Archive for Saturday, February 9, 2013

Letter: Fee concern

February 9, 2013


To the editor:

A few days ago, my friend informed me that the Lawrence Humane Society now charges $150-plus for purebred dogs and cats. I was incredulous, but, sure enough, after checking their website, they do. I guess I was under the impression that this was a shelter to try to save all animals, but apparently not? 

Now they are in the business of making money off the dogs and cats, not just finding homes for them. Really? So how many mutts are put to sleep because the purebreds with high prices are taking up valuable space? And what is the message?

I guess this means that we should all buy purebreds from breeders, because they really are worth more. There are many breed-specific rescue organizations which can help those looking for a certain breed, but not many options out there for the mutts except for our local humane shelter. I guess now they don’t even have that. 


Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 4 months ago

We miss Midge in many ways. She would have never done this.

Matthew Herbert 5 years, 4 months ago

I doubt they are in the business of making money- desperately trying to break even would be more realistic. You should pay the $150 to the Lawrence Humane Society and consider it a donation. I would do so happily.

LadyJ 5 years, 4 months ago

They have also changed their policy about renters bringing in approval from their landlord which has resulted in animals being brought back or disposed of in other ways. The theory being, if they are over 18 they are adults and should be mature enough. Really? If their lease says no pets and they're going to do it anyway, they are not mature enough. How many ads do you see on Craigslist for pets saying the landlord won't let them keep the animal. Do you really think they are going to take the time to find that animal a good home? They could end up in the hands of someone that will torture and kill them just like that guy we read about in the LJW.

theeyeshaveit 5 years, 4 months ago

I wondered about this. I was there a couple months ago when some guys brought their dog back saying the landlord wouldn't let them keep it. I didn't realize that policy had changed.

midwestmom 5 years, 4 months ago

I was looking at the Humane Society website earlier this week and they had several puppies that were listed for $450.00 - I thought that was outrageous at the time and when I saw the above letter I went back to check on them and none of them are listed now... So, does that mean they were all adopted or were their advertisements taken down to avoid more controversy?

I recently found an elderly, injured yellow lab. It was about 7 p.m. and when I called animal control, I got the recording to call the police department. I called the police department and an officer immediately came out who had to explain to me that if t they were able to reach the 'on call' at the humane society he would transport the dog to the humane society, but if they couldn't I would have to decide to either just let the dog loose again or take her home with me for the night. Apparently, the humane society no longer has temporary cages available and it is also not uncommon for the 'on call' to not respond to the police department. So, the police department doesn't just have to take their time to respond to injured/stray animal calls after hours, but they could be just completely wasting their time. How is this better managed than how it used to be? Fortunately, the 'on call' was available and met the police officer at the humane society - but couldn't come pick up the dog.

I've also heard that the humane society has turned away volunteers and also 'fired' long time volunteers because it wasn't advantageous to the humane society. How is that possible? Free, caring labor isn't advantageous? What? So, increasing adoption fees is necessary to support the humane society costs, but turning away free help is also necessary? Are they no longer accountable to our community and the animals that should be served by their very existence? I didn't and don't know Midge Grinstead, but I'm thinking the current management is definitely lacking when compared to the previous. Does anyone know the amount of money the new director earns? I'm thinking too much.

I really don't know how this 'better' professional management is benefiting anyone or any creature.

racerx 5 years, 4 months ago

What this letter writer failed to include was this explanation from the Humane Society website. Giving the letter writer the benefit of the doubt, perhaps they just added it. But, one phone call to the Humane Society could have answered the question before a letter was written:

From the Humane Society Website: *A VIP (Very Important Pet) Adoption is an animal in high demand because of its size, breed, or age. We have a higher adoption fee for these animals because they have the unique opportunity to raise funds to offset veterinary expenses for injured or ill animals or help us provide care for older animals who are likely to wait longer for a new home.

Matthew Herbert 5 years, 4 months ago

An agency that finds a way to cover its costs using basic principles of supply and demand economics instead of riding the backs of taxpayers and what do we do? Criticize and complain. Ahh, good old Lawrence.

avarom 5 years, 4 months ago

Sounds like this business is going to the Dogs.......Who..... Who....let the Dogs out?? Sorry..Dog Gone it......Couldn't resist....yup.

ThePilgrim 5 years, 4 months ago

Just like Wichita. The Human Society raised a huge amount of money and partnered with a local company to build a mega building, consolidate services, and have more public friendly adoption services.

Then people found out that the euthanasia rate was still about 50% and they were outraged.

GardenMomma 5 years, 4 months ago

I thought the Humane Society here was a "no-kill" shelter. Is that not correct?

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago

No, they're not strictly no kill, at least last time I asked them.

But, that means that they take all animals that they're brought, also, and not all of those can be adopted (feral cats, etc.)

Call them and ask them - you can probably find out what the rate of animals euthanized is there.

msezdsit 5 years, 4 months ago

They could probably take the name "humane" out of their name. However, they do need to raise revenue. The problem comes in when they draw the line between keeping an animal that is not going to make them much money or just trying to make more room for the more valuable animals. I don't think anyone on this forum can figure that formula out. Kinda makes you have second thoughts about donating to this group.

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago

Last time I checked, they don't make decisions about euthanizing based on how much money they get for adopted animals.

They keep them quite a while, and euthanize those that can't be adopted.

msezdsit 5 years, 4 months ago

It is hard to say unless you are on the inside but I doubt an animal that will bring a higher dollar figure gets killed before a mutt is offed.

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago

The criteria that I heard is that they euthanize those that are unadoptable, like feral cats, which makes sense.

"No kill" shelters sound great, but it just means that they won't take animals they feel can't be adopted.

parrothead8 5 years, 4 months ago

Actually, they explain it on their own website. Charging more for animals they know are in high demand gives them the ability to keep the animals people don't want. That's pretty easy to figure out.

Liberty275 5 years, 4 months ago

We recently replaced our big dog that had lived out his life with a puppy from the Humane Society. We happily paid what they asked. The staff was friendly and helpful. If we had acres, we'd go back again and again and take every dog they have..

The animals were well cared for but it is heartbreaking that some of them might not find a good home. I don't care who runs it or if they are trying to make enough off adoptions to help feed the animals another day or pay workers or whatever. We will never own another dog unless it is from the shelter or we save it from the shelter.

They do a job I could not do, and very few of those exist. As long as there are dogs and cats there, we will support them. Period.

msezdsit 5 years, 4 months ago

It is hard to be critical of this group based on the good they do. However, it is a good debate to have on how they could be better. Less animals being euthanized should always be the real priority. I have several pets all from the shelter and I too would adopt more if I had a place for them to live as they should. I suppose we are all guilty as much as the shelter for euthanizing these animals because we don't have the capacity to care for them. The same problem the shelter has only they were willing to give the animal a chance we couldn't offer.

jafs 5 years, 4 months ago

Some animals aren't adoptable - what should be done with them?

There is a movement to let feral cats live wildly on the streets, which is interesting, but perhaps flawed.

deec 5 years, 4 months ago

They are doing this in Hays. There is a colony of feral cats on/near the campus. The cats are captured, given rabies shots, spayed/neutered and set free.

geoismeo 5 years, 4 months ago

I don't miss Midge one iota. I hate being talked down to..

Tammy Yergey 5 years, 4 months ago

But they DON'T take in all animals. Right now they aren't taking any cats for 3 months. So what will happen to the stray cats now? They are a rescue organization getting money from donors. This is a bleeding heart organization. It should be. It is not a business. If you want a pet business open a pet store. Then you can pick and choose what animals to take. But this is a rescue. It should not be based on the value of the pet. The shelter used to be a very low kill shelter. It is not considered that any more. In fact I know of big donors hi have pulled their donations because of the way it is run now. It has nothing to do with an allegiance to Midge but rather a concern for the dogs.
I know of someone who was looking for a small dog and was prepared to get one from the pound. At $450 for a small mutt they walked away and instead rescued a dog from a Kansas City shelter. So now that $450 dog sits in a pen another day which means as dogs come in, the lower valued dogs will need I be euthanized to make space as our shelter no longer works with fosters either. If they would have sold that dog at a reasonable price, that kennel would have been available to save yet another dog. But instead it languishes waiting for someone to fork out $450.

LadyJ 5 years, 4 months ago

They may still be required to take in cats brought in by animal control. If the cat is a stray, try calling animal control. This was the policy two years ago, but who knows if it hasn't been changed.

Centerville 5 years, 4 months ago

Anyone who wants a specific breed is ready to pay extra. It's called supply and demand. It works. I adopted an older, oddly-mixed dog for a very low fee. She's doing very well. She would probably have been euthanized if there weren't a few pure breds available who brought in the money that may have saved her for the day I found her. I was treated very well and so was my dog. Nursing these old personal grudges doesn't do these animals any good.

avarom 5 years, 3 months ago

Everthing is all about $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

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