This Week in Animal Protection
News and headlines for May 22 - May 27, 2022
These are some of the stories making headlines in animal protection:
As reported last week, after Zoltan was scheduled to be killed, Hannah Carl, a staff member at Maricopa County Animal Care & Control, did a live broadcast on TikTok to promote him. She vowed to stay on the air until he was adopted: “He deserves someone to love him.”
Roughly 30,000 people tuned in to ask questions about him, and Zoltan was rescued. But rather than celebrate her success, she was fired. She is not the only one. At Maricopa County, efforts to find homes are not rewarded, managers who kill in the face of alternatives are not punished, and, in fact, those who try to improve things are.
Case in point: after firing Hannah, the pound also killed a friendly dog who had an adopter on the way. According to a rescue group,
ROOKIE who was the Poster child of BISSELL EMPTY THE SHELTER, a nice, kind, loveable dog just struggling in his kennel (no bite, no aggression) was killed today… We had an adopter willing to meet him and when she went to his kennel she saw the dog was gone.
Rookie was killed despite empty kennels.
This is your animal shelter. The one that blames you for the killing.
According to rent.com, dogs considered “bully breeds” are “not allowed in most rental properties.” As a result, they end up in shelters.
“If you walk through our shelters, if you walk through other shelters,” says a Florida shelter director, “you’re going to see a lot of bully breeds in there. One of the primary reasons why those dogs are in our shelters is because of those restrictions.”
Making the loss of a home especially tragic is that it is so unnecessary. Studies find that “for predicting some dog behaviors, breed is essentially useless, and for most, not very good.” This is because breed tells us how dogs look, not how they behave. The findings debunk “breed stereotypes of aggressive dogs, like pit bulls.”
The largest domestic violence shelter provider in the U.S. opened a 62-apartment facility that allows pets. “This is the first domestic violence shelter to allow pets in all of Queens,” NY.
The lack of pet-friendly domestic violence shelters keeps both animals and women in harm’s way. A majority of victims report that their companion animals are also abused or threatened with abuse, and 97% of victims reported that keeping their pets with them is an essential factor in deciding whether or not to seek shelter. Of those, half said they would definitely “not consider shelter for themselves if they could not take their pets with them.”
Unfortunately, less than 10% of domestic violence in the U.S. shelters allow pets. The Queens facility is a welcome step to change that.
Lake Providence, LA, is hosting what they call a “snake rodeo,” inviting residents to come with shotguns and kill as many snakes as possible. Organized by the sheriff, the event is not only cruel; it is outdated. Most towns that hold a “snake rodeo” make it an educational event or do “catch and relocate.”
Protestors have asked the sheriff to switch to “catch and relocate,” too, but he’s not budging. One of those calling for an end to the killing is a local herpetologist. He asks people to take “the tired old line that the only good snake is a dead snake” and replace “snake” in that saying with “puppy.” “That’s how I feel when people tell me that line,” he said.
Tragically, “Most of the snakes killed… are harmless” and “There’s no evidence that [the killing] has any beneficial effect.”
“We got to coexist with these animals,” he said. “Snakes need the most love because they get the most hate.”
In a lawsuit, “Federal officials have accused [Envigo] a company that runs a Virginia facility breeding dogs for research of violating animal welfare law and recently seized at least 145 beagles found to be in ‘acute distress’...”
“Repeated federal inspections… have resulted in dozens of violations, including findings that dogs had received inadequate medical care and insufficient food, were housed in filthy conditions, and some had been euthanized without first receiving anesthesia. Hundreds of dogs have also been found dead at the facility…”
“Rather than spend the money to meet the minimum standards, Envigo has employed a paltry number of employees and elected to euthanize beagles or allowed beagles to die from malnutrition, treatable and preventable conditions, and injuries resulting from beagles being housed in overcrowded and unsanitary enclosures or enclosures that contain incompatible animals…”
While the company did not reply to requests for comments, saying they would do so at a later date, “A federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order… barring them from ‘breeding, selling, or otherwise dealing in beagles.’”
The court concluded that “the Government has provided sufficient evidence that Envigo is engaged in serious and ongoing violations of the Animal Welfare Act, and that an immediate temporary restraining order must issue to put a halt to such violations pending further proceedings.”
As more people turn to rescue and adoption and more shelters embrace progressive policies, the number of communities placing over 95% and as high as 99% of the animals is increasing: