Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

January 8, 2013

Drop in euthanasia rate due to change in open-door policy

It is perhaps accurate to report, as did the Times-News on Dec. 21, (“Third annual Presents for Paws will improve lives of animals at shelter,” Page 3C) that the Allegany County Animal Shelter has gone “from a euthanization rate of 85 percent to... a save rate of 92 percent,” but that statement may be misleading.

A large part of this seeming improvement has come from a change in shelter policy that changed the shelter from an open-door shelter, accepting all county animals in need, to a shelter that frequently simply refuses to take in animals in need because it is full.

While the animals that the shelter rejects may not end up dying at the shelter, it is probably overly optimistic to believe that most of them end up in loving homes.

While killing at the shelter may be reduced by the shelter’s policies, it is far from clear that fewer animals are suffering and dying in Allegany County.

Carolyn Lathrop

Cumberland

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