Saturday, October 24, 2015

Primitive methods in a modern world

 I have yet another story about the nightmare that is the Shawnee Oklahoma animal "shelter". I am trying to get a dog out of the shelter so it won't be gassed to death, the dogs hold time is up Monday morning, it could be gassed anytime after its hold time ends. I have an out of state rescue trying to help me pull this dog. In order for any rescue to be approved to pull they must fax, yes fax, proof of their 501c3 certification to the shelter. Apparently they don't use email in animal control in Shawnee. Someone from the out of state rescue and I spent all Friday afternoon trying to call the shelter to tell them we were faxing the paperwork. Apparently they don't answer phones either...
 This brings me to the story of this poor cat who found himself in the Shawnee shelter this summer. This cat was picked up by animal control and taken to the shelter, sometime during the 48 hour stray hold it was decided that this was a feral cat. He was gassed to death. Very shortly after the cat was killed a woman and her young daughter came in to the shelter looking for their missing cat. They had tried repeatedly to call the shelter to ask if they had picked up any cats matching the description of their missing pet.The phone was never answered, so they came to the shelter. The woman was told that a cat matching the description of hers had come in, and had already been gassed. The woman asked to see the body of the cat so she could be certain it was hers. The woman, along with her young daughter, was told no, it was not something a woman should see.  What kind of condition was this poor cats body in? How horrific must the death have been? 
Death by gas chamber is not easy. It can take up to 45 minutes for an animal to die. 45 minutes of slowly suffocating, organs shutting down, lungs desperate for air. The animal screaming and clawing wildly at the walls of the chamber, and any other animal that might be in there with it. That, it seems is what happened to this woman's pet. Perhaps this cat would have been spared this fate if someone had answered the phone.
How many other lives have been lost over the years because of unanswered phones and rigid rules for approving rescues? Most people don't have or use fax machines anymore. Email is the communication method of the world today. Is there any good reason Shawnee animal control can't use email to get the required paperwork done? 
I will continue to do all I can to get this dog safety out of the shelter. I truly hope another life isn't lost because no one can answer a phone or use email.