Friday, February 20, 2015

"Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind" Is Not A Solution

A number of us having be saying for some time that leaving animals on the street to end up ill, injured or starving is not an answer.  Neither is releasing them to just anyone to end up in horrible hoarding situations whether by individuals or rescues, used as dog fighting bait dog, or just to end up at the end of a chain in extreme heat or extreme cold like we currently face.

Some friends shared a video today that I think shows the reality of pet overpopulation, and the many animals suffering that never even make it into a shelter to be counted in Nathan Winograd's speculative numbers.  What I find most disturbing is the fact that we are seeing more and more communities that think increasing shelter live release rates is more important than stopping the suffering and harm that happens to dogs and cats left on the streets.

While the stories in this video revolve around the many poor rural areas that don't even really have a shelter, this is the life that more and more communities are advocating for with "No-Kill" closed doors.

While the many "No-Kill" gurus are busy creating a harmful environment for animals by trying to turn adopters against shelters that accept animals that are not cute and fluffy or highly adoptable higher euthanasia rates, they ignore the reality that they are creating for the animals that are eventually turned away.  Turning a blind eye to pet overpopulation won't make it go away.

"No-Kill" Hate versus Helping Animals

There's no better example of this than "No-Kill's" obsession with attacking other large animal welfare groups like HSUS, ASPCA, and PETA.

Especially of late, what is clearly an obsession with PETA. Rather than actually doing something to help animals, "No-Kill" has created a fevered pitch hate campaign to stop PETA from doing the rescue work that has assisted keeping pets in homes, making sure they have sufficient shelter, and assisting low income pet owners with euthanasia for their sick animals so they don't have to suffer to a natural end.

While "No-Kill" focuses on the outcome of one dog in Accomack County Virginia, they ignore the fact that nobody missed the other dogs that were involved in the trailer court roundup that occurred so those dogs were obviously neglected and the reason that packs were attacking people, pets, and livestock.  They also ignore the fact that tonight when we reach below zero temperatures here in the Mid Atlantic that the other 2 dogs of the man involved will at least have shelter as a result of PETA's work.

Sadly, I doubt that the "No-Kill" gurus went out there tonight to make sure there was adequate straw or blankets to make help ensure that man's dogs don't freeze to death tonight, yet the NKers attempt to stop PETA from doing that kind of work by spending their time instead lobbying to pass Virginia SB1381, instead of making sure those dogs and others are safe and warm tonight.  Nor has "No-Kill" gurus taken part in spaying and neutering 100,000+ animals as PETA has to help prevent future animals from ending up like the many you see in the video above.

It will be interesting to see what Virginia legislators do on this issue.  Per the impact statement attached to the bill, this bill may very well result in more animals being left on the streets as we've seen occur in Delaware under CAPA.
"Fiscal Implications: According to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), the bill may have a fiscal impact to localities. The bill limits the role of private animal shelters to finding permanent adoptive homes and facilitating lifesaving outcomes for animals, and may result in an increase in municipal shelter populations. According to VDACS, private animal shelters may choose to no longer accept medically or behaviorally challenging animals, and as a result the population of animals in municipal shelters may increase. Also, concerns about euthanasia rates may lead private animal shelters to terminate contracts with localities to operate as municipal animal shelters.
We already know that the Accomack County situation with wild dogs has been going on for years, whether it was due to the lack or resources of a poor community or a lack of courage on the part of the community leadership to deal with the situation as they see other communities and organizations like PETA take the heat from "No-Kill", but we do know that family pets and residents were endangered as a result of these dogs left on the streets.
“We in the Hopeton area are having an increasing and rapidly accelerating problem with wild dog packs,” he said.
He spend $850 in veterinarian bills resulting from attacks on two family pets, both cats, and his mother’s cat was killed by the dogs, he said.
Both Cormons and Van Dessel said when they tried to drive the dogs off their property, the animals turned on them aggressively.
“They turned on me; they were 50 feet away from my front porch,” Van Dessel said.
Theresa Van Dessel, also of Dennis Drive, said she contacted Animal Control four times about the attacks, without results." - DelmarvaNow
So the fiscal implications noted with SB1381 are clearly a fair analysis of the fact that there will be communities where private shelters abdicate their municipal contracts as a result if SB1381 is passed, and Virginia will likely see even more poor rural communities with little or no dog control, just like Accomack. As a result, more owned pets and residents will pay the price of dealing with more and more stray packs of dogs, which is neither humane to those dogs as the video above shows, nor is it humane to the family pets or children that will be injured or killed as a result of aggressive dog attacks.  I certainly hope Virginia monitors dog bites and injuries, since that will at least allow residents to hold legislators accountable for their decision on this bill if they should pass it.

But hopefully Virginia legislators have more sense than our's in Delaware, and pets in Virginia will continue to receive the assistance that PETA provides as "No-Kill" communities turn them away.