SHELTER & RESCUE
Shocking examples of dogs and cats dying at the hands of incompetent and/or cruel people who are running many of today’s animal shelters.
SHELTER SYSTEM CRUELTY
Brent Toellner, Kansas Legislative Chair, April 2011
Revised as all too current in April 2019!
It has been common-place for people in the animal rescue world to blame 'pet overpopulation' for the deaths of 4 million or so dogs and cats in our shelters each year.
They blame the 'irresponsible public' for these animals being at the shelter in the first place, the reality is that a large number of these dogs and cats are dying in shelters because we still have far too many incompetent, and even cruel, people running far too many (largely municipal) shelters.
We have been tracking a horrific animal cruelty story in which workers at a shelter in Chesterfield County, SC were accused of shooting 22 dogs at the shelter and, not in a one-time lack of judgment but as a matter of standard practice, allegedly beating cats with a pipe in order to 'euthanize' them.
Earlier this week, a video surfaced of animal control officers, along with the shelter director of the Town of Hempstead (NY) clowning around, and joking around while about to 'euthanize' a kitten even to the point of chanting "kill the kitty, kill the kitty" as the frightened kitten was pulled from its traveling kennel with a catch pole. This is far from the dignity we want to imagine when we hear the word "euthanize". This shelter director, who earns more than $92,000 a year, was "reassigned". Not fired. Just reassigned after this blatant case of animal cruelty.
This comes just months after news of the folks at the Dallas Animal Shelter were indicted for allowing a kitten to live trapped in the walls of the shelter for several days before it starved to death and was eventually removed from the wall only after the dead cat began to stink. Obviously these examples of purposeful abuse exceed that of incompetence and neglect.
A shelter in Franklin County, NC 'accidentally' killed a family's dog before the shelter's mandatory 72 hour hold time was up. The 5 month old puppy had gotten loose from his family. In my own Kansas City, MO shelter, management now faces animal cruelty allegations that include allowing a sick dog to die in its kennel three days after admittance with no care or treatment, heart-sticking cats without proper anesthetic, and putting cats that are not yet dead into the incinerator.
The problems also include cities and shelters that like Aurora and Denver, CO that choose to kill all dogs of certain breeds because they look like types of dogs they don't want in their city. This is the reality. The problem also includes cities that do not participate in Trap/neuter/release programs and actually make it illegal for people to properly care for feral cat colonies, thus, leading cities to kill every feral cat that comes into their shelter.
And these are just current cases of animal cruelty. So while its commonplace to blame the public, or 'pet over population', the reality is that a huge number of the 4 million healthy/treatable animals are killed in shelters where workers think chanting 'kill the kitty' is funny, or by shelters that have biases against breeds, or feral cats, or are negligent in their work.
We can, and must, do better. The good news is that in virtually all of these cruelty incidents, public outrage led to changes in shelter management. The public has decided that "catch and kill" is no longer acceptable. Humane humans are opting for compassionate solutions for homeless pets. We are becoming a no kill nation. Join us... and see TheDogPress.com coverage on what to do when Animal Control knocks on your door!
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