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  #21  
Old 10-09-2012, 07:06 PM
stardogs stardogs is offline
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Originally Posted by Sweet72947 View Post
Take away all that, staff the shelter with friendly, helpful, nonjudgemental faces, aggressively market your animals with nice photographs and upbeat, descriptive bios, participate in adoption events in your area, and make your shelter a place where people want to come to adopt and a place that people want to support, and you will have the resources you require.
And what if doing all that still doesn't bring your live release rate up significantly? The shelter I used to work at did all of that and more and still had to euth for space. Yes, there are a lot of shelters that should work on the above, but there are plenty who "do everything right" and still have way more animals than homes. How do you explain that?

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The no-kill shelter I volunteer for gets donations out the wazoo. There are single donations of $5000 at times to this place. I once helped type up spreadsheets of donations so that thank you notes could be mailed out, and in one month, they had $30,000 in donations! That was December which may make a difference since it is the Christmas season and all, but I know that they get a lot of money from people all the time, and it really isn't that hard.
$30000 is NOTHING when your budget is over a million and you take in 18000 animals annually. December is a HIGH time for donations as well ime - many people do single year end donations for tax purposes.

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Originally Posted by Sweet72947 View Post
And honestly, you can't truly improve the care and overall efforts in the shelter until you stop the killing. While the killing of healthy adoptable pets is allowed to continue, the people who work there will distance themselves from the animals because its easier to NOT CARE about something that is going to die anyway. It is easier to slack on disease prevention, why provide more than the bare minimum (if that) when the animal is probably just going to die anyway?
Um whut? Have you ever worked in a well run open admission shelter? Have you? Because until you have, you have NO IDEA. none.

You can't "just stop killing" when you get 100+ animals/day and have a capacity of 350 TOTAL. If you stop killing, the animals still have to go somewhere. If you start doubling up in kennels or crating in hallways several things happen: 1. The disease rates go up. WAY UP. 2. Behavior problems skyrocket (not enough space, too many animals = not enough individual attention) 3. Staffing needs to go up to try and minimize #1 and #2 - where does the money come from??

Tell me again how long term crating/kenneling is humane. It's not. Even in the most perfect no kill facility (oh how I hate that term) a kennel is no substitute for a home.
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  #22  
Old 10-09-2012, 07:09 PM
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Donations are another problem. Memphis area, for example, is extremely poor. Add on 100+ organizations on top of that....and where does the money come from? How do you support that many rescues, shelters, and humane societies?

These places are giant black holes for money. Money keeps going in, but it's never coming back. You can jack up adoption prices all you want, $300 isn't going to cover a $5000 vet bill for one dog. Advertising is another nice idea, but costs money.

Then you have snotty people on one side of the spectrum who refuse to place dogs in anything less than their obscure view of a 'perfect' home, and on the other side you have shelters, humane societies and rescues who scam people for more money to go towards the dogs. Somewhere in the middle, you have one, both, or efforts are going into that big black hole of money spending.
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  #23  
Old 10-09-2012, 07:20 PM
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I think blaming shelters for overpopulation is like blaming cops for crime. It all starts somewhere, but it's easy to blame those who get stuck cleaning up the mess.
If you are the one putting a needle full of fatal-plus into the dog, you are directly to blame for it's death. Others may be indirectly responsible, such as the breeder who created that life and failed to look after it, and the owner who surrendered the pet to the shelter in the first place, but the person doing the killing holds the ultimate responsibility.

Is it "cleaning up the mess" when owned pets are "oops killed" instead of being returned to their owners? How many times do you think this happens in shelters across the nation that don't make the news?
http://news.hjnews.com/allaccess/art...9bb2963f4.html

Is it "cleaning up the mess" when shelters refuse to work with local rescues and choose to kill instead? Loudoun County Animal Control refuses to work with most groups in our area. And they kill most pit bulls that enter their shelter, even though there is no BSL in VA. Why?

Look at those faces in my signature. Excepting the black lab with the purple collar and the terrier, those dogs were slated for death until FOHA took them. That doberman puppy, could you imagine looking at that face and then killing him? I honestly couldn't, and I honestly don't know how people that genuinely care about animals could kill them day after day. I have worked in a kill shelter environment. The people there are full of a great pain. Its a shame that we defend the suffering of these people, much less the suffering and death of the animals involved.
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  #24  
Old 10-09-2012, 07:23 PM
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Well I think it's disingenuous to say that overpopulation has nothing to do with it. But I do think it's more complicated than a simple numbers game.

I think that in some areas there is an overpopulation of certain types of dogs. Up here, lab mixes are practically the state dog (although that is changing as more and more dogs are imported from southern states). In some areas, pit mixes are common. And so on. There are so many regional differences. And if the particular mix that is common in an area is not in demand in that area - well, there's an overpopulation problem even if technically there are homes looking for dogs. They're just not looking for THOSE dogs.

I do think that many shelters manage their resources poorly and don't have good policies in place. There are some fairly simple interventions that can make a big difference not only in how many animals find homes but also how strongly those new owners bond to their pet and how likely the pet is to stay in the home.... and even reducing surrender rates - one local shelter has switched to an intake by appointment system and provides behavior counseling for some problems, and they claim that a significant number of potential surrenders are averted this way.

BUT, I also think that many shelters are grossly underfunded and are doing the best they can with the resources they have and the support (or lack thereof) they have from their communities. Cultural attitudes surrounding animals vary SO much regionally, even from neighborhood to neighborhood in big cities sometimes. So not only is there no one-size-fits-all solution, I don't even think this is a one-size-fits-all problem.

Trying to boil down a complicated problem to a simple solution like "just don't kill so many animals!" doesn't really solve anything AND tends to polarize people. Not constructive. And don't even get me started on no-kill shelters that don't have open admission policies and then criticize shelters who DO have open admission policies. Easy to be no-kill when you will only take in highly adoptable animals and leave everyone else out in the cold.
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  #25  
Old 10-09-2012, 07:34 PM
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I live in a part of the country where overpopulation simply doesn't exist. My friend runs a rescue up here, and takes in the strays for most of the county whenever their hold time is up looking for the owners. Still, local dogs account for something like 10% of the dogs who come through her rescue. Everything else is a transfer. The north-east, in general, doesn't have an issue with pet overpopulation. I'm sure there is more of an issue near the big cities.

I think a big step towards improving the placement rate of dogs who get transferred out of the south would be to have competent people evaluating them prior to transfer, and people being honest about the dogs. I've seen a trip of "I can take as many puppies as you have and four adult dogs" turn into *27* adult dogs when the van actually arrives. That isn't okay - it doesn't matter how over whelmed the southern rescue is, they need to not do stuff like that. If the rescue says "the only thing I can't take is dogs with dog-issues because of our housing situation" and they send a severely dog aggressive dog - who they admit to knowing is aggressive when contacted - you've just ticked off the person who was interested in helping you, and either sentenced that dog to death, or you will be paying to transport it back (yes, I've seen rescues do that). It sucks that some dogs simply aren't adoptable, but people need to be honest about it and do everything they can to get the adoptable dogs out to places they find homes.

Meg came to me from a shelter where, until a few years before I got her, they put all the dogs who were overflow at the end of the week in a hole, and they shot down into it until nothing else was moving. She lived in a crate (not a kennel) with another dog before being transferred up. I'm not blind to how poorly things can be handled. Of course the ideal is to not have to euthanize for anything other than health or behavioral issues. Are we there? Not even close.

I don't think for an instant that the people producing these dogs should be absolved. They may not be the one putting the needle or bullet in the dog, but it is 100% their fault. I put zero blame on those who have to do the actual dirty deed.
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  #26  
Old 10-09-2012, 07:37 PM
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I think it's a combination of things. I worked in a kill shelter (municipal pound) for 2 years. The euth rate was pretty high, it's a rural shelter. A lot of the animal rescue people were trying desperately to get the shelter run much differently. There were definite major problems in the way it was run that would have helped the shelter adopt out more animals.

There were still tons and tons and tons of dogs and especially cats coming in. I definitely agree with whoever said that there is in a lot of places a discrepancy in what people want and what is in the shelter. In my two years we got in countless labs and lab mixes, countless pit bull types, and a lot of hound mixes. I would bet the vast majority of our purebred dogs were pit bulls. And on the other hand we rarely got in a golden. We didn't get a single sheltie or papillon the entire time I was there. I really believe there is an overpopulation of certain types of dogs.
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  #27  
Old 10-09-2012, 07:39 PM
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The person holding the needle has the ultimate responsibility for homeless dogs and cats.....

Uhm. No.

You are oversimplifying this to an extreme level.
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  #28  
Old 10-09-2012, 08:27 PM
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It's honestly an issue that has a lot of factors, and it's not the fault of the person with the needle at all.

There's the 'we want a dog just like her' people who breed without thinking. UGH. Then fine, pick the newborn pup you want and put the rest down because of course nobody is going to love a pup they didn't breed... oh wait, you didn't breed the 'just have to have one like her' one in a million dog? Then get another from the same place! Not hard!

There's the byb's who just breed without thinking because they can sell them fast online, usually the breed of the week (around here it seems to be puggles, bichon mixes, the poodle mixes, american bullies and great danes), no clearances, no screening homes, just make puppies and don't ask questions. Maybe if they had to take back all the dogs they bred when things didn't work out, or pay a fee per day for a shelter to do it, they'd think twice or maybe ask more questions and screen better. It might help a bit.

It's the rescues that save 'everything' and then run into issues because that dog they pulled from the big bad kill shelter they badmouth needs a lot of work and they've burned out their foster homes, or in a rush to get the dog put them with a foster who has never had a dog before let alone one with major issues, and the foster thinks love and cookies will fix it all. Oh and they can't find homes because their dogs are so special they have blanket policies and don't ask questions to weed out the policy flaws.

It's the vets that don't push spay and neutering and do the vaccine as a 'vet check' for breeding, instead of saying 'hey, you want to breed? well before you do let's go over your dog's breed and health issues and get that testing done.... oh you don't have that money and figure you don't need to test? wrong, you need to test'.

It's the people who get a dog without thinking, don't do the work, and then fail and have to get rid of the dog for training issues, breed related issues (didn't think the border collie would jump a 3 foot fence and run loose all day, they're smarter than that), or money issues. And dump the dog.

Blame the kill shelters is the easy route, but really, they're just cleaning up everyone's mess and doing what needs to be done. Even putting dogs and cats down - they didn't breed them or send pets home intact. They DO usually screen and put down the dogs that are going to take too much work and not have a good chance of a home, sadly it ends up being the pitties and the rotties who come in with major issues from lack of training or poor breeding. And I agree it's more humane to put a dog down than make them live in a shelter situation with limited training time do to funds and then still have to have special requirements for adoptive homes. I interviewed for a job at a shelter and they said 'we have to keep our 'special needs' adoptive homes to around 5%, otherwise people get turned off of adopting and go to online sources even though there are dogs that would work for them that might come along a week or two later'.... kind of makes sense to me, I certainly wouldn't look on kijiji for my next show dog...
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  #29  
Old 10-09-2012, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by BostonBanker View Post
I live in a part of the country where overpopulation simply doesn't exist. My friend runs a rescue up here, and takes in the strays for most of the county whenever their hold time is up looking for the owners. Still, local dogs account for something like 10% of the dogs who come through her rescue. Everything else is a transfer. The north-east, in general, doesn't have an issue with pet overpopulation. I'm sure there is more of an issue near the big cities.
The Pacific Northwest, where I live, is similar. We really don't have overpopulation. Most dogs in shelters get adopted, and the local humane society brings in dogs from other areas to place. The county shelter doesn't tout itself as "no kill", but essentially, it is. For dogs, at least. There's always somewhere for a dog to go (ie; I transported a middle aged, large black furry dog with a flea allergy problem from our city shelter to a rescue about an hour south of here that had volunteered to take it) Cats, not so well off. People are not as responsible with cats, and of course there are the ferals. But dogs pretty much only get killed for serious behavioral or health issues.

You kind of feel bad for the rescue groups, because there's not much for most of them to take. My niece and her moms did some volunteering with a local rescue group, and decided to go ahead and adopt their own dog. The dog they wound up with was a Mexican street dog. Because it was pretty much that or a pit bull. Which are great dogs, of course, but not the right dog for that family.
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  #30  
Old 10-09-2012, 09:21 PM
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Here's my opinion on all 3 of high kill, low-kill, and no kill shelters. I realize all are different. Having volunteered at a no kill shelter and worked at a low-kill shelter for 6 years.

Before the shelter I worked at got new management it was high kill. They barely had any dogs and they would kill people's dogs that the people were looking for and they knew they were looking for them. They wouldn't even let you volunteer because they knew what they were doing was wrong.

It had awful management for years until 2005 and my ex-boss came along. Then she made it low-kill, meaning aggressive animals were euthanized or really sick animals were.

They have euthanized dogs that were court ordered to be put down since they were bite-cases. But, they also have euthanized dogs they were also highly adoptable in my eyes.

As for no-kill. Well, I volunteered there for about a year. I don't like how they do things as they get puppies from an Indian reservation that will kill them if they don't take them. But that screws the dogs over that have been there for a long time that are highly adoptable. But, you know everyone wants and has to have a puppy and not an older dog.

I don't like it that some dogs have to sit in a kennel for years or whatever because they can't adopt them out. Or, they get way in over their head with too many animals. No, healthy adoptable animals should not be euthanized but it happens every day since pet overpopulation is so bad and it will continue to be bad. As long as people who should not breed their dogs or cats in the first place stops.

That's why there's a huge overpopulation problem. People who should not be breeding don't think about the animals that already need homes in shelters. It is because of them why there's a plethora of animals in shelters that nobody wants and why they are euthanized every day to make room for more.

They don't think their puppies or kittens will end up in a shelter, well it does happen every day. And, some dogs and cats grow up in shelters when nobody wants them. I have seen it happen with kittens at the shelter I worked at. That probably will never have a home. I have never seen a puppy grow up in the shelter I worked at, but I have seen it at the shelter where I used to volunteer. This is just my take on it and probably the longest post I have ever made on this forum.
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