I'm going to post this story here, courtesy of Yesbiscuit!.
According to the news report below, from Fox 5 in Atlanta, the Atlanta Humane Society, imports literally several thousand animals a year from other parts of the country, and even from the Bahamas, while the metropolitan area of Atlanta kills about 50,000 animals a year.
According to the numbers in the report, 933 adoptable animals at AHS came from residents of Atlanta and a whopping 3683 were transferred in from other shelters. But of those transfers, only 265 (7%) came from metro shelters, and the majority came from other states. So while 50,000 animals a year were killed in the metro area, AHS imported another 3418 animals from outside the metro.
There is a lot to comment on about this article. We could focus on the fact that AHS has a budget of about $4 million and apparently adpted out about 5500 animals (so about $727 per animal). Or we could focus on importing animals into a city that is already killing 10s of thousands of animals or that an area shelter, the Fulton County animals shelter, kills about 63% of its animals (about 6500 total) and AHS pulls only a few from them.
Regardless of what you want to focus on, I think it's important to note that this is a situation that is NOT unique to AHS. There are many shelters around the country that do this very same thing. While, in some ways, I agree that all animals that need saving need saving, regardless of where they come from, it still strikes me as troubling when animals are imported in from other areas while animals are dying in shelters just across town.
And this further highlights, to me, that a) you should know the policies of the shelters that you give your money to and b) that we need to put a greater emphasis on no kill communities than we do no kill shelters. While No Kill shelters are great, a community approach is by far the best approach to saving a community's animals.
Please watch, and I'd love to hear your thoughts. And hats off to Fox 5 in Atlanta for a compelling, and seemingly factual piece.
Meanwhile, in the spirit of full disclosure, this is AHS's response to the article....which doesn't seem to refute the facts presented in this case.