Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Animal Adoption Stories; A New Philosophy at the City's Animal Shelter

This morning brings a letter to the editor pointing out to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals' (PETA) opposition to the "no kill" policy that Doug Rae, the new director of the Indianapolis' animal shelter has advocated in his past leadership positions.

Okay, I'm still trying to get my head around the idea of PETA, which has a radical pro-animal rights agenda, would be opposed to a no-kill animal control policy. I need more coffee before I can figure that one out.

Nonetheless, the letter reminded me of some of my Humane Society stories which demonstrate a bizarre philosophy toward the animals they take in. A Pike Township man owned a few acre farm (a rare thing for Pike, obviously) where he had a barn that had been overrun with mice. He decided he was going to the Humane Society to get an adult male cat to be a mouser in the barn. During the interview process he was asked why he wanted the cats. He explained to them his idea to have them catch mice in his barn. The Humane Society rejected him, saying that they would not permit any animal of theirs to be a "working animal." He tried to explain that to cats, catching a mouse is not "work," they actually find it enjoyable. No dice. The rejection stood. So they would rather kill that cat (people wanting to adopt adult cats is rare) than to allow the cat to live out his remaining days catching mice.

Another man went to the Indianapolis Humane Society to adopt a cat to be a family pet. During the adoption process he was asked whether it would be an indoor cat. He said "yes." Then he started thinking about his children constantly going in and out of the house and honestly answered that there might be times when the cat might run outside. This candor cost him the adoption.

Now a dog story, albeit from another state. A friend of mine went to the animal shelter to adopt a dog. It was near the Christmas holiday and her plan was to pick up the dog after January 1st. She had an accident over the holidays and was laid up for awhile. When she came to get the dog after the first part of the year, they refused to give her the dog, saying that since she did not "visit"him over the Christmas break it showed she was not a suitable person to adopt the dog. Application rejected.

Those are just a few of my bizarre animal adoption stories. As an animal lover myself, I do not always understand the philosophy of the people who work in the area of animal control and adoptions. Hopefuly Doug Rae brings a more enlightened attitude to the City's animal shelter.


Anonymous said...

Paul, I'm sorry to hear your stories about the Humane Society. I'm not sure of when they were or who was involved, but I can say that our goal is to find loving families for homeless animals, and we want to make the adoption process as smooth as possible so the animals find caring homes - the last thing we want to do is prevent them from living healthy, happy lives in wonderful homes.

We know that most cats and dogs will spend some time outside, and we don't block adoptions for that reason. During the adoption process, we look at things such as the animal's health and behavior history, energy level, and more, and share this with the potential adopters. We address any questions or concerns about the match, and often find that even if an animal someone initially wants isn't the best match for them, this brief discussion leads them to an animal who is a great match for their family and lifestyle.

We want to make the adoption process as smooth and enjoyable as possible, and I apologize for the roadblocks that may have happened in the past. Our website has a lot more info (link below) about adopting an animal, and you can contact me at tschmid@indyhumane.org if you have questions. With all the recent changes and improved partnership between the Humane Society of Indianapolis and Indy Animal Care & Control, we're confident 2009 will bring positive change to Indy animals.


Paul K. Ogden said...

Thank you Tristan for your polite and informative response.

Anonymous said...

You're welcome!

Anonymous said...

Many losers, unfit for work anywhere else in the economy, land in animal-related jobs.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Anon, I know from personal that is not true. Those people go to work in private jails.

Kidding, I am sure there are some quality people who work in private jails. They just don't stay long.

Leslie Sourwine said...

That's part of the problem. The employees with deep moral fiber and personal ethics do move on. Many of the employees left are those who thrive on human suffering. Imagine the feeling of power these low lives must feel knowing they are in complete control of the mental and physical well being of the men and women incarcerated in these private facilities. Many times the abuses employees’ heap onto those merely "accused" of committing a crime go unpunished. The employees as well as the owners of these facilities think they are above the law and many times it appears as though they are right. A little grease on the palm here and there and you can operate your private jail facility without interference from those who are responsible to make certain that the facility is following federal, state and city codes.


Anonymous said...

I really think that, for PETA, it has become a mathematical equation. Kill a dog, save several factory-farmed chickens, cows, and lambs that said dog would otherwise have eaten during his lifetime. Personally, I agree that it is morally wrong to raise and slaughter one type of animal just to feed it to another type of animal. That's why I feed my dogs (and myself) a vegetarian diet. But the problem with Peta's approach is that it takes their organization out of the business of saving animals, and puts them in the business of killing animals--which is antithetical to their mission. To me, this approach smacks of radical "pro-life" advocates who resort to murdering abortionists, with the justification that they are sacrificing one life to save many. But by killing, they are no longer following their true mission -- they have lost their moral high ground. And that is exactly what Peta has done by promoting and carrying out the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of adoptable dogs and cats. Instead, they should have been putting their efforts toward rehoming these animals, improving conditions at shelters, and outlawing puppy mills. Until our society can learn to treat pets compassionately, we will never treat lifestock compassionately.