Impound Numbers Skyrocket

Impounds for cats and dogs have risen to rates not seen for the last four years. Why?

I hope LAAS can release an analysis of the source of these high intake numbers. Some suspect it is due to foreclosures, that is, owner surrenders. It could be due to those same foreclosures have resulted in more animals being abandoned.

While the impounds of dogs has risen substantially, the impound levels for cats has bumped only a bit over the last few months, although there was a larger bump this past January.

Perhaps Boks will provide a timely analysis of impound causes so that rescues can coordinate with the shelters for both short and long term mitigation.

Of course, unless adoptions substantially increase, no matter what the reason for impound, there will be increased killing.

Hey Ed, how about monthly analyses of the numbers?


Anonymous said...

What would be a factor that would cause larger bumps in January as compared to previous months?

Is the increased bump in numbers across the board at all the shelters, or is it concentrated on only particular districts?

e.g, There are tons of stray dogs running loose in the South L.A. District and, therefore, not so many stray cats being relinquished/impounded (cuts survival rate, so less impounds on the cat issue).

But, other districts have less stray dogs running loose, and more cats, so there may be more being relinquished in those areas for some reason.

But, why would the impound numbers increase in a particular month and at certain districts, as compared to others, if that is the case?

Is there an explanation for this?

Ed Muzika said...

Regarding #1.

I wish I knew the answers to these questions. LAAS does not publish the shelter by shelter numbers, nor whether impounds are owner turn ins, strays, neonatals, or evidnece animals by shelter or explain the bumps.

Repeatedly asked to explain lowered neonatal impounds from May to November last year, Boks' explanation was that it was an "anomaly," which meant he didn't have a clue or else he was hiding that he was reclassifying neonatals as cats and/or was turning them away.

Anonymous said...

Many folks don't like diatribes (and I don't blame them). I will leave this up to Mr. Muzika to choose whether to post this or not when he does begin to feel better. I don't want to make him feel sicker than he feels already.

Mr. Muzka said:

"Repeatedly asked to explain lowered neonatal impounds from May to November last year, Boks' explanation was that it was an "anomaly," which meant he didn't have a clue or else he was hiding that he was reclassifying neonatals as cats....

....and/or was turning them away."

The shelters closed their doors on the cats in particular districts, and some of the dogs were being turned away.

One case last Spring: A couple of pits were turned away because the teenagers who brought them into the shelter didn't have the $5.00 or their I.D. with them, and the ACT thought they were trying to turn in their family dogs.

Since there are more cats than dogs at certain districts, it is important for the sake of the numbers and overcrowding to keep those impounds down.

Since stats are extremely important, the shelters are particular districts were required to keep the impounds down.

They need to do this at the time of year when the particular numbers increase and in animals where there are often population explosions, so rather than bumping up the impounds, vouchers and resources to keep the population down is exchanged.

You keep the animals out of the shelters during a critical time of year when the population has exploded, there is less killing, the overcrowding is reduced, and the numbers are happier during that time.

We know for a fact that ferals and neonatals were the first to go, so the stats for ferals improved.

The doors were being closed down on the ferals three years ago. In April, once the shelter was full and there were loads of kittens going in, the public was advised to foster them and bring them back in 8 weeks.

That gave the ones who made it to the shelter a chance to be adopted by the public or a rescue. The mobile adoptions had to get out there to the parks and pet stores to show all their cats and kittens-push adoptions and get them out there where they were more visible.

You say that in May the stats were lower. It began in April when the public had to foster kittens they wanted to bring into the shelter until they were ready.

The city shelters don't have the resources to raise neonatals, so the public had to participate in the fostering, as well as the staff. Give them a chance to survive.

Everyone in the shelters were participating in the fostering until the kittens were ready for adoption, and they still are to this day.

You aren't going to get that info from the numbers alone. You have to be there participating in the process to get a better idea of what is really happening to the numbers, and why.

The numbers are very important, and so are the lives of the animals. The shelters have been pushing fostering and adoptions for two years now.

What can be done about the fact that the animals are being turned away during the critical times of the year while also making the nation no-kill?

Give the people vouchers for spay and neuter, educate the public, and turn the animals back into the hands of the public and have them participate in the process.

For the neonatals who fill the shelters, they need to be fostered and given a chance to survive and we need to work to get those adopted. Same for the feral adults, feral kittens, pit bull adults, and their puppies.

Giving out spay and neuter vouchers keeps the impounds low and the population explosion down, as far as the shelter sees it.

For people who want to take feral cats into the shelter, they are told to spay and neuter them and put them back. If the cats are living in a dangerous area, the shelters suggest they be put somewhere else.

If the cat is obviously sick and dying, they might take it, however, the cat needs to come into the shelter in a trap if it is a feral, and the shelters are no longer issuing trapping permits.

This in itself keeps the impounds low for the animals who were most frequently coming into the shelters.

You may not see this from the stats or the analysis you are requesting, although you can try.

If you are looking for numbers, the numbers become important.

Apparently, the Numbers saves lives for many because the less that come in, the less that have to be killed.

When the animals are sent back/put back into the hands of the public when they are turned away, the more the public is compelled to participate in the process.

Many animals get adopted at the shelter, but often, there is only one way out. When the animals are sent back, they have a chance.

The numbers are imortant. Keeping those numbers down saves lives, as the shelter sees it.

The 250 pages of stats you ordered aren't going to provide you with the justification for the numbers you want. You need to be there participating in the process if you want to get a clearer picture.

Hope this didn't make you sicker than you already feel, Mr. Muzika. Hope you have a quick recovery and feel much better very soon!

Ed Muzika said...

This last comment is exactly what I and others are looking for: third party validations we have only speculated upon. We have had no proof.

The 270 pages were only about the Mason animals.

I agree TOTALLY with refusing animals during crush periods as well as bottle feeding, education, etc. I have complained that those practices applied to Mr. Mason who repeatedly asked for help but was refused his attempts to get the shelter to take them, resulted in the impounding of 51 animals instead of 26, whcih would have made even a more poor case for the bust.

Anonymous said...

" I have complained that those practices applied to Mr. Mason who repeatedly asked for help but was refused his attempts to get the shelter to take them, resulted in the impounding of 51 animals instead of 26."

Yes. In addition, It is possible for any person that has gone way beyond the legal limit to have his animals impounded, less the 3-animal limit, if there are neighbor's complaints to add to the load, and the officer finds enough cause to remove all the animals less the legal number.

The drawback: The person who is trying to relinquish animals is doing so because he is overwhelmed, as was the case of Mr. Mason. He cannot care for those animals and he is giving them a chance to get them adopted through the shelter system. He cannot find a rescue who will take them and help him to adopt, and he cannot keep his population on his property under control.

He does the best he can, but he is overwhelmed, so he begs for help.

The shelter refuses them because it is still a crush period during the time he tries to turn them in March/ April, through November the shelters and rescues are full.

The person who finds it difficult to care for his animals (owned or stray) is turned away with his arm full of animals, provided w/ resources, and is told to put them back, come back another day.

The animals came from the person's property, and he puts them back. There is no place for them to go, so back home to his home they go.

The individual becomes increasingly overwhelmed because he is trying to keep up and actively trying to do something about the situation. He doesn't want the animals to starve and go without shelter, so he keeps trying as best he can.

In the meantime, it becomes increasingly difficult for him to go back to the shelter after 8 weeks with animals he has been caring for and bonded with. In most cases people aren't going to give those animals up. Very costly financially and emotionally.

Rescues still can't help after 8 weeks because everyone is full all year round. The man is left all alone struggling to care for the increasing number of animals in his possession.

Some of the animals become neglected and sick because the person can't keep up. He cries for help again.

He gets help. He is raided, becomes the cause of neglect, and his animals are impounded, and allowed to maintain three, according to the legal limit. No more.

Some people find it difficult to put animals back where they found them because their living conditions are unsafe. They ask the shelter for help, but are refused.

The person cannot take the animals back and so takes them home. Often, they become overwhelmed and put themselves and the animals with whom they have bonded at risk.

Neighbors complain. There are odors.

If enough neighbors complain and animals start to show signs of illness and the number of animals keeps growing, there is enough cause for a raid and impounding.

It all begins when a person has a desire to do something about the problem, then he becomes overwhelmed.

The rescues won't accept them, and the shelters turn them away. The person who is trying to do something to help the animals by trying to foster them, gets stuck with them.

He tries to get them adopted, but he isn't successful. The animals get older and no one wants them because they are too old. He gets stuck with them, spends all his money caring for them, but it's never enough.

He has violated the law and he's got too many animals. A good thing goes awry, and he's in trouble.

Bottom line: If you take on more than you can handle, you can get yourself into serious trouble.

Mason tried to turn the animals in; he was turned away and told to put them back.

He did.