Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Reign of Cruelty Called CAPA - 3 Years

Delaware is nearing the end of our 3rd year under the reign of cruelty called CAPA, also amusingly called "The Shelter Standards" despite it's lack of any real standards of care requirements for animal shelters. It's actually hard to believe it hasn't been longer given the continual drama and cruelty that we've seen as a result of CAPA. Similar legislation has been introduced in a number of states and localities, but unlike Delaware, everywhere else has had well informed legislators that have prevented it from passing.

In Delaware, we will most likely be entering our 4th year of CAPA with all the same drama and harm to animals, but the level of divisiveness and uncertainty will escalate even further.  As the legislators that support "No-Kill" movement setup their Animal Welfare Office, we can only wait and see how much worse it will get once they actually write enforcement for CAPA, since the new Animal Welfare Office has been added it to our already increasing budget in Delaware.  As you will recall, the law was originally passed it without any enforcement or inspection powers in part so they could get it through, and in part because they thought the lawsuits and investigations would break the back of the only shelter who wasn't turning animals away. Our "No-Kill" legislators and governor were only successful in part of that equation, and that was in closing our shelter doors to cats by making it fiscally impossible to take them in.  And as I've previously discussed, the cats have paid the highest cost for this foolish law in the cruelty that it has inflicted.

The Faces and The Names

This week we are yet again reminded of how harmful this law has been for the animals.  This cat named Yeti is yet another face of CAPA.  His story is becoming all too familiar in Delaware and the cruelty being inflicted on our animals as a result.  I will let the words of the rescue that tried valiantly to save him tell his story.

"Yeti was found in Laurel, under a tree crying for help. Unfortunately, there are many more in Delaware crying for help! Since the Shelter Standards were put in place and the no kill movement entered our state our shelters no longer except cats. You see to remain no kill you must only pick and choose what comes in your doors so most get turned away. This means that cats are being tossed on the streets in high numbers to fend for themselves. Many are being born daily on the streets without the chance of survival. Those that do survive may become diseased and die slow horrible deaths. As you drive our roads you will see many that have been hit by cars. Others searching in dumpsters trying to find food. And those like Yeti tortured. Yeti is not a feral as he is super friendly. When things like this happen it makes me question what happened to humanity. Most likely, this injury, was caused by a person tying something around the leg, causing the foot to die. As we speak, he is in surgery, fighting for his life as they amputate his leg. We ask for your prayers for Yeti and hope you feel like we do, that it is not "just a cat", it is a life!" - Sussex County Animal FB page 5-28-13
Below is a picture of his leg that they amputated in a desperate attempt to save his life.

Despite the heroic efforts of the rescue and their veterinarian, Yeti lost his battle the following day due to the infection that had taken over his body.

"This is not the update we expected to make. Yeti was found Monday night sitting crying under a tree. The couple who found him contacted us for help. We had him to the vet immediately in hopes we could save his life. His back foot was in horrible shape. He received medications and surgery to amputate his entire back leg to the hip. As of this morning he seemed to be doing okay and was eager to even eat some food that was hand fed to him. We had prepared to bring him home for his rehab in hopes he would be adopted into a loving home. But as the day went on he took a turn. Yeti has succumbed to his injury and his little body was riddled with infection. He was resting peacefully when he went on to the Rainbow Bridge. At least he found out what love was before he left this earth even if it was just for a short time. He was actually one of the lucky ones that was found and treated unlike the others that are still out there suffering. Please continue to pray for the cats that are tossed out like garbage on our streets. They are not safe out there regardless of what our state believes. Yeti is proof of that. The title our state gives them is "community cats" when they should be calling them "the forgotten ones" as that is what are state has done. I can honestly say I am ashamed to live in a state that would allow these types of things to go on with lives that deserve so much better." - Sussex County Animal FB Page 5-29-13
I couldn't have stated it any better than the rescue that attempted to save Yeti.  I am equally ashamed to live in a state that can find money to fund new state jobs, but not one dime additional for animals which so many are suffering and dying like this beautiful soul.  Our state created a divisive and costly atmosphere in animal welfare that resulted in even friendly cats like Yeti being tossed onto our streets, where they die slow and painful deaths in many cases.  So it's important that the public see the faces of the animals that are suffering as a result of CAPA.  We know there are isolated cases like this that happen in other states, but we continue to see and hear an extraordinary number of cases like this since CAPA went into effect.

Below are some of the past faces of CAPA that we've already seen posted here and elsewhere.

Neo - Released To Rescue for 40 Days

Warehoused Dog Under Previous Safe Haven Director

Warehoused Dogs Under Previous Safe Haven Director

Warehoused Dog Under Previous Safe Haven Director

9 Rescues Contact Before Help For Emaciated Cats

4 Hoarding Cases in 1 Year

How Much Worse Could It Get?

There's no doubt that the "No-Kill" movement in our state wants to get rid of temperament testing and the dangers that come with allowing dangerous dogs to be adopted out.

Owner requested euthanasia is another target of the "No-Kill" movement in our state.  With over 11% of our households falling below the federal poverty level, our low income pet owners rely on the services of shelters for much of their veterinary needs.  From low cost vaccinations to low cost spay neuter to performing euthanasia at the end of their pets lives.  The comment below illustrates the fact that the "No-Kill" movement in our state wants to take end-of-life decisions for pets away from the low income population in our state.  That is will not only be a financial burden to low income pet owners, but also harmful to the pets where owners take matters into their own hands, or others who may allow their pet to live out it's natural life in pain suffering.
"Owner Requested Euthanasia
Currently, Kent County SPCA puts down cats and dogs at the request of owners without having a veterinary exam of the animal to see if treatment is possible. I believe that this is violation of the Shelter Standards law; there is no exemption for owner-requested euthanasia in the law that I can find." - No-Kill Delaware 
The cruelty case in the newspapers this week here in Kent County clearly illustrates why low cost owner requested euthanasia in our state is needed.
"Kent County SCPCA officers said the incident happened earlier this week along Andrews Lake Road near Felton. Investigators said the dog, which was a Yorkshire terrier-Pomeranian mix, was beaten to death with a baseball bat and buried in a yard. Investigators say someone then contacted authorities." - article by Karen Campbell
There's no excuse for what these men did, especially since this occurred in Kent County where we have a shelter that will still perform low cost owner requested euthanasia. And lord knows there has been enough publicity bashing Kent County SPCA for still providing owner requested euthanasia, so I can't see how they can argue that there wasn't another option. Some of us are grateful that KCSPCA still performs this low cost service, and this case highlights why it's necessary.

But sadly, this could become more common in Delaware if No-Kill Delaware and the "No-Kill" movement in our state gets their way.  Unfortunately they continue to be more concerned about quotas than animals.

New Castle County residents in some cases have been referred to the KCSPCA because there is no longer a low cost option up there. The idea above by No-Kill Delaware about requiring a vet exam may sound reasonable, but we know a dog's condition can be up and down at the end.  The idea of "No-Kill" extremists requiring someone to sign over their dog, and then have to watch it fostered out like Maggie or in spend it's last days dying in pain in a shelter kennel like Jedidiah would horrify anyone, especially if you lack the resources to pay a vet.

So residents will need to be diligent in watching the actions taken by the new state Animal Welfare Office to ensure that much needed services like low cost euthanasia aren't lost completely as legislators inflict even more burden onto our shelters and the citizens of our state.

Dog Control Uncertainty Continues

The Kent County dog control contract will be discussed at the next Kent County Levy Court meeting on June 4 per the agenda, so residents that want to provide input should contact their commissioner and/or speak at the public comment section of the meeting.

Kent County Administrative Complex 
555 Bay Road, Dover, DE 19901 
Tuesday, June 4, 2013 
Levy Court Chamber (Room 203) 

It should be interesting to see the bids this year since our county has now taken on the role of doing their own enforcement of county code, and as such I would expect that the bids will be lower.  Hopefully the commissioners will require that any animals adopted out be spayed and neutered this time.  Considering the fact that there was alot of talk from the  commissioners about creating a spay neuter program that never materialized, requiring that animals leaving a shelter be spayed/neutered should be a minimum standard at the very least.

As everyone should recall, the Wilmington contract was extended last year until 6/30/13 with additional funding.  In looking at the recent budget for Wilmington, it appears uncertainty is again on the menu for Wilmington.  Surprisingly there has been no discussion in the papers regarding the following statement in the proposed budget for the city.
"Although the City increased its contract payment to the Delaware SPCA in mid-year of FY 2013, the SPCA will cease providing animal control services in the City starting the first day of FY 2014. The $90,000 increase provided this fiscal year to the SPCA was carried forward, bringing the total budgeted amount for animal control services in FY 2014 to $342,000. It is hoped that the increased budget will be sufficient to procure a new provider of this much needed service." - Wilmington FY 2014 Proposed Budget
As everyone can see, cruelty and uncertainty has been a way of life in Delaware communities since CAPA was enacted, and there's no indication that it will end any time soon.  So this should assure legislators in other states that you made the right decision to keep this horrible law out of your world.  We don't know when the horror will end here, but hopefully the rest of the country will learn from our mistake enacting CAPA.