Thursday, March 29, 2007

Do We REALLY Need Another "Kill" Facility??

Apparently so. A headline on the front page of The Rathdrum Star immediately caught my attention. 'I'm On It!' Lack of Dog Pound Gets Police Chief's Attention.

It ate at me all night and all morning. According to the article the problem in Rathdrum is they have no place to house stray dogs. The Coeur d'Alene Shelter is closed and Post Falls will only take dogs in an emergency situation. No mention was made of the Kootenai County Humane Society. So I decided to make some phone calls.

I called the Humane Society first only to find they don't open until noon. That told me something right there. Next I called Tom Burnett, editor/publisher of the Star to get some background and followed up by talking with Police Chief Kevin Fuhr. It was a good conversation though a frustrating one for both of us.

You see, he loves dogs too. But he has a problem that needs addressed now and it grows as Rathdrum grows. Spring is here and pets get out, have unwanted litters and/or are abandoned. What to do? Rathdrum is not a wealthy community. Funding is not available for unending maintenance of unwanted animals. Read "no kill". The volunteer base to care for these animals or to do fund raising is as minimal as local salaries.

I'm an advocate of "no kill" facilities. I thought for a long time if cities like Los Angeles and Phoenix could make them a success so could Kootenai County. I'm no longer sure that is the case. If the Humane Society (no kill) is at capacity and shelters (kill) are closing, why has the idea of a regional facility not been pursued more aggressively? Why won't the communities involved pool their resources and come up with a solution? What is to be done as growth continues? Take them out in the woods and shoot them??

Well, there is a bit of that mentality here. How do you change that culture? The culture that considers animals as "property" to do with what you please. Inconvenient? Kill it. How do you turn them into responsible pet owners?

It's a double edged sword. Those who can do something about it are dragging their feet for whatever reason. Those who don't care really don't care. And one more time it's the animals who suffer the consequences.

Yes. I used to think it would change. Then I thought it could change. Now I don't think it will nor can. For that the people who own or merely care about animals must have the will. I don't see it and it's a far less desirable place to live because of it.


Anonymous said...

Perfectly put! I have met many people I disliked and found utterly useless. I have met few animals that engendered the same response. Yet animals are considered a lesser species. Frankly, it is uncaring humans who define a "subspecies" And any community/state that behaves in an inhumane manner is, by the very definition, unworthy.

Word Tosser said...

If they can afford the Kroc Center and a new library, why not build a state of the art animial shelter?
They could buy some of the land that they can't burn grass anymore.. and put up a huge one, with indoor walking area as well as outdoor... and then Post Falls, Cda, Hayden and maybe even Rathdrum could all support it and use it.

brentandrews said...

We went to Rathdrum Days once, I think it was in 1998 or 1999, and saw a stray dog get picked up by the police. Someone complained; what could they do but take the dog to the pound? We went there a week later and adopted the dog, after several nights of discussion. "Lucky" was already sick when we got to the shelter. But we took him home and he made a great third dog. He guards the house every night. He sleeps at the top of our stairs, watching the front door, so we don't have to. Maybe the solution to Rathdrum's problems is have everyone at Rathdrum Days take home one stray dog; you'd soon find there aren't enough dogs!