Thursday, June 12, 2008

You Could See This One Coming

Michigan Humane Society (MHS) found a way to blame the dogs and cats that they kill for their own deaths. In the past, MHS shoveled loads of blame on the irresponsible public for the thousands of pets that die in MHS shelters every year. The refrain is old and dusty and used by every failing organization, so MHS invented a new one - catch this, most of the dogs and cats that come in to shelters are behavior problems, i.e. it's their own fault MHS kills them. Wow, what great spin, just think what MHS could do if they spent as much time coming up with ways to stop killing animals.

Cal Morgan the President of Michigan Humane Society is quoted as follows:
BOISE, Idaho, June 11 /PRNewswire/ -- "In the United States, an excess of 3 million pets are destroyed each year, and most are due to behavioral issues," according to Cal Morgan, Board of Director's President for the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators and President of the Michigan Humane Society. "In fact, behavior is the number one reason for pets being returned, relinquished and destroyed in our animal shelters," he said.

Scientific basis for the statement - there isn't one. But I do smell a release sometime in the near future declaring that MHS is officially no-kill. They will join the ranks of spinmaster shelters claiming that they do not kill adoptable animals. They fail to tell the public that next to no animals can pass their convoluted "temperament tests". The kick is the media is so very lazy that you will soon see this statement in articles as if it is a proven fact. But that is the nature of the big money game being played by MHS.

So let's look at the facts as we know them. MHS brought in $15 million in 2006. In 2007, MHS killed over 26,000 dogs and cats at its three shelters. The euthanasia rate for MHS was 70%. So MHS is a failure if the measuring stick is animals leaving a shelter alive. But, if the animals that arrive at the shelters are faulty little maniacs, then MHS is a success somehow managing to find people crazy enough to adopt 25% of the defective beasts.

I'd like to believe that one day MHS will join the ranks of those not making excuses. They could start by stopping killing all pit bulls and mixes unlucky enough to pass through its doors. Try revamping the MHS veterinary clinics and offer true low cost services to low income individuals. Use that big money to spay/neuter every pet they meet. MHS could work with rescue groups. It could stop charging $25 for rescues to take sick old animals that need hundreds of dollars of medical work, maybe even offer to do the medical work for free in exchange for rescues fostering and placing old and sick animals. Most of all, MHS could stop thinking up new excuses for failing, instead think of ways to save lives, then excuses will not be necessary.

MHS Shelter Profile

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