Human Animal Support Services resulting in immense suffering during polar vortex
News and headlines for January 13 - 19, 2024
These are some of the stories making headlines in animal protection:
Residents of Marlin, TX, are calling for the arrest of the Marlin police chief for allowing dogs to die of starvation and dehydration in the dog pound he oversees. Residents are also calling for the arrest and prosecution of the city manager and animal control officer.
A man looking for his lost dog went to the pound and saw dead dogs, starving dogs, and filth. He posted the photos to Facebook. The police chief refuses to answer questions.
Marlin’s Mayor promised accountability: “as a proponent for dog rescues we are all working to cooperate with the investigation by the Falls County Sheriff’s Office. Upon completion of the investigation, the City of Marlin will do our best to ensure the responsible parties are all held accountable.”
This is YOUR animal shelter. The one that blames YOU for the killing.
There are protests in Orange County, CA, too. The pound requires an approved application and an appointment before a potential adopter can meet a dog. Moreover, the adoption application is dog-specific; even those with appointments cannot meet other animals: the kennels are “off-limits to all visitors.” Not surprisingly, killing is up even though intakes are down, earning condemnation from the Orange County Grand Jury.
And yet, Orange County Supervisor Donald Wagner defended the policy, saying it is “smart, effective programming that has proven to increase the permanent placement of shelter pets.” If that is true, why has killing dramatically increased?
It is not rocket science: fewer dogs will get adopted when you turn away adopters because they do not have an appointment or you won’t let them walk through the kennels to look at dogs. And at a pound like Orange County’s that has not embraced a culture of lifesaving, that means more killing.
The Supervisor’s dishonesty notwithstanding, Orange County will allow potential adopters to visit without an appointment starting this week. But only for three hours a day: 2 pm - 5 pm. That will save more dogs from them, but it is not enough.
The most successful shelters are open seven days a week for adoption, with evening hours, so working people and families with children in school can visit the shelter. That doesn’t necessarily mean additional hours, just different ones: 11 am - 7 pm instead of 9 am - 5 pm.
They are open on holidays when those families are together, want to adopt, and are at home to acclimate their newly adopted pets. For example, one shelter remained open on the 4th of July and did a big holiday promotion. The director vowed to stay open as long as potential adopters were in the building and did not close until 10 pm. The shelter adopted out 153 animals, their best adoption day of the year.
They allow people to visit without an appointment, walk through the kennels, make it easy to meet and play with the animals, and offer same-day adoptions with reasonable screening protocols. They also adopt animals at offsite adoption events, especially if their shelter is located away from where people live, work, and play. In one community, the shelter had seven offsite adoption events, seven days a week. In addition to the main shelter building, there were 49 weekly adoption events, more than most communities hold in a year.
Certainly more than Orange County. If that is not acceptable to the people of Orange County, they need to elect leaders who care about animals, will implement programs that actually have a proven record of reducing/eliminating killing, and will fire any pound director who fails to achieve results.