You can't keep your pet?

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Postby TheRedQueen » September 12th, 2011, 3:33 pm

http://www.causeforpawsutah.org/?p=848

You can’t keep your pet? Really? By: A Shelter Director (Everywhere)

I think our society needs a huge “Wake-up” call. As a shelter manager, I am going to share a little insight with you all…a view from the inside if you will. First off, all of you people who have ever surrendered a pet to a shelter or humane society should be made to work in the “back” of an animal shelter for just one day. Maybe if you saw the life drain from a few sad, lost, confused eyes, you would stop flagging the ads on craigslist and help these animals find homes. That puppy you just bought will most likely end up in my shelter when it’s not a cute little puppy anymore. Just so you know there’s a 90% chance that dog will never walk out of the shelter it’s dumped at? Purebred or not! About 25% of all of the dogs that are “owner surrenders” or “strays”, that come into a shelter are purebred dogs.

The most common excuses: “We are moving and we can’t take our dog (or cat).” Really? Where are you moving too that doesn’t allow pets? Or they say “The dog got bigger than we thought it would”. How big did you think a German Shepherd would get? “We don’t have time for her”. Really? I work a 10-12 hour day and still have time for my 6 dogs! “She’s tearing up our yard”. How about making her a part of your family? They always tell me “We just don’t want to have to stress about finding a place for her we know she’ll get adopted, she’s a good dog”.

Odds are your pet won’t get adopted & how stressful do you think being in a shelter is? Well, let me tell you, your pet has 72 hours to find a new family from the moment you drop it off. Sometimes a little longer if the shelter isn’t full and your dog manages to stay completely healthy. If it sniffles, it dies. Your pet will be confined to a small run/kennel in a room with other barking or crying animals. It will have to relieve itself where it eats and sleeps. It will be depressed and it will cry constantly for the family that abandoned it. If your pet is lucky, I will have enough volunteers in that day to take him/her for a walk. If I don’t, your pet won’t get any attention besides having a bowl of food slid under the kennel door and the waste sprayed out of its pen with a high-powered hose. If your dog is big, black or any of the “Bully” breeds (pit bull, rottie, mastiff, etc) it was pretty much dead when you walked it through the front door. Those dogs just don’t get adopted. It doesn’t matter how ‘sweet’ or ‘well behaved’ they are.

If your dog doesn’t get adopted within its 72 hours and the shelter is full, it will be destroyed. If the shelter isn’t full and your dog is good enough, and of a desirable enough breed it may get a stay of execution, but not for long . Most dogs get very kennel protective after about a week and are destroyed for showing aggression. Even the sweetest dogs will turn in this environment. If your pet makes it over all of those hurdles chances are it will get kennel cough or an upper respiratory infection and will be destroyed because the shelter gets paid a fee to euthanize each animal and making money is better than spending money to take this animal to the vet.

Here’s a little euthanasia 101 for those of you that have never witnessed a perfectly healthy, scared animal being “put-down”. First, your pet will be taken from its kennel on a leash. They always look like they think they are going for a walk happy, wagging their tails. Until they get to “The Room”, every one of them freaks out and puts on the brakes when we get to the door. It must smell like death or they can feel the sad souls that are left in there, it’s strange, but it happens with every one of them. Your dog or cat will be restrained, held down by 1 or 2 shelter workers depending on the size and how freaked out they are. Then a shelter worker who we call a euthanasia tech (not a vet) find a vein in the front leg and inject a lethal dose of the “pink stuff”. Hopefully your pet doesn’t panic from being restrained and jerk. I’ve seen the needles tear out of a leg and been covered with the resulting blood and been deafened by the yelps and screams. They all don’t just “go to sleep”, sometimes they spasm for a while, gasp for air and defecate on themselves. You see shelters are trying to make money to pay employee pay checks and don’t forget the board of directors needs to be paid too, so we don’t spend our funds to tranquilize the animal before injecting them with the lethal drug, we just put the burning lethal drug in the vein and let them suffer until dead. If it were not a “making money issue” and we had to have a licensed vet do this procedure, the animal would be sedated or tranquilized and then euthanized, but to do this procedure correctly would cost more money so we do not follow what is right for the animal, we just follow what is the fastest way we can make a dollar. Shelters do not have to have a vet perform their euthanasia’s so even if it takes our employee 50 pokes with a needle and 3 hours to get the vein that is what we do. Making money is the issue here not loosing money.

When it all ends, your pets corpse will be stacked like firewood in a large freezer in the back with all of the other animals that were killed waiting to be picked up like garbage. What happens next? Cremated? Taken to the dump? Rendered into pet food? Or used for the schools to dissect and experiment on? You’ll never know and it probably won’t even cross your mind. It was just an animal and you can always buy another one, right!

I hope that those of you who still have a beating heart and have read this are bawling your eyes out and can’t get the pictures out of your head, I deal with this everyday. I hate my job, I hate that it exists & I hate that it will always be there unless you people make some changes and start educating the public. Do research, do your homework, and know exactly what you are getting into before getting a pet. These shelters and humane societies exist because people just do not care about animals anymore. Animals were not intended to be disposable but somehow that is what they are these days. Animal shelters are an easy way out when you get tired of your dog (or cat), and breeders are the ones blamed for this. Animal shelters and rescue organizations are making a hefty profit by keeping this misconception going.

Between 9 and 11 MILLION animals die every year in shelters and only you can stop it. I just hope I maybe changed one persons mind about taking their dog to a shelter, a humane society, or buying a dog. For those of you that care— please repost this to at least one other craiglist in another city/state. Let’s see if we can get this all around the US and have an impact.
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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Postby mnp13 » September 12th, 2011, 4:24 pm

nicely written, harsh... but so is reality.

However, do shelters really get paid to put animals down? Before I re-post this, I'd like that substantiated.
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Postby iluvk9 » September 12th, 2011, 5:13 pm

The private shelter I worked at, often took in dogs from the local town shelter. Absolutely, no one "got paid" to PTS at either.
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Postby TheRedQueen » September 12th, 2011, 7:15 pm

mnp13 wrote:nicely written, harsh... but so is reality.

However, do shelters really get paid to put animals down? Before I re-post this, I'd like that substantiated.


I just took from it that they had to pay their employees...so they couldn't spend money on things like tranqs and such. But when it's boiled down...isn't that what they're there for...being paid to kill animals?
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"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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Postby mnp13 » September 12th, 2011, 10:59 pm

because the shelter gets paid a fee to euthanize each animal

That makes it sound like they get money from "somewhere" for each animal they put down.

TheRedQueen wrote:But when it's boiled down...isn't that what they're there for...being paid to kill animals?

Well, no, I think shelters are there to take in animals, place the ones that they can, and then unfortunately they are responsible for opening space for more animals to come in. And to open space, they have to kill dogs and cats.

When I was doing home visits for a local rescue, I met a family who had dropped off a dog at the local "big name" shelter. They truly had NO IDEA that the vast vast vast majority of animals left at the shelter were killed. They told me in all honesty that 95% of animals were adopted from that shelter, and were shocked when I told them otherwise.

The woman who shares my office has left four different animals at shelters, and was horrified and in tears when I told her that almost none make it out alive.

Though I have no patience for people who dump animals for no reason (there are reasons, very very few and very very far between) there is also the simple fact that most shelters lie their asses off about the REAL number of animals that are adopted. Granted, that is the fault of the management, not the people working the floor, but it's still true.
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Postby TheRedQueen » September 13th, 2011, 8:17 am

I understand that the ultimate goal is to adopt out animals...and in a perfect world, that's all they do...but life sucks, and they put most, I'd guess, down.

And I can see where shelters have to lie to some extent...because I know people that wouldn't go near a shelter with a ten foot pole (to donate, to adopt, etc) if they knew the REAL statistics...not just the 95% of "adoptable" animals and such.

Where are some of our shelter directors to help us on this one?
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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Postby Ino » September 13th, 2011, 12:03 pm

Our shelter puts out the actual numbers for total intake categorized by type (owner surrender, stray, etc), species of animal (dog, cat, other), number adopted out, amount of each pulled by rescue and total euthanized. The reports can be viewed online and everything we do is public record and can be pulled. The adoption numbers we have are far from perfect, but have improved some in the last year due to lowering adoption costs (dogs are 50 bucks and include spay/neuter, county license, all vaccinations, and a microchip- cats were 20 at one point and kittens were buy one get one free and included the same things as dog adoptions) and more events. We have a lot of intake and a pretty high euth rate still, but we do tell people when they call or come in to drop off animals that we are not a "no kill" and although we will try to get their animal adopted, we can not guarentee it. We especially tell cat people that our intake is high and our adoption/rescue rate is low. Dogs seem to get pulled more often (especially small) but we also tell people who turn in Pit Bulls or mixes that their chances are slim as that is what we mostly have and is the most difficult to rehome. We also start taking in animals as a euth request when we start to fill up. Since we have to hold a stray for 7 days, surrenders and dogs off stray time will be put down first when we run out of room. We found making someone sign their animal over that way makes them think about their decision a little more and makes them responsible for making the decision to put them down. Often, unless we are too full or the dog has medical/behavioral problems, we will still try to adopt it, but the owner is making the decision and is fully aware that we will likely put their animal down. We have had many people leave and say they will try to rehome it because "you are not going to kill my dog/cat". It ends up making us the bad guys in their eyes, like we enjoy putting animals down, but I'd rather them think that way and us not have to do it than the other way around. Often, people are unaware or don't think it will happen so we are the lazy way of getting rid of the animal and are their first choice of places to go to or visit. We tell them try craigslist, petfinder to get numbers of local rescues, other shelters locally that are "no kill", etc. We do what we can to keep our intake lower, but unfortunately, it is not a shelter problem, it is a public awareness and responsibility problem. I tell people if people would spay/neuter and take responsibility for their animals, we wouldn't have a job. I also talked to one of our volunteers who works with an animal shelter bashing non-profit that instead of bashing us for "killing poor innocent animals", start public awareness campaigns. Maybe find local trainers that specialize in specific problems, and put training solutions on a website for easy to correct behaviors (house breaking, etc) and maybe put a list together of pet friendly transportation options, local apartment pet deposit amounts and breed restrictions, things of that nature. In my opinion that is time well spent and bashing us is a waste. I can not see where that would help our adoption rate- seeing us as the bad guys on craigslist all the time. I would not go eat at a resteraunt that was always getting bad reviews. That is just my thoughts on this. I do not know about the money per animal euthanized, I had never heard of that before, but it could also mean that you save money on care and feeding if they are put to sleep instead of housed and cared for??? I don't know. I know our county tries not to take in out of county animals (our shelter is close to the border of another county and we are closer to the people who live on the other side of the border then their shelter), because we would have to pay to care for the animal, their shelter has a better adoption rate and more funding, and if it is a stray, people won't come to our shelter to look for it. Ok, think I am out of thoughts now. :|
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Postby plebayo » September 13th, 2011, 1:22 pm

I think so many people are naive to what actually goes on in a shelter. I think a lot of people view shelters as an easy way to dump their dog. Basically - the shelter can do all the work of finding the pet a home while the old owner wipes their hands clean of the situation. I think the article is very direct but it's a true reality of what goes on in a shelter. I'm not saying that what goes on is not right, I think euthanasia is necessary but I don't think many people understand the stress their dogs go through living in a shelter environment, I don't think they understand shelter medicine, and I don't think they understand how the euthanasia works.
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Postby HappyChick » September 13th, 2011, 3:45 pm

mnp13 wrote:
However, do shelters really get paid to put animals down? Before I re-post this, I'd like that substantiated.


At our local shelter, the vet (shelter administrator) gets paid for her time to go out and check, vaccinate, euthanize the animals. Our shelter also sells the "bodies" to a research lab. They get $10 a piece for the dogs and I think $6 for the cats. Sad, but true.
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Postby iluvk9 » September 13th, 2011, 3:52 pm

HappyChick wrote: Our shelter also sells the "bodies" to a research lab. They get $10 a piece for the dogs and I think $6 for the cats. Sad, but true.


:puke: So much for respecting an animal who has passed.
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Postby TheRedQueen » September 13th, 2011, 5:17 pm

Also...dogs and cats get sold for Vet schools. My friend went to a dental clinic years ago, so she could learn how to clean teeth...she walked in, and was horrified to see rows upon rows of tables with dog heads on them. All shelter dogs. :(
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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Postby iluvk9 » September 13th, 2011, 5:39 pm

While I acknowledge using cadavers of any type is important in many areas of medicine, it still makes me gack. I am an organ donor, but I give my consent, so to me, it is different. Especially if there is shady stuff going on how how animals are aquired.
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Postby TheRedQueen » September 13th, 2011, 9:05 pm

iluvk9 wrote:While I acknowledge using cadavers of any type is important in many areas of medicine, it still makes me gack. I am an organ donor, but I give my consent, so to me, it is different. Especially if there is shady stuff going on how how animals are aquired.


I'm in complete agreement...
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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Postby airwalk » September 13th, 2011, 9:28 pm

I've seen this before and while I understand the intent behind it and the frustration that drives it, I also find it disturbing in that it is written as if it applies equally to all shelters and it doesn't.

My computer is acting up so I'm likely to have to do this in several posts...sorry.

I think our society needs a huge “Wake-up” call. As a shelter manager, I am going to share a little insight with you all…a view from the inside if you will. First off, all of you people who have ever surrendered a pet to a shelter or humane society should be made to work in the “back” of an animal shelter for just one day. Maybe if you saw the life drain from a few sad, lost, confused eyes, you would stop flagging the ads on craigslist and help these animals find homes. That puppy you just bought will most likely end up in my shelter when it’s not a cute little puppy anymore. Just so you know there’s a 90% chance that dog will never walk out of the shelter it’s dumped at? Purebred or not! About 25% of all of the dogs that are “owner surrenders” or “strays”, that come into a shelter are purebred dogs
.

As for stop flagging the ads on Craigslist....does this person really believe that every dog placed on Craigslist says in that home? I'm here to say that isn't so. I can't count the number of dogs that come to us because someone got it on Craigslist and "it didn't work out and they won't take it back"..."it isn't what they said and I can't keep it"... and add all other common excuses.

It is true that, in my experience, many of the dogs in shelters are between 10-24 months (teenagers). People get cute puppies and when they aren't cute anymore...well off to the shelter they go.

Purebreds..you betcha
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Postby airwalk » September 13th, 2011, 9:32 pm

Odds are your pet won’t get adopted & how stressful do you think being in a shelter is? Well, let me tell you, your pet has 72 hours to find a new family from the moment you drop it off. Sometimes a little longer if the shelter isn’t full and your dog manages to stay completely healthy. If it sniffles, it dies. Your pet will be confined to a small run/kennel in a room with other barking or crying animals. It will have to relieve itself where it eats and sleeps. It will be depressed and it will cry constantly for the family that abandoned it. If your pet is lucky, I will have enough volunteers in that day to take him/her for a walk. If I don’t, your pet won’t get any attention besides having a bowl of food slid under the kennel door and the waste sprayed out of its pen with a high-powered hose. If your dog is big, black or any of the “Bully” breeds (pit bull, rottie, mastiff, etc) it was pretty much dead when you walked it through the front door. Those dogs just don’t get adopted. It doesn’t matter how ‘sweet’ or ‘well behaved’ they are


I suppose there are places where the animals have a strict time line...but there are many they do not. I tell people, I've looked at so many dogs...and I've yet to have seen an expiration date stamped anywhere.

Sniffles..and dies, well I suppose some places. Many more that isn't true. Relieve itself where it eats and sleeps....no modern shelter. Cry constantly???? Very few have ever had this reaction - does it happen, of course, but it's not common. No attention - well again, I'm not sure what shelter this manager runs...but holy christmas it's not that hard to pay attention, talk, pet...we take care of an average of 45-50 dogs daily and we always make time.

As for big, black and bully being pretty much dead - WOW that's harsh, I'm so glad our shelter doesn't have that attitude .
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Postby airwalk » September 13th, 2011, 9:35 pm

If your dog doesn’t get adopted within its 72 hours and the shelter is full, it will be destroyed. If the shelter isn’t full and your dog is good enough, and of a desirable enough breed it may get a stay of execution, but not for long . Most dogs get very kennel protective after about a week and are destroyed for showing aggression. Even the sweetest dogs will turn in this environment. If your pet makes it over all of those hurdles chances are it will get kennel cough or an upper respiratory infection and will be destroyed because the shelter gets paid a fee to euthanize each animal and making money is better than spending money to take this animal to the vet.


again with the expiration date thing. Yes, at almost all public shelters - we cannot control how many animals arrive for care every day. Private facilities have more control. Kennel protective in a week - again wow, that is painting with a very broad brush. Some dogs do...most do not.

Again with the sniffling thing. This person must actual manage a shelter that is completely inadequate....perhaps they should expend their energy in education and altering their own program.

As for being paid a fee...again, I've never heard of it. I suppose there may be someone out there that has a partnership of some sort...but most of us nope.
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Postby airwalk » September 13th, 2011, 9:40 pm

The euthanasis 101 is the paragraph I find most disturbing. If your euthanasia room smells that bad, then perhaps you, as the manager, should do something about it.

As for no sedation...again as a Manager, perhaps you would better expend your time by educating your Board of Directors about the minimal cost of sedatives and the overall cost of staffing - if you are a pencil pusher, perhaps you should actually push your pencil a bit better. The cost for staffing to hold and the cost of turnover from burnout is far greater than the cost for sedatives and syringes. So this person discusses money, but apparently has never broken those tasks down into costing units.

I would also recommend some serious training and consideration of who they are hiring. If they have to take 50 pokes and 3 hours I call incompentence complete and total.

There are parts of my job I don't like. But to say you hate your job! Well perhaps that explains why you don't do you job!

Sorry, I find this letter sensationalistic and written with intent to shock and horrify rather than educate with facts. The facts are bad enough - no need to sensationalize it.
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Postby airwalk » September 13th, 2011, 9:42 pm

TheRedQueen wrote:
mnp13 wrote:nicely written, harsh... but so is reality.

However, do shelters really get paid to put animals down? Before I re-post this, I'd like that substantiated.


I just took from it that they had to pay their employees...so they couldn't spend money on things like tranqs and such. But when it's boiled down...isn't that what they're there for...being paid to kill animals?


I kind of prefer to think that we are paid to do what is in the best interest of the animal and the community. We are paid to educate, enforce rules, license, train, adopt and yes euthanize when it's necessary.
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Postby airwalk » September 13th, 2011, 9:43 pm

HappyChick wrote:
mnp13 wrote:
However, do shelters really get paid to put animals down? Before I re-post this, I'd like that substantiated.


At our local shelter, the vet (shelter administrator) gets paid for her time to go out and check, vaccinate, euthanize the animals. Our shelter also sells the "bodies" to a research lab. They get $10 a piece for the dogs and I think $6 for the cats. Sad, but true.


You're right it is sad...but let me ask a question....would it be better for the body to be sold to somewhere that can serve a purpose or simply be cremated?
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Postby airwalk » September 13th, 2011, 9:44 pm

Though I have no patience for people who dump animals for no reason (there are reasons, very very few and very very far between) there is also the simple fact that most shelters lie their asses off about the REAL number of animals that are adopted. Granted, that is the fault of the management, not the people working the floor, but it's still true.


Our statistics are on our web site. We never, ever spin numbers. One dog in, one dog out...every dog counted and accounted for.
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