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« Massachusetts cities end breed discrimination | Main | Sikeston MO begins pit bull roundup »

December 05, 2012

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Marie-Odile fortier

Good job on the increased adoptions. I have a few questions on the information you've presented. Do you have data on the healthy and treatable versus the untreatable pets that were euthanized? What does "Clinic Out" mean?

Also, how much did the Zona Rosa location increase the number of pets that KCPP is able to hold in its program at any given time? With the success of the Zona Rosa location in the last three weeks, are you considering making it a permanent adoption center, or are there obstacles to doing that? Thanks!

Brent

Marie,

At present, we don't have the information broken out between treatable and untreatable. We're hoping to have more details in 2013.

I believe that "clinic out" animals are animals that are transferred to other vet clinics and then don't come back. I know we have one veterinarian that helps us that has adopted out several animals from her clinic while still in treatment and I think these are them.

We have space for about 40 animals at the Zona Rosa location. We would absolutely love to make this a permanent adoption location but there are barriers to doing this. One of the biggest barriers is financial -- we got a great deal on the space since it was sitting empty prior to us taking it over and they wanted it filled for the holidays. As a not-for-profit they gave us a very discounted rate on the space. Even at the discounted rate, it is expensive for us to have to staff/transport, etc. However, we are looking for options to extend this, either in the current location or elsewhere and for revenue streams to help pay for it.

KateH

Why do you take in opposums and raccoons, and what kind(s) of birds? I'm guessing that by state law they all get killed?

And while I applaud the good effort and outcomes for the dogs and cats, what happens to the pigs, birds, reptiles, goats, chickens, and the zebras?

Brent

Most of the racoons and opposums come to us because they have distemper (there would be no other reason animal control would pick them up) and are euthanized.

Pigs are adopted out (mostly we just get the small pet pigs, occassionally we'll get a farm pig that we send to one of the farms we work with (our llamas go there too). Goats get adopted pretty quickly usually.

The birds generally go to rescue (if they're the pet kind) -- we also have a wildlife rehab facility in town that often takes an owl/hawk/eagle that we sometimes get that is injured (we're open later than the wildlife rehab facility. Reptiles go to rescue, except the crocodile we got went to the zoo. Kansas City allows urban farming, so the chickens and chicks are usually adopted fairly quickly. Roosters are a lot more difficult although we tend to place a lot of them too. Rats go directly to a Petco we partner with and the stray ferets went to rescue also. Thus far we've save more than 250 "others" this year in addition to the dogs and cats. We're proud of the work we do in this area too -- and even have a goat on the cover of our year-end mailer.

KateH

Brent, I hope you understand that I am not making this comment just to disagree with ac policies, but that I'd like people to actually have a better understanding of diseases in wildlife, and know that there are other reasons that are more valid for ac to use concerning why they are 'disposing' of certain types of animals.

It is almost unheard of for opposums to get distemper (or rabies) and I doubt that ac could, let alone would, test in the field to confirm distemper. If they are picking up opossums that are out in the daytime, wandering around, it is much (much) more likely that they are suffering from the opposum equivalent of Alzheimer's disease. Admittedly, an opposum with dementia could attract the attention of humans who might be silly enough to bother it and get bitten, so while it could be considered the better choice to catch and kill them, it would be better to know that they aren't 'sick' and 'contagious' animals. Of course, any bite by any animal could get infected (and be quite painful), so that is the real reason why interactions between wildlife and humans usually result in the animal being removed or killed.

Raccoons can be infected with distemper or rabies, and would be wandering in the day with nasal and/or eye discharge, and other symptoms, and so they are almost always killed, according to state law, even though many times the animals aren't sick at all. Raccoons are much more aggressive (and while they don't have as many teeth as opposums do), and can do a lot more damage when they bite. It is because of the possibility for rabies transmission that raccons are killed (either before or after they bite a human), not because of the distemper problem, as humans, while capable of being infected, almost never suffer any effects from it. While raccoons can be infected by feline distemper it generally doesn't have as great an effect, while canine distemper can kill them, and either can reinfect cats or dogs, so from that standpoint it wouldn't be sensible to leave them in the wild, so they are killed to prevent this.

Anyone who works in a job where they may be bitten by a raccoon should be vaccinated against rabies, but just like dogs and cats, raccoons that are successfully vaccinated against rabies don't get it and don't infect humans even if they bite them.

Brent

Kate, it's clear that you know more about the veterinary side than I do, I've seen more than a handful of these animals while they've been at the shelter and I've never questioned that any of them were suffering and needed to be euthanized...

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