- 7 years ago
- Wedding: April 2012
Today they released a press release saying that they were temporarily suspending most of their clinic services, as well as all intake, to try to get the shelter numbers down because of a distemper outbreak at the shelter. Distemper has been running rampant for months and the rescues I work with have lost puppies (a whole litter in one case) and dogs of all sizes and ages over the past months. The ASPCA stepped in along with UF and said that things were out of control.
The sad thing is that there are cures for distemper but they’re not being used (NDV-serum) and they have to be administered at the first signs of illness. The conditions at the shelter are absolutely terrible. Now that people are so frightened of the illness, any dogs that are there have little hope of getting out.
They also permanently stopping owner surrenders, which is basically where someone gives their dog up for whatever reason. I think it’s terrible when people give up their pets, don’t get me wrong, but I see all kinds of horrible things happening from this–pets being dumped on the side of the road (only to be picked up ill and euthanized anyways by animal services, if they’re still alive at all), or even worse…. I’ve seen two dogs in the last year come into rescue because someone threw them out of a moving car! I mean come on people.
The county has already cut the foster programs, and now cutting owner surrenders…the rescues are all 100% volunteer and donation funded, and they’re all stressed, burned out, running out of funds, running out of foster spaces…not to mention that most of us have pets of our own and we can’t risk getting our own dogs sick now.
The formal announcement has been that they will try to move as many dogs out to rescue and adoption as they can, or even to other shelters, but the other shelters in the tri-county area are pushing back because they can’t risk a distemper outbreak in their shelter. The same goes for the rescues that don’t have quarantine/foster homes. And who wants to adopt a pet that could pass away in a few weeks from a terrible illness? They’re not giving away information on treatment options…just liability waivers.
I’m just really sad, and as an animal lover I feel really powerless. I hate what is happening. And I hate that there are things that could be done so it didn’t have to be like this. Some of the rescues are taking donations, so I donated $100 that I was going to use to buy wedding stuff now and I am going to wait until later instead. One is pulling out over 6 dogs tonight alone (that sounds like a small number…but that’s 6 dogs that needs 6 different foster families who are volunteering to take in a dog that could potentially be sick…and donations to cover the fees to pull it from the shelter and vet it so it’s healthy, feed it and care for it until a new forever home is found…hundreds of dollars that has magically appeared just from people donating $10 here and $20 there….which is beautiful in a way.)
I’m a really big fan of Nathan Winograd (http://www.nathanwinograd.com/?page_id=201) and highly suggest his books for anyone interested in animal shelters and shelter reform.
The news & press releases from today: