In a 14 page Blame the Community manifesto, the director of the Kern Co pound in CA, Jen Woodard, details the needless killing of pets and blames everybody but those doing the killing. Ms. Woodard previously worked for Best Friends in L.A. before taking the Kern Co job in October.
In the document, Ms. Woodard states that Kern Co kills any puppy who has parvo-like symptoms and tests positive on a snap test as well as all other exposed puppies less than 6 months of age. This practice is not based in science and should be discontinued immediately. Treatment of parvo puppies is possible in a shelter environment and that option should be fully explored by all shelters. Killing exposed dogs based solely on age, dogs who may in fact be immune, is cruel for the sake of cruelty – it serves no purpose. A compassionate director would have written 14 pages about that.
Instead, Ms. Woodard runs through a laundry list of members of the community to blame for the killing, including:
- Local vets, who all suck apparently and are only in it for the dough
- Mexicans, who don’t care about their pets because of “cultural beliefs”
- Local animal organizations, who do nothing but bicker
- The weather, which also sucks
- Pet owners in general, who don’t want to know how to protect their pets from diseases
And while blaming everybody else for their ignorance, Ms. Woodard demonstrates her own lack of understanding regarding disease prevention. For example, she states:
And furthermore, most puppy owners don’t know they need a series of 3 of the vaccines to be fully effective in preventing parvovirus and distemper. A pup with 2 vaccines is still susceptible.
This is not based in science. The number of vaccines a puppy receives is not what confers immunity but rather the timing of the vaccines relative to the presence of maternal antibodies. Before a shelter director goes blaming the Mexicans, it would be nice to see her demonstrate a meaningful understanding of vaccine conferred immunity in puppies.
The report offers a number of solutions to the killing and improper disease management protocols at the pound but none of them include “Stop needlessly killing animals and start using science based disease management strategies”. Instead, the report focuses on educating the public about the importance of vaccination, among other things, and includes a volunteer team to walk the streets and another team to call Craigslist ads for puppies to educate the ad placers. This is a puzzling strategy because earlier in the report, Ms. Woodard notes that one of the problems in the community is ignorance of “basic pet responsibility” which she attributes to the fact that “much of the community is uninterested in hearing this message”. Will the unwashed masses suddenly become interested if they get a call from someone telling them about spay-neuter in response to their Craigslist ad for puppies?
I am very disappointed in Ms. Woodard’s report, which was apparently not intended to be read by the public. I can see why.
Maddie’s Fund: Redefining Vaccination on Intake
(Thanks Clarice for sending me links on this story.)