Sunday, January 6, 2013

Surry County Shelter Thinks 86% Kill Rate is Progress

The spokesperson for Surry County Animal Shelter attributes their reduction in intake of dogs and cats to two factors:
* Preaching spay and neuter
* More attention on other agencies (you know, non profit rescues) who adopt animals instead of killing them (the shelter spokesperson does not say that specifically).

The article is titled "Good News for County Animal Shelter" but if you are a dog or especially cat in Surry County, North Carolina, you might have better luck on the streets of Surry County than behind the doors of the "shelter".

If you are a Pit Bull, Rottweiler, Chow Chow - or any dog resembling these types of dogs - you are unadoptable by Surry County standards. You are most likely killed. Remember, euthanasia means a "good death" provided to irremediably ill animals. It is not applicable in situations when healthy, adoptable dogs are killed because of how they look.

I am going to go out on a limb and make my own conjecture about the "reduction" in intake - people have learned the Surry County Shelter kills too many animals. The public objects to the unnecessary killing of adoptable animals and certainly 77-94% of dogs and cats are not all unadoptable.

2012 - 2,979/3,476 dogs and cats killed (does not include wildlife and other domestic animals) - 86% of incoming dogs and cats killed.
2011 - 3,720/4,100 dogs and cats killed - 90% incoming dogs and cats killed.
2010 - 3,526/3,926 animals killed - 90% incoming dogs and cats killed.

I do not know about you, but a reduction of 4% fewer animals killed is hardly a celebratory moment.

While the shelter seems to pat itself on the back for fewer animals being brought in, I am mostly disappointed. We have a social contract with municipal shelters. We pay them to provide appropriate care to needy animals and rehome them. We do not pay them to shirk their duties by killing so many animals that no one wants to bring dogs and cats to them!

What exactly, aside from preaching about spay/neuter, is the shelter really doing to increase adoptions and reduce intakes?

Are they, for example, on social media networks promoting the crap out of adoptable animals? Um. No.

Are they on Petfinder promoting the dozens and dozens of dogs and cats needing homes? Well, not really. Their Petfinder page lists 9 dogs currently. Cats, sucks to be you.

Are they encouraging volunteership and promotion of adoptable animals? Well, they ban volunteers from taking photos and fire them when they do, so I guess not.

Are they open after traditional work hours and on weekends? Nope.

It seems they are just enjoying the fact that they have to do their job even less!

For an in depth look at the woes at Surry County Animal Shelter, go here.

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