Take a good look at this dog. It could have been your dog. It could have been anyones dog, but it wasn’t… She was just another statistic in an “Animal Care” system that isn’t working… NOT AT ALL. The little girl was 2 years old when she was killed. Not by thugs, a car accident, not from sickness or negligence, but at the hands of our “Shelters.” She lasted all of SEVEN days before she as killed. The reason? Overcrowding!! Its like a bucket of water, if you keep putting water into it, it will eventually overflow. The trick is to take some of the water out. That equates to several things, one is getting a system working that gets shelters into the business of adopting out dogs, not taking them in. Most shelters in LA and throughout the US are not as active as they could be in getting dogs adopted.
I am totally perplexed at the “pet overpopulation problem” when last year $2.1 BILLION was spent on live animal purchases. This while our shelters are killing 5 MILLION animals a year. I think we can do the math here. Most people don’t want to go to a shelter because of several reasons: mainly they are in bad neighborhoods and they are depressing. I won’t argue with either of those. But since we know the objection, wouldn’t any good sales person look at a way to overcome that objection and make it work? Not if your status, income or job did not depend on your performance. The option is always there to kill the animals that are not placed, with little or no thought.
There is a bill on the table (AB1634), here in California, you can check out the site at www.cahealthypets.com The basis to the plan is mandatory spay and neutering. The wording of the bill is written in a sense that people would not be jailed, nor would their animals be taken from them if they are in violation of the bill. That is all fine and good, but what good is the bill if it punishes people for bad behavior, instead of rewarding them for good behavior. For the most part, I believe that most most animals should be neutered. If you are a 100% responsible person and can assure that your dog or cat will NEVER be out of your control, and never ACCIDENTALLY get another animal pregnant, then lets talk. I have only met a very small percentage of these people. Am I against responsible breeders? No! Am I for people breeding their dogs in their back yards or in puppymills? NO! I believe that most people should fix their dogs and stop this insanity.
A person who lives below the standard of living who can barely afford food and gas is not looking to a vet to spay and neuter their animal. Most responsible people who have dogs, have them spayed. It is people who can’t afford it, or who are unaware of the problem that need to be addressed. Mobile spay and neuter clinics sent into areas where people can not afford the procedure is a far better answer. Pet food and rewards for people who spay and neuter their pets is a better incentive, then punishing those who can’t afford it. Today most people can’t afford medical care for themselves, let alone get their pets spayed and neutered. Make the procedure Available and Affordable. Try that. I am not saying that the idea of mandatory spay and neutering is not a good idea, conversely, I think its a GREAT IDEA. My point is make it accessible and EASY. I support anything that helps animals, but I also support things that make life a little easier for people who are trying to do the right thing. Read over the bill and think for yourself. I don’t think it is what we need, because it does not address the important issue of making spay and neuter available for those who need it most and those whose situation affects the problem the most. Its an easy step for the government, because its a hands off approach. We need much more than this bill.
Look at the picture of the dog above… she died for the crime of being born. Her crime was life. She will never receive a pat on the head again, never run through a field, chase a ball or chew on a bone ever again. The reason is because the system is broken. She was brought to a place called a SHELTER, a shelter that did not SHELTER, but instead KILLED. There are plenty of steps we can take to fix it. DEMAND animal care in our shelters. Demand that shelters open their doors to the public during times after work hours, Demand mobile adoption programs, better shelter reform and lets not forget that the employees of these shelters are there to serve the animals. They should be available to be sure the animals are cared for, clean and that people who want to see them can get in and see them. The employees should not be crowded behind a desk in the main office texting or chatting when people are walking through the kennels looking for help.