Senior editor

I'm an editor for Animal Sheltering magazine seeking perspectives from rural shelters or rescues. How are your challenges different from urban shelters and rescues? What do you struggle with most? Where have you succeeded, and where could you use help? Please comment below, or DM if you'd like to chat via phone. Thanks in advance!

  • November 27, 2019 at 11:25 AM

    One community cat programs

    =^. . ^=

  • November 27, 2019 at 09:00 AM

    I have not been at this very long..but I have seen much. Some older folks my age have midlife crisises. I have been bestowed a midlife crisis kitten. This my here.first post I have never used the direct message system. I will try to dm you. However..the biggest problem here is the no kill. Yes..times were worst when the county felt it best to kill. However..this is not working.

    Our animal warehouse is full. Stays full. Solution: Build a bigger warehouse.

    No..this is not working. Stats I am aware of:

    Here: Elizabethton/Carter County shelter Built for: 80 cats and kittens

    Current: 200 cats and kittens

    Johnson City: Built for: No clue

    Current: 300 cats and kittens.

    A telling conversation at Petsense (helps adopt shelter cats)

    Ugh..on mobile. Switching setups. is the setup. Petsense is a pet supply store here. This prospective adoptee is lucky, sort of. A volunteer has made a appearance. Not so sure this helped at all.

    It should also be noted normally this pet store has six cats available for adoption that would otherwise be at the shelter.

    Cast: V=volunteer PW=petsense worker Me=Me PA=Prospective Adoptee

    Now..before we get into this..a new sign has been posted within the last week. It states adoption fees are $50 and include a multitude of shots and what not. Of course...spay and neuter as well. Here the drama unfolds and shows the primary problem: communication
    PA: Can we open the cages?
    PW: I think so.
    Me: They had a escape artist here last week. A postit note warned.
    PA: *struggles with door*
    Volunteer makes a appearance delivering adoption boxes.
    PA: How much does it cost
    Me: Well.. according to this brand new sign..$50
    PA: Seems a bit much
    V: If you go to the shelter..we have a special currently..$10 for adults that are already fixed and $20 for those who have not.
    PA: What? Why should I have to pay more for a cat I am going to have to spend more money on?
    Plus..are not these cats here fixed already?
    Me: Seems to me they should be $10 too.
    Think the voluntee got on the phone to the shelter at this point.
    V: Yes..these cats are available for $10.
    PA: I need to talk to my wife.
    PA exits store with a confused look on his face.
    Did he return? I doubt it.
    Could this have gone better? Yes.

    >>>Ok,, just talked to the shelter. Reality is a lot different.

    It is up to Petsense to make that $10 special happen if the cat has been with the shelter for more than a year (very common) and she said Petsense does indeed do the $10 quite often.

    Oh! Another thing! The shelter usually charges $25 for a unfixed animal. However, that includes a voucher to get the animal fixed in Bluff City or Johnson City (not terribly far) so..that is cleared up.

    How very odd. Anyway...many facets of this are a bit odd to say the least. She also confirmed the animal warehouse expansion is in the works. Oh..they have 170 cats and kittens right now.

    It should be noted the volunteer just happened to be at the store and I just happen to be there as well. I love animals..cats are my thing.

    >>last edit. promise.

  • November 27, 2019 at 08:27 AM

    Such a long list. :-(

    In no particular order....

    animal controls that don't allow public adoptions, counties with no stand alone budget for animal control, counties with a single commissioner which makes change nearly impossible if they don't personally support animal welfare, very heavily - almost exclusively - reliant on rescue for population survival (80% of intake relying on rescue in my region), no foot traffic into shelters, volunteers not allowed, staff not educated/interested in best practices/no mandatory continuing education, few veterinary resources (in my region, there are only 1 or 2 vets serving some entire counties), no s/n/v prior to adoptions, no verification of s/n/v after adoptions, very limited public access hours (no evening or weekends), no enrichment programs, animals left unattended for entire weekend (including orphan neonates who rarely survive), no foster programs, no marketing or community outreach, no traditional outreach opportunities such as Petco/PetSmart stores, no transparency or accountability, no sense of ethical or moral obligation, poor shelter management protocols, dated & inefficient facilities, low population & per capita income levels make fundraising difficult, any dog that resembles pit bull not adoptable, staff/rescue personality conflicts with no resolution protocols, significant misinformation presented to the public by animal control officers, backyard breeders, dogfighters, failure of animal control to enforce ordinances & cruelty/neglect laws, compassion fatigue among rescuers & advocates who see no change over period of years...

    Some success in partnering with rescues & transporters, but the volume becomes overwhelming when the same groups are relied upon week after week Obviously when a facility is functioning basically as intake only with no attention to intake diversion (they don't even know what that means!), the other listed items will not get resolution since symptoms of a broken system.

    We could use help in giving credibility to the need for change and expectation therein as a global movement. While the automatic response is to reject any suggestion for improvement, if the idea came from a prominent & respected source in the animal welfare community versus random concerned citizen, it might start to shift the culture.

    Glad to provide additional details, data, other local advocates contact information.

    • December 05, 2019 at 10:03 AM

      Thank you! Can I ask where you're located?

      • December 06, 2019 at 12:38 PM

        Georgia -- you've probably seen that Best Friends has ranked GA in the bottom five states for companion animal save rates.

        My residence is in north metro Atlanta; I work in west Georgia which is a veeerrrry different animal welfare environment. I support various rescues & shelters around the state in different ways and try to follow issues particular to them.

        Another issue that I left off my initial list is anti-tethering laws. We don't have that as a statewide regulation. Some counties & cities have passed tethering bans, but not many.

        It may also be of interest that GA has 159 counties and not all have animal control facilities or staff. This is definitely challenging as there is no care at all for homeless animals unless done by private citizens or animals in need are transported to nearest available facility which places additional burden on neighboring counties.

        I know this is a long list. We are very fortunate to have several premier, state-of-the art animal welfare operations in GA and many, many knowledgeable & dedicated advocates. Unfortunately, we just have so much need, too. NO KILL 2025. GO TEAM! <3 :-)