I've been rescuing from that "high kill" shelter for 10 years now. Over the 10 years I've seen some improvements made - mainly in the past 2 years. Certainly less euthanasia and less cats coming in. But it's still astounding that in the year 2012 this shelter STILL does not permit the public to come in and adopt cats!
I think it's a cop out to say, "Things don't happen overnight". In fact, I'm really sick of hearing that.
In the old days of this shelter, they used to kill 100 cats EVERY WEEK. I was told stories about the dead little bodies piled up in the garage area to be sent out for cremation or whatever they do with discarded animals. The SPCA is in the next building next door. The City seems to think that THEIR adoptions are enough. The City Animal Services doesn't need to open their shelter for adoptions, because the SPCA next door has cats available for adoption.
Until no adoptable cats are being killed at Animal Services, the shelter and animals can benefit from an adoption program.
One answer for the lack of an adoption program is, that there is a virus that goes through that shelter like the plague and the majority of the cats get extremely ill within a few days of entering.
I will NEVER EVER forget meeting a woman in the front lobby who was bringing her beloved kittens with hope they would find wonderful homes. Apparently, she took in a pregnant stray cat and lovingly raised the kittens. She was a lovely human being and was in tears to give these kittens to a shelter. I told her point blank that this was the height of kitten season and there are NO ADOPTIONS. Even though her surrender form from the shelter said that the kittens have a chance to be adopted. (Liars) She was sobbing but felt she had no choice. My rescue was full and I had no room. These kittens were fluffy, healthy, robust and adorable. I promised the woman that I would take them in about 5 days after I had a few adoptions.
In 5 days the kittens were horribly ill with the Upper Respiratory Virus that runs through that shelter. On the 7th day, the city saw fit to kill them all rather than save them.
To this day, I feel responsible for their deaths.
There is no doubt that the shelter is better than it used to be. The cats are getting better medical care and they are triaged when they arrive. I heard that central air conditioning is being installed so the poor animals don't bake in their cages this summer like they have done for the past dozen+ years. "We want them comfortable before they die."
But the truth is that this shelter is in the DARK AGES of animal shelters. Even the shitty rural shelter I used to write about lets the public in their building to adopt cats. I was astounding to hear that the manager of the "high kill shelter" shelter presented to the city council a special program designed to improve the shelter and the City Council TURNED IT DOWN! What kind of red neck city is this????
I'm watching the "Crazy Protesters" go out and try to do *something* for these animals and so few residents from the city are showing up to their rallies. Now the protesters are trying to raise money for the rescues who are taking sick cats out of there. It's RIDICULOUS that they feel like they have to do that - they're losing sight of their mission and their energy should be spent keeping their eye on the ball.
There is NO OTHER SHELTER in North American that allows the public to discard their unwanted animals where the animals have NO CHANCE to be adopted directly. The city is relying on the goodness of rescues like mine and I'm sick of being taken advantage of by a city that doesn't give a shit about the animals or the volunteers that are trying to help them.
Saying that "Things don't happen overnight", might be true. Why don't these city council members realize that their lack of care for these discarded animals only makes the city for which they serve look like a bunch of uneducated rednecks?? Believe me - you can point fingers all you want to about the staff - but the staff isn't the problem.
Honestly, I don't know what the problem is anymore. I used to think I knew. I used to think if the public were made aware of what happened at this shelter that they would be up in arms about it. They would demand change! They would burn torches and march into City Hall! The public would be humiliated at the thought that the city where they pay taxes, raise their families and go to work was killing adoptable cats and dogs by the thousands each year!
I'm the one that feels humiliated for them and I don't even live in that city. It isn't right.