Calling All Marion Co Trolls

trollWhen I’ve posted in past about Paws to the Rescue (PTTR), the group contracted to run the Marion Co pound in SC, it’s been like ringing the troll dinner bell, an hour late.  The reason I’ve posted about them in past is because the group appeared to have serious transparency issues, which is always a red flag for me, as well as some dubious policies in place.  And the group’s defenders talked attacked in circular gibberish while leaving so much virtual spittle.  So much.

PTTR reportedly took in more than $200,000 in the first six months of 2014.  But when the county requested an audit last year, the group failed to produce one.  And when the county asked a second time, giving a January 15, 2015 deadline, PTTR again failed to comply with the audit.  The county finally kicked PTTR to the curb:

As of 11 a.m. Thursday, Marion County took over the operation of the Marion County Animal Shelter and terminated its partnership with Paws to the Rescue to run the shelter, according to Tim Harper, the Marion County Administrator.

The shelter will be closed to the public until Jan. 20 while the county inventories supplies and equipment, and conducts an evaluation of the animals and records, Harper said.

An attorney for PTTR issued a statement calling the county’s actions “illegal” and “reckless” and stating the the lives of the animals in the shelter are now at risk.

PTTR has its usual array of excuses and chatter which appears designed to distract and confuse, including this letter from director Jen Nall, dated January 10, in which she states:

PTTR receives an operational stipend of $53,000 per year from Marion County. This is certainly not all the money we receive, and I never intended to imply that it was. We are also very grateful for our private donors, corporate donors,monies raised from adoption fees, and in-kind donations of food and supplies.

Compare that with this 2012 Facebook post from Kristin Kucsma, an economist affiliated with PTTR:

The County of Marion provides Paws to the Rescue (PTTR), the 501(c)(3) organization that manages the shelter, $53,000 per year to run the shelter. The shelter took in approximately 3,000 dogs in 2011. That breaks down to $18 per dog – not $18 per dog per day – $18 per dog PERIOD.

Although this is just one of the many concerns raised by donors and animal lovers regarding PTTR, it gives you an idea of the kind of trouble that’s been brewing. And it underscores the importance of a publicly available audit, beyond the normal financial transparency standards to which all shelters should adhere.

To be clear, the county taking over pound operations is likely not an improvement, although possibly for different reasons.  The pound made national news in 2008 due to a state senator receiving special treatment when adopting a dog then abandoning her after he’d allowed her to become pregnant while roaming loose.  The poor conditions at the pound were on display and the county sought a private group to take over operations.  Enter PTTR and the ensuing years of controversy.  I wonder fear what’s next for the lost and homeless animals of Marion Co.

Trolls, start your engines.

(Thanks Lisa for the links.)

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58 Comments

  1. I recently received a forwarded email originating from Jen Portzer (who titled herself “New Driver / Reverse Transport Coordinator” for Paws To The Rescue) saying “Last year alone PTTR collected $500,000 in donations. Which sounds like tons of money, however broken down equals about $500 per dog for a year of care.” In the shelter/rescue world, that literally is tons of money. I know some actual no-kill shelters that would love to have that sort of budget. I know several tiny little shoestring rescues that can instantly produce a full accounting of every dollar that comes in and goes out. There is no excuse for a half-million-dollar-a-year operation performing a public service function under contract not to have its books in order and ready to be inspected at a moment’s notice. On top of all that, no one actually knows how many animals actually go in or out of that place, and despite their claims of aspiration to no-kill, PTTR has always been a kill shelter.

    Reply
  2. Keturah Wylemski

     /  January 20, 2015

    I saw the call out for “help” on a friend’s page that was posted by someone else and noticed that everyone was falling all over themselves to help. I posted the article that told of the shelter being taken back by the county and it was ignored. Such a shame that there are some many scammers out there as well as the supporters that question nothing.

    Reply
  3. spaycritter

     /  January 20, 2015

    yeppers. Living in SC, this is all over my newsfeed. In a shelter that says no one adopts locally , I looked at their adopt fees. $200 for an altered HTW neg dog , what were they thinking ? But , you can adopt an unvetted cat for $10…. wth?

    Reply
    • SMH

       /  January 24, 2015

      When was the last time you took a dog to the vets to be neutered? And then got them all of their vaccinations? That bill is not cheap and if the numbers and quotes in this article are true – only $18 in taxpayer money per animal is available (based on 2011) to subsidize these procedures. And then to feed that dog for the months it sits there waiting for adoption? I spend over $100/month to feed my pack of 3…

      Reply
      • SMH

         /  January 24, 2015

        And actually, after January 15, 2015, the adoption fees became – “To adopt a HW- dog is a $150 adoption fee and $80 for cats including FREE transport to anywhere in the continental US and Canada!” A RESCUE can pull a cat for the $10 – which essentially covers a health certificate (but not the vaccs/test required before traveling across state lines) needed for transport – and does not include the carriers and litter boxes that are supplied for that transport – for each cat (maybe another $30 – $40 NOT being charged by Paws to the Rescue in order to place the cats with Rescue).

        With regard to understanding how costs associated with adoption fees AKA “outrageous price” – I defer to the quoted article alluded to above – https://yesbiscuit.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/questions-on-marion-co-pound-again/

        “The true cost of saving a pup reflects the full cost of getting a pup to safety from the time he/she enters the shelter until the time he/she is safely with a rescue or in a forever home. This cost includes, but is not limited to, the following: the cost of food on a daily basis for the pup; any and all necessary medications and vaccinations required by a pup during his/her stay at the shelter and to prepare him/her for transport; payroll to pay employees to care for the pups during their stay at the shelter, etc.

        The County of Marion provides Paws to the Rescue (PTTR), the 501(c)(3) organization that manages the shelter, $53,000 per year to run the shelter. The shelter took in approximately 3,000 dogs in 2011. That breaks down to $18 per dog – not $18 per dog per day – $18 per dog PERIOD. That was “plenty” of money when the kill rate at the shelter (pre-PTTR) was 95%+ . It is not nearly enough to support the transformation of this shelter into a low- or no-kill facility.

        Consider the pup who stays at the shelter for just two weeks prior to rescue or transport. That is two (2) weeks’ worth of food, possible meds, payroll, etc. That amounts to considerably more than $18. Many pups remain at the shelter for longer than that because we are blessed with a director who will bend over backwards and give us extra time to save these beautiful creatures.

        We cannot save these pups if we do not have time to find rescues and adopters, and we cannot “buy” time if we do not have the financial resources to keep the pups alive and healthy (mentally and physically) while we arrange rescue, transport and adoption for them.”

  4. Betty Ferro

     /  January 20, 2015

    Apparently, money is the root and motivator of wrong doing? Transparency needs to be
    Tantamount in the operation of any charitable based organizations that are also funded by federal, state, city or local agencies!!

    Reply
  5. LR

     /  January 20, 2015

    I don’t understand what the issues are shipping dogs up north when if there were such a huge market for dogs down south where are they? I realize I will get nowhere with this conversation so I will concede to agree to disagree up front. They have no time to wait for local rural adopters.

    Reply
    • I don’t condone flipping shelter dogs for profit via transport nor will I ever buy into the myth that people in the south don’t love and want to adopt shelter pets. We may not be able to afford the outrageous prices charged by groups like PTTR but we do love our pets.

      Reply
      • Susan

         /  January 25, 2015

        Shirley, my shelter charges $30 per cat/dog. Right now there are 50 dogs available. About 80% of the animals pulled here are for rescue, not adoption. We have a local group that would rather all the animals be killed than sent to rescues out of state. They fail to acknowledge that because the shelter does not vet adopters, the animals are far more likely to come to harm at the hands of a private adopter than from a rescue. Cases in point: the soldier and his wife who hogtied their 8-month-old puppy and drowned it; they are from this area. And a couple of weeks ago a couple adopted from the shelter a mother dog and her nursing puppies; $30 for the whole family. Dogfighters, tracked and proved. I don’t know who is making a profit. We volunteers certainly dont — we spend our own money — and the rescues don’t. Maybe the transporters do, IDK, but if they do I think it may be worth it to get these animals out of this hellhole.

      • SMH

         /  January 26, 2015

        The PttR Transporters are all volunteer – spending their own money and time to take animals to Rescues and the occasional adopter that have undergone extensive background checks.

        RE: “outrageous prices” – refer to previous article that explains them specific to PttR, but in general is how all Rescues work. A lot of shelters charge low prices because there is no vetting involved. Dog may or may not be HW+. If a dog comes in that is ill – it is euthanized, not vetted.

    • I live “up north”. We kill dogs here. Lots of them. Lots and lots of them. If they are transporting to a shelter/rescue that has space and resources, okay. If they are transferring to a shelter that’s just going to kill to make room for incoming dogs (or just kill the transported dogs when they’re not adopted fast enough), then I have issues with it.

      The question needs to be asked about transporting dogs – where are they going and why? Is there displacement killing because of them? Are they “safe” once they get where they’re going? Or is it just a shuffle to make one place’s numbers look better?

      As for adopting out unvetted cats, that is craigslist level bullshit.

      Reply
    • Colorado imported 20,000 dogs and cats from out of state. Then killed 16,000. So that doesn’t make any sense does it? The myth that transporting saves lives, driving hundreds of miles, flying, etc. is loved because it makes a great story. Transport is a good lifesaving tool when needed, but it should not be considered some kind of solution to a pet shelter population. It does not scale, cannot address the whole situation. So if you live in the south and transfer animals to my state, is it safe to assume you believe people here are better than you?

      Reply
      • Susan

         /  January 23, 2015

        Davyd maybe not PEOPLE but I can hardly believe that shelters anywhere would be worse than North Carolina’s.

    • mwphe

       /  January 26, 2015

      Many southern shelters are doing ng a truly lousy job promoting their available dogs, or are not even trying. My transport foster was a completely sweet boy, a total love bug, and healthy once he got the basic vetting he’d never received before. He house trained easily and was eager to please. But he was blind, and they didn’t even bother to try. Either he got on the transport, or he died.

      There would be a great deal less “need” for transport if the shelters were better run–something that has been demonstrated all over the country, including in multiple different places all over the south, by open admission no kill shelters that ARE well run, adopt out all their animals that don’t need to be euthanized because they are medically suffering and can’t be cured or stabilized, and who rarely but dogs on out-of-area transports.

      Transport done well is saving lives, but it’s a bandaid, not “the solution.”

      Reply
      • SMH

         /  January 26, 2015

        “Transport done well is saving lives, but it’s a bandaid, not “the solution.” ” – Well said. The community from where they come needs a serious educational / spay / neuter program put into place… and a clamp down on backyard breeding.

  6. spaycritter

     /  January 20, 2015

    From their FB page.. I have yet to understand their pull fees. All the “pledgies” list needing $225 for a dog and $150 for a cat..

    Paws to the Rescue at Marion County Animal Shelter
    January 18 at 1:28pm ·
    PULL FEES ARE AS FOLLOWS – $65 FOR DOGS $10 FOR CATS In an effort to move as many animals into rescue as we can, we have reduced all pull fees. Given the time constraints, we are not able to spay/neuter or heartworm treat all animals prior to leaving for rescue. We will require agreements and follow-up documentation for our records to confirm all the animals were altered and received proper treatment. Given the reputation of our rescue partners, we know there will not be any issues and this is only for record keeping purposes. A continued appreciation to everyone working to get our animals to safety! Lisa W.

    and then this , posted a couple hours later….

    Paws to the Rescue at Marion County Animal Shelter
    January 18 at 3:04pm ·
    Adoption fees Dogs – $10 for HW+ and unaltered $50 for HW+ and altered $100 for HW- and unaltered $200 for HW- and altered CATS Adoption fee: $20 While we certainly welcome all means of getting animals into safe homes, we would like to focus our attention on getting the animals into rescue groups whenever possible. For one, the public is not allowed on county property while the shelter is closed. PTTR staff is training the inmates and sheriff’s department on proper cleaning procedures in an effort to protect animals who arrive after PTTR leaves the property. Given the current operational complexities, it is not practical for PTTR staff to remove the animals and meet potential adopters at another location. Our suggestion is that anyone interested in adopting a specific animal should follow the animal to its rescue group and adopt directly from the rescue group. If the on-the-ground situation changes, we will let you know. We will also prioritize adoptions by members of the public who have already visited the shelter and selected an animal prior to the eviction. Thank you, Lisa W.
    Like ·

    Reply
    • Follow the animal to the rescue, which will jack up the fees even higher. I love that they are committed to their rescue scam with their dying breath. Imagine if they put that kind of dedication into adopting out animals to the public.

      Reply
      • spaycritter

         /  January 20, 2015

        yet , they comment on the same page about not revealing the names of rescues.. wha’ the ?

      • One possible explanation: Because it’s business as usual which is to say: A SCAM.

  7. An accountability questionnaire is in the works that will not be a requirement, but can be sent to any rescue or animal control, shelter, etc that asks for and receives donation money from the public, grant money, etc.

    Simple questions that legitimate donation-funded rescues, and also animal control/animal shelter facilities that receive grant money, should have no problem answering if they aren’t “workin’ it”.
    And if they won’t answer, then they should be immediately audited, which will occur if enough complaints are sent in to the correct government agencies like the AG’s office and the IRS.

    At that point, it would be imperative to know WHERE are all of the animals they have asked for and received donation money to “rescue” and care for are at.
    This would need to be done quickly because if people think the scam they’re running is discovered and they are going to be “outted”, they begin disposing of animals to stop having to take care of them and/or if they haven’t been taking care of them but are still receiving funds to take care of that animal, and then they will also start trying to “cover their tracks” on destroying any evidence that some animals they’re supposed to have, or supposedly adopted-out but weren’t, ever existed at all.

    Sadly enough, animals are “disappeared” everyday from rescues that do “out with the old, in with the new” style rescuing, whereby they “freshen-up the merchandise” which just so happens to be animals, and dispose of the animals that have been there sometimes only for a week or two, in order to make room for the “new merchandise” that is either good for “sympathy/pity” donations and then killed (the “its with a heavy heart” scenario) after they’ve run through their donation-value, or they are “adopted for a fee”.

    And the scammers also count on peoples short-memories and short-attention spans not having them ask questions regarding WHERE are all the animals that have been rescued in the past year, 2 years, etc? These rescues have iron-clad adoption contracts and agreements, so they should have that information at their fingertips, right?

    Reply
  8. lr

     /  January 22, 2015

    The rescues I have found for our dogs going up north are ones you can track the dogs from foster to adoption. You don’t just give them to any rescue that says they want them. I had a HUGE problem here with that and about that and got the crap beat out of me for voicing it. Twice. You have to vet your rescues no matter where they are. I’ve seen some terrible rescues right here and then some wonderful ones. I’m not talking about pull fees, I’m talking about shipping up north – period. Our shelter has no pull fees but rescue does have to pay for transport, vetting, fosters and spay/neuter. When you have a full shelter there just is not enough adopters or rescues locally. I write them all the time and they tell me we’re full. No reason a rescue can’t be vetted wherever they are. We just sent a pit with a bad foot, possible pyometra and HW’s to Michigan on her DEATH day. But I know this person for 10 years and what else should have been done?

    I think greedy rescues is another topic.

    Reply
    • Thankfully, we don’t have to choose between shipping dogs to Michigan (a state where countless shelter dogs are killed and home to one of the biggest scammers in the country – MI Inhumane) and letting some lazy shelter director kill them. That is a false choice and if you need evidence, you need look no further than any of the open admission no kill shelters where people do their jobs.
      Pyometra is a life threatening emergency. That dog should have been sent to a vet for immediate care. Did the dog survive the trip? I guess there’s no way to be sure now. But we can certainly rely upon the fact that shipping dogs to MI means that many less available spaces for all the shelter dogs already being killed there. That is not lifesaving.

      Reply
  9. LR

     /  January 22, 2015

    AS I said, this is a friend rescuer and this particular dog reminded her of a dog of her own that she took from a man that was hanging her and beating her. She died at 6 years old of cancer. This judgement is out of control and MI does have no kill and its not all bad. This is a rescue, not a shelter. Yes, the dog is fine. She had a HC before leaving but went to her vet regardless after she arrived. He was not sure if it was closed pyo or pregnant. Like I said, agree to disagree. Most of the dogs up there are pits. And for THIS dog, it was life saving. I’m sure if she could talk she’d tell you that.

    Reply
    • db

       /  January 22, 2015

      MHS is nothing but a killing machine with a great marketing department. Yes, there are good people doing some heavy lifting in Michigan, but most do it quietly behind the scenes and are not doing it for publicity. There are some good shelters/rescues, too, but there aren’t nearly enough. So before you present Michigan as a great state for animals, think again. There are counties that still use gas chambers to kill their animals. Our local humane society is involved in Rescue Waggin and always has puppies from the south. I’m happy for the puppies, but we have a lot of puppies (and kittens and cats and dogs) killed on a daily basis. And the bully breeds make great family pets (one reason they are so popular). I understand that there are those asshats who fight these dogs, backyard breeders who breed to make money off of dogs, and others who keep them chained up outside, 24/7 to guard their property (like a chained dog could be a guard dog . . . only if the criminal was dumb enough to get close enough). There is good and bad everywhere and when local animals are killed to make way for others out of the area, then I believe the killing is wrong.

      Reply
      • Clarice

         /  January 22, 2015

        At least 34,973 cats and 22,909 dogs lost their lives in Michigan in 2013 at county run and private animal “shelters” who refuse to implement successful No-Kill programs which would keep these animals alive and able to be adopted. After returning some of the stray pets to their owners, state shelters killed 33.6% of the dogs and 39.4% of the cats they had a responsibility to care for and adopt into new homes. Although the shelter statistics from the Michigan Dept. of Agriculture no longer track how many of these pets are litters (six months or younger), a staggering percentage of these babies have been continuously killed over the years by shelters who don’t spend any time or resources to save them.

        https://petfriendsmagazine.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/michigan-senators-introduce-no-kill-legislation/

      • LR

         /  January 22, 2015

        I am not going to defend this person for rescuing a life. She has rescued tons from her own state and all special needs. I think you all need to get out and do some rescue yourself at these shelter and then lets see how fast you look elsewhere. I’m aware of the statistics. Ridiculous. Lets just kill them all when they get in the door. Bunch of haters here. I am really shocked!

      • db

         /  January 22, 2015

        Haters? Hardly! Many of us ARE involved with rescue. No one is saying to kill them all – but to kill local animals in need of homes to bring in “more desirable” ones
        from out of state makes no sense to me. Sorry you feel that way, LR, but you are really off base here. We are looking for ways to prevent any of them from being killed.

  10. LR

     /  January 22, 2015

    I think we all are. But I wonder if you know what the situation is up there? I can mostly speak for NY because that’s where I’m from. I can NOT remember a time where I heard of a litter of puppies being born. I kid you not. Not in the 5 boroughs anyway. You are frowned on if you don’t spay/neuter. But then again, we have many programs for that which make it affordable. As with most, the smaller rescues are the ones that save local dogs and cats. It seems to me the bigger a rescue gets anywhere, the more they target the “story” and “place” and not the dog. ACCNY and BKLY and Staten Island are being picketed all the time because they have a select group of rescues they will let pull. Smaller rescues go to the parking lot and try to grab the dogs righ there before they enter the system. They don’t even advertise because they’d rather just do it several lives at a time and can’t be bombarded with people dumping dogs on them. They have thousands of animals and kill daily a minimal in comparison to what gets killed down here in ratio and they’re raising hell there. Look at the Yonkers Shelter, nothing but pits. Up there home owners insurance doesn’t want to cover them, landlords are afraid of them. I just told you my friend took a messed up pit. Is that desirable? I don’t think so. As for shelters, it is my dream that we have national change. I would love to see camera’s in every shelter. And yes, I know people are always going to have something to complain about and it puts a lot of them on the spot but if implemented should bring enough change and attention that after awhile you just do the right thing. So much wrong. I guess we’re all frustrated to the beyond. I don’t believe any animal should be killed to make room for another anywhere. Ever. Our shelter defended selling cat bodies so that it could pay to help the animals at the shelter. WHAT? So over it.

    Reply
    • I think the disagreement comes from individuals doing rescue versus shelters transporting to “fix” their numbers.

      LR, you know someone who saved a southern dog – that’s excellent. I don’t think anyone here thinks otherwise.

      I think that the idea that transports are some kind of “answer” to a problem though, is where the contention lies. Too many of us have seen the result of these transports – either displacement killing to make room for them or outright killing of the transported animals. And then the perpetration of the idea that the south is so messed up, those animals can only be “saved” by shipping them to the more educated, more caring, richer, kinder, better north.

      And yet, much of the wonderful north is slaughtering pets as fast as they can, dogs are chained in yards, we have gas chambers….

      Reply
  11. I’m in Massachusetts. I’m on the board of a small NH rescue, and I’ve fostered for a RI rescue, as well as dig walking for a NH shelter.

    My first foster was a blind pug mix. He came from a hoarding situation. The shelter the dogs were taken to in fact does a very low rate of local adoptions. Could they do better? Yes, I suspect they could–much, much better.

    But that wasn’t the question I was asked. The question I was asked was, “Will you agree to foster this dog so we can pull him?” The kill shelter he was in was willing to neuter, deworm, give shots, and hold him for weekend transport if the rescue tagged him–but otherwise, they’d kill him. “No market.”

    He was an incredibly sweet boy, happy to learn how to be a proper pet in a proper home, and while it took a year, he’s now happy and secure in his forever home.

    I didn’t kill any dogs doing that. I saved a life. What the shelter should have done instead wasn’t within my power to affect. My choice was to save this dog/I>, or not.

    Reply
    • Again, I have absolutely no issue with dogs going to rescue groups that have the space/resources for them.

      What I have issue with is these group transports “to the safety of the north, where there is demand for dogs!!!1!”. Because one, the north is not safe, by any means. And two, we’ve got plenty of dogs. We’re killing them by the score every day. For many (most?) of these shelters, the transport game is one of “shuffle the deaths” to make numbers look better, NOT to save pets. But too many shelters use this tactic knowing full well it’s a scam, but it saves them from actually having to work to improve what they’re doing right now. It’s an easy out to just shrug your shoulders and say, “The south sucks, no one here values their pets, it’s so much better in the north, we’ll send them there.” rather than saying, “Gosh, I wonder what we could do to increase RTO’s and adoption rates here?”

      Transports can be a good thing, they can save lives! But transports can be a bad thing, resulting in increased killing (because first, we kill a dog to make space for yours, then when yours doesn’t get adopted out fast enough, we kill your dog, too – two for the price of one). Always view transports (especially group transports from one shelter to another) with a jaundiced eye…and ask questions.

      Reply
      • There are good transports and bad transports, just like anything else. Hellholes like Memphis don’t invalidate the well-run, open admission, No Kill shelters, and bad transports don’t invalidate the good ones.

        One of the features of a good transport is that the dogs do go to a rescue group or shelter that has the means to vet and assess the dogs, and screen applicants so that they are placed appropriately for each animal. The two shelters somewhat local to me that take transport dogs are neither killing nor turning away local dogs to do it. They are filling what is now excess capacity, that was created when things were worse here.

        The transports that give transport a bad name around here are the direct – to – adopter transports, which often leave local shelters and rescues cleaning up after their failures.

  12. lr

     /  January 23, 2015

    I can say that we have sent about 1,000 dogs up north in the last 2 years. They went directly to rescues. I lucked the hell out with these rescues. We had our transport and I had issues with the driver so now we don’t. But not one of the dogs were killed. In fact one that had 2 types of lyme and stage 4 hw’s was saved. My driver decided Helmetta was a good place and that was the final straw! It was our van, I revoked it and paid a huge price for that.

    Reply
  13. Susan

     /  January 23, 2015

    I’m naive about this but curious. I can understand that Southern shelters want to send animals out to improve their numbers, but why would Northern rescues want to take Southern animals if there are so many animals available to them locally? I network for a shelter in NC and constantly have RESCUES (not shelters) in the North contacting us for animals.

    Reply
    • What kind of animals are they asking for?

      Reply
      • Susan

         /  January 25, 2015

        Mikken, puppies and kittens. No adults. About once a month I hear that there is a transport headed north and if I have any kittens …. Usually they want them 8 weeks or less (younger than I am comfortable putting on even a short transport, much less a long one) and combo tested. I never send any. If I have any cats or kittens going somewhere I haven’t been, I will drive them there myself.

      • Susan

         /  January 25, 2015

        I should clarify that there are Northern rescues that take adult animals from this shelter but they don’t solicit for the animals. The volunteers contact those Northern rescues for help when the local rescues are full, which is most of the time.

      • Susan, sounds like they want what they can move out fast. I can’t picture any area having a shortage of kittens, though. If you’re a rescue with room for kittens, go on Craigslist and pull from “free to a good home”.

      • Susan

         /  January 26, 2015

        Don’t they all? A lot of rescues here are not “rescues” in the sense of saving lives. They seem to be more like retailers.

    • In my area, there are lots of pits, pit mixes, and Lab mixes in the shelters. In the good shelters they all for nd homes, because they are popular–but we have no shortage of them. What we don’t have coming into the shelters locally are a)small dogs, and b)puppies. Those chihuahuas being killed in large numbers in California? There’s a big demand here.

      There really are differences in types of dogs wanted and available for adoption in different parts of the country.

      Reply
      • Susan

         /  January 25, 2015

        When I lived in Los Angeles there were Chihuahuas being flown to the northeast all the time but the shelters were still full and they were and are still being killed.

    • The two shelters I know locally that are taking transport dogs are in NH, and are filling excess capacity that they really have, without killing local dogs. They both take a mix of sizes and types on every transport. When they do get puppies, they are usually 10-12 weeks old, though sometimes as young as 8 weeks. They have the contacts and the staff to screen dogs on temperament and personality rather than just physical type.

      The transport rescue that I’ve fostered for, one of the founders is from Louisiana, and still owns a house there. She needs to make regular trips there. She and her partner take stock of their available foster homes and who can take what types of dogs. They pull the dogs they have foster capacity for. They start with a list of like lies from shelters along the route, and make a final assessment when they’re there. Again, not killing any local dogs; pulling southern dogs likely to be killed that they are able to foster and expect to be able to adopt out once they’re fully vetted and have had some training.

      Reply
      • Susan

         /  January 25, 2015

        Thank you, Lis. And I don’t have contacts with the rescues taking the animals from Marion County but I wonder what they would say if they were asked the reason they are taking Southern animals. When I have asked the rescues who contact me, they say they DO pull from shelters in their area (why wouldn’t they? It is so much easier), and they say they are taking Southern animals because the need is so great and they want to help (otherwise they wouldn’t be in rescue).

  14. lr

     /  January 23, 2015

    Mikken I can tell you that each area attracts different kinds of dogs. Some love labs,some hounds, some JRT’s. Some anything but pit. In that case they feel there are way too many as it is up there being slaughtered. But as I said, its a problem with renters and home owners insurance for them. Many self starting smaller rescues begin with small dogs and pups until they get a following and then go bigger. Some just take what they like. There was a couple looking for Dalmations once and even through there were 6 rescues at Pet stores all over the place, nothing like that. They took a mix. Some small because that’s what landlords will allow. There is no land in the 5 boroughs so dogs go for walks.

    Reply
    • Yes, my shelter can always move the small fluffies, it’s the pit mixes that are slow to move out. And hounds just don’t move here, despite the fact that it’s not an urban area. I’d be curious as to what region of the country actually has a demand for hounds.

      Reply
      • lr

         /  January 24, 2015

        Up north. They don’t have a reason for hunting dogs so they think they are cute up there. There aren’t any really. Probably true for anyplace that doesn’t have a need for them as a job. For some California does better with GSDs and not small dogs. NY does better with small dogs. I think we should swap! Have you seen what they kill in California? They’re like designer dogs.

      • Susan

         /  January 25, 2015

        Probably more pits and pit mixes being killed in CA than any other breed though.

      • I am up north and hounds just don’t move here. Beagles, sometimes…but they’re not easy. Large hounds hardly at all.

  15. First, mwphe is me. Forgot I was logged in on that account. :(

    Mikken, you keep saying “up north” as if it were all one amorphous place, and surely the point here is that that isn’t true. About a year or so ago, the Salem NH shelter took in 26 beagles from a hoarding situation, and after vetting, they rehomed all of them in NH and MA in a couple of months, with their normal adoption standards and fees. And just in my circle of acquaintances in NH, I know quite a few people with 1-4 small dogs, and a hound mix, who is always a rescue whether or not the littles are.

    Just like not all southern shelters are the same, neither are all parts of “up north” the same, either in how well their shelters are run, nor in what dogs are wanted for adoption.

    Reply
    • That’s true. Which is why shipping animals “up north” could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what animals and where you’re shipping them. And which is why using blanket statements like “we transported them north where there’s demand and they’ll be safe!!!1!” and “the south just doesn’t care about pets” is ridiculous.

      What galls me is southern shelters that use both statements as a justification to ship animals out to God knows where and fix their numbers.

      Reply
    • Susan

       /  January 26, 2015

      Some Southern shelters may be really great, may actually be about animal CARE and not just animal CONTROL, but mine isnt. They do NOTHING to place animals. They don’t work with rescue groups or provide vaccines or testing. They don’t have a foster program, a quarantine area, or even a vet. The cats are housed in a tiny room with no ventilation so the doors have to stay open (otherwise the sewer gases collect in the room) and those doors lead to the dog kennels and the enclosed drive-through where new animals are delivered and the unwanted are killed. And while volunteers have made their kill rates plummet to subterranean levels, they so resent us that they barely tolerate our presence. So if I tar all Southern shelters with the same brush, it is because of my experience with this shelter.

      Reply
      • Well, I’m in the north and we’ve got crappy shelters, too – dogs kept outdoors chained to doghouses even in the dead of winter, animals kept in cages 24/7, hosed down while in cages, no volunteers permitted, animals kept on wire grate flooring, gas chambers, no use of Petfinder or social media at all, no attempts to reunite pets with owners, outrageous reclamation fees, not scanning pets for chips (some shelters don’t even own scanners), cats housed in the same room as dogs….

        It’s not just the south that sucks. It’s sucky shelters that suck.

      • Susan

         /  January 26, 2015

        Are you aware of this? I think if it was pushed, the end result could be that government operated shelters have to have a vollunteer program. “Mine” just started one recently but you should see the list of rules for, and hear the litany of complaints from, the volunteers.

        http://patch.com/new-york/wantagh/banned-animal-shelter-workers-win-lawsuit-against-heme74612bfbe

  16. Kristin Kucsma

     /  March 7, 2015

    Hi Yes Biscuit,

    Just to clarify – I am no longer affiliated with PTTR and have not been in any way since I stepped down in April 2014. One of the main reasons I stepped down – and this information has been publicly available for quite some time – was PTTR’s failure to improve operations to allow for, among other things, improved transparency.

    Reply
  17. brenda irwin

     /  March 7, 2015

    Just fyi. Someone on this thread talked about the money the county provided per animal. And yes it’s not nearly enough. But that person must have missed the fact that in 2013, donors provided that rescue with $450,000 ON TOP of what the county gave them. In cash only. TONS AND TONS of supplies, buildings, food etc were ALSO donated. You can have any opinion you like, i am simply providing a few verifiable FACTS to help you form those opinions.

    Reply

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