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May 02, 2012

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Nikki

My shelter imports animals from other areas. I am a huge proponent of this. We actually just opened up a satellite in a local mall that had previously had a puppy mill store in place. People want to adopt puppies. We have no puppies in the Northeast, other than pits or pit mixes (in any kind of predictable manner, at least). As much as we all love these animals, not everyone can be convinced to adopt a pit. By bringing hounds and lab mixes up from the south that are slated for euthanasia anyway, we offer our adopters a breed that is more desirable to them in their eyes and save lives in the process. Our local shelters do not want our help. We frequently pull animals from within our local area, take in animals from shelters that are overflowing, and still manage to have upwards of 88% save rates for cats and dogs (higher for dogs).

One shelter we have offered to pull from will only give us sick, old animals, or pit mixes. We have enough of those in our own shelter. If you are euthanizing so many adoptable animals, why is this acceptable? We have the same difficult to adopt animals as every other shelter, so I find that practically insulting.

So I guess my point is that we have tried (and are actively doing) pulling animals from shelters within our area. However, if we can save hundreds of more lives by pulling animals from down south, then why not? I agree that creating a no kill community is necessary, but a portion of our adoption fees (and the fees we are getting from our satellite adoption center in the pet store) are going to fund spay/neuter projects down south and elsewhere. Shelters down south have too many hounds and labs--adopters want hounds and labs (and puppies)--we pull those animals that are going to be euthanized anyway and it's a win-win for everyone.

Brent

Nikki,

I know this is somewhat common in the Northeast. There is a shelter up there, North Shore Animal League, who travels across the country and pulls animals from a lot of southern shelters where they are plentiful and takes them North where there is demand. They purposely don't take certain types/sizes of dogs because they try to save their space for them for helping their local shelters -- which makes sense to me and seems like a valid policy.

This is very different than a situation where the Atlanta metro area is killing 50,000 animals annually.

We have similar (but different) issues in Kansas City where we have a lot of rural shelters that get over-run by dogs from commercial breeders in the state....and they get brought in because the small dogs are easy to adopt out and in high demand...

Emm

I agree that to the animal, it doesn't care where it came from, just that it needs to be rescued.
That said, to have a large metropolitan shelter euthanize thousands of animals because they import animals from out of the country isn't right.
I try to look at it from the saying of 'look in your own back yard'. I feel for the dogs outside the US but there are other organizations for those kind of adoptions and I feel that metro areas should focus and trade dogs that are more local.
So many southern shelters use gas boxes on animals. It would be better to take animals from those shelters than import more.

kmk

Wow, Nikki, thank you SO MUCH for verifying what I've been saying for years! the first six sentences of your post just say it all and demonstrate the insanity in this picture. Certainly dogs from an unknown source are so much better than commercially-bred dogs that come with health certificates from inspected kennels.

Brent, which rural Missouri shelters are "overrun" by commercially-bred dogs? I've never heard of this being a problem. Commercially bred dogs typcially don't end up in shelters unless they are from an unlicensed facility that is shut down by the state.

Brent

KMK -- the Joplin shelter has a wealth of problems - and many of them are of the small commercially bred variety...this isn't their sole problem, but 'tis a problem.

kmk

There is an overabundance of small kennels in southwest Missouri. I have plenty of friends in and near Joplin - I could find out if these are dogs that are being turned in by the public or if the shelter is being saddled with small dogs from kennels being shut down. The Joplin shelter is a rather odd duck - they built a large, new shelter but don't seem to be making much headway as far as reducing intake and euthanasias. The shelter wasn't built by the city - I seem to recall it was built by a humane organization.

Lamar, Missouri is just two hours south of Kansas City but they see far more puppies in their shelter in that area than we see here. So do Joplin and Springfield.

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