Real-life problem solving

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1996:

The neighborhood surrounding
the Animal Protective League and
Cuyahoga County pound in Cleveland is
so overrun with stray cats that on
November 10 the situation made the
cover of the ‘B’ section of the Sunday
Plain Dealer. “Neighbors say unwanted
cats and dogs are regularly dumped in the
neighborhood because evicting pet owners
believe the nearby APL will take
them in. And many pet dumpers want to
avoid going into the APL, they say,
because the organization asks for donations––$15
a cat, $3 a kitten––to cover
the costs of taking them in,” wrote Plain
Dealer reporter Michael O’Malley.
Confirmed APL head Jeff Kocian, “We
find boxes of kittens. They drop them off
at the corner, they leave them off in the
driveway. As fast as we pick them up,
the next night somebody throws another
box out. We find injured cats in boxes.”

This ongoing crisis has already
been solved––ten years ago––by shelter
executives from John Freed in Greenville,
South Carolina, to Richard Avanzino in
San Francisco, California. The key is
realizing that demanding donations with
drop-offs––often from people who are
dropping off the animals in the first place
because of money problems––is not raising
enough funds to offset the stress and
injury to the shelter’s reputation caused
by the anonymous abandonments.
Instead of in effect charging to take the
cats, offer to take kittens free––and
neuter the mama. More mama cats will
stay in homes. Far fewer kittens will be
born. Far fewer cats will end up on the
street. Satisfied citizens will respond to
appeals from a shelter that demonstrates
initiative, increasing the donor base and
revenue stream more than enough to pay
for the neutering.

Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.