On its website, the Mt. Vernon Animal Shelter in NY is described as “a municipal shelter that serves as a safe haven for thousands of domestic animals”. Two months ago, the shelter reportedly stopped accepting cats “when they worried they could not contain the spread of such diseases as feline leukemia, feline immunodeficiency virus and ringworm.” Now they are planning to use killing as a means to fight those diseases.
I am concerned that a municipal facility stopped helping cats in need. I am concerned that a municipal facility does not know how to manage such common diseases as FeLV, FIV and ringworm. And I am concerned that the city-appointed vet advising the shelter seems to be just as clueless:
“It becomes a public health problem,” [Dr. Robert Jiao] said. “The priority is what’s best for the whole animal population and what’s best for the public.”
FeLV is a public health problem, I guess. The article goes on to state that cats who are “particularly sick, old and aggressive” and who don’t respond well to treatment – including rehabilitation for aggression – will likely be killed. Shelter cats being rehabbed for aggression and those judged to be failing get marked for death? Gee, that sounds extreme – and wacky.
Jiao said some of them will likely be euthanized, signaling a return to a policy that was always in place but has largely been ignored in recent years.
“The desire is sacrifice the few to benefit the many,” he said.
Has anyone surveyed the few to ask if they mind being “sacrificed”? I thought not. Since when is an old cat a public health problem? Or any problem? And how is this return to an old protocol in any way consistent with the shelter’s stated purpose of serving as a safe haven? I hope Mt. Vernon can move forward, not back, with its policies and learn how no kill shelters manage FeLV, FIV and ringworm in cats without cutting off the community cats in need and without killing.
(Thank you Clarice for sending me this story.)