More than 50 animal activists came together in front of Orange County Animal Care this past Saturday to express their concerns and outrage over policies and procedures at the shelter. Activists say shelter veterinarian, Dr. Jennifer Hawkins, provides substandard care to the animals in her care and kills animals when there are up to 200 empty kennels. The median time from intake to death for dogs killed on their day of intake is only 43 minutes..
This was the second protest in two months and activists are determined to keep the pressure on the shelter and the Orange County Board of Supervisors until positive change is accomplished. Activists were on hand for hours on Saturday, a day in which the shelter was also conducting a free adoption day. They say they wanted to educate residents about the constant killing and inappropriate mislabeling of animals used to justify killing them.
When animals enter the shelter environment, they are often agitated. Animals have much stronger senses than humans. They can smell the death associated with shelters and can hear the distress of other animals. They realize their fate and often their sense of survival will kick in or they simply are so overwhelmed by all the sounds and smells that they shut down.
Rather than taking this into consideration, like many high-kill shelters, Orange County shelter staff uses the animals’ reactions to label them as “vicious,” “unfriendly,” and “rescue only.” Such labels are more often than not incorrect but serve as a means to justify killing them at the first opportunity.
Activists hope they were able to educate those residents who stopped by and eventually recruit them to the cause of solving the ongoing issues with the shelter. Activists hope one day to see the shelter align itself with the no-kill model that puts adoption above killing.
If you would like to show your support for this movement, there are a number of ways to do so. You can email each of the members of the Board of Supervisors and demand that they impose a moratorium on empty-cage killing. Their email addresses are as follows:
- Chairman Lisa Bartlett: Lisa.Bartlett@ocgov.com
- Vice Chairman Michelle Steel: Michelle.Steel@ocgov.com
- Supervisor Andrew Do: email@example.com
- Supervisor Todd Spitzer: Todd.Spitzer@ocgov.com
- Supervisor Shawn Nelson: Audra.Fishel@ocgov.com
You can attend the Board of Supervisors meetings, which take place every other Tuesday at 333 West Santa Ana Blvd on the corner of Broadway and Santa Ana in Santa Ana. To view the schedule, click here.
Finally, you can join the activists’ Facebook pages at Save More Kill Less and No Kill Shelter Alliance. Future events will be listed on these two pages.