Why Shelter Killing has Nothing to do With Overpopulation

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Sweet72947, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. joce

    joce Active Member

    Jan 3, 2005
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    This reminds me of this person commenting on the Pounds Facebook about how they just need to build more buildings! Yeah. . . .

    Here it has gotten better. Pound is really trying but they do not have the resources of the apl. Our apl will turn down most dogs brought in- they only take owner surrenders that are usually on a list for eight months. The pound can not turn a dog down- who do you think will have to put dogs down?

    The apl also has dogs forever as do many other rescues here. Why live an entire life in a cage? Give that space to a dog someone is going to dump because they were turned away.

    In an ideal world every animal is wanted. But honestly the demand is not there. If everyone was like us the world would be a very different place!
  2. Sweet72947

    Sweet72947 Squishy face

    May 18, 2006
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    1 Dog, Norris!
    Northern Virginia
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    Perhaps I should clarify what I meant by my statement. My meaning is sometimes lost. I do not think that the person with the needle is responsible for that pet being in the shelter. I do not think that person is responsible for all death in all shelters across the nation either. And you are correct, they aren't directly responsible for the death of the animal they have just killed. The shelter director is also responsible for enabling the killing, as is society for turning a blind eye or even defending the killing.

    Perhaps there are people that care who still wield the needle, but that hasn't been the experience I've had in my area. I will address that experience in a moment. For those that ask "well, xyz shelter in abc area has tried everything and it didn't work, so what else are they supposed to do??" I can't answer that. I don't know your area, or the specifics of what the shelter(s) have tried, I don't know how they perform their day to day operations, or what their procedures, policies, programs are or a myriad other details pertaining to the shelter and the community that would be important to success or failure. If I were there, if I knew these things, I might be able to offer suggestions.

    I do agree that warehousing unadoptable animals is wrong and that is not what no-kill is about. I have no issue with euthanizing aggressive or very sick animals. FOHA itself has some dangerous dogs who should in all honesty be put down, but unfortunately the people in charge don't believe in putting an animal down except for extreme physical illness. Most of the dogs that have been there for a long time, however, are not dangerous. They have been there because they have become what I call "the forgotten" dogs. They are dogs with typical rude behaviors such as pulling, mouthing, jumping, etc. These behaviors are unintentionally reinforced by volunteers who let the dogs get away with whatever they want. The days, months, years pass with little effort to get these dogs trained and placed. Some volunteers did earnestly try to implement a training program, but it was vetoed by the ones in power as "cruel" because the dogs should be able to enjoy their walk time, which didn't include training! I use FOHA as an example because it illustrates the biggest obstacle in the way of the no kill nation: people who just won't work together.

    This. I worked at a kill shelter for a little while around 2003ish. It was City of Manassas Animal Shelter. They really were low-intake compared to other shelters in the area. But they still killed, often for little or no reason. There was a little black dog (probably around 10lbs) who was an owner surrender because she was moving. The dog, being in a new situation was a little fearful. They killed him within a day without giving him a chance. There was a stray brought in after that who was a bigger dog, probably around 30lbs. He was fear aggressive at first, but he did warm up to us in a few days and he was eventually adopted. His name was Dingo. I called him Ding. There was a lovely little border collie mix who was an owner surrender because he barked too much and "needed another dog" for company. This dog was extremely housebroken and would hold it practically forever if need be. A nice couple came in to look at adopting a dog, and I told them about this dog, how sweet and housebroken he was. I think they may have adopted him if the shelter manager hadn't turned them away and proceeded to bitch at me for DARING to talk to people about the animals because of liability or some such BS (I mean, when people adopt they sign a form saying they won't the shelter liable if the pet bites somebody). He was killed.

    There was a little orange kitten in the back so flea infested he dripped blood when he walked. He was never treated. I do not know what happened to him. There were also two sweet black cats who were killed after their stray hold was up even though we had plenty of room on the adoption floor. The shelter manager kept a cat alive for months because she personally liked that cat, even though that cat needed some serious socialization in a very specific home as she was a very skittish, fear aggressive cat. City of Manassas has a pretty good adoption rate for cats, and when I worked there we were rarely anywhere near full. So yes, I do hold that kennel manager and the ACO responsible for the death of the animals they killed, because they had no reason to kill them at all.

    My mom's friend's schnauzer and beagle got loose from her yard one day, and they only found them at City of Manassas because they went to the shelter multiple times during the week they were lost. They found one dog on the adoption floor, and one dog in the back in the stray hold. They had given the shelter a lost pet report, but the shelter had not bothered to try to reunite these lost pets with their owners at all. And this is not a busy shelter. Heck, when I worked there part of the work day was going through the old lost pet reports and calling owners to see if their pet was found so that we could throw out the cards. I hated that. People would hold their breath thinking you'd found their pet, and then they were all disappointed when they realized that wasn't so. It made me sad. :(

    But those experiences and more are why I am so angry with this nation's shelter system.

    As for Loudoun County, here is their "approved rescue partner" list. It is in PDF format: http://www.loudoun.gov/documents/8/3380/approved rescue partners.PDF

    Notice that they primarily work with breed-specific rescues. This is their little form you need to fill out to be approved, also in PDF format: http://www.loudoun.gov/documents/8/3380/rescue application and policies.PDF

    I obtained these things from their website, here: http://www.loudoun.gov/index.aspx?nid=548

    Why they refuse to work with FOHA, HART, Lost dog and Cat Rescue, or any other mixed breed rescue in the area, I do not know. I heard something once about it being because "they are in the business of population control" or something, but I have no idea if that's the only reason. Maybe the shelters in other areas are butterflies and rainbows with the unfortunate need to dispose of unwanted pets, but the more I learn about the shelters in my area, the more disgusted I become with them.

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