The only reason Animal Shelters exist is to be a safety net for animals who are victims, through no fault of their own, of having no human address.
Regarding the policies, practices and procedures of the Escondido Humane Society (EHS), located in the County of San Diego, we the undersigned, would like to see EHS implement the programs and services required to accomplish the following:
1) Immediately take killing off the table as an option unless the animal is either irremediably ill or vicious. As in the successful shelters in the nation 91-98% of all animals should be saved and/or rehabilitated and re-homed. That goal will be able to be reached within 60-90 days with assertive implementation of the other facets of this petition.
2) Immediately Replace the vague, extremely subjective EHS euthanasia policy with a policy that simply states only those animals that are irremediably ill, or vicious will be candidates for euthanasia. Additionally, make the new policy publicly available via the Escondido Humane Society website, or comparable source. The only time euthanasia should be an option is when an animal is irremediably ill or vicious.
3) Immediately insure compliance with California SB1785 by making the data on all euthanasia performed, publicly available via the Escondido Humane Society website, or comparable source. The public that supports EHS through volunteered hours and financial donations, deserves to know all of the data as mandated by California Senate Bill 1785. (Section (1)(c)(4) "Make shelters accountable to pet owners and the public for records and animals in their possession")
4) Immediately insure compliance by building a medical program that assures all animals get prompt, thorough medical examination and attention from the veterinarian, and kind treatment for all as mandated by California Senate Bill 1785. (Section 1834 - "A depositary of living animals shall provide the animals with necessary and prompt veterinary care, nutrition, and shelter, and treat them kindly. Any depositary that fails to perform these duties may be liable for civil damages as provided by law.")
5) Immediately cease behavior testing of animals that are sick (with kennel cough or any other disorder), hungry, in pain, or frightened. Instead remedy each or any of these situations before making a behavior decision determining whether or not that animal will live or be killed.
6) Immediately see that all dogs under the care of EHS get regular exercise as mandated by California Senate Bill 1785. (Section (1)(f) - "The Legislature finds and declares that shelters should be required by law to take in lost animals and properly care for them with prompt veterinary care, adequate nutrition, shelter, exercise, and water.")
7) Immediately develop and implement the following programs, services and principles:
Launch High-Volume, Low Cost Spay/Neuter Program to ensure low to moderate income households can participate in responsible pet ownership.
Outline and set up a Feral cat Trap/Neuter/Release Program so that feral cats do not reproduce and are no longer just killed at EHS.
Create solid and lasting partnerships with rescue groups in and out of San Diego County so they will be eager to work with EHS in saving more animals.
Develop a plan and expand the current Foster Program (both neonatal and adult) so that more animals may be saved.
Instate a comprehensive adoption program with a much expanded effort that has outreach events almost daily to be able to find more animals homes more quickly.
Initiate and coordinate well run and documented Pet Retention and Missing Pet Response Programs so that fewer animals enter the shelter to begin with.
Dramatically expand Medical and Behavior Rehabilitation Programs so that ALL animals that are not irremediably ill or vicious and cannot be placed in a rescue are rehabilitated.
Increase Public Relations, Community Involvement, Recognition, and EHS accountability to the citizens it services to garner much needed ongoing support.
Create training, mentoring and monitoring programs for volunteers to provide them the skills and knowledge to support the above-mentioned transformations for animals and shelter staff as Volunteers can and do provide the valuable resources EHS needs to keep the appropriate programs and services running to save the most animals.
Make certain an Executive Director ensures these guidelines are followed by all and that the animals at EHS truly get the chance they deserve. Leadership at EHS must be willing to modernize thinking, initiate and coordinate innovative programs and services in order to save the lives of our homeless pets. Leadership must establish accountability by having clear definitions, a lifesaving plan, with monitoring and charting of all successes and failures daily. Clear protocols must be established, and staff be properly trained to ensure that each and every animal is given a fair evaluation and a chance for placement, rehabilitation and/or treatment. EHS will provide access to shelter records to ensure compliance.
Thank you for your time and consideration.