Best Friends Animal Society Co-Founder Francis Battista on the idea of on-demand owner-surrender of pets to shelters (bold emphasis mine):
"Rewinding this policy to assess its underlying logic suggests that it rests on two assumptions: everyone who needs to re-home a family pet should indeed be pigeonholed as uncaring, undeserving and likely to simply put their pet out on the streets. And dogs and cats, per their legal status as property, have no more value to a family than an old piece of furniture. In fact, it's easier to get rid of your dog or cat at the public's expense in most cities than it is to get rid of an old mattress.
"Both of these assumptions are invalid and harken back to the era of municipal animal shelters being about public health or rabies control, rather than serving as true community resources for the humane care of stray and unwanted pets. They also shortchange the public's willingness to work with the shelter to increase the likelihood of a positive outcome for pets."
More from Francis' blog here.
Two years ago, Kansas City Pet Project moved to a managed intake policy for pets in spite of many of the same concerns that existed about the fear of people feeling like they were being turned away from the shelter, or fears of pets simply being "dumped" on the streets instead.
The result has been that KC Pet Project is better able to address the needs of some pet owners who want to keep their pets but may not be aware of the resources to help them do so. It has allowed us to better help people rehome their pets themselves vs coming into the shelter at all. It has also allowed us to better control the flow of pets into the shelter to create higher likelihood of a successful outcome for that pet. And, overall, has allowed us to provide better customer service to people surrendering pets as well as to adopters. All with virtually no negative side effects.