Augusta Pound Refusing to Adopt Out Animals Because of Possibility Adopters Might Not Follow Through with Neuters

In Richmond Co, Georgia, Augusta Animal Services has been killing 70% of its animals for the past two years.  And that tragic kill rate appears to be the result of a hot mess perpetuated by local leaders.

An animal advocate recently told the Augusta Chronicle that Augusta pound director Sharon Broady refuses to work with rescues and charges them full adoption fees.  In addition, with the loss last month of the pound’s part-time vet, animals are apparently being single-tracked to the kill room, with the state spay-neuter law being cited as the reason.  No vet=no neuters=no live releases.

Georgia state law and Richmond County ordinance both require shelters to either neuter pets prior to adoption or have the adopter sign an agreement that the pet will be neutered within 30 days (for adult animals).  It is unclear to me why the Augusta pound is not utilizing the latter option in order to save lives.  The director cites a lack of compliance in past on the part of owners who adopted intact pets but fails to mention that the alternative choice she is making, instead of working to increase compliance, is death.

The pound’s adoption program appears to be suspended and the facility is killing more than 100 pets a week. The director won’t reopen the adoption program until a veterinarian is hired.  City commissioners recently approved hiring a full time vet for the pound but there is no sense of urgency to fill the position, which the city estimates may take as long as 6 months.  No rush I guess, as long as the city has the landfill space for the mountain of dead animals it’s creating.

The city commissioners bring the blame:

“This is a community wide problem and not strictly to our animal control director. It goes all the way down to people who have pets and don’t take care of them,” Commissioner Donnie Smith said.

It is the director’s choice to kill animals instead of allowing rescues and adopters to save them. That choice is not in any way reflective of the behavior of area pet owners. Naming the problem is the first step to finding a solution.

Then there’s this guy:

“I wish we had more debate about abortions. I mean nobody has talked about that. animals are animals and I love animals. We don’t have the funds and I approved to have a veterinarian. At some point we need to have responsible pet owners,” Commissioner Joe Jackson said.

What, no nightcaps?

What, no nightcaps?

Mmmmkaaaay.  I wish we had a debate about foxes wearing pajamas.  Maybe I’ll get my wish someday and maybe Commissioner Jackson will get his.  In the meantime, the director of the Augusta pound is choosing to operate the place primarily as a pet killing facility while turning away rescuers and adopters.  While we’re waiting for our debate wish lists to be fulfilled, maybe we could talk about that.

(Thanks Clarice and Kim for sending me links on this story.)

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14 Comments

  1. It’s time shelters were more receptive to the sentence they impose on animals! They refuse to adopt them out for petty reasons and end up killing these perfectly adoptable pets! They need to take a hard, long look at themselves and see what they’ve become! They are no longer effective and whatever is driving them to kill instead of adopt out animals is sick!

    Reply
  2. mikken

     /  June 13, 2014

    Wow, the “yeah, animals are fine, but what about abortion?” debate. Way to bring rational thought to the discussion at hand.

    The fact that they’re charging rescues full price is criminal – rescues are already pouring money into vetting and caring for these animals and you KNOW that they’re going to s/n, so WTF? It’s VERY, VERY clear where their priorities lie and it’s not with getting animals out alive.

    Reply
  3. does anyone know if there is a petition in existence regarding these practices at this facility?

    Reply
  4. bestuvall

     /  June 13, 2014

    the guys name should be Red Herring. even if a few are non compliant.. at least they are alive.. and there are not stats to show any of them ever get bred.

    Reply
  5. Jeanne

     /  June 13, 2014

    Sounds like they need to hire a new director more than a new vet. Having a vet in-house isn’t the only alternative. It IS hard to follow-up on 30-day spay/neuter agreements; our local shelter was spending so much time in court because of this that they stopped offering that option. Instead they got local vets to agree to discount spay/neuters for shelter pets. The shelter transports the pets to the vet once the adoption is finalized, and adopters pick up their new pets at the vet after surgery. Easy peasy. And the cost is covered by the adoption fee. This shelter never charges rescues to pull pets, either. Save rate for dogs is about 90%. Shame on Augusta.

    Reply
  6. I’m trying to find out if there is a law that would not allow Augusta to make the decision to require animals to be fixed before leaving the premises. The only thing I see is that it is the discretion of the director. Anyone know where I can find this law? Richmond County, GA

    Reply
  7. tina haggard

     /  June 22, 2014

    I will go down there and run the shelter and have ZERO kills!! I will give animals to rescues and let people adopt….yes control the population is the answer but so is new admin

    Reply
  8. stacey lynn

     /  June 22, 2014

    Get rid of the direcctor fast! i gurantee they r still collecting a paycheck. while these babies are dying. Because they don’t wanna folliw through. then chsrging rescuers full price. this makrs sence how

    Reply
  9. Reblogged this on brandinkay.

    Reply
  10. Our shelter gives the new owners a discounted voucher for spaying and neutering.Dont punish the animal when its a chance for a new life and happiness!Geez!

    Reply
  11. I am ashamed to be human after reading this! This is disgusting!

    Reply
  12. Maybe it is time to get the public involved this. I cannot believe that pet lovers will find out about this and not say a word. We need to pray that people not take any pets to the center giving them no animals to kill, no animals no jobs. As far as getting a veterinarian on board it needs to become the number 1 priority for this shelter, if this is what you want to call it. Please everyone we as a group can make a difference if we stick together, donate to the No kill Coalition so they will have the finances available to fight legally for all these babies.I know it is so easy to get angry and want to do terrible things to the people at the shelter, but anger and hate has no place in this battle. it will only make it harder for the people at the No Kill Coalition to do their work. You can catch more flies with honey then with vinegar. Thank you NO Kill Coalition for all the hard work and may God give you all the strength, courage and boldness that will allow you to continue your work of making all shelters a no kill shelter.

    Reply
  13. Ginger

     /  June 23, 2014

    What if adopters were required to bring a receipt from a local vet showing they had paid in advance for the spay/neuter to be done?

    Reply

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