"Unfortunately none of the the counties contracting with KCPSCA have provided sufficient oversight over their contracts with KCSPCA." - No-Kill Delaware FacebookIn addition to the quote above, Joan Deaver had a civil dialogue with them on the No-Kill Delaware Facebook page where she made the following comment which shows sound business judgment and a concern for all her constituents, many of which are hurting financially right now:
No-Kill Delaware's later post shows their typical lack of respect for fiscal responsibility:
"You say there are No Kill shelters in Sussex that can handle animal control better than KCSPCA. Who? Where? Why didn't any of them bid? Have any of them presented a legitimate proposal to the county to enter into a contract? Accusations, criticism, and unfounded statements get attention initially but without facts they just cause a lot of damage and confuse issues. Disparaging the county and Mr. Goldthwaite should be backed up with facts. I agree with your goals for the most humane way to handle animal control but the costs are paid by the taxpayers of this county and they will decide through their representatives on county council. By the way we receive over 100 Sussex home foreclosure notices every month. People don't have homes. We have to take all that into consideration." - Joan Deaver, Sussex County Council
"Despite the recession, unemployment, and foreclosures, we do not have to kill dogs and cats. "Apparently No-Kill Delaware does need a history lesson. Kent County SPCA took on animal control for the state back in 2006 when Delaware SPCA no longer wanted to handle animal control in New Castle and Sussex. The counties didn't just hand them a contract on a whim. Kent County was the only one to respond.
If another organization has interest in now bidding due to a need for funding, Ms. Deaver is correct, that organization should present a business plan/proposal to show that they are equiped to handle the task - buy trucks, have enough personnel to handle, have a training program in place, etc. Non-profits still need to act in a business manner if they expect government to issue them contracts. Hopefully other county council members have the same business sense as Ms. Deaver and don't fall for the squeaky wheel politics that animal welfare in the state of Delaware has become. That's why I want to ensure that county officials are able to see the numbers, so they can make sound judgment based on more than those few squeaky wheels.
As I state in a previous post, No-Kill Delaware has regularly referred to Washoe County Nevada as their model for what they want to build in Delaware, even though they continue to claim that it will not cost tax payers in Delaware.
To review, Washoe County handles animal control that cost their taxpayers around $4.2 million last year for a county of 421,497 people and that is supplemented by the $3.5 million that Nevada Humane spent working in conjunction with their animal control to place animals. Even if you disregard the fact that Nevada Humane lost $1 million which is clearly unsustainable, Washoe county is working with a total of $7.7 million as compared to the $3.6 million that Kent County works with handling animal control for the all 3 counties, and with more than twice the population and a similar number of animals. Only $2.3 million is coming from tax payers in Delaware per the No-Kill Delaware post. No-Kill Delaware's voodoo economics couldn't make any less sense, and in my opinion Delaware will pay a heavy cost for a plan that isn't even going to be sustainable in Washoe County over the long haul.
Money, Money, Gimme The Money
Below is a quote from the same No-Kill Delaware Facebook post:
"Other shelters in Delaware save as many dogs as they can, but they have much more limited resources. KCPSCA gets about $2.3 million in tax dollars from the 3 counties for Animal Control; with fees and donations the total KCSPCA is about $4 million. Other shelters and rescue groups struggle to get donations in this rough economy so they can save the dogs. This is all backwards. Wouldn't it be more appropriate for the shelters that save dogs to get the tax dollars, rather than KCSPCA which just puts the dogs on the kill lists? "While I'm not sure where No-Kill Delaware gets the $4 million number, I can only go back the argument that the other 4 facilities that make up the no-kill shelters only take in 25.55% of the animals, but already receive 58.72% of animal welfare revenue in Delaware. So if No-Kill Delaware was granted their request for the $2.3 million of tax payer funds, nothing would be solved and it would in fact be devastating to the citizens of Delaware and our animals. No-Kill Delaware ignores the fact that Kent County SPCA saved more than 2 times the number of animals than the other 4 facilities combined with less money that the combined no-kill shelters.
The no-kill shelters last year only saved 4,553 animals with $5.1 million, so how are they going to save another 15,000+ animals with an additional $2.3 million. More voodoo economics. Considering their current save rate, at best we are looking at another 2,200 animals that could be saved by them with those funds. What happens to the other 12,800 animals that Kent County SPCA is currently taking in with those funds? Are they left on the streets like a third world country? I'm sure that would be wonderful for Delaware's tourism industry. We could even have rabies alert signs like they have in those countries. Our tourists from nearby states can feel like they traveled out of the country with just a short drive to the beach.
Delaware Shelter Summary
Animals Saved %
Kent County SPCA
Delaware Shelter Revenue
(Last Tax Year Available on Guidestar)
% of Revenue
Kent County SPCA
Delaware Shelter Intake Numbers
(from the shelter websites)
% of Intake
Kent County SPCA
Shelter Pets Saved
(from the shelter websites)
Return To Owners
Total Saved Percentage
Kent County SPCA
(1) Used 7/1/10 thru 6/30/11 for Faithful Friends since they did not have full 2010 year results listed on website
(2) CAPA does not require reporting of shelters until building completed - amt negligible
The Unfortunate Position for Counties
Unfortunately the counties will most likely have to take on some of the additional costs as a result of the Shelter Standards law (Delaware CAPA) due to the additional staffing required to jump though many hoops before an animal can be euthanized, no matter how unadoptable it is, and other requirement of this law. Despite the fact that there hasn't been any significant increase in rescues accepting transfers, animal control still has to keep an owner surrendered animal for a set number of days, provide it with vaccinations, and send out notices to the rescue registry even if the animals is 15 years old dog and that there's nearly no chance an adopter will take on the end of life costs for that animal. That's the unfortunate card that county officials have been dealt by state in the passage of this law. But you need to understand that the only way to contain that cost in any manner while this law is in effect, is to look closely at the whether the complaints made by groups like No-Kill Delaware are in any way valid before making a judgment that might be even more costly down the line.
Look at the Washoe County numbers and wonder whether your next step may take you down that costly road for your constituents. The no-kill groups claim this law saves money, but look at investigations that have taken place already and you can see that wasn't the case. No one wants animals to die, I certainly don't, but does it make sense for a county official to take their constituency down the Washoe path if it isn't even sustainable in the end, especially at a time when so many of your constituents are suffering hardship. Do you tell them we need an extra $5 million to warehouse and feed animals when you already lack the funds to feed and house the homeless or hungry people in your county? Just keep that in mind as you listen to the constant grumbling that you will hear in the months and maybe years to come from groups like No-Kill Delaware that offer no real solution, just examples of comparably sized communities that have taken on a tremendous cost, and have yet to show they can sustain it.
You should also take this as a lesson to watch the laws that are being passed on the state level and speak up for your constituents so you aren't placed in this position on future state laws.