Irvine has placed a ban on the killing of healthy and adoptable animals.
While this is good news overall, there are a few points to notice about this case. Two are instructive and one is cautionary.
1. The first thing is the involvement of the City Council and the fact that they 1) formed a Council sub-committee to study the issue and 2) called for a study of the shelter by an outside consultant. This shows that Irvine really wanted to get to the bottom of the matter.
2. Second - the fact that this was all brought about because shelter volunteers complained to the city.
From the article: "In response to the concerns of the volunteers, city officials halted all euthanasia – unless medically necessary – for 60 days in early 2015."
Folks who see disorganization, unclear and poorly executed policies, retaliatory behavior and poor decision-making at their shelters are the ones who are the most effective at getting the City to respond. They need to speak out. As you can see, City Councils have the power to declare policies on killing -- even halt euthanasia -- but they won't do it unless they are pushed to, especially in Long Beach.
3. Third - and these are caveats, while Irvine is moving in the right direction, placing a ban on killing healthy and adoptable animals is only a start because it still allows for the killing of treatable animals. Many of the animals that are killed in the Long Beach shelter are very treatable: they stay in the shelter too long (because of a non-existent adoption program) and they get sick and then they're killed.
Limiting it to adoptable animals allows the shelter to have a gigantic loophole in saying that that kitten that sneezes is not adoptable because he/she has a very treatable upper respiratory infection (aka 'a cold.')
The protections need to be extended to healthy and TREATABLE animals, and a strong adoption program needs to be put in place so that animals can get out of the shelter BEFORE they get sick.
We're moving toward a future where no healthy or treatable animal will be killed, or where city shelters will do everything in their power to protect healthy and treatables -- how long will Long Beach fight that?
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An initiative to make Long Beach a No Kill community.