“That would be my suggestion,” Chairman Louie Alford said Monday during an afternoon work session. He said a member of the shelter board could then report to commissioners.
Alford made his comment after Dixie Dogs and Cats media coordinator Beth Foster told commissioners dogs and cats were killed by Cleveland Animal Shelter because they are prevented from giving the animals enough exposure on the Internet and by an e-mail distribution list.
Foster, who is a member of the shelter board, said dogs and cats have a better chance of survival when the animals are shown to the public. The group took photos of the shelter animals on a daily basis for about a week. The photos were distributed to 100 other groups. Foster said they were told Thursday they were limited to one hour per week to take photos. Unfortunately, an animal not tagged is kept three days and a tagged animal is kept five days, but there is no minimum stay for owner-surrendered dogs, she added.
Commissioner Lisa Stanbery asked commissioners to consider sending a letter of support to the city of Cleveland.
“It’s not often that we have someone come with a problem, with a solution or the staff and willingness,” she said. “That is partly why I would like the Commission to consider a letter of support for this adoption activity.”
Commissioner Brian Smith said he appreciated the group’s attempt to reduce the number of euthanized shelter animals.
“I think what the animal shelter staff is trying to do is have a controlled environment in the back,” he said. “Some group is going in the back in the pens.”
Foster said the animal rescuers have not done anything the general public cannot. She said they preferred to take better pictures of the dogs from inside the kennels.
Deanna Phillips said on behalf of PALS and Exclusively Sheltered Pets, during the week of June 7-11 when Dixie Dogs and Cats was distributing pictures, 31 of 191 animals were claimed for adoption.
“The rest obviously were not,” she said. “Ninety-five percent were owner-surrendered.”
She agreed pictures are needed to place the animals, but she said the shelter staff takes and posts pictures.
“It is my understanding that as late as this morning, the shelter staff has absolutely no problem with any group coming in and taking pictures as long as they stay outside the kennels,” Phillips said. “The problem comes when you want to take the dogs outside the kennels.”
Phillips said the shelter staff does an excellent job with what they have.
“If they had better laws to enforce ... if they had better tools to work with then it would be a different story,” she said. “I don’t think we should interfere with the staff and what they are trying to do.”
She said after the meeting that Foster was trying an end-around play by going to the Commission instead of calling for a shelter board meeting.
PALS Vice President Steven Kinder said there is the possibility of spreading parvo by tracking it from one cage to another.