If you treat them like they’re all going to die, then they are.
Despite public outcry due to a recent increase in deaths from confirmed Parvovirus in puppies adopted from Columbus Animal Care & Control, once again the status quo, to save a few and kill the rest, prevails. To sum it up: We’re asking for a solution to a problem that we are being told does not exist. The conversation can be seen here.
One unfortunate samaritan recounts her experience at Animal Control, “I found a puppy that I liked and he started to bleed right in front of me. He had Parvo. I had to watch them take him away in a wheel barrel. They said I couldn’t adopt him. He had to be put down.” “There was so much blood. It looked like he had been stabbed. The lady said he had just come in that day. She removed him immediately.”
We’ve been told that Animal Control was not meant to be an adoption facility, the original plan was for PAWS to do all adoptions for Animal Control, which would be an intake only facility. Well it’s not hard to see that things didn’t turn out that way. This chart shows that less than 8% of the animals that entered Animal Control were transferred to PAWS Humane in 2010.
For whatever reason, things are the way they are, and it’s taken over 2 years since moving into this brand new facility (and a whole lot of kicking and screaming from concerned citizens), for the city to even fathom the idea of doing something other than killing, specifically taking a more proactive approach to getting these animals out alive. Animal Control has committed to saving more animals – what a GREAT opportunity to move forward! Well, the city’s contracted veterinarian’s views might conflict with that commitment. Her suggestion to not only NOT vaccinate against Parvo, but among other things, to continue killing all owner surrendered pets because the owners “are very clearly told that they will be euthanized”, only proves that the real message of No Kill has been lost on not only her*, but many others. No Kill advocates must continually insist that we can and should save every healthy or treatable, adoptable pet. That’s every pet, every time.
Granted, Parvo is everywhere. It’s probably in your neighborhood, it’s most likely at PetSmart, and it’s DEFINITELY at Animal Control. Puppies will inevitably die from Parvo, but when or where a puppy comes into contact with Parvo isn’t important (ok, it’s pretty important…). But even more so, is giving each and every one of these puppies the best chances for survival. If you want these animals to live, we must give yourself permission to save them. Proper cleaning procedures and vaccinations for puppies are NECCESSARY for their survival.
It’s time to start thinking about these animals in a new way. If you don’t vaccinate because you think they’re all going to die anyway, then you’re simply reinforcing the idea that these pets are disposable. If they aren’t worth it to us, then how can we say they’re worth it for adopters?
“Shelters must take killing off the table for savable animals, and utilize the programs and services of the No Kill Equation not sometimes, not merely when it is convenient or politically expedient to do so, but for every single animal, every single time. A half-hearted effort isn’t enough.” -Nathan Winograd’s No Kill Equation.
*It is worth noting, that while Dr. Seward may not agree with the fundamental idea of the No Kill Equation, she is one of the few vets around that provides spay/neuter surgery available for those who may not otherwise afford it for their pets, and is in my opinion, one of our greatest ally’s in providing Low-Cost Spay/Neuter to Columbus.
Please take a moment to look through this photo album… these are just SOME of the sweet puppies that have had confirmed cases of Parvo. Most of them unfortunately, are no longer with us. Special thanks to Allison for keeping up with the album, it’s a heartbreaking task.