Why do we have to beg this city to do the right thing?

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It is a crying shame that in the face of life saving alternatives the city of Columbus, GA still refuses to even look into it thoroughly, never mind agree to it. The Save “A” Pet program was supposed to lower the kill rate, save more animals and implement the steps of its program, which are loosely modeled after the No Kill Equation. Well, to date, that has not happened. They have no intention of making it happen and are out to squash anyone who speaks up regarding the shortcomings of said program.
The Mayor resents us for bugging her about the animals and continues to call us extremists, and radicals. We are not radicals, we are her constituency and we are voicing what we want to see in the community. I thought that’s why we have the Constitution, and the First Amendment, and the Declaration of Independence. We are free citizens of the United States of America and we are exercising our right to express our opinions and affect change in a community that can and should be doing better. If they can’t do, at the vey least, implement their own program, they shouldn’t be upset when people point out the shortcomings of a program still in it’s infancy. The No Kill Equation is being implemented in communities across the country with great success, the number of communities implementing these life savings methods are increasing steadily. So why not Columbus? Why not now? The resources are there. The tools and people that support this effort whole heartedly, are not radicals, they are good people who want to help. They want to see things change for the animals. They want to see them in loving homes where they are treated with respect and kindness? I just don’t understand why there is a choice here? The choice to me has always been very clear. You must have respect for all life, no matter how small.
There are many things that’s would love to change about the world we live in. I cannot change things on a large scale, as I am only one person. But I can try my best to change things within my reach. Columbus is within my reach. It’s the place we have called home for the last ten years. I have saved several animals from the streets in those ten years. I have also assisted in adoptions and placements out of state. All of these things are well within the realm of what is possible if the whole shelter adopted the mindset that we CAN save them. More and more communities are achieving the title of No Kill Community by reaching for the goal of 90% or higher live release rate. This is not an unattainable goal, with more emphasis being placed on saving than killing. When you stop looking at the kennels wondering which ones are not going to make it, the sadness is unbearable, but when you get to walk them out the door and into the arms of a caring foster or adopter, it is so incredibly worth it. How can you not be affected by it? How can you not be outraged at the way things are happening, even when the alternative is right in front of them?
The city of Macon has a new shelter facility in the works. They have a director who cares and is willing to focus on saving rather than killing. They have a second pardon in progress right now. The last pardon was for a week and it lasted 79 incredible days which gave so many animals a chance at a new start! The Columbus, GA Animal Control Director will not even complete the pledge to stop the killing for Just One Day. This one action shows that they have no intentions of trying any harder than they do, which we all know is minimal, to save any more than what they do, or do anything any differently that they already do, not even for Just One Day!
Why not? They already agreed to it in an email, but have refused to complete the pledge. How could this be harmful to anyone? Why are they so hell-bent on killing. I think the answer is pretty simple. They just don’t want to. It would mean that the money being paid for public adoptions, and the money being made from the sale of cat carcasses to Bio Corp would be under scrutiny, which makes them uncomfortable. They don’t want to answer the hard questions because it may bring to light more corruption from the esteemed city government who in recent times has been under scrutiny for things far more serious than the issue at hand. If you’re not part of the “good ol’ boy ” network here you will get singled out and they will find a way to get to you. So, there you have it, more reasons why this city and its leadership need to change. When you speak out against practices of this city and its government you will be targeted and you will be singled out.
The problem they have on their hands now is that WE ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE! If we don’t speak for the animals they murder, who will?

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3 responses to “Why do we have to beg this city to do the right thing?

  • Rebecca Pennington

    Excellent article with many questions we still are waiting for answers to. I don’t understand how anyone can work at AC and not feel their hearts break every time they put an adoptable animal down. God Bless the rescue groups and the individuals that are putting their heart and soul into trying to remedy this horrible problem. Unfortunately, I don’t think the people that could make these critical changes even bother to read articles like this one. They don’t care what other communities are doing. God forbid they admit they might be wrong and that there might be a better answer than what they currently have.

  • Cari

    This “shelter” is run by a bunch of idiots who could care less about the animals in their care, and its insulting to have the city continue to try to placate those who advocate for the animals with empty promises and broken policies.
    We rescued our st Bernard/ mastiff mix Mollie from Columbus AC an hour before her scheduled euthenasia after seeing her picture posted on Facebook via soul savers rescue in July 2011. She was listed as a “male” and the staff tried to tell us she was 5 years old even though she clearly still had puppy teeth, and she also obviously lacked the male genitalia! They couldn’t even get the GENDER correct on a LARGE dog!!! Which leads me to believe that nobody even ever touched her, not to mention offer words of affection or cared enough to devote one moment to helping her find a forever home instead of being condemned to death. Mollie was a mess, starved and emaciated, covered in mats, dried feces and urine, obvious open wounds, giant engorged ticks, and hundreds of fleas gleefully feasting on her. Mollie never whimpered once as she had her ticks painstakingly removed, her wounds cleaned, and probably the first bath she’d ever had. I cried as I rubbed the soap into her coat, worried I would hurt her as her bones were so prominent it seemed they would tear through her flesh. We worrie she would die in the night her condition was so poor, but not only did she survive, she began to thrive. Mollie steadily gained weight once coming home and now is quite a tank at 120 pounds, was spayed, and successfully completed heartworm treatment for the parasites that almost took her life. She is the sweetest dog and loves everyone and everything, and is as gentle as can be. Mollie has completed our family and we are lucky to have her. Mollie deserved better than the half assed attempt to save her life by animal control. All the animals in the “care” of animal control deserve better. In all our years as animal foster parents and of adopting animals my husband and I had NEVER seen an animal control facility as filthy, disorganized, and staffed with people who seemed heartless as the Columbus ACC. Upon entering the facility it seemed as if all joy and hope was drained from humans and animals alike, which only added to the air of despair surrounding it, it’s easy to see why so many animals are never adopted, as just walking through the door is an unpleasant experience.
    Mollie, and all the other animals unlucky enough to find themselves at Columbus ACC, deserve better. The citizens of this city deserve better. Our society can be measured by how we take care of our weak, our helpless, our sick and injured. If we were to be judged by our Animal Control, our society would be deemed a failure.

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