Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A message from a Animal Shelter Manager

ASPCA PETA HSUS RSPCA OSPCA dog cat This is an animal rescue story unlike any most you have heard before. This statement was written in response to the New York Times article titled "Percentage of Animals Put To Death in Shelters Reaches Low". The real truth is, this article was nothing less than misleading. The kill stats are fabricated and "padded". The letter below was written by a NYC shelter manager/employee. Read it. The truth is ugly. To me the response to the story was the real story here. It will break your heart. Sometimes we need to hear the truth to bring about awareness.

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.
— Manager

ASPCA PETA HSUS #nokill cat dog equine farm animals rescue EUTHANAZIA. Did you know that there are a LOW esimate of 4-6 MILLION dogs and cats that are euthanized each year in shelters in the United States? Some university research estimates that number to be as high as 12 MILLION. Do you know that most of these animals are dying right near your home and in your own communities.. Did you know that most of these animals that are dying are homeable?.. Most of these animals die merely from lack of support for our community shelters. Many communities have no shelters and those who do in most instances have little to no community or support from their city, state or local governments.. Many times these animals die just because there is no-one who cares. For years people have watched the HSUS, ASPCA, PETA and national rescue groups who are taking in tens to hundreds of millions of dollars a year to save "puppy mill dogs".. The HSUS and ASPCA EACH take in an average of 100 MILLION dollars a year for animal rescue.. The reality of that is, nearly none of that money goes to help your LOCAL Humane Society, your local ASPCA or your community shelter. Infact many people have been led to believe over the years that when they are donating to the HSUS (HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES). they are infact helping their local HUMANE SOCIETY. Many people also believe that "THE" ASPCA is somehow connected to their local SPCA.. That misguided mis-information alone has over the decades been responsible for countless millions of dollars in donations being given to the HSUS and ASPCA while people were led to believe that they were somehow helping their community shelter when they donated to these groups.. There is nothing further from the truth. In all reality, the HSUS donates less that 1/2 OF 1 PERCENT OF THE $100,000,000.00 MILLION dollars a year that they receive to help local shelters. On Average the ASPCA infact donates only about 2 percent of their over $100,000,000.00 a year intake to help our direly underfunded community shelters.. THE ONLY WAY TO SAVE THESE 4-12 MILLION DOGS AND CATS that are being euthanized EVERY YEAR in our community shelters is for you and me, the donors to start donating to our LOCAL/COMMUNITY SHELTERS.. I know a lot of people give every reason in the world why they WON'T donate or voluntter to their local shelter.. In mamy cases those people who you condemn for not living up to your standards are running these "unsupported shelters" and are doing all they can.. Many times they are volunteers who are spending their own money just trying to get by and do what they can with little to no support at all from the community or goverment. In most cases, they have NO CHOICE but to euthanize these animals.. They have no choice because they have little to no physical or finanical support. In most instances these same people are the ones who work day in and day out 365 days a year trying to care for the overwhelming number of dogs dumped off on them day in and day out.. Sometimes the number is staggering.. In most cases they have no choice BUT to euthanize many of these animals and in many cases just because there is no-one to help feed, bathe and care for them long enough to find them homes.. Many times these animals "have to die" just because these people do not have the resources to buy basic necessities such as food and vaccinations. Most of the time these animals die because there are no resources or man power to care for them "just long enough" to find them homes.. That is the ugly truth about that we live with day in and day out while trying to do keep our shelters alive.. So the next time you decide to donate or volunteer.. Consider the dire need and circumstances that your OWN LOCAL COMMUNITY SHELTER is living in... I bet they need your and your few dollars or bag of dog food WAY more direly than these national sized investment groups who run rescues like the ASPCA and HSUS... IF you REALLY want to stop the mass killing of 4-2 MILLION dogs and cats EVERY YEAR in this country.. The only REAL way to do that is to start at home..Start volunteering and donating locally...Take one day out of your busy schedule, go down and visit your local shelter.. Look into the eyes of the needy animals there.. You may THINK that the people working there don't care... You've heard these ugly stories about "they are just going to kill them anyway".. But I guarantee you that you will never meet one person in these shelters that ENJOYS or WANTS to see these animals die.. You may see a dog that you think appears neglected but in most instances, I would almost guarantee you that its not because those people don't care.. Its because they are tired, worn out and doing all they can with the limited manpower and resources that they have.. How much difference do you think that YOU could make with JUST ONE EXTRA PAIR OF HANDS. How much difference do you think that YOU PERSONALLY could make in saving lives.. One pair of hands in an overcrowded shelter can mean the difference in "life and death" for dozens of dogs on a yearly basis.. YOU can make that difference.. Sometimes these people that you see in these shelters may appear to be uncaring but I guarantee you they are not.. They are tired.. They are worn.. If you take the time to talk to most of them, many of them have been at it for decades.. Who do you think goes to the shelter 7 days a week to feed and cares for these animals.? Do you really think that these people are getting paid for the countless hours they spend there? Someone has to do it.. Maybe you can help.. Your small donations and bag of dog food could be the difference that determines and saves some of these animals.. Please don't criticize these people until you have walked just ONE MILE in their shoes.. Go in, spend the day.. See what they have to go through on a daily basis.. I bet by the end of one day you will have a new appreciation for what these people do. Its easy to say "they should do this and they should do that".. Until you have PERSONALLY cared for dozens of animals on a daily basis, new ones coming in daily, in some instances having to see animals that you know could be homed die, then don't be judgemental. It takes a special kind of person to do what these people do in these small underfunded, understaffed shelters do day in and day out.. THey don't make hundreds of thousands of dollar a year like some of these people do in these national sized groups do.. In many instances they don't make a penny.. In many instances they are spending thousands upon thousands of dollars of their own money just to save the few that they can... GOD BLESS #nokill rescues.. God bless ANY rescue that is saving lives.. PLEASE have your pet spayed and neutered.. One trip to your local shelter will tell you just how important that can be.. Maybe it will also help you realize just how important that ONE set of helping hands can be in determining the number of animals that live or die in YOUR OWN COMMUNITY SHELTER...

1 comment:

  1. The post above was contributed by Helen from an animal shelter in the US. She remains in a position that causes her great pain because she genuinely cares about the animals she cares for, and the many thousands of animals she sees are "put to sleep" each week. This must be a terrible burden on her but it is good to know that someone who has great compassion, has the courage to do such a job. There are other animal shelters which are managed by people who have no sympathy or consideration for the poor animals they dispose of. We need to change this situation by petitioning our councils to enforce desexing of companion animals. And that all shelters become no-kill shelters and adoption centres.