New Animal Shelter Regulations with Dakin Humane Society | Connecting Point | May 15, 2019


>>SOME SMALLER ANIMAL SHELTERS
ARE CONCERNED ABOUT PROPOSED REGULATIONS, SAYING NEW RULES
WOULD MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO STAY OPEN. CAROLEE MCGRATH SAT DOWN WITH
CARMEN DICENSO, THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE DAKIN HUMANE
SOCIETY, WHO SAYS HE’S NOT OPPOSED TO REGULATIONS WHICH ARE
DESIGNED TO PROTECT ANIMALS — BUT WORRIES THAT SOME OF THE
PROPOSALS WILL MAKE IT HARDER TO PROVIDE CARE FOR AS MANY ANIMALS
AS POSSIBLE. WE ARE NOT AMESSED TO
REGULATIONS. I THINK RIGHTS IT’S A GOOD
THING. IT’S GOOD TO HAVE PARAMETERS
BECAUSE IT’S BECAUSE OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND ANIMAL SAFETY WHICH
IS A GOOD THING. THE KIND OF ISSUES THAT I HAVE
WITH THE SPECIFIC REGULATIONS IS THEY DON’T REALLY ADDRESS THE
ACTUAL REALITY OF SHELTERS AND WHAT WE’RE DEALT WITH AND I
THINK THEY OVERSTEP THEIR BOUNDS IN SOME CASES. DAKIN DID SUBMIT WRITTEN
PROPOSALS TO WHAT WE THINK WOULD BE BETTER LANGUAGE IN IT, SOME
THINGS THAT SHOULD BE AMENDED BUT OVERALL REGULATION IS NOT A
BAD THING.>>IS THERE SOMETHING SPECIFIC
THAT JUMPED OUT AT YOU THAT WOW, THIS WOULD BE REALLY DIFFICULT
GIVEN OUR MISSION, YOU KNOW, TO RESCUE ANIMALS THAT OTHER PEOPLE
DON’T WANT?>>YEAH, THERE ARE A NUMBER OF
AREAS THAT FALL INTO THAT CATEGORY. I THINK THE ONE THAT FALL INTO
THAT WOULD BE SOME OF THE STIPULATIONS OR REGULATIONS
BEING PUT ON VETERINARY CARE AND HOW WE CAN CONDUCT OUR
ADOPTIONS. SO, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE A
VETERINARIAN AT DAKIN. NOT EVERY SHELTER DOESN’T HAVE
THAT LUXURY OF ACTUALLY HAVING A VET IN THEIR CARE BUT WE HAVE A
VET AND OUR VET CARES FOR ALL OF OUR ANIMALS, WILL PRESCRIBE
MEDICATION. THE REGULATION SOMETHING BE
PROPOSED OUR VET WOULD HAVE TO MEET WITH EVERY INDIVIDUAL
ADOPTER WITH AN ANIMAL ON MEDICATION FROM A TIME
PERSPECTIVE AND MONEY PERSPECTIVE THAT WOULD BE CLOSE
TO IMPOSSIBLE. I UNDERSTAND WHERE THE
DEPARTMENT IS COMING FROM BECAUSE THEY WANT TO MAKE SURE
MEDICATION IS PRESCRIBED CORRECTLY AND IT IS BEING DONE
THAT WAY AND, QUITE FRANKLY, THERE’S ACTUALLY ALREADY ANOTHER
ASSOCIATION. IT’S THE BOARD OF VETERINARY
REGULATION THAT ACTUALLY OVERSEES THAT PROCESS AND HAS
REVIEWED IT AND SAYING IT IS OKAY TO DO IT THAT. THEY SEE THE ANIMAL IN CARE AND
GIVE THE ADOPTION AND THAT WOULD BE HANDED OFF TO AN ADOPTER.>>THAT WOULD BE DIFFICULT WHO
HAVE VOLUNTEERS OR A VOLUNTEER VETERINARIAN SEEING THE ANIMAL
THERE.>>A SHELTER WHO DO NOT HAVE A
VET ON STAFF THEY WOULD BE REQUIRED TO DO THEIR ADOPTIONS
OR RESTRICT HOW THEY DO THEIR ADOPTIONS OR HOLD THEIR ANIMAL
IN THEIR CARE UNTIL THEY’RE DONE WITH THEIR DOSE OF MEDICATION
AND ADOPT THEM OUT. THERE ARE OTHER PIECES OF THIS
REGULATION THAT WOULD INCREASE THE LENGTH OF STAY IN OUR
SHELTER BECAUSE OF THE BARRIERS GETTING THEM OUT THE DOOR WHICH
IS NEVER REALLY A GOOD THING.>>IT’S IMPORTANT TO GET THE
ANIMALS OUT OF THE SHELTERS AS SOON AS THEY CAN. SO WE WANT TO MOVE THEM OUT THE
DOOR QUICKER.>>TELL US ABOUT THE VACCINES. THERE WAS SOMETHING IN THERE
THAT WOULD CHANGE THE TIME WHEN YOU WOULD WOULD BE ABLE TO GIVE
VACCINES TO DOGS AND CATS? 4 WEEKS IS THAT WHAT THEY’RE
PROPOSING?>>I THINK THERE’S SOME
MISUNDERSTANDING OF THAT REGULATION WHICH IS NOT A BAD
THING BUT IT’S NOT FLEXIBLE ENOUGH SO I’LL GIVE YOU AN
EXAMPLE. IN A SHELTER ENVIRONMENT OR IN A
FOSTER HOME THAT MAYBE HAS MULTIPLE DOGS OR CATS GO THROUGH
IT EXPOSURE TO OTHERS, 4 WEEKS OF AGE IS NOT A BAD THING
BECAUSE THEY’RE HIGHER-RISK CATEGORY BUT IF YOU HAD AN
ANIMAL IN A FOSTER HOME WITH A LITTER OF PUPPIES WITH THEIR
MOTHER THAT DOES NOT HAVE OTHER DOGS COMING IN AND DOESN’T HAVE
LOTS OF FOSTERS GOING THROUGH THEY MAY NOT GIVE IT AT THAT 4
WEEK WITH THEIR MOTHER SO THAT’S NOT NECESSARILY A BAD THING BUT
IN A HIGH-RISK ENVIRONMENT WHICH IS A SHELTER WHICH HAS LOTS OF
ANIMALS COMING THROUGH THAT ACTUALLY IS A GOOD PRACTICE
WHICH I DON’T OPPOSE THOSE BUT WE WOULD SUGGEST A SUGGESTION TO
REFLECT THAT NOT EVERY SCENARIO IS EXACTLY THE SAME.>>WHAT ARE OTHER SUGGESTIONS
THAT YOU WROTE TO THE STATE.>>SOME ARE ON BEHAVIOR CONCERNS
FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS. ONE, WE DO THINK IT’S PROBABLY
ABOVE REALLY WHAT THE STATE SHOULD BE LOOKING AT MOSTLY
BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE EXPERTISE IN THAT AREA. SO, YOU KNOW, I BELIEVE VERY
MUCH THAT ANIMAL SHELTERS ACROSS OUR STATE AND COUNTRY HAVE AN
OBLIGATION TO PROTECT OUR PUBLIC. SO WE SHOULD BE BEHAVIORALLY
EVALUATING ANIMALS AND MAKING DETERMINATIONS ON WHETHER OR NOT
THESE ANIMALS CAN BE SAFELY PLACED OR A BEHAVIORAL PLAN FOR
AN ANIMAL THAT NEEDS TO BE PLACED.>>BECAUSE ONE OF THE
REGULATIONS SAYS SHELTERS REALLY NEED TO INFORM PEOPLE IF THEY’RE
COMING IN TO ADOPT THIS DOG, YOU KNOW, HE MIGHT HAVE OR SHE MIGHT
HAVE A BEHAVIORAL THAT COULD BE OF CONCERN.>>IN THE LANGUAGE IT SAYS
ANIMAL THE WAY IT’S MENTIONED EVERY HAMSTER AND PARAKEET THAT
WE ADOPT OUT WOULD HAVE THAT PLAN. IT SHOULD SAY DOGS. THAT’S ONE OF THE
RECOMMENDATIONS WE HAVE BUT HOW DEEP THE STATE OVERSEES THOSE
REGULATIONS ARE AND DO THEY HAVE THAT EXPERTISE AND I WOULD SAY,
NO, THEY DON’T HAVE THAT EXPERTISE TO UNDERSTAND
BEHAVIOR.>>OBVIOUSLY, YOU’RE NOT A PET
STORE. YOU’RE TAKING IN, YOU KNOW,
STRAYS SO TELL US ABOUT THOSE ANIMALS?>>YEAH, SO, YOU KNOW, SHELTERS
ARE VERY DIFFERENT THAN PET STORES SO WE SERVE A PURPOSE IN
OUR COMMUNITIES. WE TAKE IN ANIMALS THAT NEED
THAT LEVEL OF CARE WHEN THERE ARE OTHER OPTIONS FOR THEM SO
JUST GIVE YOU KIND OF A SNAPSHOT OF WHAT SHELTERING LOOK AT
DAKIN. 27% OF THE DOGS WERE SENIORS
OVER THE AGE OF 8. 37% OF OUR CATS HAD EITHER SOME
KIND OF MEDICAL, BEHAVIORAL OR BOTH KIND OF MODERATE TO SEVERE
CONDITION THAT WE WERE ABLE TO TREAT IN THE SHELTER AND THEN
ADOPT OUT AND 22% HAD SOME KIND OF MINOR MEDICAL. SO GOING BACK WITH WHAT WE
TALKED ABOUT WITH VETERINARIANS AND PRESCRIBING MEDICATION IT’S
A SIGNIFICANT PERCENTAGE OF OUR POPULATION THAT ARE GOING TO
NEED MEDICAL CARE AND NEED MEDICATIONS GOING OUT THE DOOR. THE OTHER PIECE OF THE
REGULATION IS ASKING US TO PROVIDE GOOD FAITH ESTIMATES TO
WHAT AN ANIMAL’S MEDICAL CONDITION MAY BE AND, QUITE
FRANKLY, IT’S JUST IMPOSSIBLE TO DO. THERE ARE MANY, MANY
VETERINARIANS IN OUR COMMUNITY ALL WITH DIFFERENT PRICE
STRUCTURES, DIFFERENT TREATMENT PLANS FOR A CONDITION. IT WOULD BE RELATIVELY
IMPOSSIBLE FOR US TO SAY THIS CONDITION WILL COST THIS MUCH. I MIGHT BE ABLE TO GIVE YOU AN
IDEA WHAT A MONTHLY MEDICATION IS IF YOU HAVE AN ANIMAL THAT’S
ON A LONG-TERM MEDICATION BUT TO BE TRULY REALISTICALLY WOULD BE
UNREASONABLE BURDEN ON THEM.>>WHAT ABOUT THE PAPERWORK ON
TOP OF THAT THAT YOU WOULD BE DEALING WITH ALL THESE DIFFERENT
REGULATIONS. WOULD THAT BE BURDENSOME AS
WELL?>>THERE WOULD BE AN
ADMINISTRATIVE BURDEN FOR SURE. IT WOULD BE IN THIS CASE — NOW
I GUESS I WOULD HAVE TO HAVE A STAFF MEMBER THAT’S CALLING
MULTIPLE VETERINARIANS PRICING FOR DIFFERENT CONDITIONS WHICH
WOULD BE — THERE’S NO PRICE LIST. YOU CAN’T JUST PRICE THE COST OF
THYROID DISEASE IN A CAT AND THERE WOULD BE THAT
ADMINISTRATIVE BURDEN AS WELL AS SOME OTHERS HOW OUR FOSTERS HOME
HAVING PHYSICAL OR MEDICAL RECORDS EVERY TIME THEY COME IN
TO OUR SHELTER AND IT’S DOZENS AND DOZENS OF TIMES WHEN THEY’RE
TAKING CARE OF A SHELTER ANIMAL.>>WHAT ARE YOU HOPING IS GOING
TO HAPPEN AFTER THE SUGGESTIONS FROM YOU AND I’M SURE FROM OTHER
SHELTERS COMING INTO THE STATE? ARE YOU HOPING YOU’LL BE ABLE TO
MEET IN THE MIDDLE?>>I THINK I WAS AT THE PUBLIC
HEARING LAST WEEK. THERE WAS A BUNCH OF SHELTERS
THROUGHOUT OUR STATE REPRESENTED THERE AND WE HAD VERY SIMILAR
CONCERNS WHICH I THINK IS A GOOD THING BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, THERE’S
A COMMON THREAD OF, HEY, THESE THINGS DON’T WORK AND WE DON’T
LIKE TO SAY, HEY, NO, THIS IS A BAD THING. WE GAVE OUR WRITTEN FEEDBACK
YESTERDAY WHAT I’M HOPING FOR THEY LISTEN TO THE REALITY WHAT
IT’S LIKE TO RUN A SHELTER DAY-TO-DAY AND THE CHALLENGES
THAT SOME OF THESE REGULATIONS PUTS ON US AND TO MAKE THOSE
ADJUSTMENTS SO THAT IT WORKS FOR BOTH THE STATE AND THE
ORGANIZATIONS. ♪

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