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animal-pounds.com -- lost pets information site
HOW TO CHANGE THE SYSTEM
Applicable to any U.S. area -- Applicable to some International areas
What can you do to accomplish changes
in your area, your county or your state?
Will your own circumstances allow you to:
--Push for legal changes.
--Volunteer to conduct educational classes in schools.
--Conduct night-school classes for adults (schools, community centers, churches, etc.).
--Devise, sell, or distribute educational products or services designed to increase awareness.
--Push for animal friendly license plates with a portion of the proceeds to be used for very low-cost spay/neuter programs.
--Purchase educational products and give to friends, relatives, neighbors who need to know.
--Provide (anonymous?) gentle informational notes to neighbors who don’t “get it”, and who are putting their pets at extra high-risk. Keep in mind that sending some notes through the mail may be illegal; perhaps a door note would be appropriate for a situation you are aware of.
--Mobilize or join a “Gang of Good People” to aid strays and other suffering animals.
C. MUNICIPALITY QUESTIONS
Call every single municipality and ask the following:
1. Who impounds stray pets in your area? (It’s possible the answer will be
“no one”, since some municipalities have no impoundment laws). Most,
2. What is the name, address, and phone number of your local animal
3. Is this a city-operated pound or is it run by a contractor?
D. FACILITY QUESTIONS.
In addition to the above
very basic questions to ask of municipalities, you will also want to ask
the following questions of the animal facilities themselves. Most
facilities operate according to the individual municipality’s
ordinances, and those regulations may be different in each
1. Who actually goes out and picks up the animals? (city employee? contractor? Police --- from which municipality?)
2. Where are healthy animals kept? (Ask for the facility name, address and phone number).
3. Where are dead bodies held? Are people who have lost pets told about and allowed to view them?
4. Where are ill or injured animals kept? Are all persons looking for a lost pet told about the ill and injured areas and allowed to view them?
5. Who keeps inventory of each area, and are visitors allowed to see all of the lists (cats, dogs, ill/injured, dead, calls from people having lost or found pets)? Are visitors told to view all lists since mistakes can happen (dogs on cat lists, cats on dog lists; wrong gender, wrong breed, wrong color, wrong or no collar)?
6. Do you have a
veterinarian on staff for ill and injured animals? How often
does the veterinarian visit the facility? Does the
veterinarian come in immediately for emergency care? On
weekends or holidays? Who takes care of ill and
injured when no veterinarian is available? What happens if
an animal is brought in with massive injuries on a
Thursday night of a four-day holiday weekend?
7. Who hand-feeds baby animals or others unable to eat on their own? (Or are water and dry food simply put into food dishes and if they eat they eat, if they don’t they don’t?).
8. How long are healthy animals kept? Ill or injured?
9. How many animals were impounded last year?
10. How does this facility euthanize (“humanely kill”)?
--lethal injection (ask which kind … the kind that paralyzes
the animal for a few minutes before it dies; or the
kind that immediately renders the animal unconscious;
is the shot given in the leg, heart, or elsewhere?)
--gas (ask for details).
--decompression chamber (ask for details).
--electrocution (ask for details).
--other (ask for details).
11. What happens to animals when their time is up (list separately for cats, dogs, other species):
% claimed by owners
% DOA (dead on arrival)
% surrendered for research*
% other (ask if they have “other” categories and what they are).
*Federal law requires
government pounds to surrender animals for research (not all obey – ask
your local impoundment facilities if they do or do not, and how they
avoid it). For a list of legally-registered research labs which
use animals in research, as well as animal suppliers,
call your Federal offices and ask for the Federal Register of research
labs and dealers.
12. Who euthanizes the animals?
13. How are the dead bodies disposed of?
*Note: When a pet dies and is cremated, ashes returned to the owner might be a mix of all animals cremated at that time. To ensure that only your own pet's ashes are returned to you, be sure to ask; you may need to pay an additional fee, since cremating individually is very expensive. Also be aware that the returned "ashes" are not simply ashes, but also bones. This is because if the crematory heat is high enough to turn the bones to ashes, they would simply vaporize and there would be no ashes left. If you want ashes-only, an additional fee would likely apply since the bones would have to be hand-crushed.
14. Call your State Patrol office and ask who picks up live or dead animals on State freeways, and what happens to these animals. Also call county Sheriff's offices for information about county highways and rural areas. Call highway departments and sanitation departments to find out if either picks up deceased animals on the streets and highways, and if so, what is done with the remains, and whether records are kept.
15. Keep in mind that any animal from anywhere in your larger area could end up stranded and desperate in your yard. If this happens, how will you help?
--animal pound: (city, county, police department,
private contractor, state patrol, other);
--contractor (kennel, boarding kennel, purebred kennel, cattery,
veterinarian, other )
--shelter (kill, no-kill, rescue, foster)
--temporary animal holding facility
--warden (city contractor, private, county, police, state patrol, other)
--other facility or contractor.
a) Neighbors, “friends” and family members have been known to “get rid of” pets they see as aggravating, dropping them off away from home.
b) Cats and dogs have been known to sneak into cars or trunks and then run when the door is opened … miles from home.
c) Even a small dog or cat can lope indefinitely at 3 miles per hour … meaning in only 8 hours, that animal could be 24 miles away. And most pets lose their sense of direction easily, once a short ways from home.
Dogs typically “lope”; cats typically
run-hide, run-hide, trying to find a hiding place that is
not already occupied by a bigger, stronger animal.
We each have a personal, humane, and social obligation to find our pets.
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