Read about Shelter Animals Count's 2019-2021 shelter data analysis here AND share with all those reporters that called you for quotes on this topic!
https://americanpetsalive.org/blog/pandemic-pets-werent-returned-to-sheltersThis is a great opportunity for you to get media coverage for your organization on what support you DO need! Make sure to share this article and data with reporters in your communities, because as you know, animal shelters *do* urgently need fosters, adopters, and transport partners.
Hi there,I am not confident with the data to be honest. I run a rescue and the past few months I have had no less than 3-4 emails a day from people, not just locally but from all over Maine and some as far as MA wanting to rehome their dogs. Most have had their dogs 8-24 months, but some have had since a puppy and now the dog is around 4 years old with behavioural problems. I do not take in owner surrenders so can just refer to the adopt a pet rehome program and the rescueme.org website for getting their dogs up there - but I used to get one request every month or so.Hope this is just the case where I am, but with the emails I also get from several shelters I work with in Texas asking if I can take dogs because the are so full and are having to euthanize for space. Just makes me a little skeptical, more so when not everyone participates in the shelter count.
Thank you for sharing. There may be some important issues not captured in the data. For example in Las Vegas (and I will presume other places) our largest open intake shelter was (and still is) operating with skeleton staff partially due to the pandemic. That lack of staffing forced many pet owners to seek alternate methods to surrender their pets as they could not either reach the shelter by any reasonable communication method or because appointments needed to be made for ANY service including owner surrender.
Also Good-Samaritan OTC found pets were curbed for the same reasons. I do not have access to 2021 local shelter data by month but I suspect intakes were way down in 2021 not because people did not want to surrender but partially because the shelter was not available. It is fact that our open intake shelter gave out to the public a list of rescues to take surrenders to shifting the burden (and data capture) to non-shelter rescues and individuals (a very unfortunate circumstance but also in violation of their multi-jurisdictional shelter agreement). So pets were surrendered to local rescues instead, private unaffiliated rescuers/adopters, or released to the streets (we certainly saw an uptick of found dogs in our community with no owner coming forward).
I know that some of our Las Vegas rescues report to Shelter Animals Count. But I think a majority, in terms of aggregate volume handled, do not. The very smallest of rescues and private individuals are handling a lot of what I believe is "missing" data. It certainly seems so for my locale at the least.------------------------------John Brassner------------------------------
I am glad to see others sharing their experience with this. Not glad of course that things are not quite what is being portrayed, however by the SAC promoting that things are great and the problem is not as bad as it is, it is just providing a false narrative.Whilst it might look good for the big shelters that might rely on statistics for grants and such, it is actually quite detrimental to those that are picking up the pieces. When asking for help from the community or even seeking grants, if they are saying something different that what SAC is putting out there, then there is a conflict.I think the way SAC promotes these statistics is also wrong, because I am positive that they know that they do not get most likely even half of all of the shelters and rescues and individual families that take in stray dogs reporting. I was reporting up until earlier this year and it just got to be a tedious task. I use Rescuegroups.org and they do not have it set up to do an automatic import and I just felt like the SAC is just a "snippet" in the reality of stray population. I think has really highlighted a very important point in the way SAC promotes their statistics and should maybe look at promoting it in a more real light, so people that are not on the ground seeing and dealing with what is really going on, don't start getting warm and fuzzy feelings that things are getting better.I think the only way announcements like this should be made is if every single animal shelter, rescue and anyone taking it upon themselves to help stray animals and there are a good amount of good citizens who do - and lots of shelters even promote that now - are reporting, which of course is never going to happen and so although we all want to see positive outcomes from the hard work we all do to save animals, providing a false narrative as I said really does not help. For me, this just justifies me not participating in the SAC as it isn't providing an accurate service.