The city of Columbus is celebrating two years of not killing pets for space. It has been a journey almost a decade in the making. Many played a part in making this a reality. Thanks need to go to our rescues including Trisha Montgomery and her staff at Paws Humane Society, Sabine Stull and her crew at Animal Ark Rescue, and my wonderful village at Animal SOS. Yet our rescues all are supported by our outstanding community. Individuals volunteering their heart, time and efforts and giving their money because rescue is not cheap.
So let’s take a moment and glow in our achievement.
Then let’s remember hundreds of animals still died with categories of sick or aggressive. So instead of just being thankful Columbus has not killed an animal for space, we question what else can be done to develop a more humane community?
Columbus continues to refuse to take actions that would show a progressive attitude, especially if there’s a chance of their number being negatively impacted. It took six years from the time owner surrender hours were first discussed for them to be enacted. Having owner surrender hours allows a shelter to plan for intake and give better attention on arrival instead of just placing them in a kennel and getting to them when staff has the time. It allows staff time to counsel the owner on other options. Yet it took six years.
Another progressive concept that could be adopted by CACC is adoption counseling, trying to match the personality and lifestyle of the adopters with the available pets striving to find a “furever” home. Yet concern that might lead to claims of discrimination prevents it as a possibility. Today anyone with a photo id and cash can adopt any animal. There are no restrictions. People who have not used their spay/neuter voucher or provided proof of the surgery from a previous adoption can adopt. People who have been convicted of animal cruelty have adopted. (While the official policy is that there is a list with cruelty offenders, we also know of at least one adoption in the last year to a person with multiple Muscogee County convictions.)
We won’t even get into the subjective way neglect/cruelty cases are handled. We will save that topic for its own post.
We believe community education will make a significant difference to help some of the cases. Our citizens need to know that all living beings should expect basic care including food, a comfortable dry place to call home, and having medical needs addressed. Also they need to know there are resources available to them to help.
So congratulations for being able to say we have not killed for space for two years. We can be happy and rest on our laurels or we can strive to continue to improve. Can’t wait to see what 2021 will bring!