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?