Houston, TX (Reposting my article which originally appeared in Examiner.com on 5/13/2010. Examiner.com has shut down it’s website and the article is no longer available there, so I am re-posting it here.)
Repeat: That is a 60% redemption rate for dogs at Washoe Co. animal control, but only 7% at BARC.
Even if BARC employees were checking the bulletin board regularly, it is absurd to think that anyone could match up animals against the mountain of paper hanging there. See the picture above. It is more sickening that Nathan Winograd’s assessment report includes instructions on how to set up a lost and found program that actually works (see page 37-39), yet BARC has not even attempted to institute this program.
On March 17, two days after Mr. Simon reported Nino lost, a Chihuahua matching Nino’s description was brought to BARC. (See below. Nino is on the left. The Chihuahua brought to BARC is on the right) The Chihuahua at BARC had been picked up very close to the location where Nino was last seen, yet no one contacted Mr. Simon to tell him that a Chihuahua matching Nino’s description was at BARC.
If we take Washoe County’s 60% percent reclaim rate for dogs and apply it to BARC’s intakes, it would translate to a staggering 8,100 dogs that are killed at BARC who are actually lost with families who want them back.*
That is 8,100 cages, that are being used, that could instead be freed up so truly homeless pets would have more time.
This means BARC would kill 8,100 fewer animals which would also save $972,000 because it costs roughly $120 to house an animal for 3 days then kill him/her and dispose of the body.
The only reason that those 8,100 lost dogs (and many more thousands of lost cats) are being killed each year is because BARC has not instituted an effective program that would reunite these animals with their owners even though instructions for an effective program are literally sitting at BARC and at city hall.
So, when shelter directors or city politicians tell people that there are “too many pets and not enough homes” or claim that shelters “must” kill because irresponsible people have caused pet overpopulation, remember this story.
Remember little Nino, and the other 8,100 dogs just like him, with families who want them back, but who will be killed at BARC this year.
As I’ve said in previous articles, whether a shelter stops killing depends on the shelter director. So, I have to ask, when will the Mayor and city council hire a shelter director for BARC who will pursue every avenue that has been proven to save lives?
This is horrendous and inexcusable. And again, this is a shelter leadership issue.
But, this issue has a solution….. a pink slip.
Please SPEAK OUT for the pets at BARC and demand shelter leadership who will work hard to save lives. Click here for an easy way to speak out for shelter pets. It takes only seconds, but could help save thousands of lives.