A couple of months ago I posted a blog called "Compassion Please! For Pets and People". It was about the barriers that have been set up by shelters that prevent people from reclaiming their lost pets (hours, costs, location, etc.)
Most of all is the distainful attitude that is often cast on these owners which spreads through staff and volunteers and actually hinders reunions, instead of helps. More lost pets in shelters (instead of reclaimed) means more dead animals. Pretty simple.
I want to point out that at no place in my blog did I say that shelters shouldn't charge a reclaim fee. I was just asking for compassion and some thought to go into the process so that pets don't get left at the shelter because of the cost or the attitude of the staff and volunteers.
There were eighteen comments on the blog. Fifteen of them were positive and agreed that shelters needed to show more compassion or they relayed their own experiences about losing pets.
THREE comments were negative, here are the excerpts:
Karissa: "There's compassion in the rescue industry, but shelters have bills to pay, too. If shelters waived reclaim fees on a regular basis for every hard luck story they hear, they wouldn't be able to keep the doors open."
Anonymous: I work in rescue and I happen to be very poor. Still, the bottom line is that anyone who "loses" a pet for any reason other than a natural disaster is completely irresponsible and I stand by that. There is no reason to lose a pet. .....I also volunteer at my local county shelter. This is not about money or not being able to get to the shelter in a timely manner. It's about the fact that irresponsible people let their pets end up there get there in the first place! "
Monica, Shelter Operations Manager: Kbear, I hate to point out the obvious, but perhaps if your cat was wearing a collar and tag, the neighbor would have called you instead of the shelter. I'm sure she was just trying to keep him out of harm's way- a cat can cross a lot of streets in 45 minutes, and vet bills are way more expensive than shelter reclaim fees. As for HAWS not accepting checks for reclaims- I can't speak for them but I'm not surprised. They've probably had too many bounce. If that was happening at my shelter, we'd have the same rule.
All three of these women work or volunteer at shelters in Wisconsin. Thank you for supporting my point, ladies! And, that is what makes me laugh!