Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pet Connection - Lies and Libel

When Pet Connection down the street here in Mission opened up, I sorta vaguely disliked them from about day two. That's when the sign went up that proudly proclaimed they are "No Kill." Okay, so that's good not to euthanize animals, right? Well, it's complex and certainly some will always have to be. But "No Kill" has taken on a life of it's own, and now pretty much every shelter in the country has a no/low-kill sticker on their building and website. But it's meaningless. There are at least two types of "No Kill" shelters:
  1. Those that do pretty much what they always did, and endeavor to not euthanize animals, but clearly have to sometimes, when injured or so anti-social they could never be adopted out.
  2. Mostly tiny, new shelters run by nerdy, short-sighted do-gooders with no actual ability to euthanize, and limited space. So they simply do not accept unadoptable animals, and send those they can't get rid of to the first type to deal with. No animal is euthanized on site, so they are "no kill," get it?
Pet Connection is the second type. I don't know the details of their operation, but just read their own information:
...Since we are a no-kill shelter and have limited space, we can’t take in all animals that need help, even though we would want to...
So, what happens to those other animals they can't care for? They clearly don't just roam the streets. Other shelters (contracted to the County) take them in, because someone has to. Which is fine, until shelters like Pet Connection make a big point of how lovey and happy and right they are, and how evil all the others are. Again, from their own site:
...Most families cannot feel good about placing their pet in a traditional shelter setting, especially if euthanasia is a risk...
They didn't point to any specific facility, but the implication sure is there. They claim to "save" (no definition, but I presume "adopt out") around 800 animals a year. Our favorite shelter is Animal Haven in Merriam, who are on track to deal with 4,000 animals this year. The KCK city/county shelter handled over 4,200 last year. There are dozens of other facilities. I don't like people who wear their morals on their sleeve, and don't actually /do/ anything about the larger problem. But aside from that I have grown to have a more active dislike, and it's now gone to the point I am comfortable telling everyone. And that's because:

Pet Connection is a Fund-Raising Organization Disguised as an Animal Shelter

Really. I mean it. Every time I hear about them in the news, it's... well, it's hearing about them in the news. No other shelter seems to need pretty much any coverage. (70 articles about Pet Connection, 3 articles about Animal Haven just as an example.) And the coverage is always "poor us, give us money." They loose something that shouldn't have been lost in the first place, have no insurance, etc. or feel slighted by someone, and then beg for donations to cover the supposed cost. Interesting how those donations always seems to exceed the original loss. Almost suspicious. Were I a county prosecutor, I'd look into it. But probably they are that dumb, and just have a marketing/PR guy who really earns his keep. And now they are going to slander of individuals. It would be nice if the local press wouldn't fall for this, but they seem to enjoy being spoon fed any controversy, and never seem to investigate anything. What information I do know as a fact I stumbled across and am not supposed to tell, as there are pending lawsuits over some of this. So, I'll be nice and not share details. But since there seems to be no one saying anything but "poor Pet Connection" I figured a single countering voice might be good.

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