Why Are Impounds, Adoptions and Killing All Up?

Boks blames foreclosures as the cause for the increase in impounds. Many of us doubt that is the reason. In NYC there has been only a very slight increase in impounds, and that is only with dogs. Beside that, euthanasia is down.

I talked to an undisclosed member of the rescue community who wanted to remain anonymous for some reason, when impounds were beginning to climb. His response was that when you open new shelters, you expand capacity, and all the numbers will increase: impounds, adoptions and killing.

At the time I did not believe him, but it seems obvious it is true. People see the new, bright buildings, Boks talks about being the biggest adoption agency in the known universe, so naturally people feel less guilty relinquishing (abandoning) an animal to the shelter. Having more animals with a larger number of employees, in spic and span new facilities generates more adoptions. However, even if adoptions increase in the same percentage as before, more animals will be killed for space.

The only short term solution is to massively increase the rate of adoptions to offset the 20-30% increase in impounds.

To give you an idea of what I am talking about, let us say a system impounds annually 10,000 animals and adopts out 6,000, and kills 4,000.

Suppose then you double the size of the system and impounds rise to 20,000. If you adopt out the same percentage, 60%, 12,000 will leave alive and killing will increase to 8,000.

That is, killing doubled and so did adoptions. This makes the shelter look bad because killing has doubled. No one looks at adoptions.

To just hold even with the kill numbers, the shelter would have to adopt out an extra 4,000 animals, or 80% adoptions. An adoption rate of 80% is approaching No-kill, yet we are killing as many animals as before the new shelter was built.

That is, if you build new shelters, they will come, both abandoners and adopters.

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