Sunday, August 10, 2008

No Kill - Dying a Slow Death

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.

Article #1:

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.

Article #2:

Tompkins County (Ithaca) SPCA also moving away from "no kill" language

The writer is the Executive Director of the Tompkins County SPCA.

Abigail Smith

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.


Anonymous said...

i couldn't agree more

HonestyHelps said...

Speaking of death (forgive me), I just finished reading the rantings of Whine-ograd on his blog about Tangipahoa Parish. This shelter had a very serious outbreak of disease and 170 dogs went down all at once. Course Whine-ograd blamed HSUS because this shelter is a "partner", like that explains why the disease chose that shelter.

If any of the dogs, sick or not, were adopted out, it could have meant an outbreak in the entire community. The non-sick ones could be carrying the disease. If you took one of these non-sick dogs home and they infected your other pet, how would you feel? In Whine-ograd's perfect world, you would spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to treat the adopted dog and your other pets. Yea, right, people do this. Or if the infected dog were to get away and run the neighborhoods, infecting other people's pets, how would you feel?

And Whine-ograd knows that HSUS usually doesn't give money to bail out shelters, their money goes to educate, legislation, and other things that are needed but little money for. Yet, he challenges them on this, saying they should have stepped in and given the money to treat all these animals. I ask Whine-ograd why didn't his buddies at the Maddie's Fund or Best Friends step in and do the same thing he says HSUS should have done.

When will he understand that there is not enough money to do what he wants done? I challenge him to sit in budget meetings and fight for more money so shelters can do better. I challenge him to find the "rescues" to come to the aid of these shelters when they have problems with disease. He knows as well as I do that "rescues" are not going to take diseased animals from shelters and infect their animals. He knows that "rescues" don't have money to treat animals. Look at Philly where the "rescues" are running from the "PACCA flu". They don't come running to help like they do in his perfect world. They actually run the other way.

All Whine-ograd wants to do is sit at his computer all day and complain. Has anyone else noticed that about him, all he does is complain? It's bad enough that he goes into shelters and sees things that he doesn't immediately report to the staff to correct. He walks away from helping animals when he does that.

I will ask Whine-ograd again, what planet do you live on and how did you get there? I'm sure all of us would love to live in his perfect world. Unfortunately we have to live in this one.

Anonymous said...

Just read Winograd's blog about this. He is one vicious man. I do rescue and I would not take the chance of getting these dogs out and infecting my operation and I don't know many rescues that would.

He speaks of involving the community yet he does all he can to distance everyone. He does not practice what he preaches for sure. He wasn't there, he doesn't know what was done to try to save these dogs, he is speculating and has his own agenda.

How can someone so hateful, so full of anger, so vengeful truly be a humanitarian as he claims?

HonestyHelps said...

I agree with anon comment. It is well known that he goes to shelters and takes pictures only to walk away and leave the situation unreported. I just don't understand that. How can he condemn others when he does the same thing, walks away from an animal in need? This has been shown over and over in the places he has been. He puts it in his reports but doesn't try to help the animal when he sees something wrong. He needs to turn that finger around so it points to him, he's the worst of the lot.