Conditions at city shelter deplorable

Published 7:01 pm Saturday, September 16, 2017

To the editor:

It saddens me to have to write this letter to you about the conditions of the city pound.

A year ago, it was brought to the city officials’ attention the deplorable conditions at the city pound. While I cannot begin to comprehend why the “caretakers” were allowed to let the animals get in that condition to begin with, I do applaud your efforts in rectifying that situation and the attempts to improve the actual facility itself. However, it appears the city pound is once again in need of your intervention.

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There are several things that need your immediate attention and other things that need to be addressed as well.

The cats do not receive enough cat litter to use in their litter boxes in their cage and must endure eating and sleeping next to the their uncovered waste. If you know anything about cats then you know they are very tidy animals and this is unacceptable and cruel to subject them to that. What I do not understand is why do they not have enough litter? Dollar Tree has litter for $1. Yes, $1. Who is responsible for purchasing the supplies? Have the correct people not been informed? What can be done to prevent this from happening again and again?

Fifteen puppies were taken out the pound a week ago. This past Sunday, the puppies were transferred to a rescue organization. However, we were informed seven of these puppies had parvo and died. Too many animals die from parvo from the pound all the time. In case you are not aware, the parvo virus is highly contagious. Most of the cases are seen in puppies between six weeks and six months old. The virus is spread by direct contact with an infected dog or by contact with where the sick dog was. It is well known that dog shelters are particularly hazardous places because they hold a large number of inadequately vaccinated puppies. I have attached two documents containing information regarding proper protocols for handling parvo in shelters. Please train the staff and the managers.

Why is the shelter staff informing people who call that they do not need volunteers? Volunteers are needed! They can take the animals outside while the staff disinfects the floors and cages.

There was a week recently when the person who handles the adoption fee for the city pound was on vacation and no one was there to let people adopt animals! Why isn’t anyone cross-trained to handle this when that person is on vacation or sick?

Why can’t the hours be extended to 5:30 p.m. daily and opened more than half a day on one Saturday a month? People need to be able to visit with an animal more than one time. They also need to be able to get their animal (if they already have one) and bring it in. Most people cannot get there earlier due to work. I do not understand why this is so hard to grasp. I feel as if you are trying to get as many animals adopted you would do what you could to extend hours. Why do you not have employees who actually care about the animals’ well-being working at the shelter? If the employees really cared, this would not be a constant issue. The Humane Society is a perfect example of people who care. They are on top of things and they work on donations. There is absolutely no excuse for our city shelter to be in such deplorable conditions when there is a budget more than what the Humane Society has. Get people who actually care and are not their just to draw a paycheck. They should be ashamed and the manager and the alderman overseeing this department should be ashamed.

These animals have feelings. They are scared, terrified and cannot speak for themselves. They have been picked up from either being homeless, starving, abused, or neglected. Or, their humans betrayed them by abandoning them. We are their voices. You are their voices. Would you want to be subjected to the kind of treatment and conditions currently at the shelter? No? Then why would you subject another living being to that then?

Michelle Thompson