The Kingsport Animal Shelter reportedly killed 103 cats in response to an upper respiratory virus at the facility last month. At the neighboring Washington County – Johnson City Animal Shelter, 276 cats were killed. Killing cats for having colds is inexcusable. But the directors of both facilities seem to be rather non-chalant about all the violence:
“276 cats, it’s a lot of cats in one month in fact one is too many,” said Washington County Johnson City Animal Shelter Director Debbie Dobbs.
“The cats come in sick, and once they come in sick then they contaminate the other cats that are here also,” said Sullivan County Bluff City Kingsport Animal Shelter Operations Manager Donna Davidson.
If that’s the case then that’s on you. Your job is to humanely shelter pets which for cats includes proper cage disinfection, stress reduction protocols, vaccination prior to or immediately upon intake and appropriate housing, including isolation for sick animals. If you were doing your job then cats who come in sick would not infect every other cat in the shelter. And just because you are failing to prevent mass outbreaks of disease does not give you carte blanche to use mass killing as a response.
Dobbs and Davidson said the best thing cat owners can do to help fight the virus is spay and neuter pet cats which will help limit overcrowding (a huge factor in spreading the virus in the shelters).
It’s true that overcrowding makes it more likely that a virus will spread in a shelter but hullo – the pair of you just killed 379 sneezing cats and I see no indication of an intent to change practices. The locals spaying and neutering their pets is a good thing but it will do nothing to save the cats caged in your slaughterhouse right now. Only you can do that by doing your jobs.
Having a look at the Washington County – Johnson City pound’s webpage detailing its adoption policies, and it’s got all the awful. The second sentence:
If you are interested in breeding or have personal doubts about sterilization, you are looking for a pet in the wrong place.
Gee, how welcoming.
Next up is the price list where they outline that in addition to the $20 adoption fee, adopters must pay for the cost of the neuter surgery. If the pet you want to adopt is already neutered, you have to pay a $15 penalty. Because I don’t know. Oh and if you choose a dog who is about to give birth, they will spay her, kill the puppies and charge you extra. They don’t give vaccines either.
But anyway, it’s just a mountain of dead cats and cats come in sick and whaddaya gonna do – except spay and neuter of course.
(Thanks Clarice for the links.)