Carroll Co Pound Cancels Cat Adoption Special, Refuses $700 Donation

In 2011, the Humane Society of Carroll Co in MD killed 2457 of the 3053 cats who came through its doors.  When Laura Shenk of the group Animal Advocates of Carroll Co MD noticed a cat adoption special on the pound’s website this month, she and her group set about promoting the $30 fee.  The promotion appeared to be working since 18 cats were adopted in the first week which is more than twice the average number of cats adopted weekly at the facility.

The adoption special was suddenly removed from the HS of Carroll Co’s website, without explanation, on October 8.  In its place was a notice that cats could be adopted for a $50 fee which was later changed to a vague “please call for pricing” notice.  Ms. Shenk contacted shelter director Nicky Ratliff to explain that her group had heavily promoted the $30 fee special and believed the shelter should honor the fee for the entire month, as originally advertised.

By way of response, Ms. Ratliff had 2 suggestions:  1.  Don’t mention the fees when promoting the shelter cats (presumably so the shelter would not find itself in the awkward position of having to explain why the advertised price is not the actual price) and 2.  Start your own cat rescue.  (This is one I have heard from pet killing facilities on numerous occasions.  Their counter to advocates’ demands of, “Do your job!” is “No, YOU do our job!”)

On October 11, I sent an e-mail to Ms. Ratliff inquiring as to why the adoption fee special was discontinued.  I have not received a response to that e-mail.

Ms. Shenk then brought her concerns to the county board.  She was advised that the $30 advertised fee represented a $20 discount from the regular fee and was too costly for the shelter to absorb.  Her group offered to pay the $20 difference in adoption fees for up to 35 cats in order to allow the shelter to honor the originally advertised fee special for the remainder of the month.  This offer, which would have amounted to a $700 donation, was refused by Ms. Ratliff in an e-mail to a county board member:

From: Ratliff, Nicky
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 1:56 PM
To: Windham, Roberta J.
Subject: Laura Shenk’s offer to assist

I just asked my staff if anyone had called us to inquire about the $30.00 spayed and neutered cats/kittens or had anyone mentioned it when they came in to adopt and they said not a single person has called or said anything. For that reason we will not be once again changing our website for the remaining 11 days of the month that we are open to the public.

That being said, we do appreciate the offer from Laura and please advise her that if she or her group would want to donate specifically to our spay/neuter account they are welcome to do so and we would appreciate their financial assistance. Thanks, Nicky

So I guess that because nobody asked about a fee special the shelter removed from its website, there is no need to accept a $700 donation from a group of advocates trying to help the shelter reduce its horrifying 80% kill rate for cats.  This makes sense to at least one person on this earth apparently.  Unfortunately that person is killing most of the cats in her care and unwilling to accept free money from animal advocates to kill less.

But nobody wants to kill pets, right?

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35 Comments

  1. I can’t believe what I am reading!! UPAWS has reduced fee promotions all the time! People LOVE them! And they work as can be proved with our save rate! My goodness to refuse the $700 on top of that! Well, I find this flabbergasting!!

    Reply
  2. mikken

     /  October 25, 2012

    Surely the increase in adoptions the first week was proof that it was working??? Stupid, stupid, and cruel.

    Someone needs to point out to that board member that what they’re proposing equals more dead cats.

    And that shelter director needs to find another form of employment. Because clearly, they DO want to kill cats.

    Reply
  3. Vicki Aucremanne

     /  October 25, 2012

    unbelievable….and sad for the cats…

    Reply
  4. Thank you once again, Shirley, for bringing to light some of our strange practices for handling homeless pets in Carroll Co., MD. I am just appalled that our offer was refused, and will be contacting the shelter’s BOD to be sure they are aware of the situation. If anyone else would like to write them and express an opinion about this, I’m happy to provide their addresses, which I found available online, on the shelter’s 990 form.

    Reply
    • Catherine

       /  October 25, 2012

      I’d like the contact info – thank you!

      Reply
      • You can write to the shelter’s Board of Directors at the following addresses-
        Mary & Ken Mays 51 John Owings Rd., Westminster, MD 21158
        Dick Sletcher 807 Old New Windsor Rd., Westminster, MD 21157
        Marsha Mathias 115 Virginia Dr., Westminster, MD 21158
        Sherry Finch 911 Stone Rd., Westminster, MD 21158
        (Dr.) John Kable 65 W. Green St., Westminster, MD 21157
        Iris Katz 3158 Cardinal Dr., Westminster, MD 21157
        Pat Orlove 51 Madison St., Westminster, MD 21157
        Kathi Hill 4210 Watertank Rd., Manchester, MD 21102
        You can find the contact info. for your Carroll Co. Commissioners, here- http://ccgovernment.carr.org/ccg/commiss/meet.asp

  5. Katherine

     /  October 25, 2012

    This is just about the SICKEST thing I’ve ever heard in my LIFE!  What is it with cats?  They don’t stand a  snowball’s chance in HELL once they come through the shelter doors!!  This woman needs to be fired and arrested for cruelty to animals.  Charged with a felony, convicted and spend about 10 -15 years in a horror of a jail!!    My 2 cents worth.. and I figure there are several more of you out there that feel the same way I do.               “Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened”                               Kathie

    ________________________________

    Reply
  6. Kathy

     /  October 25, 2012

    SICK!! I am so glad you made this email public! Nicky needs to be removed! This arrival really makes me MAD!!

    Reply
  7. Liz

     /  October 25, 2012

    Please, someone, please find out and publish public-ally just how much do pounds like this one, and Memphis, and Hernando County (Fl), and all the kill “shelter” get paid to kill animals…cats, dogs, horses, and any other animal they so mirthlessly kill. I can’t find out…maybe you can. Thanks.

    Reply
  8. I run Charm City Animal Rescue and offered to pull cats from Carroll County last year. Instead of accepting my assistance, Nicky Ratliff called the (then) head of Baltimore City Animal Control and said “why does she need our cats, don’t you have enough in the city?” I cannot fathom why she is the head of a shelter, or being paid what she is. I make NO money, and adopt out more cats than they do in a given year.

    Reply
    • mikken

       /  October 25, 2012

      Wow, she sounds like she could really use a job in another profession.

      Reply
    • They are the same people that told me they could do nothing about the cats trapped in a forclosed house that the people left behind. when the house was gutted they found dead cats in the house Carroll County has no heart when it comes to cats it’s very upsetting. Sad to say I live there.

      Reply
      • Oh, dear Lord, are you serious? Of course they could have done something about that!! That is their job! I remember you had posted about those cats, that someone had left them behind, but when I asked, you never posted more info. I didn’t realize they were trapped inside. Oh, that is so horrible. I’m just sick. I would happily have broken the window and gotten them out, and then just contacted the bank and offered to pay for it, afterwards.
        I can believe they didn’t do anything, though. I know what I had to go through to get them to do something when the cats were being poisoned in the trailer park, and it included contacting the media. Nicky managed to convince them there was no story, but afterwards, she did at least make a show of trying to find out who was doing it.

  9. Jennifer

     /  October 25, 2012

    Another idiot in charge of a shelter! I would like to know what qualifications are required to be one. One would think with the number of people looking for jobs there would be better qualified candidates-one with common sense!

    Reply
  10. Morgan

     /  October 25, 2012

    I wonder how much of the over $800, 000 in the budget is going in her pocket?

    Reply
    • Lisa in OH

       /  October 26, 2012

      according to the budget only 69k is for wages

      Reply
      • That is not correct. Look at their 990 form online on Guidestar. The director alone makes over $70,000. Where did you find that number, Lisa? Are you looking at info. for Carroll County in Maryland?

      • I’m sure salaries come out of the operating budget. The employees are provided health insurance, though, under the county’s plan. My guess would be that is what that number is, the cost of the insurance for the employees. The taxpayers also provide building and vehicle maintenance for them, outside of that budget. From page 1 “In addition to direct funding, the County also provides varying levels of in-kind support to these organizations. All of the
        organizations benefit from the County maintaining the emergency communication system. For the Humane Society, the County
        provides health benefits, vehicle maintenance, and building maintenance and insurance. VESA receives radios and access to capital
        financing from the County’s bonding authority”

      • Lisa in OH

         /  October 26, 2012

        guess I will dig deeper and look for the detailed operating budget

      • I’m mistaken, Lisa. I noticed that cost wasn’t listed for 2011, and read a little more, and saw this “Budget Changes
         Personnel increases due to a one-time 3% bonus in FY 13.” So that money is the bonuses they received, and will again next year, I think.

      • What are they getting bonuses for – keeping the cat kill rate at 80%?

      • Well, like you said before, it is hard work. 80% of the cats that come in aren’t just going to kill themselves.

      • Jennifer

         /  October 28, 2012

        What are the bonuses for? If I was a taxpayer/donor, I would be asking the question since it obviously is for killing animals and not adoption/rescue placements!

  11. I would like that job, with so many people trying to help find homes for the cats, it would be very satisfying to offer homes for the cats instead of killing them.

    Reply
  12. Gayle

     /  October 26, 2012

    A political appointee? Obviously this shelter director has absolutely no love of animals or even compassion. So – why is she collecting as salary at taxpayer expense? Time for residents of Carroll County to speak up loud and clear and run this murdering so-called director out of town!

    Reply
  13. Noted the mandate to only accept donations for spay and neuter and NOT toward adoptions or rescue.How do you spay and neuter dead cats?

    Reply
  14. Carol

     /  October 27, 2012

    It is embarrassing, shameful and disgusting that this is going on in my own state.

    Reply
  15. Julia

     /  November 30, 2012

    This is awful…just awful.An 80% kill rate??
    Poor kitties…what can the average person do to stop this?

    Reply
  16. Please read, sing and share this petition, to help us get some changes made at the Carroll Co. Humane Society. Thank you! https://www.change.org/petitions/commissioners-of-carroll-co-md-create-an-animal-shelter-our-community-can-be-proud-of

    Reply
  17. deni

     /  May 17, 2014

    Can’t sign, its says closed.

    Reply
  18. Tammy

     /  May 17, 2014

    People please support no kill facilities, and this is what happens when people that have positions that are in control/decision makers become complacent, feel powerful, untouchable, loose their compassion and it becomes all about the $$$$ in their positions. It’s like talking to deaf ears, figuratively speaking. It’s a shame the animals are loosing their lives, We have to be their voices.

    Reply

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