Sunday, October 31, 2010

Anne Arundel County Maryland Animal Control Policy to Kill Undersized Animals

Unfortunately, I read this in The Capital newspaper today, “For more than 16 months, [Anne Arundel] county Animal Control officers have been under orders to euthanize impounded kittens, puppies and other wildlife weighing less than 1.5 pounds - regardless of their health or ability to eat. Failure by the officers to comply with the rule - which primarily affects kittens 6 weeks old and younger - will result in ‘immediate and progressive disciplinary measures,’ according to a short, partially handwritten memo dated June 23, 2009, that Animal Control officials said last week remained ‘largely in effect.’” 
These precious babies would be killed under the policy.
“WOW” is all I can say but I shouldn’t be too surprised because I’m sure this is a common policy for many Animal Control agencies across the country. So, too, is the response the public receives from those over-seeing Animal Control operations: Lt. Glenn Shanahan, the county police officer who oversees Animal Control, says, "We do all we can to avoid euthanizing animals.” I’m sorry, but that is not much of a defensive argument for a policy that clearly does NOTHING to try to save and rescue abandoned kittens, puppies and orphaned wildlife.

Local rescue groups and animal advocates are speaking out against this horrible policy, making the point that EVERY animal entering the shelter should be looked at on a case-by-case basis. Infant animals can start eating soft foods as earlier as 3 weeks old and bottle-feeding can be utilized for those who cannot. And not to point out the obvious, but Animal Control should have a foster system in place, so infant animals can be looked after until they are old enough to be sterilized and placed into an adoption program. And why is Animal Control not contacting local wildlife rehabilitation groups when an orphaned wild animal comes into the shelter, or any wild animal for that matter? (That would be more convenient and actually save money, rather than killing.) 

But no, Animal Control would rather make a blanket policy that says no matter what, if an animal comes in and weighs less than this amount, it is to be killed. This policy is about convenience not compassion. Again, this is a prime example of where animal sheltering in the United States was borne out of compassion but over the years it has become lost in politics and poor shelter management practices. Countless animals are losing their lives everyday because people with poor management skills and no compassion for animals continue to make the “policies.”

Please help Alley Cat Rescue and other local animal rescue groups see this policy is overturned, by contacting the County Executive Office and telling decision makers that this policy is not only cruel and inhumane, but it does not hold true to the county’s progressive and compassionate standards. Currently, the Anne Arundel County Executive is John R. Leopold; however, this could change after Election Day, so you may want to simply address your letter to the “Anne Arundel County Executive.”

The Arundel Center 
44 Calvert Street
Annapolis, Maryland 21404
General Info Phone Number: (410) 222-1821


1 comment:

Luckypaws said...

That's appalling! Makes me so mad >:(