Tuesday, July 5, 2011

7-5-11 Urgent

Animal Care and Control of NYC must spend a whole lot of time behind closed doors trying to figure out how to spin their current situation. I can pretty much guarantee you whatever they come up with won't work now. They've gotten a public relations nightmare on their hands because some volunteers have created a grassroots effort to spread the word that AC&C hides its kill record behind classifying very healthy and sweet animals as not adoptable. They are euthanized for "temper" (silly tests administered while an animal is under high stress, like guarding his food bowl, earn him a spot on the kill list) or illness (primarily kennel cough which the dogs GET from AC&C due to unsanitary conditions in the shelter). The cure is just a ten day antibiotic treatment, but as soon as they get the cold, they go on the kill list and don't have to be counted among AC&C's "adoptable" dog kill numbers. It's truly appalling.

Urgent Death Row Dogs

Following them on Facebook is heartbreaking. But it feels almost as if I have to bear witness to the cruelty of people -- especially those who will dump senior and sick dogs because they can't be bothered to care for part of their family any longer.

The only bright spot in watching so many sweet puppy faces on the kill list each night is how many this little effort is saving.

Urgent Part 2 (don't know what happened to Part 1) publishes the list of dogs set to be killed the next day as soon as AC&C releases it each night. Then rescues and adopters, fosters and people who can just chip in or help transport get to work trying to save as many as they can. The next day or so the dog's picture will get classified as Super Urgent (not killed but in line), Safe, or Gone But Not Forgotten.

The photo albums are here.

There are 9 Gone But Not Forgotten albums so far. She has to start a new one after 200 dogs' pictures fill up the previous album. This effort is less than a year old. And this is only one city. That's 1600+ heartbreaking faces of sweet, scared dogs that were thrown away, cast-off lives that, before last year, would have just been a heap of carcasses in black bags rotting in maggot-filled cement hallways.

But there are now 22 Safe folders. That's 4000+ dogs pulled out of this high-kill shelter (that runs three branches around NYC) who've been found homes and love and safety. Hope out of horror.

This is Bianca. 

I latched on to this sweet, sad, scared face earlier this week and couldn't let go. She's a 9 year old border collie and basset hound cross. I wanted to fly to NYC and take her home. Instead, all I could do was pledge $20 for whichever rescue was willing to pull her and find her a place. I kept holding my breath that her photo would be moved into the GBNF folder each day over the holiday weekend.

Tonight, Bianca's picture made it into the Safe 22 folder. Thank you, whoever you are, for saving this sweet old dog from a cold, frightening, loveless death after a lifetime devoted to someone who must have decided her unconditional love wasn't worth a vet bill any longer.

Got to be Bob Barker here for a second: PLEASE spay and neuter your pets. And please never leave an animal at a kill shelter. There are too many successful no-kill shelters that work, like these volunteers do, to place pets into forever homes.  Do not be fooled by Sarah McLachlan song and the ASPCA commercial -- the ASPCA of NYC dumps some of its overflow into AC&C's shelters to keep their own kill numbers looking better. If your shelter is not committed to refusing to kill an animal except in cases where there is no quality of life due to serious medical conditions, go somewhere else. The Biancas of the world deserve better.


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