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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Be Careful Who You Donate to!

Two board members of Michigan Humane Society resign over euthanasia rate


Copyright (c) 2011, Detroit Free Press
June 08--Two members of the Michigan Humane Society Board of Directors resigned on Monday over what one said was the agency's lack of transparency and its "unacceptable" euthanasia rate.



Cheryl Phillips said she and Lee Lien left Monday's board meeting after its members voted 7 to 5 against an external audit of its shelter practices by an outside veterinary program. Phillips said she wanted the audit after learning that the agency euthanized some 70% of the animals that came through the doors in 2010. Meanwhile, she said, the organization was touting a near perfect adoption rate for animals they declared healthy. She said it was hard to believe 70% of the animals taken in were irredeemable.

"Our donors are giving us money to save lives," she said. "Our job is to protect the rights of the animals. I have failed as a board member."
MHS reported about $12.4 million in revenue to the Internal Revenue Service in 2009, about $6 million of which came from donations. About $1.6 million was spent on fund-raising. In serving some 34,000 animals at facilities in Westland, Rochester Hills and Detroit, the agency spent about $4.6 million on veterinary care, while receiving $4 million in veterinary revenue, said spokesman Michael Robbins. He said a healthy animal costs about $156 to prepare for adoption.

The society's chief veterinarian and operations manager defended their euthanasia rate, which all animal shelters are expected to report to the Michigan Department of Agriculture. As reported last week by the Free Press, MHS took in 13,725 cats and kittens in 2010, of which 70% were euthanized. The agency also took in 11,191 dogs and puppies, of which 68% were euthanized.
Director of Operations C.J. Bentley said their facility's policy of accepting all animals regardless of origin or condition as to why the numbers are so high. Bentley said traits such as aggression can't be fixed, but behaviors often can be. Dr. Robert Fisher, the agency's chief veterinarian, said animals with terminal or major medical issues are often not adoptable and that "what the public is willing to accept in their homes," helps determine an animal's fate. Like other agencies, they follow a set of animal health guidelines called the Asilomar Accords.

"We're in a very emotional business," he said. "None of us want to euthanize any animals, but unfortunately, it's sometimes necessary."
But other shelter operators and no-kill advocates disagree, saying the organization's euthanasia rate is too high to be called "sometimes."
"The Michigan Humane Society is continuing the age-old practice of throwing up their hands and saying 'there's nothing we can do,'" said Nathan Winograd, a California lawyer and director of the No-Kill Advocacy Center. He cited cities such as San Francisco and Reno, Nev. as having high populations of hard-to-adopt animals but still managing a low kill rate.

Tanya Hilgendorf, director of the Humane Society of Huron Valley, said they've managed to get their kill rate to about 14%, based on their interpretation of the Accords. Based in Washtenaw County, she said they have a similar population of animals as Detroit, but on a smaller scale. She said more of MHS's dollars should go to animal care.

"What exactly is a healthy animal is very subjective," she said. "I think it's about intent and how you use your resources."
Phillips said even if she's no longer with the organization, she still believes MHS's practices need to be audited.

"What I signed on for was to protect and preserve the rights of animals. Instead of making excuses of why we kill, let's save lives," she said.

Two board members of Michigan Humane Society resign over euthanasia rate |Morningstar
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 08:40 PM
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It seems on examination . .

that many of the larger/regional organizations that profess to help animals have their "expertise" and efforts focused on management and funds solicitation.

There aren't two days that go by without a letter(s) in the mail from one of them. For my part, I restrict my donations to those local organizations that I KNOW put boots-on-the-ground so to speak WRT helping animals. Strangely (or not) I've never gotten a letter requesting money from them. Maybe they're too busy actually helping.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 09:18 PM
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What, I wonder, would have happened to all those animals had they not been euthanized? Would they have had room for them all? Or would they have closed their doors to new surrenders, leaving folks to their own devices?

I once made the shameful decision to let a cat loose in the country rather than do the right thing and have her put down when I couldn't find a shelter or home to take her. That decision has haunted me for many years. I can no longer condemn euthanasia.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 11:21 AM
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A couple years ago I made a donation to HumaneSociety_US. They started sending me all kinds "free" gifts and then solicited money for their "gifts". I wrote two letters to them to take me off their list; it probably took a year for them to quit sending me crap and now I only get quarterly letters from them, which I throw in the trash. It seemed to me all they did was marketing.


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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 11:38 AM
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Yeah, I got some vouchers from Best Friends to fix some ferals. Now they send me monthly stuff - newsletters and solicitations for donations (despite the fact the whole reason I went with them, is I'm low income and couldn't afford regular spay/neuter!).

While I don't mind getting news of their success stories, couldn't they just keep it to their website? All the money spent on paper, printing, postage, etc., could be better used to help even more animals!
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 11:59 AM
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That is really sad about their high euthanasia rate.

Our local HS is now no-kill, but they also won't accept strays now. You are supposed too go through Animal Control first. They accept surrendered animals and they do get some of their animals from Animal Control. So in a way they have just shifted the euth responsibilty to someone else. In the aritcle above, it says the Mich HS accepts all animals. So that would make a difference on the kill-rate.


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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nan View Post
That is really sad about their high euthanasia rate.

Our local HS is now no-kill, but they also won't accept strays now. You are supposed too go through Animal Control first. They accept surrendered animals and they do get some of their animals from Animal Control. So in a way they have just shifted the euth responsibilty to someone else. In the aritcle above, it says the Mich HS accepts all animals. So that would make a difference on the kill-rate.
If you were to read this book, youd find we all can become no kill. This book will transform your thinking and world on how to stop the killing and do it differently so we dont have to kill 4.6 million cats and dogs yearly. The book shows in the math how we can easily do this.

MHS,s leadership doesnt have the will to change. They want to continue the killing and represent themselves to the public as saving animals when they arent.

Take a look at Reno Nevada, which has intake of any animal and they are no kill. Take a look at FixAustin which has tremendous success each month. 90 % save rate. All because they changed the way they approach saving cats and dogs. It will warm your heart seeing the success!



by http://www.amazon.com/Nathan-J.-Winograd/e/B001JRXM3A/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1317227563&sr=1-1





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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 01:18 PM
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Kill/No Kill

"shelters". It's gotta be tough wherever you stand and I understand that a lot depends on where/which shelter you're talking about, circumstances and all.

It still seems (to me) that many of the organizations (and the HS stands out cause it's the largest with those $$ ads that tug at your heart) are working that old marketing strategy of misrepresentation. It also seems all the more grievous when they are in a position to do so much more.

I would add that I know people who work in such places and, as individuals, they are very compassionate and doing what they can. Management and the organization as a whole? Not so much.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 01:32 PM
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Check out this web site . .

regarding charities. They list about 400 national/regional/local charities related to animals as well as many other charities. It's not a comprehensive study of what they do, but it does focus on their fund raising and management practices.

charitynavigator.org
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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Excellent starting place Lyle. I noticed they only have two stars out of 4. I wish there was a stated kill rate in each shelter! Whether they have limited intake or not. Those are the core questions.


The CEO Calvin Morgan makes $164,876. I also noticed they arent completely transparent!

With our little nothing Tnr group that Im with has to account for every penny we spend from grants we recieve. That is just being transparent and responsible to those who have donated. We break out ever penny to where it goes. With proof!

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