The Humane Society of Marshall County in Benton, KY (aka The Benton Marshall HS, as listed on Facebook) says on its website it is a private, limited admission shelter in need of donations. A reader recently sent me a list of the group’s requirements for accepting dogs and cats:
- We can ONLY ACCEPT animals from Marshall County
- We can ONLY ACCEPT owner surrenders which means we CANNOT accept strays
- Bring ALL vet records when surrendering an animal
- MUST HAVE PROOF: Current rabies, Negative heartworm test and a negative fecal test.
- CANNOT ACCEPT: Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Chows, Dobermans, Akita or Mastiff
- MUST HAVE at least one set of puppy shots and negative fecal test
- Parents CANNOT be related
When accepting dogs, the staff will look at the adult dogs skin conditions, sores, behavior problems, eye or ear problems. Accepting puppies the staff will look for vomitting, diarrhea, nasal, eye discharge, skin condition, itching and umbilical hernia.
- MUST HAVE PROOF: Negative Leukemia FIV test, negative fecal test and rabies
- MUST HAVE PROOF: At least one set of kitten shots, Negative Leukemia FIV test and negative fecal test
When accepting cats, the staff will look for skin problems, eye discharge, nasal discharge, ears, sneezing, and diarrhea.
Shorter: Vetted white & fluffies only.
I was curious, since the HS clearly doesn’t intend to spend much in the way of veterinary care for its pets and since they adopt out intact pets with a $50 refundable deposit (so they are not paying for neutering themselves), how much do they sell dogs and cats for?
The website states cats are $65 (plus the $50 refundable neuter deposit) and dogs are $75 – $200 (plus the $50 refundable neuter deposit). The adoption application states that after you buy the pet, if you fail to have him neutered by a certain date, the HS has the right to take your pet back. In addition, there are a list of annual expenses for which the adopter is expected to be prepared to pay for 20 years, including $30 – $100 a year for neutering. Dang, I guess neutering doesn’t last as long as it usta.
At any rate, having recently read through a bunch of different shelter and rescue policies, I find too many of them failing to effectively fulfill the stated mission of getting homeless pets adopted. Picking out the vetted white and fluffies from the community and selling them intact for up to $200 creates another problem too: resentment on the part of the municipal facility. The Marshall Co pound accepts all the unvetted Pitbulls and goopy-eyed cats. Naturally this is going to cause some bad blood, as was evident last year when the county voted not to accept the Humane Society’s offer to merge:
The county shelter and Humane Society used to be competitors of sorts and for years, county leaders and Humane Society leaders haven’t always agreed.
After big changes from new leadership at the county shelter, the number of adoptions soared, euthanasia rates subsequently went down and the price to adopt went down, too.
Due to low euthanasia rates and high adoption rates, the county shelter is operating with a surplus.
Meanwhile, the Humane Society is losing business. Their adoption fees are higher and more people are taking animals and donations to the county shelter.
Look at how well the county shelter was doing in February 2012 (pdf). Increased lifesaving=decreased expenses. I was unable to find any more recent stats but hopefully the shelter is continuing to succeed in its mission.
The impact of restrictive shelter policies reaches well into the community – potential adopters, donors and officials are all affected. As are the pets, sadly. Why not consider throwing off the shackles and offering a hand to the county in a meaningful way – not just a oh-gee-you-guys-have-a-surplus-and-we-are-in-the-red-let’s-be-friends kind of way? There is a potential win-win situation in Marshall Co but not as things stand. Will the private and the public sectors ever be able to work together for the benefit of the community’s pets?