After struggling with the issue of urinary incontinence in their family's Doberman Pincer, they reluctantly decided to give up. Lacking time to adequately address the problem, they took their beloved pet to a local humane society, believing that another family would likely be better prepared to care for her. They brought with her some of her favorite toys and treats. And, they told themselves she would be better off with a different family.
After being reassured that the organization only "put animals to sleep" as a last resort, they signed paperwork agreeing to let the shelter "dispose" of their pet as it saw fit. They left believing they had done the "right" thing for their family.
But, on their way home something happened that made them realize they were wrong: they realized they had neglected to bring with them the medication they used to manage their dog's incontinence problem. They retrieved the medication and returned to the shelter.
When they arrived back at the shelter, they reported that the staff seemed uncomfortable talking with them. They also indicated they had no need for the medication the family was offering to them. The family became increasingly concerned about having left their family pet at the shelter. They asked to see their dog. They were told they couldn't. They demanded their dog be returned to them. They were told they couldn't have her.
Eventually, they learned the unimaginable: the Minnesota-based animal shelter that promised to only "put their pet to sleep" as a "last resort" had already killed her.
The above story is not only true, stories like it are unfortunately common in animal shelters all over the United States. Shelters that profess to use so-called "euthanasia" as a last resort often reach for a bottle of sodium pentobarbital labeled "Fatal Plus" as the first choice, and without seeking any other alternatives. The killing of healthy animals in shelters is so common place that it is considered the leading killer of healthy dogs and cats in the United States.
Shelters kill when they have ample numbers of empty cages. Shelters kill without seeking foster homes for pets. Shelters kill without notifying area rescue groups there are animals needing rescue. Shelters kill animals with treatable medical conditions, without those animals ever being seen by a veterinarian. And, shelters kill owner-surrendered animals on arrival, without giving the owners an opportunity to change their minds.
Unnecessary killing of animals in shelters is so common throughout Minnesota that a family pet taken in by a shelter in the Twin Cities has only about a 50% chance of making it out alive. Compare that figure to the growing number of communities in the United State that have live-release rates in excess of 90% and it becomes easy to see that a lot of unnecessary killing is taking place in Minnesota animal shelters.
However, a proposed new law could help motivate Minnesota animal shelters to save more lives. The Minnesota Companion Animal Protection Act (MN CAPA) will be introduced in Minnesota within the next week and would provide needed regulation of animal shelters throughout the state, if passed into law.
MN CAPA is based on model legislation prepared by the No Kill Advocacy Center, the same model legislation that was used in the preparation of the Delaware Companion Animal Protection Act, which passed unanimously in both the House and Senate, and which was signed into law in 2010.
Animal Ark will continue to provide updates as they are available.
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More About MN CAPA
MN CAPA defines a "Saveable" pet as any companion animal that is either healthy or that has medically treatable conditions, so long as the animal does not meet the definition of "dangerous" under MN Statute.
MN CAPA would establish a waiting period before a shelter could kill and owner-surrendered animal, in order to give the family of the pet an opportunity to change their minds.
MN CAPA would require shelters to work with local rescue groups in order to save the maximum number of animals possible.
MN CAPA would prevent shelters from killing healthy pets if they have room in the shelter to house them.
MN CAPA would outlaw inhumane forms of killing in animal shelters in Minnesota.
MN CAPA would require animals shelters to provide basic veterinary care to animals needing it.
MN CAPA is modeled after a similar law, which passed UNANIMOUSLY in Delaware in 2010.
MN CAPA is based on the Hayden Law in California, which has been credited with saving tens of thousands of animals every year for the last 12 years.
MN CAPA will save tax payers money by improving the efficiency of municipal animal shelters.
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