Santa Rosa County (FL) Animal Shelter is empty for the first time ever. The animal shelter of Sullivan County, TN, is empty. And the dog kennels at the shelter in Jefferson County, WI, are empty, as people rise up to help animals in shelters during this shared crisis. The Los Angeles County Health Department shuts down Santa Anita’s racetrack saving the lives of horses. Kitbull, a film about a feral kitten and chained dog, wins an award for Best Short film. National voices in sheltering, including the National Animal Control Association, are wrongly demanding that shelters “just stop” performing TNR during the current Covid-19 crisis, deeming it a “non essential” service. And legislation has been introduced in New York that creates a new reason to kill: “mental suffering.”
In case you missed it:
Across the country, progressive shelters are embracing ingenuity, a “can do” attitude, and technology to save the animals, while also protecting the public and shelter workers: https://bit.ly/2WNn3mL. For example:
- Santa Rosa County (FL) Animal Shelter is empty for the first time ever, thanks to surge of adopters and fosters.
- The animal shelter of Sullivan County, TN, “is empty after all animals were transitioned to foster homes, rescue organizations or adopted into forever homes“.
- For the first time ever, the dog kennels at the shelter in Jefferson County, WI, are empty. “The last available dog, Thunder, walked out of the shelter and into his new home…”
In other news:
- While 40-50 and some years more die at Santa Anita annually, no horses are currently dying because the Los Angeles County Health Department shut the track down during the current coronavirus pandemic. Horse racing lobbyists wanted it to remain open because they “fear” that this could cause “a potential collapse of the industry in the state.” Their fear is our hope.
- Kitbull, Pixar’s masterpiece about a feral kitten and chained dog, won the industry’s prize for films that “challenge our moral compasses” and seek to change the world in positive ways.
- National voices in sheltering, including the National Animal Control Association, are demanding that shelters “just stop” performing TNR during the current Covid-19 crisis, deeming it a “non essential” service. What this moment demands — and the animals deserve — is not defeatism, but resolve. To the extent a community will continue to take in and kill “feral” animals, they have an obligation to implement alternatives to the killing. In other words, if taking in and killing “feral” or community cats is deemed “essential” and still occurring (or will occur when shelters reopen), TNR also is.
And finally, legislation has been introduced in New York that creates a new reason to kill: “mental suffering.” All animals can experience stress on entry to a pound. Many of these animals are used to sleeping on beds and couches or even living on the street and will find their familiar routines upended in a confined place that is loud, dirty, unfamiliar, and disorienting. S8029 would allow shelters to kill these animals, rather than mandating time to acclimate and/or that they be socialized, transferred to rescuers, or adopted into homes. Not only is this a real and immediate threat to shy and scared animals, as well as feral cats, but it is a first-of-its-kind, very dangerous precedent to introduce in the animal control laws of our nation.
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