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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Whine of the Animal Shelter

Can you hear it?  Listen carefully.  Here ... let me help you.

Whine ...

Whine ...

Whine ...

The issue is getting ridiculous.  Close the shelter or hire people that are smart enough to figure out how to make it self-sustaining without unfairly taxing those who do not use the shelter ... for any reason.

Here's a particularly funny quote:  "County commissioners want those who use the shelter to pay for it instead of all county taxpayers."

So the rocket scientists at the shelter and with Animal Control decide that the best way to make that happen is to enforce the licensing of dogs (not cats, mind you ... just dogs) in the county, starting with people who have websites advertising dogs for sale.  I wonder if their legs hurt after that giant leap of logic.  Anyone who has a website must be an irresponsible breeder and their puppies must be ending up in the shelter, right?  Wrong.  Most breeders I know rescue more than they breed (not to mention that the breeders go to the expense of health testing their breeding adults, competing with their adults in one form or another, and requiring contracts on the puppies when they sell them).  That's right.  Rescue.  They rescue dogs before the dogs end up at the shelter.  But that doesn't matter to the shelter.  Or animal control.  As long as you have more than 5 dogs on your property, and heaven help you if those dogs aren't licensed with the county, regardless of who they belong to or whether or not they are rescues who you avoided from ending up at the shelter, you will be fined and the money is said to go back to the shelter. 

And that's just where the shelter started looking for people to go after!  That was their first move!  Isn't that embarrassing?

Here's another pretty comical quote:

"It costs the shelter $28.02 for a rabies vaccine, but the shelter only charges $6 to pet owners. That’s going to increase to $15."

Your rocket scientists hard at work again.  It costs THEM $28.02 per rabies vaccine, so they turn around and charge the public $6.  Sounds to me like someone can't add.  And the oh-so-brilliant commissioners come up with the novel idea of raising it to $15 ... still $13.02 short ... per dog!  WHY????  Why not charge $50 and make some money off the deal in order to be able to operate the shelter you're whining about not being able to run???  Oh, because dogs will be put down?  Darn.  Perhaps the owners should have thought of that before their dogs ended up in the shelter.

The SAME article goes on to say:

"Pet owners need to be responsible, and if they use the shelter’s services, they should be the ones who pay the bill. That’s just simple common sense."

WHAT???  Is that why the bill to a pet owner is $13.02 short each time they need a rabies vaccine???  WTF??? 

Watching the news tonight... the shelter is basically blaming Nampa City for all the dogs that get dropped off at the shelter and saying that they want Nampa City tax payers to foot the bill.  Nampa says no ... that tax payers already pay for the animal control thought their tax dollars and that Nampa couldn't afford that kind of bill.  The shelter says that only 3% of Nampa City dogs are licensed with the county, and more licensing would mean more revenue.  So let's look on the shelter's website to see what it says about WHY people should license their dogs.

"Benefits of Licensing
  • Tells everyone that your dog is not a homeless stray, but a loved pet.
  • Animal Control will call and/or send a letter if your lost dog comes to the shelter.
  • Enables Animal Control to protect your neighborhood from dangerous animals and investigate animal bites.
  • Helps pay for the care and adoption of homeless animals.
  • Supports investigations of animal cruelty, neglect and abandonment.
  • Supports educational programs covering humane ethics and animal safety."
A license tells everyone that you love your dog?  Who the hell cares?????

Animal Control will call or send me a letter if my LICENSED dog comes to the shelter, but wouldn't if it were just microchipped or had just an ID tag on its neck?  Really?

How on earth does my dog's license enable AC to protect my neighborhood from dangerous animals or investigate animal bites?  Oh, through the money it generates?  I thought that was going toward keeping the shelter open!  Where did my tax dollars get lost in all of this?

It helps pay for the care and adoption of homeless animals -- that are NOT MINE and that I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR!  Yippee.

Supports investigation of cruelty and neglect?  What about keeping the animal shelter open that's about to close?  Where did my tax dollars get lost in all of this?

And ... it covers programs I DON'T NEED, WANT or USE!  Woo hoo!

What a scam.

And here's the kicker ... ready?

"The animal shelter makes sense as a starting point for cuts because it’s not a service the county is mandated by state or federal law to provide, he said."

Yet ... as residents ... we are REQUIRED to license our dogs to support a shelter that is not state or federally mandated????????  If we fail to comply, we are then charged with MISDEMEANORS ... CRIMINAL charges!!!  What is wrong with this picture???

Steve Rule seems to be the only voice of reason in this entire debacle. 

"Officials plan to solicit proposals from private groups interested in operating an animal shelter, Commissioner Steve Rule said. If no viable proposals are returned, the fate of the shelter is uncertain."

If the people who run the shelter aren't smart enough to figure out the math in what to charge for fees in order to break even or profit from the shelter ... maybe hiring someone who made it through 2nd grade math would help.

I am not into breed bans by any stretch of the imagination, but it makes me wonder ... if "pibbles" (<--isn't that such a cutesy name for those muscle-bound brainless maniacs?) were banned, what condition would the shelter be in?

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