I wanted to respond to some of the comments regarding animal control. There is a lot of frustration, I know, when you are reading these blogs. It does not even come close to our own frustrations when we are standing in a feces filled backyard looking at a skinny dog on a tow chain. I often say to myself that it should take one phone call to get an animal out of a neglectful situation. However, things don’t really work that way. You must understand that animal control’s #1 mission is public safety. I know we all would like to think that it’s the welfare of the animals, but the #1 mission of any animal control is public safety. They have to prioritize with bite calls, assisting the police, injured strays, animals hit by cars, etc. I am not defending them (believe me, I get madder than anyone), I am just trying to educate you on their actions and agenda.
I volunteered at animal control for about 8 yrs., a long time ago when there were no volunteers (many, many years ago). I have been on several boards, task forces, sat in meetings, etc. to try to improve things at animal control. Animal control is what it is, on both sides of the state line and throughout the midwest and the south, especially. It’s a different agenda than animal welfare advocates have. We must accept it for what it is. That is why I founded Chain of Hope. We try to get pet owners to step up. We give them the education and the resources to improve the care of their animals. When this eventually does not work and we have tried everything and still feel that the animals are being neglected, then we have to contact animal control. We have a somewhat working relationship with them. Many, many cases we resolve and improve things for that animal without ever having to involve animal control. We prefer to do things this way. I believe that we actually cut down on their calls because we get many, many calls everyday and respond to animals in neglectful situations and we handle it. Chain of Hope only tries to contact animal control in the worst of cases when what we have done is not working, or when the neglect is so blatant that we feel that the animal has to get out of there asap (which doesn’t always happen, but we hang in there).
There will be disagreements and disappointments with any animal control department. That is a given. However, I must stress here that animal control is the only entity that has the legal authority to issue citations and ultimately to remove animals from their neglectful situations. Chain of Hope has no legal power whatsoever.
The fact that animal welfare people (myself included) get frustrated is obvious. I get so angry sometimes, but Chain of Hope perseveres, always putting the animal first. That is how we are different. We put the animal first and try to make decisions accordingly. However, I do not want city hall contacted regarding Chain of Hope cases. I deal with those issues and must retain a level of respect. I have learned over many, many years how to work the cases that are called into us. Sometimes we need animal control and we welcome their help when it is given. Sometimes we disagree and we have to push for the animals’ sake and we do.
I guess what I’m saying is that it is what it is. I have learned what animal control will accept as far as the care for an animal and what they won’t. I believe their standards are minimal and that is why Chain of Hope is out there working so hard. Like I said, most of the time we work the calls and get things resolved without needing animal control, so our contact with them is minimal. However, we do need them at times.
Chain of Hope is really addressing things out in the community. We are out everyday in the urban core of both Kansas City Missouri and Kansas City Kansas. We go right to the animals and try to make things better for that animal. We will continue to do so. Thank you for your support.