I want to start out be saying I'm not the most literate person in Austin. I hope the following email is able to communicate the irony and and the real costs of our new off site adoption program? I think I raise some very important points that apparently no one at the City of Austin and it's Animal Commission thought of.
While the City of Austin, it's animal advisory commission and animal services department is busy congratulating themselves for establishing off site adoptions; lets talk about the consequences and costs.
I just got a call from a long time friend who has been doing adoptions at the Brodie Lane location of PetSmart for over 5 years now. If my memory serves me well; she was the first legitimate animal adoption group at this location. ( I don't count Paw Match as a legitimate rescue group).
Her group has worked very hard for over five years now to get their clientele list built up and has an outstanding reputation in the animal community. They have always done the legwork behind a legitimate , quality adoption. They check references. They do checks with the land lords, checks with the veterinarian and even do a home visit for every animal they adopts out. They usually charge anywhere from $75 to $100 rehomeing fee and I've known her long enough to know they make no money doing what she is doing.
These are a couple of very important points so pay attention and think about this;
1) there are no tax dollars going to her. Her rescue efforts are self funded and subsidized by her husbands job and her family. She doesn't cost the City's taxpayers a single penny. Her stock of animals come from owner surrenders and from the cat trappers who find kittens. She takes them in and tames them herself with no tax paid employees. She has no sick pay, no vacation pay, no retirement and no set weekly salary. Her operation is completely self reliant and she takes in animals that would other wise end in the City Shelter.
2) Now enters the City of Austin's offsite adoptions and where do they set up? At the same location she has been at for years. Off site adoptions are organized by paid City staff. The animals at off site adoptions are vetted with City tax dollars. The City takes approximately a $200 loss on every animal they adopt out and the taxpayers subsidize that loss. And because of all this; the animals the City is adopting out are going for about a $20 adoption fee. The City doesn't check references. The City doesn't check with the veterinarians. The City doesn't check with the landlords. The City doesn't do a home visit . In fact the City Shelter under pressure from the City Council now adopts out animals to homeless people and people who don't have the money to support themselves much less a cat or dog.
The City employees at these events draw a weekly salary. Those employees have vacation pay, sick pay, insurance, retirement pay, all the other benefits that come with a City job and all of it is paid for with our tax dollars.
Now you have an adoption group that has been doing high quality adoptions at no expense to the tax payers that cannot compete with the City's tax subsidized adoption program. Where my friend was doing adoptions at no cost to the taxpayers; her group is being displaced by a City program that comparatively costs an enormous amount of tax dollars, not only today but will keep on costing when those City employees retire.
Where the animals my friend had in her program, were taken in before reaching the City shelter there by lowering the amount of tax dollars required to operate that shelter ; her group will no longer be able to take in those animals meaning those animals will now wind up at the City shelter and their expenses are being paid for out of tax dollars.
Maybe I'm looking at this all wrong. I grew up in a very poor family and we had to make every dollar count. Maybe I'm failing to realize that the City of Austin more or less has access to virtually unlimited tax dollars and virtually unlimited resources. If that's true; then by all means; put the pedal to the medal and full steam ahead. I'm just left wondering why I'm always being told the City of Austin doesn't have additional funding for public safety, the parks, programs for our at risk children, health programs, the arts, our senior citizens and the homeless. For some reason I'm seeing a disconnect between what the City of Austin tells me and the City of Austin's public policy. It's quite confusing and unbelievably frustrating!
Delwin Goss President
Montopolis Community Alliance
Austin, Texas 78741
Montopolis Community Alliance
Austin, Texas 78741
When you have the likes of Best Fiends coming into LA and taking a shelter over, what do you think happens to the little "mom/pop" rescues? When Best Fiends is smeared all over each shelter in LA in huge posters, where is the donated dollar going to go? Wake up rescues, these people are scheming to take the donations and put you out of business.