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Old 04-15-2009
bmhs bmhs is offline
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Default Impounded animals?

I need some feedback. I currently work at a shelter that has questionable practices with impounded animals. My old shelter had clearly a written SOP on this and it seemed appropriate. When an animal come into the shelter as a stray whether the hold time was 3 or 10 days those animals were to be kept confidential and were not viewed by the general public, unless it was a potential reclaim. The shelter I work at now does not abide by this. Animals in the hold period are handled, walked, viewed and discussed by staff and general public. This has led recently to an owned animal being adopted out to someone else before the owner had resonable time to reclaim. I have been preaching confidentiality for months now with no acceptance. When asked the reason why I was so passionate about this issue I realized my only reason I could come up with is it protects us and the animals and thats what we did at the other shelter. I realized my answers were not substantial. What are your SOPs on this matter? Please tell me some ramifications to this issue or am I being ridiculous? Feedback please!
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Old 04-15-2009
ACO in Greenville,TX ACO in Greenville,TX is offline
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I guess it would depend on the size of the shelter and whether or not they actually have a place to hold animals away from the general public. My shelter does not have that type of space. We do not allow an animal that is still under our hold period to be handled or taken out of the kennel to be looked at, but we do have people walk through and look at the animals in the cages. We just don't have any other place to put them.
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Old 04-15-2009
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The public is allowed to view all animals. The new shelter has an area for employees only for owned bite dogs and court cases. Only employees are to handle strays and bite dogs. If it is and adoptable animal the volunteers will assist with the animal.

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Old 04-15-2009
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Both of the places I have worked at have not isolated impounds from general populous. They are available for viewing etc along with the available animals, however, we do strictly adhere to the holding period before anything is placed.

I have been to large facilities where they had separate areas for each day of impound. IE, day one was in one corridor, day two in another corridor etc. In those locations then only the owners looking for their animals are allowed in those areas.
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Old 04-15-2009
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Just seeing the dogs doesn't seem like a problem to me.

Handling them or walking them any more than necessary seems like asking for trouble, though. If you want to stop that from going on, point out the liability you face by risking injury to the animals and to the people handling them. If a dog in your custody gets loose and runs away, or someone gets bitten and fluffy has to sit in quarantine instead of going home - that can end up hitting the shelter where it hurts really quick.
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Old 04-15-2009
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I have worked under both circumstances.

If the public is viewing all of the dogs and the shelter does not temperament test.

I didn't like this, but this is how it was handled at my last shelter.

The cages were locked, only staff could take all the dogs out for people to visit. The dogs were handled by staff the entire time and applications for adoption could be placed.

Adoptions were not conducted during a dogs stray hold time, only applications taken.

After the hold time was up the organization would start with the first name and go from there.

Our highly adoptable strays that would recieve 85 bazillion applications

Also, if there was a reclaim the potential adopters were not notified only informed if they called to inquire.

For the Brass

If you have the opportunity to isolate and do not

There is a public health threat from unvaccinated animals. If you had an animal test positive for rabies during its stay could you track down everyone that came in contact with the animal. (This one usually gets there attention
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Old 04-15-2009
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All strays are off limits to the public, unless they are looking for a lost pet. Some animals that are past the stray hold, but yet not ready to be put up for adoption (ie - working with a dog on various issues),are still not to be viewed by the public. Therefore only animals that are available for adoption are viewed to the public.

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Old 04-16-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmhs View Post
This has led recently to an owned animal being adopted out to someone else before the owner had resonable time to reclaim.
What is your state law on lost or misplaced property? Dogs are property, and to sell or give away someone's property without going through the lawful procedure is criminal. In my state it is a felony if it pertains to companion animals.

The others have already covered many other liability, health and safety issues. I would mention that my shelter was sued by a woman who's dog got away and was hit and killed because a volunteer was walking him while he was still in stray hold.....which was not covered by policy at that time. Many dollars later, it is!
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Old 04-16-2009
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bmhs is there anything in your laws that require you to hold the dog for x amount of days? Legally we are required to hold dogs for 7 days. We allow the general public to view them but handling is only done by animal control officers (all two of us). If there is no legal argument I don't think you have much to go on.
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Old 04-16-2009
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All of our dogs are able to be viewed by the public. We can take applications on animals but the general public is not allowed to get animals out that are on hold.
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