For additional information on the above please visit: americanhumane.org/assets/pdfs/animals/adv-ebi-factsheetpdf.pdf
EBI (euthanasia by injection) is the most humane method of euthanizing shelter animals. IF successful, the gas chamber can take up to 25 to 30 minutes to end an animal’s life, whereas EBI causes loss of consciousness within 3 to 5 seconds and clinical death within 2 to 5 minutes.4 EBI causes animals to lose consciousness and brain function before their vital organs shut down. In a chamber, however, animals lose consciousness and brain function only after their vital organs shut down, causing prolonged suffering and distress. EBI is the method preferred by the National Animal Control Association,5 the American Veterinary Medical Association,6 the Association of Shelter Veterinarians,7 and The Humane Society of the United States. Old, neonatal, and injured animals are often biologically unable to absorb the gas as readily as larger or healthier animals, which prolongs trauma and stress.
I have only had 2 encounters with Jennings. I was emotionally distraught when picking up my pet and shocked to see her in that state. When I said, "that does not look like my cat", Jennings picked her up off the floor and held her over our heads waving her back and forth and asked, "Can you see the markings now? Is this her?", to which I replied firmly, "put her down." Initially I was told by Jennings Stella would not get out of the trap and was trying to attack the ACO. When I asked if she were so wild how did you euthanize her, she stated he put in her the CO2 tank. The second encounter was at a meeting held with Captain Cenova (then overseer of the shelter) and Jennings. I asked for the veterinarian along with the ACO officer to be present which neither one was allowed to participate. I asked direct questions as to the series of events and was told she tried to attack the wand when placed into the trap to check for a micro chip. Immediately after, she was determined feral. There was no mention of her not leaving the trap. Captain Cenova was very accommodating and instructed Karen to change the policy of gassing in the future to having 2 authorized staff sign off on the record, preferably the veterinarian or senior ACO. I obtained a copy of the record with the time of entry and a copy of the changed policy. Another question I posed was, when calling in my report why was I was told they did not have her? Why all of the sudden did she turn up after I explained my neighbor trapped her the day before? Jennings stated she had not looked in the freezer, only in the cages. I have been informed the shelter was in violation of state regulations. Being the ACO was told she was not feral, she should have been kept for a minimum of 5 business days.
As you state " As a matter of fact I had a call to deal with a specific wild critter problem this morning that the JC animal control blew off as not their problem when the home owner called them. Not a problem for me as I happily take care of such issues when I am contacted " how exactly did you take care of this problem happily?
I don't agree this article was one sided. The reporter did in fact interview the police chief. Also, the foster kitten program was started by the very professional law abiding citizen who was escorted out of a meeting by police officers. There will be another article with truth. Watch your paper.
How Does TNR Benefit the Community?
TNR helps the community by stabilizing the population of the feral colony and, over time, reducing it. At the same time, nuisance behaviors such as spraying, excessive noisemaking and fighting are largely eliminated, and no more kittens are born. Yet, the benefit of natural rodent control is continued. Jesse Oldham, ASPCA Senior Administrative Director of Community Outreach and the founder of Slope Street Cats, an organization dedicated to feral cat welfare, notes, “TNR also helps the community's animal welfare resources by reducing the number of kittens that would end up in their shelters—TNR creates more space for the cats and kittens who come to them from other avenues.”
What Is a Colony Caretaker?
A colony caretaker is an individual (or group of individuals) who manages one or more feral colonies in a community. The caretaker keeps an eye on the cats, providing food, water, shelter, spaying/neutering and emergency medical care. In most cases, organizations and vets know these people because of the community service they provide. Some shelters and rescue groups even give out free or low-cost spay/neuter coupons to colony caretakers.
We currently have people at the shelter who are involved in TNR. Whether adopted out for barn cats or under managed care, this is an alternative to killing pets unnecessarily.
I appreciate and understand your concerns on the issues, however when you state "The number of feral cats one can see simply living in the storm drains around Memorial pool would keep a vet operating for a good month solid and that wouldn't even make a dent in the feral cat population of Jefferson City. The ones living behind MDoT would take another month." I wonder how many of these so called "feral" cats trapped are actually pets who have been mistakenly sent to the shelter gas chamber and the rightful owner has no recourse to claim them? This policy would give the the veterinarian a chance to acknowledge they had already been spayed, neutered, declawed, or someone's pet which now is left to the discrimination of an ACO.
There is a difference between a feral and a stray animal. A feral cat is primarily wild-raised or has adapted to feral life, while a stray cat is defined as someone's pet who has become lost or has been abandoned.
Taken from the ASPCA website: TNR (trap neuter and release) is the method of humanely trapping feral cats, having them spayed or neutered and vaccinated against rabies, and then returning them to their colony to live out their lives. TNR also involves a colony caretaker who provides food and adequate shelter and monitors the cats' health. TNR has been shown to be the least costly, as well as the most efficient and humane way of stabilizing feral cat populations.
Through TNR, feral cats can live out their lives without adding to the homeless cat population. “It is very important to have all feral cats spayed/neutered because it is the only 100-percent effective way to prevent unwanted kittens,” says Aimee Christian, ASPCA Vice President of Spay/Neuter Operations. “Feral cats are prolific reproducers.”
Furthermore, by stabilizing the population, cats will naturally have more space, shelter and food, and fewer risks of disease. After being spayed or neutered, cats living in colonies tend to gain weight and live healthier lives. Spayed cats are less likely to develop breast cancer and will not be at risk for ovarian or uterine cancer, while neutered males will not get testicular cancer. By neutering male cats, you also reduce the risk of injury and infection, since intact males have a natural instinct to fight with other cats. Spaying also means female cats do not go into heat. That means they attract fewer tom cats to the area, reducing fighting. If cats are sterilized and live in a colony that has a caretaker, they may live more than 10 years.
First, I commend Brittany200 for their analogy of this demented system. Second, I find the lack of compliancy towards a positive direction undignified. The main focus of our shelter (definition - safe haven) is the animals, and this focus has been mistakenly sacrificed using poor judgement and management skills, along with the community's tax dollars and generous donations.
In Dr. D's proposal on June 5th, 2013 to Lt. Dampf and Karen Jennings, the subject line was "Gas Chamber Removal from JCAS". She stated the chamber has been a topic of heated discussion among citizens and proposed it's elimination. She first proposed they stop taking in wildlife from outside homes or work places as it is stated on their website that Animal Control Officers will remove wildlife from inside homes or work areas. (I believe wildlife is the responsibility of the MO Department of Conservation) Not only would this change decrease the use of the gas chamber, it would also save the city a substantial amount of money and take a great deal of burden off of the staff. If ACO's (Animal Control Officer's) were to stop responding to "animal in trap" calls, it would free their schedules to perform more necessary functions.
Secondly, she proposed to stop automatic euthanasia of feral cats. She wanted the opportunity to spay or neuter, vaccinate for rabies, and re-home them to a barn situation. Charging a minimal $10 fee for those wanting barn cats would cover the cost of consumables for surgery and vaccination. She estimated the cost of for the surgeries at $2.99 for a female and $1.21 for a male. Her hope was to get started with the program to grow to the point that euthanasia would no longer be necessary. She also stated that getting rid of the gas chamber would be the next big step Jefferson City would need to make to be a progressive shelter the community wants.
So with this being said, saving the city money and making this a better shelter for our community, what is not understood?
The only thing I beg to differ with is the term "euthanasia" which by definition means good death. First hand I know the gas chamber is not a good death, and this is not experienced by feral cats in a gas chamber.
For a veterinarian to spay and neuter a feral cat is not an easy task. There are very few, if any, veterinarians who would take take the risk of doing this surgery on a wild animal. I admire Dr. Dryska and commend her for her efforts in trying to make these positive changes.
For all those concerned about the integrity of the JC animal shelter veterinarian:
As I have been informed, she was chosen as the only shelter veterinarian in the country (they only choose one a year) for a fellowship to UC Davis (University of California), and is the only shelter vet in Missouri with post graduate work in shelter medicine. Since she has been at the shelter, these have been some of the changes she has implemented.
This is what she was working on:
-Collars on all animals- research shows that if they have on a collar, people are more likely to keep them on with identification
- Scratching posts
- Canine behavior enrichment - bowls on the outside of kennels so people can feed dogs and help to socialize them
- Feral cat ordinance changes
- Feral cat handling improvements
- Improved anesthetic protocols
- Improved behavior assessments
- Improve intake procedures
The following link is a petition to ban Gas Chambers in Missouri.
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