Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The No-Kill Goal - To Kill Competition

The headline in one of our local newspapers today couldn't have been more appropriate with what has been occurring in Kent County this past week:
"No-Kill Hopes to Kill Competition" -

"Sussex County's newest animal shelter -- a facility that hopes to persuade the state's counties to rely on no-kill options for animal control.... The shelter hopes to sharpen a philosophical divide between no-kill shelters in Sussex and New Castle and the Kent County SPCA, the state's largest animal shelter. The SPCA is contracted to practice dog control in all three counties, taking in abandoned dogs and investigating animal cruelty cases. It also euthanizes animals it takes in when they are ill, deemed too aggressive or when there is simply no room to house them.  Safe Haven hopes to take over animal control duties in southern Delaware by competing for a county dog-control contract that amounts to $669,000 this year."  -
The Taxpayers Lose

As I've stated previously, I do think the U.S. Department of Justice should investigate what's occurring here.  I've always thought that the political ties to "no-kill" organizations here in Delaware brought forward CAPA as a means to either bankrupt Kent County SPCA, or push them out of being a competitive and cost effective alternative for animal control.  As such, by getting KCSPCA out of the way, the "no-kill" groups could use their absence to extort more and more money out of taxpayers at the county level once the government took over animal control like in Austin and Washoe County.  Since they could not get a referendum in Delaware like those communities, "killing the competition" was their best alternative.  Whether it ends up that the government takes over animal control in our counties, or whether the "no-kill" organizations, like the one in the article above, use animal control as a means to provide funds that they lack to operate, the taxpayers of every county loses since "no-kill" has been costly in every major area.   

Remember, animal control for Wilmington was already up in the air beginning July 1, but Kent County was the first county focus of activists since their contract is reviewed mid year.  Apparently the activists consider the meeting of June 5th as a victory, because they've already began their campaign to do the same in Sussex and New Castle counties.  

The reason I wanted to include the screenshot above is to contrast it with the comment below made in a recent article:
'Mr. Guy said Sussex receives complaints regarding the service the KCSPCA is providing very infrequently."- Delaware State News 6-10-12
Do I think the "no-kill" activists will find what they're looking for?  Absolutely.  If I go and ask a bunch of sexual offenders whether they were unfairly convicted, I think we all  know there will be a bunch of complaints that they were.  If you go looking for people that were ticketed or convicted of animal crimes, you'll find the same.  We've all seen the comments on NKD's Facebook page about how the KCSPCA wronged them, the Deputy Attorney General wronged them, the judge wronged them, etc.  

Hopefully the other counties will be more capable of distinguishing the fact that there were infrequent complaints before the above campaign and recognize that every agency has not conspired with KCSPCA.  They should take into account the caliber of people that are attracted to the hateful and excuse laden message that No-Kill Delaware has to sell.  

Public Safety And Animal Welfare Will Be Compromised

The other major issue that should be of concern is, how will this affect public safety?  I've included the screenshot below, because the no-kill philosophy is apparent in the statement made.  The screenshot below is a post on No-Kill Delaware's Facebook page: 
"They have 20, seriously 20 found dogs from today.  Stop driving around looking for strays: less wear and tear on the truck, less fuel, less man powe, etc.  More kennels open!" - NKD Facebook

Yes, this is how how "no-kill" believes animal control should be done.  Leave stray dogs on the street.  Dead dogs with tire treads on the side of the road don't risk the "no-kill" organization's ability to stay under their 10% quota of animals allowed to be euthanized.  And yes, some of them will say that doesn't represent their view on animal control, but there are numerous references that say otherwise:
"If we see a fat and happy Lab walking down the street and he's not a menace to the community," Chambers said, "maybe we leave him there, and maybe he's on his way home to dinner." - Broward endorses no-kill goal for animal shelters -
Hopefully the fat happy Lab isn't out for a jaunt to rip some kids face off.

And I can't imagine the average person in Delaware would want dogs to stay with a dogfighter.
"Killing is not rescue.  These dogs were better off with the alleged dogfighter.  At least then there was a hope that they could be rescued by someone willing to help them transition to normal lives as pets or failing that, get them to sanctuary.  Now there is no hope." - YesBiscuit!
Our future will have communities where families are concerned for the safety of their children due to dogs at-large.  Communities where your pet dog is left to roam and possibly die, strictly because he didn't fall within the 10% euthanasia quota for the month.  And this doesn't even include the ever growing cat population and the rabies risk that will grow with that population.
At the turn of the last century large, wild dog packs roamed freely throughout the state, killing livestock, spreading disease, and causing mayhem for farmers and other citizens. The problem had to be addressed. - Delaware Dog Control History, DNREC 
So while I'm sure there are some celebrating the chaos created by CAPA in Kent County, most reasonable people know that it may cost us dearly for a time, but we need to keep in mind how quickly places like Philadelphia failed under the "no-kill" flag.  And we've seen how Austin is still hundreds of animals over capacity despite millions of dollars, and a tremendous effort by the staff and volunteers there.  To be honest, from what I've seen, I don't think those leading the effort here even know how to work that hard, so hopefully our pain will be short lived.  It's just unfortunate that precious resources will be wasted in the process that could have been used to prevent future births, rather than playing the hateful games we've seen.