightened and appear unfriendly. Almost all of my cats would fail their criteria. What a sucky excuse for a ‘shelter’. Fire the whole lot and start a real shelter. Unfeeling people should have no business dealing with living creatures.

  9. You think, in a nation, where shelters are killing over 10,000 healthy, adoptable animals every single day…that mandated s/n would increase killing? I have no words for that. I am chuckling. As previously stated, I am in no way a shelter apologist. I am pro No Kill. However, I am not in agreement with several aspects of the way the NKE has been set up. I am thrilled to know you are all so passionate about the NKM, as am I. However, to blindly follow a plan that is flawed, and receive the response I have from this forum is quickly pushing me even further from the NKE plan. I’m not sure “guns a blazing” and offering advice, regurgitated by one man, while being hateful and offering no other outlets of information or support is helping anyone.

    1. I’m going to answer this, even though the individual who wrote it has been banned for trolling. Foolish, I know.

      First, there’s no data available, at least to date, that indicates that mandatory spay/neuter works as advertised. Rather, there’s a very little data which suggests that it may be correlated with increased shelter surrenders – possibly in part as pet owners cannot afford the surgery, shelter and punitive fees when caught out – and thus with higher kill rates. That’s why another poster upthread associated it with increased killing. As a law in those areas where it’s been instituted, it also appears to be selectively and sporadically enforced, although that’s hardly unique when it comes to regulations affecting animal welfare.

      Second, it’s my opinion – such as it is, and based on arguments I’ve seen in support of mandatory spay/neuter – that, as a method to reduce pet homelessness, it’s based on the unfortunately popular misconception that it’s possible to produce a Clean Slate, that is, that a given problem can be comparatively quickly reduced by severe measures to produce a tabula rasa which will then permit the establishment of something better. Which – IMHO – is about as humane, sensible, and effective as burning down an occupied house to clean it. We live in the real world not a fantasy, and in the real world, there is no such thing as a tabula rasa.

      What the no-kill approach is trying to do, I think, is play the cards we’ve been dealt. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than the alternatives – including killing our way out of the hole while criminalizing ordinary people with an unenforceable and unsustainable law that would, I suspect – like many another animal welfare regulation – be selectively enforced and widely honored only in its breach.

  10. Yes, I personally know shelter employees who enjoy killing animals, particularly the cats. And I know shelters that continue to blame the public and make zero attempt to change their archaic ways. I know Putnam killed a mother cat because it gave the attendee a hard time even though a rescue was on the way to reunite mom cat with her newborn kittens in 30 minutes. But before anyone ever utters the phrase “irresponsible public” again, please watch the ASPCA webinar listed here. I hope it will open you eyes and change attitudes about the pet owners. It has mine.

    1. Absolutely they enjoy killing these pets.

      If shelters really believed their idiotic statements about ‘responsible owners’, then they would offer FREE SPAY/NEUTER!

      Shelters don’t know feral from scared. Cats always have it the worst since shelter employees don’t know crap about cats. i have been fighting a shelter in our area for YEARS! It still is an ongoing battle! Their lazy employees cannot even take a picture of a cat. Ok…they took one picture and put that picture for several the cats…not acceptable!

  11. I can’t be sure my cats wouldn’t get labeled feral in a situation like that .
    And these are highly social show cats, But they’re smart enough to sense that pet killing facility is a dangerous place.

    PS . re some of the comments here, I always wonder when people say on the one hand that there isn’t enough availability of low cost s/n, but on the other hand seem to think mandatory s/ n is the answer. If people can’t afford it, how would making it mandatory help?

  12. Just something I noticed: the poster (“Nicole”) in KY demanded specifics, ststs, proof and repeatedly criticized “regurgitated” information yet offered not one shred of “proof, stats, or specific ideas to make changes there. Curious. Oh, and in case you’re lurking Nicole, I’m elderly, disabled, on a fixed income and in a modest group home. I have 2 rescue dogs and volunteer when I’m able to stand at the local shelter doing whatever I can, whatever I’m up to that day. Doesn’t sound like you do even that. Perhaps you should try it instead of sitting at a computer bashing those who do something positive for change.

  13. Enough is enough! We, the citizens, pay their salaries. We, the citizens, expect them to do their jobs, not kill pets. This is an ongoing issue with most of the shelters in Florida. They neglect, torture, and kill animals so they don’t have to clean cages or play with the pets. Laziness from government workers should not be tolerated. Citizens get arrested for treating pets like this….AND government workers should ALSO BE ARRESTED!

    If the GOVERNMENTS will not take proper care of the pets, then turn the shelters over to the RESCUES who actually care. Give the rescues the MILLIONS of tax-dollars and they will SAVE every pet they can. Millions of tax-dollars WASTED on shelters. They need to take care of their pets…not waste money on idiotic things like parties or flooring.

    Shelters continually ask for volunteers and use prisoners to do their work while the lazy employees sit on the butt and play on social media.

    We need lawsuits….we need to make an example of these shelters! STOP THE MADNESS!

  14. Shelters are the final tier in a way bigger problem. I just moved to satsuma which is in Putnam county Florida and my parents have lived here for 10 years. Over the course of those years people have come down our road where there is just sand and no more houses and dumped multiple cats and dogs. My parents personally have rescued 20 kittens and 1 dog over that time period because of people dumping or just moving and not taking them from the surrounding properties. Not too mention the dozens of others they tried to catch but were too scared and ran off or they have to friends to be well cared for. They immediately take and get them S/N and make sure they have shots and are well cared for. People need to be held responsible first and foremost. If you can’t afford a pet, dont freaking get one! and there is multiple free S/N clinics that also provide free shots and animal care. NO EXCUSE! PERIOD! We need to toughen laws on owning animals!! I’ve been in these shelters, these people become numb to the day in and day out parade of pets and ferals that are mostly abused or unwanted and surrendered. lost pets are like .1 percent of those turned in. gets your facts freakin straight!

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