Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bad Animal Control Ideas, Nebraska Edition

In summary:

The Gothenburg Animal Hospital serves as Gothenburg’s city pound.

Now, because of a new state law that changes how animals are handled at city pounds statewide, it will be more expensive to adopt a dog or cat.

“It will be much more costly,” said Gothenburg Animal Hospital owner and veterinarian Roger Dudley.

Under a Gothenburg City Council proposal driven by state law, all adopted cats and dogs must be spayed or neutered.

A for-profit veterinary clinic can't possibly serve the needs of the city's shelter pets at the level they deserve. Basically, the staff is moonlighting by taking in strays but obviously their top priority will be their business. If they don't keep focused on making a profit, they won't have a business anymore. Shelter pets deserve better.

The Vet is obviously thinking in terms of profit when he talks about the greatly increased fee to adopt neutered shelter pets. The community needs someone who thinks in terms of public service with regard to saving pets and getting them into homes. Why not get the community involved and see if those goals can't be accomplished?

Unfortunately, there are more problems:

Dudley said the city currently pays the Gothenburg Animal Hospital $10 a day for cats and $12 for dogs to board strays only if they are euthanized but not if they are adopted.
Financial incentive to kill is never a good practice when the goal is saving pets.

[T]he city pays for four days of boarding. If the clinic keeps a pet longer for adoption, the business is not reimbursed.
See above.

Since he’s been in the veterinary business, Dudley said he doesn’t think problems with stray dogs have increased but cats have.

“Cat’s [sic] continue to multiply and that’s difficult to shut down,” he said. “There are so many, I don’t know what could be done.”

Is this the person the community wants in charge of caring for stray pets - someone who says he has no ideas on how to handle the local cat population? Perhaps the idea of TNR for feral cats doesn't appeal to him due to the issue of profit. But it would be worth bringing up to the city and recruiting volunteers from the community to help reduce the feral population. And what about low cost neuter services so local pet owners can afford to get their cats neutered? Maybe that falls under the lack-of-financial-incentive category too.

What say you Gothenburg?


Cat said...

Paying a vet to kill animals? Wow! I'm glad that all of this info is beginning to be put out in the open so people can see what is going on in these shelters, but it has been a depressing couple of weeks for animal lovers.

Pai said...

I forget which state/county this was in, but there is also a shelter out there that has a 'minimum required number of impounded animals' that it demands it's AC staff to aim for.

Which is the most stupidly self-defeating thing I've ever heard, personally. Why a 'shelter' would be encouraging their staff to go out and look for reasons to impound more animals when they're already killing many of the ones they get is just beyond me.