Mor(e)on Dog Bed Issues at MAS
December 20, 2011
As I posted previously, MAS is no longer using the Kuranda beds which had been donated by caring members of the public for the pets at the previous facility. With the new $7.2 million building, the city decided to go with what a mayor’s spokesman says is a cheaper and more sanitary product:
[T]he mayor’s spokesperson said the Shor-line product was chosen over the Kuranda beds because it doesn’t absorb bodily fluids, which may reduce the possibility of disease. Also, the Kuranda beds are more expensive and costlier to replace.
The product referenced is not a bed but rather a metal kennel deck with holes in it. And dogs immediately starting eating the coating off of them as soon as they moved to the new facility:
A spokesperson for Mayor A C Wharton’s office confirmed that 21 of the kennel decks are showing signs of chipping paint. Shor-line, the company that installed the beds, is replacing the damaged ones. Damage was caused by dogs chewing and gnawing on the beds. Some animal advocates worry that chipped paint could be toxic to dogs, but Shor-line’s website claims the PVC coating is non-toxic.
I visited the Kuranda website and found that MAS is signed up for the shelter donation program where donors can purchase Kuranda beds at discounted rates for direct shipping to the pound. It seems a shame to know that any such donations made in past were reportedly vandalized by the staff and any future donations will not be given to the pets at MAS. Further, it seems wasteful that all of the previously donated Kuranda beds are now presumably sitting somewhere, gathering dust. I ask again, what happened to the donated Kuranda beds? Has the city sold them for a profit while dogs lay on cold metal platforms in the pound? Did the city send them to the landfill along with the thousands of pets it kills each year?
I contacted Kuranda to request a response regarding the claims made by the mayor’s office about their beds being expensive disease spreaders. I received the following:
Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Below is the comment I posted on the website regarding sanitizing Kuranda beds. I’m puzzled that they would call metal grates “beds” and think they would offer any comfort to a dog, not to mention how impossible it would be to FULLY disinfect every nook/cranny of those holes on a daily basis. Our beds have been used for years in vet hospitals, animal shelters & boarding kennels where they are totally disinfected every day while providing a comfortable “bed” to sleep on. I’d be happy to provide the shelter with a sample bed to evaluate. –Carol
Both our pvc and aluminum frame beds w/solid 40oz vinyl are non-porous therefore not able to absorb fluids/bacteria. the solid surfaces are disinfected daily in kennels, clinics & boarding kennels without issue. The design of the bed tucks the heavyduty vinyl into the frame leaving no gaps or places to grab for chewing. Kuranda beds come with a ONE YEAR warranty. There are deep discounts for shelter purchases and a Donate a Bed program. http://www.kuranda.com/donate. Contact carol@kuranda with any questions.
I guess that answers that. Although I wouldn’t advise Kuranda to send any beds to MAS since they are likely to be vandalized upon receipt – and probably withheld from the dogs just like all the existing Kuranda beds.
For the emotional and physical comfort of the dogs at MAS, they must be provided soft bedding. If the city is opposed to using the donated Kuranda beds and/or is unable to stop the staff from vandalizing them, there are other options – old blankets and comforters for example. Bedding is a comfort item which helps reduce stress, keeping the population healthier and making individuals more adoptable. The full-of-holes kennel decks that the city touts as more sanitary are in fact, not. Nor are they beds.
Given the history of abuse at MAS, it is not surprising that they are denying the dogs these basic comfort items but it is disappointing. If the city truly cared about keeping the shelter population healthy and getting more pets out alive, they would provide soft bedding. It’s such a small thing but it can make such a big difference. Does anyone involved with MAS care about making a difference or is it easier to just maintain the status quo?