The Orange Co Register apparently likes to get readers’ hopes up and then cut them down. The title of the CA paper’s most recent piece on the local pound is “More pets survived at O.C. shelter in 2012“. Yay. But if you read past the first few sentences, you get to the sad truth of the matter:
The 54 percent overall death rate was pretty much the same as 2011.
The director of the pound, Ryan Drabek, told the paper via e-mail that in 2012 “1,868 stray animals total came into our shelter with some form of identification (license, microchip, ID tag, etc.).” The Register crunches the numbers:
Of animals that came into the shelter with some sort of identification last year, 61 percent were returned to their owners and 13 percent were euthanized.
Let’s be clear on the overall numbers. The Orange Co pound took in 29,723 animals in 2012 and returned 3346 of them to their owners. That is a RTO rate of 11%. Of the 1868 pets who were impounded with identification, the pound killed 243 or 13% of them. That’s 243 pets with tags and/or microchips, thrown into the dumpster by the people paid to shelter them.
And if you make it to the end of the article, there’s this horrifying tidbit:
Feral cats and kittens younger than 6 weeks old accounted for 70 percent of the total cats euthanized at the shelter in 2012, Drabek said.
Feral cats and kittens younger than 6 weeks old have the right to live. Being feral is no more a medically hopeless condition than is being newborn. If these basic truths are not self-evident to you as an animal shelter director, there is cause for concern.
The ASPCA is reportedly giving the pound $20,000 to start doing TNR for feral cats since trap-and-kill “has done little to decrease the number of wild felines in Orange County.” I hope the pound stops killing ferals but I’m concerned that the director does not seem to know it’s wrong to kill healthy/treatable cats. Further, since no one is giving them $20,000 to stop killing neonate kittens, I assume that slaughter will continue in 2013, which is tragic.
(Thank you Clarice for the link.)