Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Look in the Future For King County

As I gaze into my crystal ball, I see bad things for the King County shelter animals. Actually I just do my research and these things are predicted for the future of King County.

As you know or don't know, Los Angeles City has declared they are "No Kill", I use this one because the programs are the same, the numbers are the same, the deceit is the same. This week there was a very important meeting called by the City Council due to a outpouring of animal control employees saying they have no faith in the current management of that agency. It is truly rare for the humane community and animal control to come together in such a fashion as they are doing in LA City.

So what is in store for King County? Let me outline the ways to get to "No Kill" based upon the testimony of the LA City AC employees.

First cut back on field services. I'll use Rancho Cucamonga as an example again. Keep in mind that the Rancho program is Whino-grad's program but it sounds similar to LA because they are the same for all practical purposes. Rancho Cucamonga ACO's only picked up about 600 dogs in 2007. That's less than 2 dogs a day for three ACO's. Can't kill them if you don't bring them into the shelter. But the public made up the difference by surrendering over 4000 animals. Now either the public is picking them up off the streets or the public is actually owners surrendering their own pets as strays. This number does not include recorded owner surrenders. This is an example brought up at this special meeting in LA City. Keep in mind these are city employees, not activists talking.

Resources are not the issue, it's deployment of existing resources. It's alarming that there is only one enforcement officer for 1M people. The enforcement unit was disbanded so fewer animals would be collected from the street, just so he (Boks) can say we're no kill, fewer animals picked up, fewer to deal with. Who suffers?; animals and public. It's not acceptable.

Another way to achieve "No Kill" is warehousing or in other words, let the animals kill themselves. That way you don't report them on euthanasia records. According to a public records request, Rancho Cucamonga had a 600% increase in dead in kennels while LA is still debating how high theirs actually is, right now they say 125% increase.

Warehousing is not acceptable. Dog runs are made for 1-2 dogs. They put 7 in the runs. Dog fights, employees have to break up the fights.

Another ACO describes how "No Kill" gets the numbers that look good on paper.

I'm one of 32 ACOs, Boks, Barth, Davis, all they have done is play a numbers game, animals in our care are in dangerous conditions. Boks said he'd make the city no kill in five years, instead there has been a 37% increase in euthanizaton. He put a moratorium on behavior related euthanasia, why? He's flip flopped between warehousing to avoid euthanasia and euthanized to avoid warehousing. We euthanize only for behavior or medical, never for time or space, it's just a number games. It doesn't help animals get out alive, but does stroke the ego of Ed Boks. These games diminish the quality of life for animals and employees. Boks hoards and warehouses, the shelters are overcrowded, cramped, It's a ticking time bomb.

Yet more insight into the "No Kill" numbers game. One more way to achieve "No Kill" is to refuse animals at the door. Although the "No Kill" shelters deny doing this, the other local shelters will gladly tell you that the turn aways show up on their doorstep.

ACO, 29 years, I take care of the database Chameleon, statistics, the numbers are accurate but the interpretation of those numbers, maybe not. No kill, it's an impossibility, obviously, no kill numbers exclude animals sick, injured, behavior unsuited, if you take them out, that's what he's using, no one can be no kill unless they don't accept all animals that come in the door.

A former vet tells of the desperation of getting the animals out even at the risk of the public.

Katie: I had a difference of opinion with the GM in respect to infectious diseases. He wanted us to foster animals with giardia, coccidia, scabies, if someone got ill from those animals, it's not good.

Now read the newspaper articles about this historic meeting. In all my years I have never seen the humane community and animal control employees united in such a fashion. And they all agree to one thing, the animals are suffering under "No Kill".

What does it take to make people realize that this is not the right path? How we chose to stop the euthanasia in the shelters makes the difference between whether animals have to suffer unnecessarily or not. Are we willing to "sacrifice" some animals by overcrowding and letting them kill each other or go crazy from kennel stress and then deemed not adoptable. There's more ways to manipulate the "No Kill" numbers than the accountant for organized crime knows.

The Philadelphia Story should be enough to convince but obviously it didn't make any difference to the King County Council. How many failures do they need before they see the light?

It could be the same story as the one in Rancho. The Rancho Council used animal control as a scapegoat. People just don't seem to get it, who exactly to blame here. Reminds me of the wife who beats up the other woman, excuse me, but the other woman didn't do anything, she's a victim too. Beat up the husband. And the husband in this case is the elected officials. Animal control is a victim too, just like the shelter animals. Animal control does as much as it can with what it is given to do with. The elected officials hold the purse strings, they dictate policy, they are the ones to blame. King County Animal Care and Control is a scapegoat for the King County officials, plain and simple.

Let these Whinonettes have it. Yes, animals will suffer but there are always sacrifices in war. When the time comes and all comes out to the public about the ignorance displayed by these elected officials, their time will end. It won't take long, Rancho went down within three months. When this happens, the taxpayers will end up paying higher taxes because a new shelter will then have to be built, no other choice. It may be the way to obtain what is right and should have been all along. We just need to remember the animals that had to die along the way to get there, animals that didn't have to suffer, but did because of misguided people.


Happy Camper said...

Well said Honesy.
I think all services get dropped to keep the focus on storage. No grooming, chop field services by attrition if no other way. And now I fear they will hide behind this econimic disaster to to get by with even more. The Los Angeles mess is something to see, and I agree, it is kill to avoid warehousing and warehouse to avoid killing. A deadly game of who wins while the animals lose.

HonestyHelps said...

And now they have found a letter to Petsmart condemning them after they have invested $13 million into spay/neuter for LA. This was recently announced. Petsmart referred to LA as having a high kill rate and Boks got pissed at them for saying this. You don't look a gift horse in the mouth, much less condemn the horse for the gift.

Anonymous said...

Ed Boks equals Nathan Winograd.