Friday, July 23, 2010

The Proverbial "Can of Worms"

I wasn't really sure what I was going to write about today. I'm on Day #2 of one of those wildly angry days. (typical for me in the mid-summer in rescue.) It's the reason why I didn't write yesterday. When I started writing this blog, I honestly didn't think anybody would ever read it, so it was a lot easier to say what I was really feeling without fear of being offensive.

There's been a lot of really nasty sickness at the shelter. Without proper ventilation and with the intense heat and humidity it breeds bacteria. Of course, the shelter's answer for this is to kill the cats.

On top of this, I received a link to a newspaper article from the local newspaper. A few times per year the local newspaper publishes some bullshit article about the importance of licencing, microchipping, and they throw in some statistics that they receive from some do-nothing supervisor at the shelter.

I guess that was all I needed to unleash some of the frustration that I had been feeling. The reporter received this email reply from me: (Names, location edited)

"Dear (newspaper reporter),

What a disappointing article. You only told half the story. When is the (Newspaper) going to talk about what REALLY happens at Animal Control? You quoted (shelter supervisor) in saying: "(Shelter supervisor) says in 2009 alone animal control took in 5501 cats. Out of those 3098 were euthanized and 2135 rescued or adopted..."

"Adopted"?? There are NO cat adoptions at Animal Control. Animal Control does NOT permit adoptions at their shelter. Owners bring their cats to Animal Control and must check a box that says "Sleep or Adoption". The cats are not sleeping and they are NOT adopted.

Try going to Animal Control and ask to see their cats for adoption. It doesn't exist. They kill them or reunite them with their owners. That's it. They let me in to rescue cats when I have available foster space to help them.

(The shelter) signed a non-compete agreement with the SPCA, in turn SPCA is suppose to take cats from Animal Control. It rarely happens. SPCA hasn't taken any cats from Animal Control in months and months.

I rescue from this shelter 3-4 days per week. When is the (Newspaper) going to start telling the public what really happens? Quit playing it safe and reporting the same crap twice a year about these two shelters. You are only reporting PART of the story.

People think they're leaving their cats there to be adopted - but they are often euthanized the next day. I've been rescuing out of this shelter for years and am tired of the public being misinformed as to what happens. I'm sick of hearing (the shelter supervisor) quoting the same statistics over and over again like he cares."


I never write this kind of thing and actually send the email. I keep my head down and rescue cats. But I pushed the send button and it felt good.

After I pushed the send button, I was told by a friend in rescue that the new SPCA Board President is the same veterinarian that gets PAID to kill the cats every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Funny, since he's been President, SPCA hasn't rescued anybody. Might come out of the Prez's pocketbook, I guess.

It's going to take some courage to push "Publish" on this blog post...but here goes.....

20 comments:

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

The cats needed you to have that courage!

Just think of The Wizard of Oz -

Perhaps others in your part of the world can share the same crap with 'the reporter' and get the truth out there -

We salute you for trying and making a difference!

Erika said...

I love reading your blog mostly because it is so honest about the ups and downs of cat rescue. People seem to think that cats are more disposible than any other pet. Thank you for publishing what really happens when you abandon your pet with good intentions. I live several hours north of Toronto but when I have the stability to get another cat I will definitly be coming to you.

House of the Discarded said...

Erika: I'll have a cat ready for you when you do! :) :)

Beth

Kea said...

Kudos to you, Beth, for pushing the "send" button. I hope the letter gets published in a Letter to the Editor section or that it pushes the reporter to reexamine the "facts." I don't know that it will...but I can hope.

I don't have a lot of regard for the SPCA, from the things I've heard via the grapevine.

(((Hugs))) to you and *thank you*.

-Kim

Lisa Renae said...

Amen, Beth! It just kills me that the media has no real interest in publicizing what goes on at Animal Control. Thank you for having the courage to push the send button.

Zippy, Sadie and Speedy said...

Sometimes it's a case of "out of sight, out of mind". It's easier to sit in a cubicle and listen to and re-print the lies because to actually get off your butt and go and see what is going on is work! And they may have to see the actual cats that are about to be killed without even having a chance at adoption. For years our A/C would routinely deny entry to all but one rescue and only they were aloud in because they would pay for the animals...then something miraculous happened, the manager there was finally replaced (we lobbied for that for almost 7 years) with someone who was for the animals. Now not only is our shelter and several others allowed to come in and rescue but they have their own "adoption store" off sight that is donated by a local mall! Their euths have been reduced by almost 80% due to the fact that only really sick, injured or aggressive animals are put down. The animals are sometimes even delivered to the shelter by volunteers at A/C, yes, they have started utilizing volunteers and accepting donations to help the animals. All of this only happened because the people who paid taxes that went to animal control heard the truth and grouped together to stop the killing.

House of the Discarded said...

Z,S & S: All I can say is "WOW!" That really gives me something to think about and hope for!

-Beth

Deb said...

Well, at least with you the cat's have a voice. The public always wants to hear the sugar-coated statistics cause no one wants to go to bed thinking of the reality of what goes on in shelters and animal control kennels. I'm so glad you sent the email. Maybe it will do some good. Have a nice weekend and know that you are thought of highly by many for all that you do. Hugs, Deb

Debbie said...

Thank you Beth!!!!!
You said what needs to be said.
You can tell them first hand what goes on.We all may know what happens , but you actually are there and involved.
I hope that your letter reaches the public and something changes for the better.
You have taken the first step!!
We thank you :)

CanuckPet said...

I only hope they print it, if even one person pays attention and doesn't bring their cat there thinking it will be adopted and that its part of the SPCA's no kill policy.

The SPCA really needs to do something about their conflict of interest issues, first Sykes is head of the OSPCA and can make rules to suit his SPCA now the new one is biased when it comes to their AC relations?

Carolyn said...

Dear Beth,
Thank you for speaking for the cats who don't have a voice or a choice in municipal politics. I'm going to check the paper to see if your e-mail gets published. Whatever the statistics really are, that's still a large number of euthanizations, and it bothers me that they throw out these figures so nonchalantly. Hopefully this letter will get the ball rolling for Hamilton area citizens to group together to take action to protect tets. :)

Anonymous said...

Way to go Beth! I read the article in the paper and was angry as well. Maybe we all need to write letters and get together to protest. The squeeky wheel gets the oil. Look at what happened when people found out about the animals at the SPCA with the ringworm that were going to be euthanized.

Caroline said...

Thanks so much Beth for speaking out I know its hard because you have to face the music every week but the paper needed to hear your voice and will hopefully print it.

PS The other cat rescue I volunteer for just got in a persian mother and her baby. Luckily a volunteer saw being them dropped off on the side of the road. They are in good hands now, the baby is very spunky but the mom is sick, I hope ppl take videos with their phones when they see this disgusting stuff and post them on utube. Shame the perpetrators publicly.

Caroline said...

Hi Beth

Could you post your letter here too?
http://www.thehamiltonian.net/

blonderland said...

I'm glad you wrote and sent the letter. I think you're right that the general public has no idea what's going on inside the shelters. I hope they print your letter.

Erin Greenhill said...

That is so incredibly sad. And infuriating.
Good for you for speaking up, both in writing to the reporter, but also for publishing this here. I think you should send that letter and the little newsy tidbit about the vet being the one to kill the cats at the pound. To me that is utterly shocking that a vet could so easily walk in and do that. Heartbreaking for all the cats, and infuriating to me not just abotu the vet but all the people who take their cat to the pound... shame on them. I would be just as likely to drop my own child off to an orphanage as take my cat to the SPCA.
If you rent your living space, you just make sure that you are allowed pets before moing in, period.. "My landlord doesn't allow pets" is a cowardly shitty lame excuse. It is code for "I am a lazy-ass irresponsible ignorant asshole"

I will be sharing your blog on my facebook page, as well as my pet boarding business page. Thank you.

Beth Pettit said...

Sorry, but I have to disagree with your rant. I know your heart is in the right place but as someone who has worked and volunteered at both the county pounds, the Humane Society and the SPCA it's just not cut and dry like that.

It's an unfortunate fact, but city shelters have a high euth rate because they just don't have the time and resources to keep and put up for adoption all the animals that come to them. The difference between SPCA/Humane Society and other no kill shelters it that when they get full, they can turn people/animals away. The public run facilities do not have that option. They have to take every animal that walks through that door. This leads to having to euth within 23-48 to even have room for different animals.

Be that as it may, public shelters adopt all the time so to say they don't is very incorrect and painting them very poorly. I personally have a problem with the fact they are SO eager to adopt out animals so they don't have to euth that they do so without doing any real back ground check on the people. "Oh, you like both cats, take them both. Two for the price of one!"

The city shelter I worked at was pretty good at telling people the chances for euthanasia was high and would happen within a week or less (even a day or two in the summer) but people left their pets anyway.

I understand your rant, it's very frustrating to see animals in the shelter systems but I think your rant is misplaced. It shouldn't be directed at the Animal Control, city shelters or the SPCA President. It should be directed at the government that cuts funding to public shelters, they see it as animal needs not being as important as human needs so shelters are among the first to have their fundings cut. Some people refuse to give donations to public shelters because they do euthanize animals but all that does is ensure that more animals will be euth'd because they don't have money, food or shelter resources. So when giving donations, don't forget to include the public shelters as well. Also, people need to spay and neuter their pets! As a shelter worker I know you are well versed in that issue so I don't need to go farther on it.

I wish we could have a magic fix to the problem of city shelters and pet over population in general but we don't have it. Try not to be discouraged and when you do, look at the few animals you are able to help during your day and know what may seem like the little you are doing, means the world and makes all the difference to them.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I have to disagree with your rant. I know your heart is in the right place but as someone who has worked and volunteered at both the county pounds, the Humane Society and the SPCA it's just not cut and dry like that.

It's an unfortunate fact, but city shelters have a high euth rate because they just don't have the time and resources to keep and put up for adoption all the animals that come to them. The difference between SPCA/Humane Society and other no kill shelters it that when they get full, they can turn people/animals away. The public run facilities do not have that option. They have to take every animal that walks through that door. This leads to having to euth within 23-48 to even have room for different animals.

Be that as it may, public shelters adopt all the time so to say they don't is very incorrect and painting them very poorly. I personally have a problem with the fact they are SO eager to adopt out animals so they don't have to euth that they do so without doing any real back ground check on the people. "Oh, you like both cats, take them both. Two for the price of one!"

The city shelter I worked at was pretty good at telling people the chances for euthanasia was high and would happen within a week or less (even a day or two in the summer) but people left their pets anyway.

I understand your rant, it's very frustrating to see animals in the shelter systems but I think your rant is misplaced. It shouldn't be directed at the Animal Control, city shelters or the SPCA President. It should be directed at the government that cuts funding to public shelters, they see it as animal needs not being as important as human needs so shelters are among the first to have their fundings cut. Some people refuse to give donations to public shelters because they do euthanize animals but all that does is ensure that more animals will be euth'd because they don't have money, food or shelter resources. So when giving donations, don't forget to include the public shelters as well. Also, people need to spay and neuter their pets! As a shelter worker I know you are well versed in that issue so I don't need to go farther on it.

I wish we could have a magic fix to the problem of city shelters and pet over population in general but we don't have it. Try not to be discouraged and when you do, look at the few animals you are able to help during your day and know what may seem like the little you are doing, means the world and makes all the difference to them.

Anonymous said...

Also, 'Hi!' My name is Beth too. :) I just submitted a comment and had to do it under 'anonymous' because for some reason when I tried to do it under my google ID I kept getting an error message that said the url was to long. Sorry, I don't usually make anonymous comments as I find them a bit cowardly if you are making are trying to make a statement for something.

Lisa said...

You go girl!!