1. Animal Control (where I rescue) is a city run pound. They cannot refuse to take in animals because the shelter is too full. Euthanasia is necessary at this point in time.
2. Animal Control shares a building with the SPCA. The SPCA has a beautiful adoption room where they adopt cats and dogs. Their price list to adopt a cat or kitten is as follows:
Kitten $240.00 under 6 months
3. The SPCA does take cats from Animal Control. It's been my experience that the majority of cats they take are "highly adoptable". The SPCA gets "first pick" over any rescue that comes in. It's been my experience that they "cherry pick" cats and will take all the orange kittens from a litter and leave the black ones to be euthanized.
The SPCA also takes "owner surrenders", which means this takes a spot from a cat over in Animal Control.
I don't know the numbers, but the SPCA takes a small fraction of cats from Animal Control
4. The SPCA does not euthanize animals due to overcrowding. When the SPCA is full, they send people who want to surrender their beloved pets to Animal Control.
**For those of you who wanted to know why Animal Control doesn't have a formal adoption program:
5. At some point, Animal Control signed a "Non-compete agreement" with SPCA and agreed that they will NOT permit adoptions so that ALL adoptions will be going through SPCA. (I hope I phrased that properly)
6. Until rescues came along, ALL the cats were euthanized, except the ones that were claimed by their owner. There was no way out for these animals.
7. Animal Control used to have a little adoption centre, but it closed due to lack of funds. I wish I knew more about this. I remember the centre, because I was rescuing then. But it never occurred to me that this was something special - I was just starting out.
8. Yes, other rescues do help Animal Control - but very few and those that do, only take 1 or 2 cats at a time. Many the rescues were troubled by the high cost of veterinary care due to sickness in the shelter.
9. It's a privilege to be rescuing from Animal Control. They do NOT have to let me or any other rescue in to take cats. It's one of the reasons why I'm against "kicking political ass." My presence there is VERY optional.
There is NO cost for me to take a cat from the shelter. In fact, the staff are often kind enough to vaccinate, deworm, and flea treat before I rescue a cat in order to save the rescue money.
10. There is one paid employee in the shelter that promotes the cats on a Petfinder website. When adoption calls come in for these cats, she refers them to me to be screened. If all goes well, the adopter is permitted to adopt the cat without cost. Because the cats are not vetted and are often not already spayed or neutered, I will get vet references to insure that this will be done.
11. Animal Control is required to keep stray cats for THREE DAYS before they can either be taken by a rescue, SPCA, or euthanized. This does not apply to owner surrendered cats. They can be euthanized immediately or rescued.
I don't have all the answers to all the questions. I do know that I guard my reputation and presence at the shelter carefully. I've received some emails that folks think I'm finished rescuing - NOT true!
In fact, I'm trying really hard to figure out a way to rescue more. :)
Take a look at the picture that I use in my title "House of the Discarded". I've saved that picture for 2 years. Those beautiful kittens were euthanized at Animal Control and I couldn't save them. I've kept the picture to remind myself why I do what I do.