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« Child dies in dog attack in Jacksonville, FL | Main | Wentzville, MO repeals breed specific laws »

March 14, 2012



If more than about 10% of a shelter's annual intake is deemed "unadoptable", something is not right. That doesn't mean that the 90% are easy to adopt out, but they're adoptable.


WOW! I really hate it when any organization makes it a policy to destroy dogs based on how they look. I run a no-kill rescue out of my home in Savannah TN and I can tell you that most people mis-identify pit bull's everyday. I've even had a dog brought in being identified as a pit when she was a boston terrier. It's rediculus. Pit's have historically been bred and raised to watch over children. They are strong but if bred and raised with love and gentle but firm hand they are the best family dogs you can have.


Springfield is a classic example of using dog laws to stop crime-related problems. Springfield was experiencing a lot of gang problems and I guess these cities think if they ban pit bulls their crime problems will vanish. That's what they get for listening to Randall Lockwood (and if you're reading this you're still going to Hell, Lockwood).


This is another of those situations where I have to ask- what about the cats? Does this shelter just not take in cats? If not, what happens to stray or lost cats in this community? If so, can we assume cats just don't count toward these 'no kill' statistics?

It really bothers me how time and again I hear a shelter has gone 'no kill' and see the numbers trumpeting the number of dogs saved- and not a thing is said about the cats in the community. It's like they literally don't count and 'no kill' can be achieved by saving x dogs and killing all the cats you please. Even rescue blogs don't mention them the majority of the time.


Good question on the cats. Many cities simply don't pick them up but it wasn't too long ago 2/3 of all shelter kills were cats.

PAMM - People Against Madd Morons

Also, Springfield doesn't do ANY adoptions - all the life saving is done by rescue groups. Springfield merely pawns all the responsibility off on others - wow, mighty white of them to let these rescues take the animals off their hands (and do the rescues have to pay pull fees??) instead of killing them. I guess they're taking a page out of KCK's playbook. I'm glad more lives are being saved but this is very "I'm happy my husband doesn't beat me so much anymore..."

And yeah, since they don't mention cats I'm betting about 75% of them are "feral" therefore "unadoptable".


Annoying as all hell, and all too common.

Central Ohio Dog Blog

Amen. We have the same thing in Central Ohio, but we'll see if HB14 changes that. Last year, the county shelter reported that 38.7 percent of intakes are "euthanized" because of poor health, advanced age or "unsafe temperament." Of course, included in this "unsafe temperament" category are the pit bull dogs that were deemed "vicious" by state law.

Whenever I see that word "adoptable" I cringe. More often than not, it's a smokescreen.


I volunteer at a small, open admission, animal control shelter in my county that went from a 72 1/2% save rate in 2010 to a 92 1/2% save rate in 2011. It wasn't easy and we're still not satisfied with our numbers but know that we've made huge strides. This wasn't just of the 'adoptable dogs/cats', it was of ALL animals that were taken in. We also passed a spay/neuter before adoption policy, which was not in place before. I think shelters need to report on all animals, not just what they consider 'adoptable'. Sometimes those just take more time/money/volunteers in order to become a great adoptable animal.


Agree Jacque -- and thanks for telling your story and congrats on your shelter's success.

I absolutely believe that getting a save rate in the 90s is achievable for most shelters -- but that it should be based on ALL dogs and cats, not just "adoptable" ones. I get really frustrated by shelters who want the title of "no kill" without actually doing the work to get there.


Springfield's situation is similar to that in Kansas City, KS - all animals taken to the municipal shelter are taken by the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City in Kansas City, KS and then the city takes great pride in being "no kill".


And in a move I thought I'd never make, here's me defending KC, KS-- but at least KCK isn't killing all their pit bulls (in spite of their breed ban) and still calling themselves no kill. Although they continue to needlessly confiscate dogs and make them everyone else's problem and then have the nerve to call themselves a "model" city.

Alice Kelly

Only about 25% of the animals identified as pit are really pit. The rest are MIS- Identified as the pit breed. That said pits are really wonderful dogs. It is the people who force them to fight that should be outlawed.
German shepards. Then pinchers then Rotties. Now pits
Media sensationalism is to blame for many peoples ignorance because they believe the words they read or hear
such a shame and a loss to the animal and human race

Peter Masloch

Brent, as always you are spot on with this story. You actually can find the exact same dilemma in Miami-Dade. I believe it was in October (or maybe November?)of last year when Mimai-Dade declared itself a No Kill community. I refuse to accept that statement because at the same time Miami-Dade has one of the toughest Breed Specific Legislation in place. Every dog that enters the shelter and is on the "not allowed to have" list will be killed. How can that be No Kill? It is a contradiction within itself.


Peter -- agreed on Miami-Dade. Even if they decided to transfer all of their 'pit bulls' to other communities I still wouldn't give them credit. As of right now, there isn't a single no kill community in the state of Florida. Miami is 447 miles from their nearest state border -- and that state is Georgia where there are no no-kill communities either. So unless they're transferring animals thousands of miles, they're essentially displacing life-saving in other communities.

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