I just called one of my local shelters for some info. She said they are required to carry at least 1 1/2 million dollars worth of liability insurance-(they actually are covered for 2 million.) They have incredible medical expenses, and must have a vet on hand. They have someone who is specifically trained to do temperment testing. They have an accountant who does their financial report (at a cost of $4000) and then they have to file applications to try to get grants. She said it easily costs them 2 million dollars a year just to stay afloat. I know it is really easy to criticize these shelters, but it's not an easy job and it's not a cheap job! I think we should be thankful for all the dogs that they save.
Our shelter does not have a 'real' temperment test. It is a member of the staff and a few volunteers follow the instructions in a testing book. Brooke 'evaluated' Frankie by seeing her reaction to her. I have seen her do that many times. Merlin would have been killed many times over had I not stopped them. And now he is in a very happy home.
Icyhound-that is true. The shelter I called is actually a no-kill shelter. However, liability is the same, as is the incredible cost of insurance that all these facilities need to have. I don't know where people get the idea that any of these shelters are making a profit, be they kill or no-kill. They all have a common goal-to find homes for homeless pets. It really bugs me that people say they won't donate money to a shelter that kills pets, when the whole reason they "kill" is because they don't have enough money! It's a catch-22 situation.
The sad fact is that kill shelters are a necessary evil. Pet overpopulation is phenominally out of control. Its not the shelters we should be upset with but the irresponsible pet owners who don't spay and neuter, and the mills and byb's that keep pumping out puppies just to make a buck. The shelters have to bear the responsibility of cleaning up the mess....sometimes at the expense of the animals in question.
***Edited By: Smooshie on 12/29/2004 3:40:32 PM*** Reason: add
Some shelters are much better than others. The one out here keeps getting people in charge that get fired because of scandals. It s the animals that end up suffering. I don't know if anyone lives in northern ohio but if you do you may have heard about my uncles dog years ago. She wandered two doors down and they took her to the shelter and put her to sleep right then because she was old and said they thought she was a stray. People threw a huge fit about it even though my uncle said it was just her time to go. But I think they changed their policy after that and now have to hold any dog for so many days before putting it down.
The shelter also only takes in animal surrenders now. There was a big thing in the paper about a dog that was tossed back and forth from the pound and shelter and it ended up dying because neitheir one wanted to provide the vet care!
And as IcyHound said-each shelter is different. The one that I called is a totally non-profit shelter. They depend entirely on donations and any kind of goverment grants that they can get. You can't lump all shelters together when it comes to operating costs. But each must maintain liability insurance. I would think that would be a no-brainer.
i think each shelter is different. and what a job. seeing homeless animals in cages kept there and deciding which ones have to be put to sleep. and finding and keeping employess to probably work for not much money. some are going to be better than others. then dealing with people who drop off their pets because they get the carpet dirty. or the same people picking up their dog because they can't or won't contain it. and then people breeding fad mutts. and purebred owners breeding too many. it's just all sad. in frankie's case i thought it was really sad that she was put down when there was a effort going on to get her to a foster home, but over all we need shelters.
***Edited By: pearl on 12/29/2004 4:29:05 PM*** Reason: x
I think another issue is OWNERS that don't take care of their pets! People do not take the time to train and care for their pet or find it a suitable home prior to dumping it off to a shelter.
If you own an animal, it is like having a human child. You must be committed to the education, care and love this animal needs.. You also must be financially able to pay for your pets well being.
It seems that after 911, costs of everything went sky high. I got a quote from my vet for $600 to remove 4 baby teeth from my chihuahua! My other chi had a spay and 12 teeth removed for $400 bucks! This is a rip-off!
How can pet stores and service providers sleep knowing that they too are causing an issue.
Yes, you are right. Not all shelters are the same.
The one's I know of are. They steel the donations and when a lady died and donated $100.00 to the shelter and they didn't use it for the animals. That isn't right.
You have to understand that I was invited to be part of there meetings and asked to be on there Board of Directors. That is why I know a little bit about what goes on in MY area. Its not good.
This shelter I know has now lost their contract with the City. Any animals picked up now go to one other shelter here and any Animal Rescue Organizations that can help. Its not enough. We see more animals put to sleep everyday just because of NO Room.
My gripe is, that there isn't enough being done to stop this killing. Here in my area, they sell sick animals. The vet only comes once a week. They can never know if animals are sick with a vet who only comes once a week.
Do you realize what happens when you get one dog in the shelter with Parvo. Parvo kills lots of dogs so fast. Upper Respiratory Infections. Called Distemper or Kennel Cough.
We have no suck thing called rehabilitation here. The best animals get adopted and the other get put to sleep.
There are so many thing needed in shelters.
Vets, clean Kennels, more room, Kind People, Rehabilitation, donations and lots of Money.
Legislation and licensing for those who wish to breed. Plain and simple. If the 'people' can't step up to the plate and spay/neuter their animals, then eventually this will happen anyway. It's slowly already beginning. In the county next to me you have to pay $7 per year for a 'pet permit'. You must buy one for EACH pet you have. If you are found owning a pet that you do not have a permit for - you are fined. Legislation has already made it's way into the pet world and it will only continue to grow.
It's sad to think that our answer lies in the hands of the government - but the 'people' have allowed that to happen.
If you have to become licensed and face fines for breeding your cat/dog - then puppy mills will become 'the source' for puppies. Only them and serious show dog owners will go through the red tape needed to breed their dogs.
***Edited By: Ansy1 on 12/30/2004 12:59:13 AM*** Reason: .
You are very right. So many people just get mad about them killing dogs they don't think about how many animals shelters are saving. I am sorry if I am offending anyone, that is not what I am trying to do. I am just saying what I think. I also do not think it is good that they put dogs down but as long as they try and save them it makes me feel a little better.
Before the shelters in my area went no-kill it was sicking. My step father would go every week and pick up the dead dogs. It was sick! The inceranitor they had was not keeping up with the number of animals PTS in a week. So, what did they do? They asked my step father (he is friends with the lady that runs the shelter in my area) if he would take the dead animals to the local dump. Yes, the dump where everyone takes thier trash! There were many weeks he would make 3-5 trips. Each trip be had 500LBS on his truck. I won't even go into detail on the stories he would come home with. It ticked me off that they were doing this but they did not have the funding to buy a new inceranitor. Thank God they went No-Kill!
I happen to know that lady also. Some of the animals that came threw those doors NEVER had a chance. They were PTS within 2 hours no temp testing nothing. The only thing that did was look for a tattoo, collar, scan for a micro chip and look in the computer to see if that animal matched a discreption of a missing pet. It's sad cause I know there were loving family members going threw those doors and never had a chance to go home all because they didn't take the effort to keep the animal.
Now that they are no-kill they are full! They can't even take in one more animal. They do not take owner surrenders. Every few months they will have a adoption day and take all the animals out and about in their big busRV. It's sad there are so many pets in the shelters in my area and so many stray.
Ansy, the people you wish to punish are ONLY the responsible. The ones who already pay into the system. The problem people do not license their dogs, and will release them into the streets, with the cost facing the county. Proper enforcement catches up the correct people w/o hurtful legislation. We have an interesting and predicted epidemic in LA county, from the 1st round of enforcement. Dog licensing is only to insure (originally) that dogs have the Rabies vacc. Rabies being transmissible to humans. Severe enforcement measures have already seen increase in unvaccinated released animals this year.(the licensing fee was raised to $100.00 per dog.) People faced w/ the licensing fees you condone are already hiding animals, not vaccinating them. Some solution. I propose FREE S/N clinics, staffed by vet students for anyone w/ low income.