On July 25th, 2013, the cat Bella (HCAS #1556521) was surrendered unlawfully to Hillsborough County Animal Services by the daughter of the actual owners without their knowledge. She was killed in 43 hours, less than two days, even though there were empty cages at the shelter. By contrast, strays are given five days' safe hold. In addition, people tried to save Bella but were prevented by obstructive shelter policies. To discover more about BELLA please click here to visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/594300407288779/
We hereby request these immediate changes from the County Commission of Hillsborough County and Hillsborough County Animal Services:
1. Demand verification: Owner Surrenders are not to be accepted until the surrendering individual(s) shows proof of ownership of the cat(s) by receipts of county tag registration, micro-chip proof or copies of veterinarian invoices for treatment/care of said animal in their name.
2. Give them a fair chance at life: Owner Surrenders and strays should receive the same MINIMUM five-day holding period, and no animals should be killed when empty cages are available. Owner Surrenders as well as strays must take turns in the cages at the front of the building, where they can be seen and adopted. No empty cages in the front adoption areas when there are animals that need homes in back, out of view of potential adopters.
3. Remove counterproductive policies that cost lives: Restore after-hours holds for rescues--this helped prevent unnecessary euthanasia. Eliminate the two cat adoption limits. It is not the prerogative of HCAS to dictate how many animals an individual may adopt. That issue is handled by the city or county in which the adopting person resides.
HCAS, if you truly wish to achieve your target of 70% live outcomes instead of the current 70% kill rate for cats, we are confident that you agree and will implement these changes immediately. County Commissioners, please assist HCAS with adequate support for the shelter.