Sunday, October 10, 2010

Making Evansville a No Kill City

As an avid supporter of animal rights, I find the current state of the city's animal control shelter to be nothing short of despicable. I find it to be quite pathetic the amount of cats and dogs that are put to sleep simply because no one cares.

A few months ago, I was inside the facility to see if my cat that had gotten outside had been picked up. I ended up adopting another cat inside the facility because I felt so bad for it due to the conditions it was living in. The process was nothing short of ridiculous. No one knew where the cat came from, no one knew anything about it, and the amount of red tape I had to go through just to figure out anything at all about the cat took me through several different people. Needless to say, things need to change. Anyone who is satisfied with the current conditions of the animal control department is nothing short of a fool. Evansville needs to be a no kill city.

In 1994, the City of San Francisco popularized the trend towards no-kill shelters. The San Francisco SPCA, led by President Richard Avanzino who would later become the President of Maddie's Fund, along with the San Francisco Department of Animal Care and Control guaranteed a home to every "adoptable" dog and cat who entered the shelter system. Since then the city of San Francisco (the SPCA along with the Department of Animal Care and Control) has been able to keep San Francisco as a no-kill city. In 2007, the live release rate of all dogs and cats in the city of San Francisco was 82%

There is a fantastic group here working towards that goal for Evansville:!/group.php?gid=101458016563555

Although it would be great if we could get some government funding or just some basic legislation passed preventing these animal deaths, you and I both know that the current crop of politicians will never do something that productive, thus we need to solve this problem ourselves.

One of the coolest things I have seen in the animal welfare department is a place called Purina Farms in St.Louis, MO. Per their website, "Purina Farms combines an events center, a visitor's center and two canine competition areas. Show and field events as well as hands-on activities and exhibits reinforce the bond between pets and their people. The Purina Farms Visitor’s Center incorporates a Pet Center, a full-size barn containing domestic farm animals, and a theater and informational center. Demonstrations, dog obedience shows and hands-on petting areas are some of the highlights of this popular attraction, which draws nearly 200,000 visitors a year."

This would be a great asset to our community if we had something like this as well. Imagine having a facility where dogs and cats were free to roam around and it made money because the facility had sponsors, donors, and revenue drawing events.

There are plenty of locations inside the city limits where this could be housed relatively cheaply, although I don't have a particular spot I'd support over another. Any warehouse district would do although it would be nice to have a location next to a hotel to increase tourist revenue.

In my opinion, one facility like this would easily make Evansville a no kill city. It would also improve Evansville's image as creative, progressive, and a place where tourists would like to visit all while saving the lives of the innocent dogs and cats in our facilities.

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