If Stockton kills on intake, how come there are sick dogs to rescue?

So how is it, if so many animals are killed at Stockton Animal Services, that we’re able to rescue these sick dogs? If Stockton really kills on intake with the excuse that animals are sick, how come there are dogs with demodex there to rescue? Why weren’t they killed on intake? How is it that any animal is there more than its stray hold period?

Well, I’ll tell you…

About 80% of those animals that are killed on intake are turned in “over the counter.” That  could mean that the owner really did surrender them. It could also mean a neighbor turned them in. It could mean that a family member turned in the animal without the owner’s knowledge. In a Los Angeles lawsuit, it was the mother of a foster, and the dogs that were killed actually belonged to a rescue. It could be the abusive partner of the animal’s owner, as animals are frequently the victims of domestic abuse. When pounds kill on intake, they not only break the law, but they also help abusers.

The person turning in the animal is not necessarily the owner. It could even be a stranger who found the dog or cat and thought they were doing the right thing bringing it to the “shelter” where the owner would have a chance to find it. The state requires a holding period for almost every animal precisely because animals turned in as owner-surrenders are sometimes turned in by people who aren’t actually the owners.

Stockton gives those turning in an animal over-the-counter a TIBO (turned in by owner) form. I don’t know if they give one to everyone turning in an animal. They know me, so I have forever missed my chance to see how the general public experiences the Stockton pound. But the form has several boxes that the person checks off, and one of those gives the pound the authority to kill that animal. It’s not phrased quite like that, but that’s the intention. It’s not legal, though, and this has been tested in court, as explained here: http://centralcaliforniapetsalive.org/OwnerSurrenderNote.html

The pound that is killing on intake has never had that practice upheld as lawful in court.

The upshot is that animals brought in as strays by Animal Control Officers have a better chance of getting out alive than those turned in over-the-counter, even if they do come in sick. They are unlikely to get any veterinary treatment if they come in sick (another violation of the law) but their chances are marginally better.

But every animal, and every pet owner, and every community deserves a real shelter, a place that follows the law and tries to save lives.

Wilbur’s another dog with demodex who was saved by Pups Rescue, and while he has a long way to go, he’s happy to be alive!

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2 Responses to If Stockton kills on intake, how come there are sick dogs to rescue?

  1. Interesting read. I see a different viewpoint…Most people have figured out that they can turn in their own dog as a “stray” and avoid the legal paperwork (complete form , address,dr. license and fee.) that accompanies an owner surrender…In fact I would suggest, having watched families dump dogs at the front desk as strays (for free)..that most OTC (over the counter)are owner’s dumping their own dogs…the way you catch this, is you ask the child in the surrender’s family as they leave: “What’s his name” and the kid says “Homer”. Happens all day every day.

  2. It is illegal to kill animals on intake except in very narrow circumstances. Stockton Animal Services is charged with following the law, and yet it continues to violate the law by killing on intake.

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