Along with all the animals warehoused in overcrowded "no kill" shelters everywhere. Let's hope it is as painful as what the animals feel.
You may have read these before but I think they are worth repeating. The first link speaks of the financial problems of the Tompkins County SPCA. It appears that in order to reach "no kill" the SPCA had to pay the way for servicing the contracts they had rather than contracting for the appropriate amounts. What government animal control agency is able to do this? They have to operate from a set budget. Some agencies have acquired a non profit status in order to obtain grants, etc., but people are funny about making contributions to the government, they feel they pay enough in taxes. My opinion of this situation is that the TC SPCA was a fall guy for the "no kill" equation. Rather than their pompous former director, Winograd, seeking sufficient monies from their contracts to sustain the program, they were used to further the "no kill" equation. Now they are having to pay for it. The second article explains a lot of what really happened in Tompkins County. Of course, the drama king explains it differently with the infamous "Stop the killing, stop the killing, stop the killing". I have yet to see Winograd admit to one mistake. Do we not learn as much or more from our mistakes as our successes?
I have said for years that the term "no kill" is killing animals. It is lulling the public into thinking they can continue to allow their pets to multiply because they can take them to the "no kill" shelter and they won't be killed. So they allow the cat to have kittens, keeps the kids entertained for a few weeks. Then when the kittens become problems, off to the "no kill" shelter. No guilt and it is easy to tell the kids that the kittens won't be killed at this shelter. Rancho Cucamonga has seen public surrender sky rocket since Winograd was there. The public is coming from outside Rancho so they can surrender their own pets to a "no kill" shelter. Rancho has had two newspaper articles denying they are "no kill" to try to stop the influx of public surrenders. Public surrenders are usually from a person who tries to help a stray. But when the public surrenders are 7 or 8 times the amount of animals the ACO's bring in, then something is wrong. This is another major flaw of Winograd's program that keeps it from being sustainable. You cannot be the only open door "no kill" shelter in the area, it is either all or none in this case.
No Kill Doesn't work in Tompkins Co. NY
by Lori TylerMonday Feb 18th, 2008 4:25 PM
As a previous shelter manager of a shelter Nathan Winograd "saved" and a board member of an SPCA in a neighboring community, I absolutely believe that the "No Kill" movement has failed us in Tompkins Co.- once touted as the "safest place in the US for animals"
I was the manager at the Ithaca SPCA two years before Nathan was hired. Under my management, the euthanasia rate for all animals (not just those deemed adoptable) decreased by about 50%. We were developing programs to achieve "no-kill" before he came along. In fact, the board resolved to stop euthanizing BEFORE Nathan was even working at the shelter.
What he did do was raise money and he built a new shelter (which we had already been planning and had already bought the property for). However, this shelter is not sustainable for the shelter. They cannot afford the operate it- its too big.
Now that Nathan has gone away, the donors have dwindled and they are in a danger of losing their animal control contracts as they have had to ask for large increases in money from the towns and city.
At my shelter in a neighboring county, we have been lured into "trying to keep up with the Jones'" attitude. We tried to change our euthanasia policy to be similar, but we didn't have the programs to keep the animals moving, and we ended up with a warehouse situation and we couldn't care for the number of cats in our care.
We now have more stringent euthanasia guidelines- including euthanizing for issues such as dental disease and poor socialability. "No-Kill" is a euphemism for "limited admission". Animals aren't truly safe if they are being dumped on animal control or left in the street.
I personally want to be part of an organization that accepts all homeless animals in the community and tried to help them- even if that means some will be euthanized. There are worse things in this world than euthanasia- I have seen them. I choose to euthanize over leaving an animal to suffer in a cage, starve on the street, or suffer from a treatable- yet un-affordable to care for disease.
You can limit the number of animals being euthanised in your shelter by creating programs to increase adoptions and reduce the number of animals coming in. It is not, IMO, a front-loaded proclamation- it the the result of sustainable programs within the shelter and in the community.
Once the population is stable and the community sees your results- the money will come to help you help more animals be adoptable. We are far from this in Chemung Co. It is far easier to get a cat from your neighbor than the shelter and far easier to just leave your cat to breed recklessly than get her spayed. This is where we need to work- not making sweeping proclamations about not killing animals.
Tompkins County (Ithaca) SPCA also moving away from "no kill" language
The writer is the Executive Director of the Tompkins County SPCA.
Originally published June 7, 2007
Today I stopped down to see Lou “The Hot Dog Man” to thank him for the fundraiser he recently did to benefit the animals at the Tompkins County SPCA. Upon introducing myself as its new director, Lou threw up his arms and announced to Ithaca Commons that I'd arrived. “We love the SPCA!” he cried, and many seemed to concur.
But not the woman standing behind me. “I don't support 'No Kill' shelters,'” she stated. Blast! There's that bad language again, I thought. “There is no such thing,” she said.
She's right. Several years ago the term “No Kill” was touted all over town — all over the country, really — and it's not true. Most national organizations are slowly changing the words they use to describe a policy that does not accept the practice of euthanizing healthy animals for the sole purpose of making room for others.
We don't kill for space — that's what “No Kill” is supposed to mean. The new term being used is “adoption guarantee.” We guarantee that every single adoptable animal will remain in our care until the day they go home.
I hope the lady at Lou's reads the paper. I hope people know that the SPCA isn't a hospice for suffering pets, but a place that makes tough decisions everyday about sick, diseased, dangerously aggressive or otherwise untreatable animals.
I hope people can forget that marketing campaign from years ago and believe that the SPCA will always make the most humane decision that we can for each animal — including euthanasia.
ADOPTION GUARANTEE?? Doesn't that sound a little like "limited admission"? Can you guarantee that you will adopt out a vicious dog or a terminally ill dog or cat? I don't think so. That leaves you with a "turn away" or translated, a dumped pet. Again a term designed to fool the public. I vote for straight forward language that people understand - we don't accept those we feel are not adoptable. Course then you have to go into the definition of "adoptable" and that is a whole nuther post.