Tag Archives: Adoptable Pet

Truth and lies, or a tale of two shelters …

A lot of people (well, maybe not the ones who regularly read blogs like this) think of animal shelters as safe places for strays and pets people can no longer keep. After all, it’s called a SHELTER, right? Folks believe that if they need to rehome a pet, the staff at the shelter will do everything they can because nobody WANTS to kill animals, right?

Unfortunately, the reality at most kill pounds is that owner surrenders are the first to go. In NC, there is no law requiring that the shelter hold, evaluate or attempt to find homes for these pets, and the easiest and cheapest way to deal with them is to kill them immediately. (Well, OK, there sort of is a law, but it’s got big holes in it and no actual enforcement, so it may as well not exist.) So in pounds where the director is dedicated to doing what’s easiest and cheapest, that’s what happens.

A few pounds acknowledge the truth to surrendering owners, telling them their pet will most likely be killed. Some lie and let people surrendering pets believe pound staff will find the animal a new home, when staffers know perfectly well the animal will be marched straight to the kill table. Which is preferable?

Consider what happened to Danielle at the Wake County pound (2011 kill rate: 49.82%). Danielle’s family had to move into a small apartment and she believed her 2-year-old dog, Tucker, would be happier in a home with a yard. So she took him to the Wake pound thinking they would be able to find a better home for him. “I thought, as did everyone else I asked prior to making this choice, that the shelter was a selfless option for rehoming our beloved dog. Based on the website, they made the adoption section to look like a positive way to do things.  I thought that was the step in finding a better home for your loved animal,” Danielle said.

“The Shelter greeted us with smiles, and appeared on the outside to be a great choice,” Danielle said. “They then killed my dog in less than an hour of him being there.”

Danielle called twice in the hour after she dropped Tucker off to see if staff had deemed him eligible for adoption.

 I called immediately after I got home from dropping him off to see how he was doing and if he was okay because I was worried.  They told me he was “great and his picture would be posted on line within a half hour, if not feel free to call back.” I waited 30 minutes, no picture, so I called again trying to get through. When I got through to a staff member at the office, I asked how he was again. She said he was still processing, then told me to hold on. She got back on the phone and said, “he actually is about to be euthanized, not adopted.” I was in complete shock and said “Can I please reclaim him?!” She said yes, and I told her I was on my way.  By the time I ran my son out to the car and my husband was walking to the car with my baby, she called me and said “don’t bother coming, he’s gone.” I cried and pleaded with her that I just brought him there and it was impossible. The staff doted on how sweet he was and acted like they were a warm, loving, rehoming facility. An image that was completely false behind closed doors, I now know.

Danielle went back to the Wake pound to pick up Tucker’s body and asked staff why they couldn’t let him live. “The director stated they didn’t have to call me per their policy. I asked her why a simple phone call couldn’t be made or a note in the computer that I was calling, and I expressed I didn’t want him euthanized from the beginning when I brought him in.  The director said it happened too fast to stop it.  My point exactly, they killed him in less than an hour.  I cried to the director this morning and pleaded with her to make a change where they inform the owner before euthanizing.  I pray that it happens.”*

It happened too fast to stop it.  As if the killing at her pound were completely out of the director’s control. As if she were just the powerless servant of the big killing monster in the back, who gobbles up all the fresh owner-surrendered pets before anyone can stop him.

Cut to Alamance county: Pam Lee (yes, that Pam Lee), was looking for her lost cat Sassy** at Burlington Animal Services (2011 kill rate: 70.9%) when she saw an elderly man sitting in the lobby filling out paperwork:

I smiled at him and asked him how he was doing, to which he replied, “Not very well, I’m afraid.” I asked him what was wrong and he told me that due to their health and age, he and his wife were having to surrender their two beloved cats to the shelter. They had run an ad in the paper, but got no response, so they didn’t know anything else to do. He was under the impression that the shelter would put them up for adoption and help find them homes. I told him this would not happen and to not surrender the cats; I would take them with me.

At that point, the lady working in the front came into the waiting room and let him know that they were full to capacity and his pets would probably be euthanized as soon as he surrendered them. He was horrified and I saw tears come to his eyes. She then told us that if we wanted to make a “deal” for the cats to go to the parking lot and discuss it and they would just tear up the paperwork he was filling out. He handed her the incomplete papers and went to the parking lot with me. He had one of the cats with him: a beautiful fat 7-1/2-year-old lilac point Siamese named Lily.

Pam took Lily home and picked up the couple’s other cat, a 4-year-old male named Charlie, a couple of days later.

“The shelter was accommodating on this transaction, although they made it pretty clear that they would make no effort to find these cats homes,” Pam said.

Burlington Animal Services is a high-kill pound, but at least they don’t lie to to surrendering owners:

Sign at Burlington Animal Services

This sign in Burlington Animal Services lobby tells the truth about what will happen to most owner-surrendered pets.

(They do, however, lie to potential adopters who want to save pets scheduled for death.)

Of course, this whole discussion would be moot if the Wake County and Burlington pounds were to join the growing ranks of shelters across the country who have stopped killing healthy and treatable pets. Instead of being greeted by cheerful lies or devastating truths, Danielle would have spoken to a staff member about programs designed to help her keep Tucker if possible, or she would have been asked if Tucker could stay with her family while the shelter helped find him a new home. Or if no other solution could be found, they could have told Danielle a truth everyone could be happy with: “We don’t kill healthy pets like Tucker.”

*Danielle said the Wake pound director left her a voice mail saying that they are going to adjust their policies regarding owner surrenders.

**Pam went to BAS three times a week looking for her lost Sassy, who finally turned up back at home on Nov. 18, after being gone for three weeks.

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Filed under Alamance County, Burlington Animal Services, Wake County

Break out the punch bowl again: Ashe County pound has a dog available for adoption!

The Ashe County pound, which has not adopted a single pet to the public since the end of July*, has posted an adoptable dog on its Adopt-A-Pet and Petfinder pages. Some person or family who is able to get to the pound between the hours of 10 and 2 pm Monday, Wednesday or Friday can pick up a very sweet looking new friend named Barney.

Barney, Available for adoption from Ashe County Animal Shelter

Here is what they say about him:.

This nice Beagle/?Bassett boy is somewhere between 1-2yo, if not a little younger. He showed up as a stray at someone’s home and they contacted Ashe County Animal Control. The people in the neighborhood where he was roaming stray had nothing but good things to say about this boy. Unfortunately, nobody showed up to claim him during his 1-week stray hold. He has done very well at the shelter and allowed our volunteer to handle him all over w/o issue. Also, he seems to do well with other dogs but has not been cat-tested. We have no ability to test dogs with children.
The shelter does not have the ability to perform heartworm testing on-site. Deworming and/or vaccinations can be done on occasion when medication is available (we rely on donations for this). For reputable rescues, however, local volunteer assistance is available for transport to a local Vet clinic for such testing and to obtain appropriate vaccines and Health Certificate at the rescue’s expense.

In order to pull animals from Ashe County Animal Control, rescues must be approved. The approval process involves submitting an application, available by emailing a Friends of Ashe County Animals (FACA) volunteer at fabulousmcg@gmail.com. As part of the application, rescues will need to submit copies of their adoption application, adoption contract and 501c3. Rescues will also need to provide a Vet Reference. The Animal Control Officers prefer that all rescue-related inquiries be directed to the volunteer email (fabulousmcg@gmail.com) so please do not contact the shelter with rescue-related inquiries. An FACA volunteer will be checking this email daily so please allow 24 hours for a response.

Shelter information: Ashe County Animal Control 767 Fred Pugh Road Crumpler, NC 28617 Shelter Hours: 10:00AM-2PM, MON/WED/FRI. They are closed to public on TU/TH/SAT/SUN.

*I filed a public records request on Oct. 24 for the Ashe County pound’s latest statistics to verify this, but I am still waiting for a response. Some animals have gone out of the pound to rescue groups, so not every animal that goes in gets gassed to death. Just most of them.

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Adoptable pet of the day: Senior bichon girl in Person County pound

Senior Bichon in Person County Pound

This 12-year-old girl, let’s call her “Tilly,” needs out of the Person County pound ASAP. Email rhonda.beach@yahoo.com if you can help.

I don’t know the name of this little bichon frise in the Person County pound, but every dog needs a name so I will call her “Tilly.”

Tilly is estimated to be about 12 years old, and she needs a rescue or adopter soon.

If you can help Tilly, email Ronda Beach at rhonda.beach@yahoo.com.

CORRECTION: Tilly could be a poodle. I have no idea … she’s a little old fluffy white dog who needs out of that pound is all I know.

UPDATE: Tilly is safe and in foster care!

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Adoptable Dog of the day: Sprocket

Sprocket in Sampson County pound

Save Sprocket from the Sampson County gas chamber.
ID #: 12-D0246; Age: 6m; Weight: 32 lbs; Sex: male; Date of Intake: 8-17-12
Sampson County Animal Shelter: (910) 592-8493 or lbaxter@sampsonnc.com
168 Agriculture Place, Clinton, NC. We are open for adoptions M-F 1-4 pm

Sprocket has been in the Sampson County pound for 27 days. He’s a medium-sized (32 lb.) something mix (he’s black, so everyone will say “lab”) with an awesome name. If he doesn’t get adopted or rescued, he will most likely be killed in the Sampson County gas chamber.

Sprocket has been described as “full of energy and ready to run!” He has $135 in pledges to an approved rescue, according to a post on the pound’s Facebook page.

The Sampson County pound is located at 168 Agriculture Place in Clinton, NC. They are open for adoptions only 15 hours a week, Monday through Friday from 1 to 4 pm, when most potential local adopters are at work. The adoption fee for dogs is $25, plus local adopters are required to purchase a spay/neuter voucher at the time of adoption. Vouchers are $55 for male dogs and $85 for female dogs. Non-local adopters are not required to purchase a spay/neuter voucher but are required to get the animal sterilized and provide proof of surgery to SCAS. More policies can be found here.

UPDATE: According to this post, Sprocket has been “reserved,” which appears to mean he will be going into rescue. Good for Sprocket!

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Adoptable pet of the day: Frisky

Frisky-Stokes County Animal Shelter

FriskyfriskyFrisky

UPDATE: Frisky has been adopted!

Frisky is an owner surrender in the Stokes County Animal Shelter. His adoption fee has already been paid in full.  He was brought to the shelter by his previous owner because he does not like cats, but Frisky is great with people and other dogs. He especially loves children and is very playful. Frisky appears to be in good health (he does have some redness on his chest which could be just a flea allergy or dry skin, or maybe very common and easily treatable demodex), obeys well and walks well on a leash. He really loves attention from people.

Because he has been labeled a “pit bull mix” one crossposter said he “doesn’t stand a chance.” I don’t know if that’s because the staff at the Stokes County pound are eager to kill “pit bull mixes” or not eager to adopt them out, or if it’s because of the perception that “nobody wants to adopt a pit bull.” (Which I think is sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy, because shelter staff are quicker to choose death for the dogs they believe are “less adoptable.”) At any rate, it’s pretty clear that showing up at the Stokes County pound may not  be the luckiest thing that ever happened to Frisky. It could have been, if the pound functioned like an actual shelter, a safe place for animals that need our protection, but the statistics say it does not: last year 76 percent of the pets who entered Stokes County pound didn’t make it out alive.

Please share Frisky and help put the odds in his favor.

The Stokes County Animal Shelter is located at  1999 Sizemore Road, Germanton, North Carolina (about half an hour north of Winston-Salem). Phone: (336) 994-2788; email: stokesanimalshelter@embarqmail.com

Hours are Mon – Fri: 8:30 am-noon, 1-5 pm, Sat: 9 am-noon.

The adoption fee for dogs is $36, which includes a rabies shot and county tax tag. The adoption fee for cats is $30, which includes a rabies shot.

You can see more Stokes County adoptables at this Facebook page (which I believe is run by volunteers–the SCAS doesn’t appear to have any listings on any of the common adoption sites–please correct me if I am wrong).

UPDATE: Over on Facebook, the staff and the Stokes County pound and their defenders took great umbrage at my suggestion that they might be at all quick to kill pit bulls. And my suggestion that perhaps Frisky’s skin condition should be treated. And at my suggestion that a 76 percent kill rate  might not be “the best they can do,” etc. The whole exchange is here, or if they delete the post for some reason, a screenshot is here. (Please forgive the typos, my mind works way faster than my fingers). Some of the same people have also posted in the comments below.

Also, the Facebook page is apparently maintained by staff and one volunteer under staff supervision.

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Filed under Adoptable pet, Stokes County

Adoptable pet of the day

jay 12-1623 in Beaufort County Animal Shelter

Jay, a 12-year-old spaniel and/or golden mix, needs out of the Beaufort County, NC pound ASAP.

Julianne writes: “This poor old man is at the Beaufort County Animal Shelter and doesn’t have much time. Gassing facility! He looks like a golden retriever mix to me but they have him listed as a spaniel mix. He’s 12 years old and desperately needs to get out there.”

The Beaufort County pound (a.k.a. the Betsy Bailey Nelson Animal Control Facility) in Washington, NC, is a high-kill, gas chamber facility with a director who doesn’t even bother to submit the pound’s outcome stats to the NCDA&CS. Their open hours are M-F l pm to 5:30 pm and Sat. 11 am to 3 pm. They are closed on holidays. They advise arriving half an hour early “to allow time to do the necessary paperwork and routine vaccinations,” because god forbid staff have to stay a little late to save an animal’s life.

If you are interested in helping Jay but can’t get to the Beaufort pound during their limited open hours, leave a comment and I will contact you and put you in touch with Julianne.

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Adoptable pet of the day

OK, I’m blatantly ripping off YesBiscuit! (And why not? Shirley inspired me to start this blog in the first place!) in starting a “pet of the day” feature. Although knowing me, it might be the “pet of every few days” feature because sometimes I can’t manage to find time for the blog.

Anyway, today’s adoptable pet is Champion, in the Granville County, NC, pound (which will be the topic of a post very soon):

Champion in Granville County pound

Champion is a young mix (hound+terrier?) who came into the Granville County pound already neutered, with a tattoo (probably from a low-cost neuter clinic) and a microchip (his owner seems to have moved and changed phone numbers, however). Champion seems to be house-trained because volunteers say holds his urine as much as possible to avoid soiling his kennel.

Granville County is a high-kill gassing pound, and Champion has already been there for a while. Shelter adoption fee is $50 per animal plus $6 per rabies vaccine where applicable. Phone (919) 693-6749 to speak with or leave a message for the officers. Speak clearly and leave your phone number twice. If the animal is still available, the officers WILL get back to you. Shelter hours are Monday thru Friday from 12:00 PM to 4:30 PM and Saturdays 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. The shelter is closed Sundays and holidays.

You can also see Champion on Petfinder (including a fun photo of him peeing).

UPDATE! Maureen sent more photos of Champion!
ChampionChampionChampion

UPDATE: Champion got adopted at the eleventh hour!

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