I have actually had rescues ask me - or our shelter's volunteers - to pay (out of our own pockets) to alter and combo-test cats before they take them. Do they reimburse us? Of course not. We finally told one rescue that we were not wealthy people and we just couldn't do it. They will not pull from us unless we pay to have the cats vetted, then they sell those cats for $150 and pocket every dime. Now that's a crappy rescue. There are some baaaaad shelters here in GA. I won't mention any names, but there are several I've heard of that IMMEDIATELY take owner surrendered animals to the back and put them down. Those pets never even get a chance to be adopted. It may be different in other areas of the country, but most GA shelters have high euthanasia rates relative to adoption rates. There are no no-kill county shelters in GA; to label a shelter as "bad" because they are forced to euthanize is just unfair. Nobody wants to do it; everyone is miserable and snippy and cranky on euthanasia day, even the ones who have to take antidepressants as a result. We only euthanize one day a week, our director puts down as few animals as possible, and some days we've been back at capacity by the end of the day, the turn-ins are so bad. Intakes are high - several times we've had 30 or so owner-surrendered animals come in within just a couple of hours. Adoptions are slow, nobody wants cats or larger dogs, only small dogs, puppies and sometimes kittens (mostly at Christmas). Just today we had 8 cats turned in - one is diabetic and was surrendered because the owner didn't want to pay for insulin shots. Pathetic. She just kept screaming at me, "I can't afford to take her to the vet! I can't pay for it!" I charged her a $40 euthanasia fee - we will try to get that cat out of there, but that owner needed to pay for something. One day somebody turned in 15 cats because they were moving. It's so discouraging, they keep coming in and coming in, and we've been getting pregnant cats and kittens like crazy over the past 2 months, and this kitten season will be a bloodbath. This is the time of year when I have to imagine a zipper over my mouth because I get so fed up with these people, nasty stuff just slips on out. Our director will not euthanize cats with FeLV and FIV. We adopt them out. He knows that I have cats with both and he knows that they can have a great quality of life. Sorry for venting, I just get tired of being told - from both the public and from people in rescue - that "you kill animals there." If they have a solution for dealing with all the so-called strays and owner surrenders and accidental litters, we would be happy to hear about it.
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