Imagine my response when I received a copy of the "No Kill"s Dollar and Sense Guide (NKDS Guide) on April Fools Day? The Guide states "The Economic Benefits of "No Kill" Animal Control, reduce costs, increase revenue, support community business. A community cannot afford NOT to embrace "No Kill". http://www.nokilladvocacycenter.org/whatsnew/
In San Bernardino County, one municipal animal shelter elected to establish a “No-Kill” model of animal sheltering six years ago and as of today still has not achieve No-Kill status. Using this shelter as an example, when the County of San Bernardino provided animal control services to this community and operated the animal shelter on the City’s behalf, the total cost to the City was less than $400,000 (net city costs). The total cost today is over $2,000,000 (net city cost). This is five times the amount the City was paying the County of San Bernardino to provide the same state mandated services.
Using this facility as an example, they are now spending over $2,000,000 of tax-payer funds to pay for animal services that were previously provided at a cost of less than $400,000. This is an additional $1,600,000 per year. Multiple this amount by six years and you get a minimum additional cost $9,600,000. In some years the city spent even more than the additional $1,600,000. So let’s look at the first statement alleged in the NKDS Guide. Reduce Costs. In this case, we would question when the City will receive the return on their $9,600,000 investment and actually reduce cost below the $400,000 level the City was previously paying the County. For some reason, we do not believe this will happen in our lifetime.
On to the second statement, Increase Revenue? Revenue has been static in this jurisdiction since they have focused all of their attention on pet adoption. Dog licenses have actually decreased from over 14,000 dogs licensed when the County operated the shelter to just 8,767 licenses sold in 2011. Who needs additional revenue or license sales when the City is paying an addition $1,600,000 to provide the same service? Even with increased adoptions, the cost to provide those adoptions has increased as well which has resulted in significant additional cost to the tax-payers and stagnant revenue. You know that when you spay/neuter, vaccinate, and provide extensive services to cats that are Trapped/Neutered and Abandoned, there is no revenue generated from this activity only increased costs in operations. For canines, the same services are provided and then the dogs are released to rescue groups at absolutely no cost to the receiving rescue group. Just another tax-payer subsidized program that generates
absolutely no revenue.
Now for the third and final statement, Support Community Business. This may be accurate if you take all of the adopted pets to local veterinarians and give the veterinarians all of that additional tax-payer funded money that will subsidize giving the “free” tax-payer funded pets to the "No Kill rescue" groups so they can make money and profit from this program. This is a win-win for the veterinarians and "No Kill" rescue groups. Just keep doling out those tax-payer dollars so the private “No Kill rescuers” can make a killing off of the tax-payers backs. This is why the “activists” are so critical of any shelter that is not “No-Kill.” They may lose all of those tax-payer subsidized animals and lose the financial gain they can make by sensationalizing their appeals to donate now to save the next pet from the Killers!!! There is no stronger motivator than money. And that is all the “activists” care for is how much money they can make to continue their “Holier Than Thou” crusade.
Now ask yourself, can a community afford “No-Kill” and the additional costs of millions of dollars in this economy? In wealthier communities possibly, those who have not been hard hit by the recession. But in low income communities, like many of those served by San Bernardino County, the answer is no.
Here is another view of this April Fools Joke from the only State to fall for "No Kill". It is a miserable failure as it has been in so many other places.
One of the first things I noticed was the absence of Austin TX in the publication. Since Austin has been discussed in my various posts on this blog, and I addressed the sustainability issue at Working to Help Animals, there is no need to address that issue further. I guess the advocacy center did not want to explain away the fact that Austin's budget has been increasing over half a million every year.