June 27, 2011

Close To Home

The faces below are living out what may be their last days at the Roanoke Pound. You know, the place that does not allow volunteers or have open hours to encourage adoptions.

If you would like to see a dog, here is the link and general instructions:

This animal is currently at the Regional Center for Animal Control and Protection and is in danger of euthanasia. The Roanoke Valley SPCA does not have space for it at this time, but it is available for adoption. If you are interested in saving this dogs life by adopting, please contact Mary Marr at 540-339-9247 ext 202 with the animals ID number. Additionally, please note that all Animal Control dogs are viewable by appointment only. Before adoption, it will be spayed/neutered, vaccinated, dewormed, heartworm tested and microchipped. 

Seems like these living, breathing, sentient beings could at least be listed as "he" or "she" instead of "it". 

Seems like they would benefit from a volunteer showing them kindness, taking them for a walk, and promoting them for foster or adoption. 

Seems like they would have a higher chance for adoption if there were open hours for the public to see the available (off of stray hold) dogs and cats. 

Speaking of cats, you have not seen any on Petfinder for a while. This is due to the fact that "with the onset of kitten season there are just too many right now"...  Huh? So the Roanoke Pound is not even giving our homeless cats and kittens one chance (via the internet) of being seen and saved. 

To date this year (January 1 - May 31) over 1000 cats were killed at the pound. 

1211 cats killed to be exact. 

329 cats were saved. 

That, my friends, is a kill rate of 73%. 

It is of utmost importance to note that we feel for the staff at the Roanoke Pound. They have to decide who stays and who goes, five days a week. How many times have we heard the old cliché, "we can't save them all"? Well, the staff at the Roanoke Pound is given little opportunity to save even a portion of them. 

Under the current policies, procedures, and leadership, innocent lives will continue to be lost, with little to no effort made at saving most of them. 

It is also worth mentioning that the existing leadership of the Roanoke pound is the same leadership that runs the Roanoke Valley SPCA, an organization that does a wonderful job of promoting adoptions, foster programs, and volunteers. Seems a bit oxymoronic that the pound animals cannot have the same.

"So much attention is paid to the aggressive sins, such as violence and cruelty and greed with all their tragic effects, that too little attention is paid to the passive sins, such as apathy and laziness, which in the long run can have a more devastating effect.”
~Eleanor Roosevelt

We have been told by the municipalities that our elected officials are listening, that they are not apathetic to the animals in our community, and that they have heard us loud and clear. They have also told us that change is coming, including the implementation of volunteers. We are tremendously appreciative of their efforts , and say it can't be soon enough. 



  1. AnonymousJune 28, 2011

    This has been an education for me. While I was aware that Animal Control picked up animals and there was a place where owners could come and get their pets back, I was unaware of the actual procedure behind this process. How many of us are blissfully unaware of what happens to these potential pets? I appreciate the awareness raising this blog and other articles like this do.

    I do not understand what kind of person can take a job where they have to choose the fate of an animal. I can only imagine what agony a person with this type of job must go through.

    Angels of Assisi does so much with so little. I have seen them put out a plea for help on Facebook and have tons of volunteers in very little time. They have a wonderful website that highlights each animal with beautiful photos taken by a dedicated volunteer. Donations and contributions from the community help them tremendously.

    While SPCA and Roanoke Pound are government organizations and I am sure there are different "rules", I see no reason why there can't be more networking, volunteering, education, and help for these wonderful animals that could possibly be adopted. I certainly hope the wheels of government move a little faster and get better for this situation very soon.

  2. AnonymousJune 28, 2011

    I wonder if the board members and the powers that be who make the policy at this pound have even a modicum of conscience. probably not.

  3. AnonymousJune 28, 2011

    I appreciate everything you have said to the last point-- I also see no reason why there cant be more education and more severe penelties for the people that don't spay/neuter and abuse their animals. The pound wouldn't be so popular if they took responsibility.
    And also, the people that take these jobs there "most"of them care what happens. You decide- if it has to be done, wouldn't it be better to have someone that gives a crap and makes sure it done properly as to someone that doesn't and the animal suffers?