I was recently chatting with a new acquantaince about her quest to adopt a dog. She doesn't know me well and was busy telling me her exciting news so I didn't interrupt. I just listened. She told me that she was considering adopting a dog from a rescue that brings 100% of their dogs from the south because (and her eyes got as wide as saucers) they KILL dogs in the south. Wasn't that horrifying? They kill dogs in the shelters in the south so this rescue swoops in, transports them north, and finds them homes. Wasn't that wonderful? And she was going to do her part, by saving an animal that would have surely been killed in the shelter.
When she finally took a breath, I asked her if she knew that dogs were killed right here in Wisconsin also. In fact, we have shelters that are still killing half of the animals that come in their doors. She gasped and sputtered and shook her head in disbelief. Noooooo..... it couldn't be so. She only saw nice things on the TV news about Wisconsin shelters.
Petsmart Charities recently released a study (you can read it in it's entirety by clicking here) that 85% of the public underestimate how many animals are killed in shelters each year. This woman was clearly part of that 85%.
Milwaukee Animal Alliance publishes the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission (MADACC) stats monthly because unless people know that there is a problem in Milwaukee County, they will not be inspired to help. In fact, they may choose to shop rather than adopt OR adopt from out of state rather than a shelter or rescue that helps our local animals. Critics of MAA feel that the statistics should not be posted. Rather, they prefer a "Move on, there's nothing to see here" attitude. Which has clearly not been in the best interest of Milwaukee County's animals in the past.
Only by shining a spotlight on the reality of the facts and figures will the public become aware so that more lives can be saved. Sorry, critics. You can't have it both ways. Honesty is always the best policy.
Oh, and by the way. She adopted a local dog.
I find that when you open the door toward openness and transparency, a lot of people will follow you through. - Kirsten Gillibrand