Hello, after reading your recent article about the Warren County Humane Society, I have some questions. I feel like the article was more fluff than anything. The humane society needs to start being more transparent like other shelters in the area.
First of all, I understand the idea of making sure the animals are a good fit for the potential adopters. Saying no to some adopters is a difficult, but necessary, task. That being said, it is far too often when people in the shelter industry focus on the negative aspects of the human species and forget that good exists out there. Sometimes we need to give people a chance.
The biggest issue I have is with what is given as the “success rate.” An oddly high number of 97% is given with very little explanation. Does this mean that if one hundred animals come into the humane society, that ninety-seven is adopted successfully? That is impressive if it is true. I understand terms like no-kill and open admission shelter that are used in the article. In order for a shelter to qualify for no-kill status, they must only euthanize for untreatable health and behavior conditions. As far as I know, the Warren County Humane Society does not have any sort of training program to work with dogs that have behavior issues. This is immensely important to get to the no-kill status. Either this means that unsafe animals are being adopted out or that none or very few are coming into the shelter! Both are very odd ideas and, hopefully, unlikely. I also wonder if that rate includes both cats, dogs, and the exotic type animals that go through the shelter.
For context, it would be nice if the humane society would release a yearly report with numbers of animals brought in, adoptions, return to owner, and unsuccessful placement. Most humane societies give this information freely without requests from the public. This would help a lot with the ongoing criticism of the humane society. Less secrecy would go along way to improve the public perception of the Warren County Humane Society. Ultimately, that would be best for both the shelter and the people of Warren County.
past Warren County Humane Society volunteer and employee