Currently in Livingston County our animal control facility is a kill facility.
Although many shelters in our area are able to stay No Kill for space or time because of the smaller population, this county has refused to implement this strategy. Not only do they kill when their facility is empty, but they do not impose any adoption fee, they do not follow up to ensure pets adopted from their facility are spayed and neutered (per dept. of ag & markets law of NY), they do not reach out to REPUTABLE rescues to find placement before putting a dog to sleep, they have no knowledge or skilled training to conduct temperament testing, they leave dogs in outside kennels all day rather than allow them to stay inside on poor weather days, they have no set volunteer or public hours to allow visitation, they refuse to utilize one of the largest adoption networks online to increase adoptions (petfinder, adoptapet, etc), they refuse to give all employees ongoing training opportunities.
*Upon inspection of the shelter on multiple occasions they have been documented to having multiple dogs in a kennel run that did not come into the kennel together, risking dogs health, behavior, and safety. The ACO has already had a major incident while using this protocol and had 3 dogs die because she put them (all intact males) in a kennel together. These unsafe actions need to be addressed in a more public fashion because behind closed doors it is getting swept under the rug.
*The shelter does not currently have a policy and procedure manual in place to outline their adoption policies, intake, euthanasia, veterinary care, etc. They have no outlined policy on allowing rescues to take dogs to prevent unnecessary euthanasia. This is something that has been requested of them in closed door meetings on multiple occasions with no resolve. The last "rumored" plan was that the ACO herself was coming up with a manual instead of utilizing already existing samples from professional sources such as the National Animal Control Association or even other local shelters that are operating in accordance to state regulations.
*It has been known that the ACO does not enforce the spay/neuter agreement per NYS Dept. of Agriculture & Markets, and has even been known to tell someone that is adopting that it is "their choice" which is NOT acceptable! These sterilization agreements are put in place through LAWS to control the animal population and are not OPTIONAL. Many facilities now spay/neuter PRIOR to adoption to prevent this enforcement issue; however Livingston County refuses, stating its costs are too high. I have consulted to offer options of low cost contracts, and including an adoption fee of the dogs to cover the s/n expense which would not cost them any money, yet they refuse to look at it seriously.
*I have NEVER been to a facility during open business hours that keeps their front door locked! This facility is not welcoming to the public and when you arrive you are greeted with "what are you here for" and they escort you everywhere as if you are going to steal something. The shelter is a public building that is funded by the county residents taxes, they should be able to come into an inviting, friendly atmosphere where they are able to find their lost pet, adopt a new one, or offer to volunteer!
*An senior called the ACO the other day to find placement for a 1yr old dog that her grandson had, and the ACO told her via telephone that the dog would just be put down at their facility. While everyone understands you cannot guarantee that the dog will find a loving, forever home, this lady was pushed out of surrendering a dog that NEEDED to be surrendered, leaving her no options. This facility needs to be realize that they accept surrenders as they come and set up guidelines for intake procedures, temperament testing, medical evaluations, etc. and adopt out any that are adoptable. The ACO cannot tell some people their dogs will die, and others they wont just based on our personal preferences of breed, age, sex, etc.
We are demanding that changes start to take place immediately, and we will no longer stand for less than minimum standards of care. We demand to see NYS laws implemented, enforced, and if that cannot be done with the current staff, then new staff needs to be found that can!