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  #11  
Old 06-15-2011
DRNEGRIN6 DRNEGRIN6 is offline
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Originally Posted by carrie_cat View Post
I would still really like to see shelters farm out animals in those higher-risk categories, into foster situations. I just think that where you can reduce the density of population (that is, where you can have two or three dogs in a room instead of ten or twenty, as in shelters), you can provide a much healthier situation. And for animals that we know are at higher risk of catching something, like puppies and their mothers, we should be working toward keeping them from entering the shelter, through use of a foster network.
One of the shelters that I supervised at had a dog that either was pregnant on intake or "became pregnant" at the shelter (intake papers were never shown to the Supervising Vet.????). I realized at once that the shelter was not the best place for a pregnant animal or one with young puppies, particularly that one that I saw violations at. I kept the mother and pups (after they were born) at my office until a rescue group was able to take them.

One of my clients got a call from an ACO in Utah (not sure if the ACO is a member of this site). Their lost Yorkie was found in Utah (from NJ). She was pregnant. Luckily, the ACO realized that she was close to being due and got her to the vet. The vet. kept her there until my client was able to go and drive out to get her and her four puppies. Thank God for microchips.

There really has to be a better way of caring for pregnant dogs, etc.

Last edited by DRNEGRIN6; 06-15-2011 at 10:16 PM. Reason: typo
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  #12  
Old 06-15-2011
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Originally Posted by DRNEGRIN6 View Post
There really has to be a better way of caring for pregnant dogs, etc.
Sounds like your doing pretty good up there. Around here the SOP is to euthanize it ASAP so you donít get stuck with the litter.
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Old 06-15-2011
carrie_cat carrie_cat is offline
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I agree DrNegrin6!

The better way is to engage the community as foster families. I get that some old style ACOs and agencies think that the public are stupid and that they have to be the enemy. But (as a member of that public, who has somehow managed to raise a family of humans and care for not a few animals myself) ordinary homes are great places for care for pregnant dogs and other vulnerable creatures. Before all of these mega-"shelter" facilities started being created, that is how most communities would handle stray animals. NOT everything is improved by making it bigger-scale.

I'd imagine that a vet clinic might not be the most convenient, or even for that matter, the most calm and germ-free space but, it would be terrific if it were one of the options available. I think that if the animal control profession could recognize the value in teaming up with businesses and neighborhoods, it could happen -- in fact, it does happen, in some places. Just [sniff!] not yet where I am. We make progress, someone once said, one funeral at a time.
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Old 06-15-2011
DRNEGRIN6 DRNEGRIN6 is offline
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The municipality that I work for as the ACO does not even have a shelter. Thank God for the sake of the animals!! That tells you how good are community is. The people reclaim animals very quickly; sometimes police call me to the scene and before I get there, the owner is claiming the dog.

In the year and a half that my partners and I are working together, we have never euthanized an animal for convenience. The few that had to be euthanized were truly ill. I know since I am the only one that can euthanize for my municipality unless my partners have a critical case and take it to the local vets.

As far as holding facilities, we use my hospital often for the 7 day (required) hold period in NJ. Most of the time, the owner reclaims during that time. The few that are not reclaimed, we usually find someone that has adopted them. We had a few that have been difficult to place, but none have been euthanized.

I would love to be able to do more ACO/ACI work but not if it meant more animals were sick/injured or had to be euthanized. The mix of being both a vet. and sometimes getting to do some ACO/ACI work is very relaxing for me.
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Old 06-15-2011
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I just posted somewhere else in this forum that a couple of years ago I polled the shelters within 15 miles of mine, and between all of us we had brought in 62,000 animals in one year. If I have checked the whole Metroplex, it would have gone well over 1/4 mil. The national average return to owner rate is 20%, 40% of dogs and 2% of cats, and we generally fall right in that ball park, so the shelters within 15 miles of me will be stuck with nearly 50,000 animals this year.

With that kind of volume, we do not have space to wean one litter, let alone the 15 or 20 pregnant animals or unweaned litters we will get in this month at my little facility. There is no vet around here who will dedicate one cage to wean a litter, much less 15 or 20. The rescue groups and their volunteers already have 10 to 20 animals they are hiding in their houses because most cities around here only allow 3 or 4 of one species per residential tract. Shelter volunteers can be a good alternative, except that I only have 4 that actually do anything, and two of them are married, so there are only 3 potential locations to wean a litter. So as you can see, my options are a bit limited.
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Old 06-16-2011
carrie_cat carrie_cat is offline
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So, have you testified or recommended elimination of the pet limits? That seems to be the major limiting factor on your capacity to provide animal care.

I know the "hiding animals" issue because as a private advocate, I talk nearly every day with someone who either just was not aware that there WAS an arbitrary limit, or who is vaguely aware of a limit but is sure he or she is legal within it, or someone who is about at the end of his rope BECAUSE he is at the limit and wants to help animals WITHOUT resorting to seeing 'em rounded up and killed.

Pet limits don't seem to help prevent abuse. All that they do is drive the people who would HELP you, underground, as hidden shelters!

Some days it just seems to me there are so many myths that everyone worships, but that nobody stops to take a look at what believing the myths is doing to our effectiveness and even our credibility. You end up creating scofflaws because nobody really thinks you're protecting an animal by arbitrarily preventing someone with x animals from adopting or fostering, or volunteering.

"Shelter volunteers" versus non-certifiable volunteers .... don't get me started.
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  #17  
Old 06-16-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Getting too old View Post
I just posted somewhere else in this forum that a couple of years ago I polled the shelters within 15 miles of mine, and between all of us we had brought in 62,000 animals in one year. If I have checked the whole Metroplex, it would have gone well over 1/4 mil. The national average return to owner rate is 20%, 40% of dogs and 2% of cats, and we generally fall right in that ball park, so the shelters within 15 miles of me will be stuck with nearly 50,000 animals this year.

With that kind of volume, we do not have space to wean one litter, let alone the 15 or 20 pregnant animals or unweaned litters we will get in this month at my little facility. There is no vet around here who will dedicate one cage to wean a litter, much less 15 or 20. The rescue groups and their volunteers already have 10 to 20 animals they are hiding in their houses because most cities around here only allow 3 or 4 of one species per residential tract. Shelter volunteers can be a good alternative, except that I only have 4 that actually do anything, and two of them are married, so there are only 3 potential locations to wean a litter. So as you can see, my options are a bit limited.
Seems like Spay/Neuter is working. I say that because it sounds like the same thing I heard 10 years ago, 20 years ago, etc.... There must be something else that works. I still see shelters filling up wth animals.

Carrie and Dr,...what does Pet Limit laws have to do with someone fostring animals for a shelter? I'm confused.

Last edited by Njaco; 06-16-2011 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 06-16-2011
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Storing excess animals with fosters is not placing them. To make room for the 50K coming in this year, you have to place 50K just to keep up. If 50K come in, but only 20K are placed, then there are still 30K in foster care. Then when 50K come in the next year, and only 20K of those are placed, then you have 60K in foster care. Trying to solve the problem by simply finding more places to store the animals isn’t doing anything. If placements kept up with incoming, all a locality would need is one cage for every 1500 population, and no fosters would be required at all.
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  #19  
Old 06-17-2011
1xOscar88 1xOscar88 is offline
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G.T.O., I hear ya! There are times (like this) in which there are no easy answers! As much as you would like to be able to save/place them all, the numbers -are- the numbers. There is only so much you can do, and only so much that the public will listen to. THE bitter pill of being an ACO. IMHO.
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  #20  
Old 06-17-2011
DRNEGRIN6 DRNEGRIN6 is offline
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Originally Posted by Njaco View Post
Carrie and Dr,...what does Pet Limit laws have to do with someone fostring animals for a shelter? I'm confused.
NJACO,

I'm not sure what you mean when you asked me about the Pet Limit laws and fostering. I don't think I mentioned anything that related one to the other. The only thing I mentioned is that we have a good track record with our ACO program. We had a hoarder that the community came forward and asked for my help in caring for a few of the cats while they placed them. Otherwise, I have not said anything is wrong with foster. If you have a particular question regarding what I have written, please let me know and I'll try to address it.
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