The Killings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

For as long as I can remember, I have been hearing variations on this theme from those who enable the killing of shelter pets about why shelters “have to” kill animals:

  • Until we get more fosters…
  • Until we get more donations…
  • Until everyone neuters and vaccinates their pets…
  • Until people stop buying pets instead of adopting…
  • Until breeders are all shut down…

Let’s clear this up straight away.  The unspecified future time being referred to in these scenarios is NEVER.  None of these things will ever come to pass.  Never ever.  The shelter system in this country is broken.  There will never be enough foster homes or donations to seal the gaping holes in this broken system.  There will never come a time when EVERYONE does Magical Thing A that some person has decided will forgo the need to mend this broken system.

So when you say to me, “Until we have MSN in every state in the country, shelter pets will continue to be killed”, what I’m hearing is “There will never be an end to shelter pet killing.”  And that thought is too horrific to contemplate.  Mercifully, we don’t have to, since it’s not true.

There are dozens of communities all over the country who have put a match to these myths and excuses and started saving every healthy/treatable animal in need.  They didn’t wait until everyone vaccinated their pets.  They didn’t wait until breeders stopped breeding.  They didn’t wait until they had a zilliony dollars in donations.  They just stopped killing.  (Note:  Once you stop killing animals, morale improves!)  And they started doing the hard work of saving animals using the programs of the No Kill Equation.  Every community in the country could do the same as long as the commitment to reform is there.  It could happen today.

Marlene at UPAWS in MI. June is “Name Your Price Cat Adoptions”! $1 on up for cats 4 months and older.

 

 

 

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56 Comments

  1. laceysmom

     /  June 20, 2012

    Yes!! It’s absolutely true!! Yet the sheltering industry can’t even contemplate this concept of “no kill”. They just don’t get it. They would rather kill and be done with it than spend a few more minutes networking the animals. I so want to believe this mind set will change!

    Reply
  2. FixCharlotte

     /  June 20, 2012

    Thanks Shirley! You keep us inspired!

    Reply
  3. dogedog

     /  June 20, 2012

    To add to the list. Regardless of the number of homes that want pets they do not always want an adoption animal. That won’t stop us from working every angle to show off the great animals available, but that is a truth that needs to be added to the list of unending realities.

    Reply
    • True. I consider that one to fall under “until people stop buying instead of adopting”. There are people who, for various reasons, are set on getting a certain breed, a certain age, a certain bloodline, etc. And that is A-OK. We only have to convince some of the UNDECIDED pet buyers to get their pet from a shelter in order to save the 3-4 million being killed each year. The ones who are already decided on a different source are not our target market.

      Reply
      • This is so true, some people want the freedom to chose where to get their pet. And that is their right. It becomes the job of the adovcates to present the shelter’s residents in the most pleasing manner that will help the adopter chose that pet (you know things like photographs —another topic however)

  4. dogedog

     /  June 20, 2012

    First time adopters welcome !!!! My favorite place to start. :)

    Reply
    • Absolutely! Some shelter pets really need an experienced owner but so many would be potential good matches for first time owners. I truly believe there is a shelter pet that would be a good fit for EVERYONE who wants one. I see at least 14 cats and 27 dogs a day online that would be good matches for me.

      Reply
  5. alice in lala land

     /  June 20, 2012

    I am copying this.. fabulous post.. every time I hear “don’t breeder or buy while shleter pets die”.. I will think of this.. excuses.. and of course.. if the people spouting this crap on street corners would take in a few more themselves the world would be a better place.. wonderful post Shirley.. excuses do not make thing happen .. people do..

    Reply
  6. animalnewsinfo

     /  June 20, 2012

    Great blog post as usual!

    Totally GORGEOUS kitty in the photo!

    Reply
    • I am in luuuuuuuuuuurve with that kitteh. I wish someone would adopt her and allow me to co-own her virtually or something. I’d put a kitty cam on her and watch what she does all day. She is a senior and THAT FACE!

      Reply
      • bailey

         /  June 20, 2012

        I would first like to start off saying how much I love your blog and I read it all the time. I also work for UPAWS, and am in no way speaking for them, but I think if you sent us a kitty cam we may be able to set it up. hehe. Thank you again for all the hard work you do and the nice things you post about UPAWS.

  7. Shelters also sometimes but arbitrary limits on the people they adopt to – background checks, home visits, 2 vet references, and more. how can they cry about killing when they screen out so many people by some arbitrary standard?

    Reply
    • db

       /  June 20, 2012

      I think reasonable screening is the best answer. Take away the stupid restrictions that some facilities (and rescues, too) place on potential adopters.
      However, with the fosters/rescues I’ve adopted out, I always do a vet check and it has prevented more than one person from taking one of my cats/kittens. A vet check and the understanding that I get the cat/kitten back at any time if the person cannot keep him/her is my bottom line.
      There are people willing to adopt, but we need to get the animals marketed better – as we all know.
      Yeah, that cat is gorgeous!!! And a senior, too. Good job UPAWS!!! She never would have made it in a lot of places, particularly with kitten season in full swing in Michigan.

      Reply
  8. STOP with the blame on the Shelters. What HAS TO happen is that VOTERS and COMMUNITES put their money, votes, and energies where their bitching currently is! Every County Animal Control is run by a County Government. The SOONER people put their Commissioners, Council Members and leaders to task – the SOONER the animals will be treated with the importance and respect they deserve. What this blog and set of comments does NOT address is that every Animal Control Director of a County Department – chartered by their State – reports to the Mayor and a Commission. you LITERALLY get what you vote for. Personally and professionally – I lobby every single year in our legislative chambers here in Tennessee. I speak at our Commission meetings. I hold Town Hall Meetings – citizens do NOT come. I AGREE That MANY Animal Control Departments are archaic and they are cruel. BUT NOT ALL OF US! But they all need the same things to change. Budget and Citizen Votes.

    Reply
    • Blame goes where the killing happens.

      If people want to lobby for legislative change to force shelter directors to stop the killing, I’m behind that. Please visit this page to learn how to legally require shelters to do their jobs:

      http://www.nokilladvocacycenter.org/shelter-reform/companion-animal-protection-act/

      Reply
      • What a shame to be so closed minded to believe that there is only one way to make change and one answer. We have to agree to disagree. There are worse things that happen to animals than being humanely euthanized in an Animal Control facility. you CANNOT turn your back on the legal governmental system in our county and how it is run and how the changes are made. If you don’t realize how it is run – that is a big part of the problem I have read all of Nathan’s books – follow his blogs – and heard him speak. I simply feel that unless voters put their votes where their mouths are then every State and County Government will continue to do what they want to. The proof is in the vote. Emailing and blogging helps some – but it certainly doesn’t get the powers in charge to change. And it certainly doesn’t get the work done either. Pose this question to your readership? How many hours a week or dollars a month do you spend at your local Animal Control or in contact with your lawmakers to help care for the animals or advocate for change?

      • betty gale

         /  June 4, 2013

        What karen think is Humane is not always true. and we all know how busy they are , to leave animals in holding rooms , so they can watch other being Kill, and Yes, You will tell that in your animal control that never happens. I saw it for too long, even pictures were taken of animals in distress, and they called KILL HUMOR. DONT DEFEND THEIR ABUSE, . educate your animal workers. is no excuse for the treatment!

    • Jeanne

       /  June 20, 2012

      Legislative change is essential, but you won’t get the right arguments or the right laws or the right leaders on the ballot without profound changes in how people think about sheltering. The no-kill movement has already brought about a deep shift in how the public regards shelter killing. You can’t legislate a social movement, but once it takes hold, legislative change is practically inevitable. When it comes to specifics, such as outlawing the gas chamber in my state, I work for legislative change. But the no-kill movement transcends specifics to change hearts and minds and principles.

      Reply
      • mikken

         /  June 20, 2012

        “Legislative change is essential, but you won’t get the right arguments or the right laws or the right leaders on the ballot without profound changes in how people think about sheltering.”

        Absolutely. If you’re a shelter director waiting for legislation to fix things, you’re screwed. And so are the animals in your care.

        Karen, maybe you can tell us why you think the no kill solution won’t work for you?

        (And, yes, many of us donate time and money and effort to our local shelters. My shelter had never seen a Kuranda bed before I donated some (they love them!). They also had a rule against advertising their cats until I petitioned the city commissioners to change that. We do help. And maybe we can help you?)

      • It’s certainly not that I think the No Kill Movement won’t work for my facility – or Montgomery County…it is simply going to be a longer road than many of us would like to get there. What is truly troubling is the vehemance in the people who believe in No Kill and nothing else immediately. I DO believe in No Kill – but Government has it’s constraints and things move very very slowly especially in the conservative south. I’m on the cusp of major changes here…support is coming around us. But my staff and I have been physically assaulted, had a guns pulled on us – verbally assaulted nearly daily…and literally this week a woman pulled in the facility parking lot – opened her car door and dumped out 8 kittens. Then she pulled out onto the street and opened her car door and dumped out a Yorkie. And we were open! I don’t think people realize that it’s going to take time for redneck conservative areas to come around to these changes…even with daily advocating. Many counties such as the one I am in have Resolutions that have to be changed to even allow us to function and operate differently. Without County Resolution changes the No Kill tenants can’t even be addressed. And – without a strong volunteer base – what we have is a group of 8 staff members who serve a county of 170,000 people including a transient military base of over 40,000 soldiers. I’m up for the task. My last facility was 85% kill rate when I took over. In 10 months we were an 80% placement facility and it still goes on today – thanks to a man I hired as a first time ACO taking over as Director when I left. Those of us who are on the road to change should not be condemed because we are not yet NO Kill.

      • I agree with you Jeanne – I feel strongly that they both have to happen at the same time. The Gas Chamber is BARBARIC. The No Kill Movement has changed the way people some view shelter killings – but it is also very negative to those of us in Animal Control facilities who are doing good work – making changes INSIDE the system. It leads people to generalize and that is never a good thing. What it does NOT do is get people to come into Animal Control Shelters to be involved and to help in the meantime.

      • Jeanne

         /  June 21, 2012

        @Karen, back in the 80s my local shelter was a horrifying pound with a rusted-out gas chamber. No one ever went there, but terrifying stories leaked out from the poor souls who got assigned there for community service and the prisoners who worked there. That place was torn down long ago. The current shelter is way too small, but they save most of the adoptable pets most of the time with long stretches of not killing any of them. They get more volunteers than pets coming through the shelter–literally tens of thousands of volunteers. The shelter changed first, then the people came flooding in to help. I believe change starts with the shelter director and staff. Our cat shelter (separate from the dog shelter) took a stand and refused to kill any more cats. They declared themselves “no-kill” and ended their relationship with the county gov. rather than kill another kitty. They focus on adoptions and running a lowcost spay/neuter clinic now.

  9. Here’s where we are in Tennessee with Animal Legislation. As you can plainly see folks – the LEGISLATORS do not vote for Animal Welfare Law here. And the Citizens continue to vote these people into office.

    http://www.humanetnpac.org/our-position-on-animal-related-bills.html

    Reply
  10. mikken

     /  June 20, 2012

    I envision a time where shelter directors wake up and realize that by running a “shelter” where employees are told to care for the animals, then they are told to kill those same animals, they are setting up an environment of intense emotional abuse.

    I’d also like to see shelter employees start filing lawsuits based on that abuse and start suing for emotional damages. If a few cities get hit with multiple lawsuits this way, possibly they’ll (finally) rethink their approach to sheltering.

    Maybe the road to no kill isn’t caring for animals so much as it is caring for humans – we’ve seen what kill shelters *do* to people. If you come in apathetic, you leave a monster. If you come in caring, you leave an empty shell…or worse.

    Reply
    • Mikken – thank you! it should be about caring for the humans. It’s a very very difficult job that my staff and myself (and others) have. I choose to run a county animal control department because I believe that I can lead change. I did in one facility in Tennessee so far and will continue in the new county I am in. I do this because Animal Control facilities NEED people running them who care and people who will educate and continue to try to make change. I have a long work history in IT and in the Music Industry. I came to Animal Control 4 years ago. I CHOSE it for no other reason than in hopes of change. There’s no money in it, there’s no relief it in. it’s painful and it’s emotionally disruptive and pervasive everyday. But we are slowly making changes – people need to GO TO their animal control. Their taxes pay for it. The citizens should demand what they want! IF they don’t – change is hard to nonexistent.

      Reply
  11. Yes, that would be a miraculous scenario, if it were to happen as it should fall into place. However, until we demand and get a Universal No-KILL Law passed, such disgraceful “shelters” will keep killing.

    Such Killing Facilities hire the lowest of the low in help, and definitely the same in adminstrative positions. They all have this “Kill Mentality” and think they are gods. They irrationally feel no one can stop them. What they, and none of us realizing, are thinking is we have the cash flow and the animals need to “go”…

    That is the secret, the cash flow, stop that nationwide that is paying for lethal medicines and they will be forced to shut down. No they will not kill the animals for spite, because they know we have figured it all out; get them in the purse strings. And to protect such animals, the good who help animals will be forced to come in and remove all the animals to a better no-kill facility to make sure they get cared for and not starve… Demand cash-flow stopped and killer facilities shut down of City Counsels and other governing bodies… You see our taxes are going to that killing medicine under the guise of animal care… Everyday a dog or cat is at a shelter, fed, gender altered, we the taxpayers pay for. This is a honor and pleasure to part, but giving a time limit, even sometimes not waiting it out, for animals to live unless adopted is downright soomething of evil sick minds… Perhaps with funding stopped the adoptions will increase. Oh there will be some sleaze trying to sell out the backdoor, but only a true demented person would face prosecution since the stopping of funding is telling these killing facilities that the jig is up…

    I do not know if I explained this correctly, but fill in ones own thoughts as figure my drift… But in a nutshell, we, because we pay taxes, are paying to kill each dog, cat, without realizing the role we are playing in the demise of such animals, and this needs to end… More should be done to be a animal sanctuary nation for dogs, cats, horses that cannot be placed instead of investors buying lands for malls and ill built expensive homes; we still have an abundance of wildlands left to build these animal sanctuaries.

    Prospective workers and administrations, even Judges who order animals killed before being allowed to sit any animal case, need to be carefully screened, including psychiatric evaluations, for any abuser will begin with an animal first before hurting humans. I am of the opinion that moral is only part of the evaluation of why there is such high percentages on animal killing, my opinion is that most or all of these animal facility workers, counsels, judicial incompetents, are of the abuser classes. They are sick individuals who get their kicks killing animals, period…

    Reply
    • Trisha – you are so very wrong in your generalizations here. All Animal Controls and All ACOs and Directors do NOT feel they are Gods. Nor do we all have the “kill” mentality! how ridiculous. I agree that the OLD mentality is that way. But – do you realize that your local Animal Control Director is hired by your Mayor? That the Animal Control Resolutions that run your facility are written and passed by your Commissioners? The Directors and ACOs have very little input. Our State Auditors here in Tennessee just completed their audit of my Animal Control Facility. The first audit in TEN years! (Ive been there 8 months) They haven’t audited Animal Control in TEN years because we are “IMMATERIAL” to the State and to the budget. Which means that we are less than 2% of the budget. Any ideas where the budget comes from? The people you are supposed to vote for!!!! There is a pervasive attitude in the systems in our country that #1 It’s someone else’s problem and #2 Status Quo is easiest. GET INVOLVED and get your hands dirty. Get some poop on your boots – wash some dogs – run an adoption day – demand that the people running for public office ADVOCATE for animals or atleast give you their opinion on animals rights!

      Reply
      • Trisha – I DO love the idea of stopping the funding for “killing machines.” MAKING the commissions and the govenrment bodies who spend the money on this to STOP it. Our taxes pay for alot of things that are wrong – but every tax paying citizen is paying to kill animals everyday in each state. It’s sick and it’s a sad decades long process that needs to stop! Where is the Humane Society and the ASPCA in all of this? If they got involved in a TRUE NO KILL movement – this would ALL be behind us – they after all – suck in millions of dollars tax free every year. What if their ONLY mission for say 5 years was to get a Universal No Kill solution passed? Do you realize that the Humane Society has not given money or support on the Animal Control Shelter level for 7 to 10 years? What if…

  12. db

     /  June 20, 2012

    If you are waiting for the big “animal welfare” organizations to get involved in no-kill, you are going to be disappointed. Unfortunately, the A$PCA and H$US, are only interested in making as much money as they can and gaining as much power as they can. They do not care about shelters or not killing animals. They have a lot of emotional advertising that, unfortunately, gives the wrong impression to compassionate people.

    I applaud you for doing this difficult work because you choose to, in order to help change to happen. I live in Michigan and know that the economics of the upper peninsula. There is a lot of poverty and unemployment, yet UPAWS made a decision to stop killing adoptable animals and they have been successful. It can be done!

    Reply
    • YES it can be done. People just have to commit to it! Thanks for your post. The big entities don’t care about not kiling animals or about shelters. The more people who know this the less will GIVE THEM money.

      Reply
  13. Excellent blog post! Thank you for featuring our lovely Marlene. May I refer back to a YesBiscuit post called Testify at the link below. It is a our story…the story of UPAWS going from a high kill shelter killing 65% – 70% of the animals that came to our shelter to SAVING over 96%. Going from Hi-Kill to No-Kill! Throwing all the excuses out the window.

    No, there is not a magic wand…it is hard work but very fulfilling work…our staff, Board and volunteers work hard, we work tirelessly for those sweet souls that come to us. To find them new families. They deserve no less than our all! They did not ask to be homeless.

    There is always more to do, more to learn but we know we are on the right path and we are constantly “thinking outside the box” with new adoption promotions, new ideas, new fundraisers, ways to reach out to our caring community.

    But it is fun, I love it and though I work a regular paycheck job in retail, I am passionate about our shelter and saving these wonderful homeless pets. Nothing gives me more joy.

    http://yesbiscuit.wordpress.com/2010/12/18/testify/

    Reply
    • Ann – How wonderful of you to volunteer and to be passionate about fundraising and about it all! I’m just scratching the surface for volunteers here at my facility due to 10 years under a Director and Commission who accepted a 92% euthanasia rate as just fine. We are changing – I’ve been Director 8 months and we can all see small differences everyday…people just need to dig in and help. It’s critical to the success of an animal saving program!!!!

      Reply
    • Thanks Ann. I went back and read the post “Testify.” It was great to read about people actually WORKING at Animal Control and helping and digging in and the honesty of what it actually takes to make change at that level. It helps. And to read what I live everyday in an open admissions shelter…and the reality of never being a true NO Kill but rather Low Kill!

      Reply
      • Sue

         /  June 20, 2012

        Karen has made a huge difference in how our community looks at Animal Control. It is amazing that when you walk in the door the staff greets you instead of treating you like you are interrupting their day; adoption hours have changed giving people that work the opportunity to visit and adopt; no longer are specific breeds killed just because they are a specific breed or even look like one, all dogs are given a chance at adoption. I have rescued in this community for 10 years, in those ten years I have rescued more Rottweilers in the 8 months that Karen has been there than the other 9 years and 4 months. We all know change has to continue but I see the difference here and believe Karen will continue to fight and move us forward.

      • Thank you Sue! It’s so good to know that you see the difference and we have been so fortunate that you have rescued and fostered so many from us!

      • Karen – I’m not sure what you mean when you say “the reality of never being a true NO Kill but rather Low Kill!”

        I reject the idea that killing any number of healthy/treatable shelter pets is acceptable and as such, I reject the term “low kill”. Sure “low kill” is better than “medium kill” or “high kill” but it still allows for killing which is why I use the term NO kill to describe what I’m advocating for. No kill is a reality. It’s happening.

      • I understand. Who decides whether an animal “gets to have chemo” and suffers through it – or gets euthanized as “untreatable?” Even the great Vets I work with don’t agree on alot of the treatable vs untreatable cases. To me – every animal is adoptable no matter what. I’ve had people run to the rescue of an animal with only weeks to live and adopt them. Yet others feel that an animal with Parvo should never even get treatment.

      • UPAWS saves every healthy/treatable animal.
        We do everything we possibly can to help them, treat them etc. We reach out to our community if an animal needs extensive vet treatment and the costs are high. We ask for help, and amazingly we get that help!
        I think of just one of many examples of Steve a cat who arrived with us a couple months ago – an 11 year old male who came to us because of potty issues. Our staff noticed that he was straining to urinate and was in pain – he was rushed to the vet and had a blockage, needed $400 to $500 in emergency vet care to save him. We immediately got his vet care when we rushed him in but then put his story on our website and facebook with Steve asking for help for his vet care costs – we got that help in donations within 3-4 days. He had a long road to go with his recovery but each day he got better and better. And we are happy to say, Steve went into foster care and was adopted soon after.
        Recently last week we were nearly out of canned cat food – I put a plea on our facebook page, called the local radio station, and put it on our website. Within hours, we had 3 huge shelves bursting full of food! It is amazing! We put a plea also last week at that same time that we were full of shelter pets and we needed help – we needed adopters and fosters. Our community stepped up and helped right away. Within 2 days, we had 8 adult cats go to fosters and 4 dogs to go fosters plus many adoptions (maybe that doesn’t sound like a lot to some but it is a big deal to our shelter).
        The reason I posted this and the Testify link is to show folks a bit of where we came from and our journey – hopefully to give other shelters hope that if we can do it – they too can stop the killing of and save the animals. Thank you

  14. Jessica C

     /  June 21, 2012

    Excellent post, as always, Shirley! I completely agree.

    Reply
    • Sue

       /  June 21, 2012

      But what do you do when your community does not provide the level of help needed? What do you do when the majority of your community that is creating our shelters to overflow are transient? I’m sincerely just asking because having a military installation is a huge burden on our facility because during deployments and other personnel movements bring an onslaught of surrenders along with Military housing breed bans.

      Reply
      • I would suggest looking at Reno as a guide. Mitch Schneider has said that he was skeptical about no kill working in Reno due to the transient population and high intake rate. No kill worked. An onslaught of surrenders from deploying military personnel is akin to an onslaught of intakes due to seizures. Reno saves those animals too, by utilizing the same programs they have in place to save animals every day. In extraordinary times, the programs of the No Kill Equation can be used in extraordinary ways.

      • We have several military installations nearby here in Alaska. They are a large percentage of our population! Some rescues refuse to adopt to military folk. But honestly, people LOVE animals, yes, even (and sometimes especially) military people. Why not set up a special foster program so that those who are short term can love and get to know an animal that needs a home? Maybe they’ll adopt, maybe they won’t, maybe they’ll PCS with their new pet, maybe they won’t. But the animal doesn’t have to die. I’ve adopted out to military folk. I’ve had the dog come back. I’ve had the dog ship overseas! I’ve taken in dogs that were given up by military folk, and I’ve found them other loving homes.
        Excuse me, but isn’t forever just until you die?

      • Jessica C

         /  March 22, 2013

        Yeah, seems very backwards. Fostering is better than nothing at all. Seems like shelters just dont care anymore.

  15. Karen wrote:

    It’s certainly not that I think the No Kill Movement won’t work for my facility – or Montgomery County…it is simply going to be a longer road than many of us would like to get there. What is truly troubling is the vehemance in the people who believe in No Kill and nothing else immediately. I DO believe in No Kill – but Government has it’s constraints and things move very very slowly especially in the conservative south. I’m on the cusp of major changes here…support is coming around us. But my staff and I have been physically assaulted, had a guns pulled on us – verbally assaulted nearly daily…

    I’m sorry you and your staff have been hurt by thugs. I hope you have reported these crimes to the police and that they have taken them seriously. I also hope you are not in any way implying that those of us who vehemently support no kill are in any way responsible for these crimes. I am committed to change through non-violence and while I can’t speak for every no kill advocate in the country, I believe most of us feel the same way. It’s kind of a thing. As with any large group, there will always be a tiny fringe element of people who operate on their own and do not represent the views of the movement.

    Reply
    • OMG – I would NEVER think that anyone but the person committing the act is responsible for the act. Yes they get reported. And yes we call law enforcement. But mostly -they don’t even write a report on the incidents…not even the one where a gun was pulled on me and I was threatened. He was an ex Sheriff’s Deputy – so they just talked to him and let him go home.

      Reply
  16. db

     /  June 21, 2012

    And UPAWS has changed the attitude of the community while doing all they do to save animals. I think they are starting to see themselves in a different light.

    I’d like to hear from others who have made the switch. It gives me hope.

    Reply
  17. mikken

     /  June 21, 2012

    “But my staff and I have been physically assaulted, had a guns pulled on us – verbally assaulted nearly daily”

    That is horrific! I do hope you and your staff are documenting these incidents as best you can (logging it, cell phone video, whatever you can manage) and reporting them. No one should have to put up with that, ever.

    “and literally this week a woman pulled in the facility parking lot – opened her car door and dumped out 8 kittens. Then she pulled out onto the street and opened her car door and dumped out a Yorkie. And we were open!”

    Huh. Makes me wonder what her past experience has been with that facility before you took over. Fear or guilt or…?

    I’m very glad that you’re there, advocating for change. But you’re going to have to be very careful not to burn out yourself or your dedicated staff. You MUST look out for yourselves or you’re no good to any animal there. Are you guys set up to support each other?

    Is there anything we can do to help you?

    Reply
    • Mikken – kind of you to ask. In reality? I would love for Nathan to come to Tennessee to speak. I’ve written and asked. I attended the UT Knoxvill Symposium “Animals, Ethics, and the Law” a few months back with great presenters and a think tank. I had written asking for Nathan Winograd to be invited or added as a speaker and to sit on the critique panels! Can you arrange that? Also – it would help to get the United States Military to lift their breed bans so counties with a large post – like ours – wouldn’t keep wanting to ridiculously follow suit! I know – I’m just shooting for the stars here. In March there were 9 bills in session for Animal Welfare – 1 passed – 8 were killed in commitee. We lobbied again – always do. But we lobby anyway!

      Reply
      • db

         /  June 22, 2012

        Just thinking out loud here – but what if you were able to get together a group of animal friendly folks (other shelter directors, rescues, local TNR advocates, animal friendly government folks, even the “public”, ???) and held some kind of symposium and actually asked Nathan (and maybe others) to speak? I’m not sure about finances (whether anyone would do it gratis) but somehow get folks together to talk about making these changes. Sometimes I think we hang in our own little corner of the world trying to do what we can when a more unified front would make a bigger impact.

        It’s pretty evident from following the goings on at MAS and some of the other shelters that much of the population of your region is – um of the mind that “they’re just animals” – but it’s also been evident that there are good people there who do want to make a difference.

        As far as the idiot with the kittens and yorkie – I hope someone got her license plate number. Even if it’s not illegal to dump animals, she needs to be educated about making a better choice . . .

  18. carlapage54

     /  September 6, 2012

    i cannot foster any animals and here is the reason why
    1.i don,t have the proper fencing
    2.i cannot afford to build fencing
    3.i don,t have anyone to build dog houses
    4.i don,t have anyway to build or set up dog runs in my back yard
    5.someone would have to pay the vet bills for any foster dogs
    6.someone would have to donate lumber for privacy fencing over 8ft
    7.someone would have to volunteer their time to build fencing and dog houses and kennel runs.

    if i could find me a good and decent man who is financially well off and wants to foster dogs and love dogs then maybe i could do something.ever since michael died i,ve been alone,mom has helped me to keep our dog.he is an indoors dog and goes out to do his business and comes back in.i really wished i could help!

    Reply
  19. Karen

     /  September 6, 2012

    carlapage54 – oh how many times have people I know – and women I know said these exact things to me. My response is simply that we can ALL make excuses for doing nothing when in reality we can ALL do something. These attitudes are pervasive with people who don’t even want to help themselves much less another life that is at stake. I put together a “Fostering 101″ group and booklet in years past. We held educational meetings and talked about it at schools with children. The bottomline for me is that people always want to give – for some personal reason – and sadly they want to give the what and the way that they want to give. Which rarely addresses the reality of what the true giving needs ARE. “I want to hold those lonely kitties.” That’s GREAT! And while you’re here – they need flea medication applied and their litter changed as well. Response” “What? Me? Really?” you can turn these people around – but it takes soooooooo much time. I’ve found it’s better to meet it head one – explain it – and move on spend the energy on a person(s) who really WANTS to make a difference.

    Reply
  20. Hi,
    Just a quick update on Marlene, the 12 year old Siamese mix in the photo. She arrived at UPAWS the beginning of June and waited 3 months for her new family. She was one of our Lonely Heart Club Members (any pet at UPAWS who has been there longer than 60 days is consider a Lonely Heart and their adoption fee is paid for by a local business and kind supporters – see link info below). She was adopted the second week of September and is now loved by her new family! She lives with a dog and her new Mom said that Marlene is the Queen of the house! They said she is a talker (we knew that though!) and such a funny character. They had never had a cat before and absolutely adore Marlene! Hooray! Just wanted to share : ) Here is the link to our Lonely Heart Club Program:

    http://upaws.org/news.php?StoryID=493

    Reply
  21. EXACTLY. I have been preaching this for years with regards to the shelter in Miami as well as on my reform page on FB. Unfortunately it falls on deaf ears with many in rescue, who actually make excuses for the incompetent shelter directors who run these killing pounds, many for their own personal gain and egos. Meanwhile these directors make exorbitant salaries to continue the failed policies. And sadly, many in the communities who are NOT as educated on the conditions and policies in their local shelters blindly believe the misinformation coming from the management and the local politicians, so the conditions and the killings and abuse just continue. There is a desperate need for educating the public on better ways to solve these problems and that the tools are already in existence to solve them, the wheel does NOT have to be reinvented. It just has to be greased so it operates smoothly…..

    Reply
  1. Director of Richmond Co. HS complains about the public, tells them to just shut up | FixNC
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