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I went to the shelter today. First time since before Christmas. It is a depressing place, to look at all the pitiful faces that seem to say to me, “Please help me get out of here.”
As I look at each dog and try to decide who I can get out and who I can’t, it just breaks my heart. Why do I have to do this? Because if I can save just one, then I have given it a chance to be someone’s beloved pet. I can only hope that the others forgive me for not choosing them.
I sit here with tears in my eyes as I write this. Sometimes it just gets to be too much. Sometimes I just want to quit; but then I sit and hold an injured pup who looks at me with those soulful eyes and I just melt, and say just one more.
I told my husband at Christmas that I wanted to take a break from taking dogs out of the shelter for a couple of weeks. So much for that. Since the second day of the new year, I have taken in 11 dogs and one cat without even making one trip to the shelter. So now hubby is giving me a hard way to go — lovingly of course. He knows I can’t say no.
I read in our local paper a couple of weeks ago where the fiscal court gave the hospital $100,000 – it was money that the hospital had borrowed from them and had paid back with interest.
I don’t mean to take anything away from the hospital, as I know this community depends on it for jobs, emergencies and just being convenient. I know I use it whenever possible. So please don’t think I am bashing our hospital. But for the life of me I can’t understand why the fiscal court tells me they do not have the money to hire a part-time person at the shelter to promote adoptions, if they can help the hospital like this.
We have a beautiful shelter that no one gets to see. I know that Ms. Mullikin, whose bequeathment to the defunct Carroll County Humane Society paid for the majority of the new facility, would not be happy to know that the shelter doesn’t do anything but hold the dogs for the allotted time mandated by the state, then euthanizes them. Also seems to me that since they don’t take in cats, it is kind of a slap in the face. There is a plaque at the shelter of Ms Mullikin and her cat. Ironic isn’t it.
Luckily, the dog catcher works with me when I ask. He will hold dogs for me that I think I can get into a rescue; but of course, if the shelter is full he has to do his job.
State law says that the shelters are to be open to the public for at least 24 hours a week. Ours is not. Why, you may ask? Well, according to our judge executive, our dog catcher is on call 24/7, so he doesn’t believe the dog catcher should have to be there for those hours. Then I say, hire someone part-time to receive calls, help people who have lost their dogs, give vaccines to help keep the dogs healthy while at the shelter, educate and encourage spay/neuter but most of all to promote adoptions of the poor souls that sit in kennels without a prayer to get out.
Last year, CCAS saved 262 dogs – 202 of those came straight from the shelter. The other 60 were surrendered to us by their owners. because they knew that if they took them to the shelter, they had maybe a 50/50 chance of making it out. We provided this service at no cost to the county, so we actually saved them money. That was 262 dogs that didn’t have to be euthanized. The shelter did have to euthanize 132 for 2010. This of course, cost the county money for the cost of the euthanasia and for disposal of the bodies. If they would put someone in there to manage the shelter, I am sure the euthanasia numbers would be further reduced and the number saved would go up.
I ask the citizens of Carroll County to let the Fiscal Court know that the way they run the shelter now is totally unacceptable. Call the judge, your magistrate, or write a letter to the paper. Please speak out, for the dogs’ sakes. Our tax dollars go toward this as much as anything else in the county, so shouldn’t we have a say in this matter?
With your help, maybe we can change this.
Tammie L Crawford
Director, Carroll County
Animal Support Inc., Carrollton