Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday Scoop

I'm planning to start a new feature on my blog - the Sunday Scoop.  Just like Wordless Wednesdays and Flashback Fridays, the Sunday Scoop will be a regular event, and each post will share with you some aspect of rescue. 

For my first Scoop, I'd like to share with you something that has been talked about a lot recently in my area - shelter requirements.  One area shelter was told by the Missouri Department of Agriculture that they are temporarily restricted from euthanizing animals.  For a shelter that euthanizes 50% of the animals that come in the door, this is quite a problem.  Last year of the 3,827 animals received, they only adopted out 372 of them - less than 10%!  Fortunately there are several rescue groups that pull pets from that shelter, but its still not enough.  Over 1,900 pets were euthanized there last year.  And although they are temporarily restricted from euthanizing pets due to not having a veterinarian on site, the pets that are left there will just continue to suffer. 

I recently read an article on that shared the minimum requirements for dogs in shelters.  Basic things - like each dog should have a bed, and toys.  Dogs should be allowed rawhides for chewing to relieve stress.  Dogs should be able to go outside daily.  They should be able to come in and acclimate to a home-like environment daily.  They should be given one-on-one attention - those available for adoption should be petted, and in direct human physical contact for at least 20 minutes each day.  While this is important for any shelter, it is especially important for no-kill shelters that keep animals for longer than a 5 or 10 day holding period.  Many shelters in my area do not meet these minimum requirements.  And the dogs are the ones who suffer. 

But as sad as this is, there is hope on the horizon.  St. Louis County Animal Control is building a new shelter for the animals, and it should be complete by next year.  In the past ten years, St. Charles County, who took in 4,160 animals last year, has gone from an 80% euthanasia rate to a 20% euthanasia rate.  They have a great shelter, with workers who really care about the animals, and a director who does everything she can to get the animals into good homes.  They also have a great volunteer group there.  One volunteer not only goes there five days a week to work with the dogs, but he also brings shelter dogs to offsite adoption events each weekend to try to find them homes.  His level of devotion to these animals just amazes me.  I hope that with shelters like St. Charles County's Pet Adoption Center, the other shelters in our community will learn from them and make changes for the better. 


Mango said...

What a difficult problem. So many orphan dogs, but only limited resources to provide them with good care while they wait for a home.

We have two local no kill shelters. One has a high turnover rate (they place lots of dogs) and one does not, leaving those pups to live in the shelter, sometimes for years, and become increasingly unadoptable.

There is no easy solution.

Mango Momma

SGR said...

Woof! Woof! Wonderful post for your 1st Sunday Scoop. Great way to share n spread very important information/events. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Frankie Furter said...

EXCELLENT post. I give a monthly food donation to our shelter. Butt you brought up some good points I had not thought of. I tried to give them some balls and toys once... they wouldn't take them. They said the person who cleans cages... didn't want to mess with balls and toys.. hummmmm I'm gonna have to do some asking about this!! Thanks

Tucker said...

My Momma totally takes my old toys I don't play with to our local humane society. They accept them as long as they are clean, plus the foods I can't eat that are open they take as well.

I don't think they are no-kill by they try really hard to be no-kill. My BFF Diesel came from there. He was turned in, adopted, returned, adopted, returned and then finally adopted by my Uncle. Whew, some of those things puppies go through.

woof - Tucker

Anonymous said...

This was a very good and Most Informative post. I am keeping my paws crossed that one day every adoptable doggie will find its Most Perfect Home That Ever Was.

Wiggles & Wags,

hero said...

Great scoop... and thanks for all the informative facts. I agree there is no easy solution for strays but with people like you, they have hope.

Licks, hero

Two Country Poodles said...

Especially in these times shelters are hit hard because so many families just can't keep their pets. I look forward to reading next weeks post. This weeks was very well written and has lot of hope for homeless doggies!


SwSmartie said...

After weeks of contemplating adopting, I decided to give fostering a try. I'm super thrilled to get a new animal in my home.

I'm wondering if you could tell me, or even make it a sunday scoop, to share what the process is to take home an animal. I'm going in for an orientation in the next few days, and have no idea what to expect!!

This is the blog I've started:

Amy and The House of Cats said...

We know how hard that the shelters have it but we are very much for no-kill to be implemented everywhere - it is tough but it can be done. We think it is great that there are people out there who are willing to help out the animals who are in the shelters and get them out.