The city of Duncan, OK has an animal control department but it’s unclear to me exactly how that department operates. The website seems to indicate AC picks up stray pets. But in a recent media interview, the department refused to disclose details on its operations:
Although the City of Duncan’s Animal Control Department refused to comment on how long they hold animals before they are euthanized, [city manager Jim] Frieda said the humane society is notified of the animals being held so that adoption possibilities can be explored.
The humane society being referred to is apparently the Stephens Co HS. They won’t say how long they hold animals either. From the organization’s website:
SCHS is an open access shelter. We take all animals, excepting only the very ill, the very aggressive or city strays that must be processed through a city’s animal control department. We do not have a minimum ‘hold time’ on any of our animals; based on the high intake numbers we routinely experience, we simply do not have available space to do so.
With every county stray intake, we assess the dog and make a determination 1) whether someone may be looking for it, 2) its adoptability and 3) available space.
SCHS does not hide the fact that we are an open access facility and that we do euthanize.
Oh crud. They are open admission but won’t take those animals most in need. Of the ones they do take, they won’t say how long they’ll hold them. But they will decide if someone might be looking for them or if someone could ever possibly love them before killing them. Yay.
Within this partnership of secrecy lies a money making scheme for the city of Duncan. It sells the dogs and cats killed by AC for profit and has been doing so for about five years according to the Duncan Banner. The city contracts with Bio Company Inc. and Skulls Unlimited International, Inc.
Bio Company pays $2 for dead cats who measure over 12 inches from nose to tail. The company embalms the carcasses then sells them to schools that dissect cats in their biology classes. But wait, there’s more gruesome:
A customer service representative from Bio Company said the price range depends on what kind of injections the specimen has had, how big they are or if the animal is pregnant.
I don’t suppose the city of Duncan will want to comment on the killing of pregnant animals either.
Skulls Unlimited pays $3 for dead cats and $5 for dead dogs so long as each possesses a full set of adult teeth. After cutting off the animals’ heads, the company removes the flesh and bleaches the bones. The company sells the skulls of housecats for $69.
The city manager wants people to know what a sweet deal this is:
Both companies are responsible for providing equipment to store the animal carcasses, such as freezers, and for disposing of all animals that do not meet their standards.
Frieda also noted that with these agreements, more money is being brought into the general fund.
“With these contracts, we get something for the animals.”
That’s what animal “sheltering” is all about, at least to the city of Duncan I guess. Getting something for dealing with animals. Doing their jobs to actually shelter animals and return them to their owners or help them find new ones is not getting something apparently. I’m not seeing any dollar signs there so no, not getting something. But don’t react normally or anything:
City Manager Jim Frieda said residents should not be alarmed by the contracts.
“For the most part, all of these animals are animals that are not claimed by any owner that might want to keep the remains or go through a burial process.”
But I mean, how do you know? Neither the city of Duncan, nor the “humane society” it partners with will say how long they hold stray animals, some of whom are lost pets whose owners are looking for them. And with a financial incentive to kill animals, how can local residents possibly give the city the benefit of the doubt?
(Thanks Salette and Nathan for the story.)