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Food shortage may lead shelter to euthanize animals
10:31 PM CDT on Saturday, June 20, 2009
By JONATHAN BETZ / WFAA-TV

WFAA-TV
The shelter only has enough food to last another week or two.
A North Texas animal shelter is faced with an agonizing decision: either euthanize its animals or let them starve to death.
Directors at the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake in Tool say they’re in danger of running out of food to feed the facility’s 140 animals.
“We cannot afford the $1,000 or so a month it takes to feed them,” said Tamara Rhodes, shelter president. “So our only solution at this point of time is to reduce the population and les sen the strain that feeding additional animals would cause us.”
The animals eat 150 pounds of food a day, much of which used to be donated, but now supplies are dangerously low, workers say.
The shelter only has enough food to last another week or two.
“We don't want to see those animals destroyed simply because of funding,” Rhodes said.
The shelter is like many across the country: overwhelmed with abandoned pets and seeing their donations dry up.
Late Saturday afternoon, disappointed volunteers returned to the shelter from an adoption fair with a van full of animals they hoped would not be returning.
“Most of them did not get adopted,” said shelter board member Kathy Jordan.
Each week, dozens of new animals arrive at the shelter.
Even though volunteers have been turning away the public, some people drop off the animals at the gate or toss them over the fence, workers say.
“We've had a lot of bad experiences of people dumping their dogs and it's because of the economy,” said shelter worker Jeremiah Borchart. “People can't take care of their dogs.”
This rural shelter, 60 miles south of Dallas, is one of the few for miles around.
Animal control agencies from nearly a dozen towns bring their stray animals to the shelter.
Workers said they actually have the space for many of the pets, but simply cannot afford to care for them.
“It’s very serious,” Rhodes said. "This is pretty much the first time we've ever had this problem.”
Workers have been euthanizing nearly 20 percent of the shelter's animals and worry more might have to be put down.
Volunteers have been successful in getting rescue groups to save some of the dogs, but said it’s a challenge finding a home for unwanted pets with so many agencies suffering.
“It’s horrible,” Rhodes said, especially since many of the animals are adoptable former pets. “You can't imagine how heart wrenching a decision it is to take an animal and put it to sleep.”
If you want to help, you can call the shelter on 903-432-3422 or go by the shelter located at 10200 County Road 2403 Tool, TX 75143.
You can also go to the The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake's website to donate.
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What I find most depressing about this story is that this situation is happening to shelters acorss the country. Big organizations are glady taking donations to "help" animals and they don't acutaly do what people belive they do. Most people belive when they donate to a big organization the money will help their local shelters, when in fact most of the oraganizations aren't even affiliated with them.
 

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The heart and gut wrenching commercial for the ASPCA is an example.

Where is the money going? To pay for the commercial? Or to feed and house and give vet care to a homeless animal? I know I am not sure..

BTW I am not knocking the ASPCA with this comment.. not at all.
 

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Original Story
Follow-up Story

What I find most depressing about this story is that this situation is happening to shelters acorss the country. Big organizations are glady taking donations to "help" animals and they don't acutaly do what people belive they do. Most people belive when they donate to a big organization the money will help their local shelters, when in fact most of the oraganizations aren't even affiliated with them.
That is reason enough alone to donate locally and not to an organization such as the United States Humane Society. The one thing I do not understand is how stores such as Petsmart can throw away bags and bags of dog food when it could be going to a shelter. I have also seen http://www.folas.org/ have dog food in the dumpster while they take weekly deliveries of Science Diet right from the Hills Science diet delivery truck. If this shelter obviously does not want food donations the least they can do is take the dog food that is donated and donate it to a shelter that would be grateful for it and not throw it away.

Hopefully the media attention to the story will bring out some people who will donate food to the shelter and the dogs will be saved.
 

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It sort of reminds me of a lot of fast food chains and their policy to throw away food that does not sell at the end of the day, of all the homeless people starving there should be no trouble finding people who would be glad to have it.
 

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It sort of reminds me of a lot of fast food chains and their policy to throw away food that does not sell at the end of the day, of all the homeless people starving there should be no trouble finding people who would be glad to have it.
Actually that is less of a problem than the problems with dog food shortages. I seen on TV one time (Might have been on the food network channel) where they had these people dumpster diving and bringing the food home and cooking it up. They actually had groups of people that would share the food with each other knowing where it came from.
 

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It sort of reminds me of a lot of fast food chains and their policy to throw away food that does not sell at the end of the day, of all the homeless people starving there should be no trouble finding people who would be glad to have it.
Fast food restaurants are in business to make money; they are not charities. Unfortunately, when restaurants have the policy of giving away food at the end of the day, whether it is to their employees or to the homeless, people take advantage of it. Employees make too much food or managers with a social conscience that take precedent over their loyalty to their employee order or thaw too much food. As a result, their actions have a negative impact on the company's profit margin and they stop their previously generous actions. This whole chain of events is very different from what leads to a shortage in animal shelters.

I hate to say it, but communities are being hit very hard right now. The people in these communities are making the hard decision to take care of themselves and their own families and pets instead of nameless, faceless animals that live in shelters. I feel sorry for the animals that suffer, since they are innocents in the whole mess, but I understand the reasoning. I don't blame the people at the shelter or the people who were forced to make the hard decision to give up their animals, but unfortunately that's the consequences of the economic crisis and the actions of the people who put us here.
 

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pet depot throws out food too. when my friend worked there she was allowed to bring the food home, she used to bring me all kinds of dog/cat food and stuff for my birds and ferrets.
 

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It sort of reminds me of a lot of fast food chains and their policy to throw away food that does not sell at the end of the day, of all the homeless people starving there should be no trouble finding people who would be glad to have it.
That makes me sad too. When bf worked at Oliver Garden he said they gave away their leftovers at the end of the day. There probably weren't many leftovers, but it was something.

Lolas_Dad- I totally agree... it is a prime example of why to donate locally. When I give my shelter money, I know exactly what it's going to. I do not donate to any major charities. I know that sounds bad, but if I'm going to donate I want to know exactly where my money is going and I want to know that it is helping who I intended it to help.
 

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Panera gives away their leftovers everynight to local homeless shelters....I dont get most of these shelters...for example, there is a shelter around the block from me called "the little Shelter" its on Long Island it was also featured on animal planet's Underdog to wonderdog...anyways, they are always asking for money, sending out emails saying their situation is critical they have no food, no money to take care of these animals, but yet they have the funds to purchase a store in the middle of a VERY busy mall and pay for the up keep and keep animals there? its mind boggling...What i do is i give them supplies or i will sponser a dog and pay for its food and such...i just cant see giving them money is going to help...
 

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The issue is labeling and regulation. Stores are in it for profit. When anything reaches its expiration, it must be discarded and cannot be donated or resold. This is why inventroy control is so important in retail and why the profit margin must take into account not only such things as broken bags but also expiration discard.

If it is within expiration limits, it is on the shelf for sale.
 

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That is terrible :( Me and my mom are about to retire in golden and bloodhound breeding (it's actually her thing but I help) and rescue dogs and rehome them.
 

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The shelter that can't feed their animals can't send them to neighboring shelters, foster homes, or rescues that can?
 

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The shelter that can't feed their animals can't send them to neighboring shelters, foster homes, or rescues that can?
I suspect that all of the shelters, etc. in the area are having the same problem. When I lived in central TX year ago, the shelters were already struggling to get by--I can't imagine that the situation has improved at all.
 

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This is why we donate directly to shelters in the area. We donate specifically to the shelters we got our dogs from weekly as a thank you for taking care of them until we adopted them. The shelter Jonas and Jack came from says they can feed the entire place for two weeks for every week we donate. Enough motivation for me.
 

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I hate to say it, but communities are being hit very hard right now. The people in these communities are making the hard decision to take care of themselves and their own families and pets instead of nameless, faceless animals that live in shelters. I feel sorry for the animals that suffer, since they are innocents in the whole mess, but I understand the reasoning. I don't blame the people at the shelter or the people who were forced to make the hard decision to give up their animals, but unfortunately that's the consequences of the economic crisis and the actions of the people who put us here.
I think instead of concluding that the animals have to die because people are too broke to make donations, we should instead conclude that shelters shouldn't have to rely so heavily on donations in the first place.

Shelters need more government funding. A lot more. It's absolutely ludicrous when you see the comparison of what the government spends on animal control and shelters (usually those two are part of the same budget) versus other things. In my city, Philadelphia, this year the government spent a mere 2.9 million on ACCT and the PSPCA (the animal control and shelter wings of the same organization) which is pennies in government terms. And we have a huge animal overpopulation problem. Last year alone they took in 31,000 animals.

So instead of taking a fatalistic approach and saying that the death of these animals is the natural result of people having to penny-pinch, maybe we should talk about why shelters have to rely so heavily on donations in the first place. That is the real problem.
 

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Last year alone they took in 31,000 animals.
Yes, but they adopted out all but 12,000 of them. There is a movement to reform the shelter system in Philly as well. I wish them luck! Community involvement is crucial for change!
 

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Canteloupe, I think it's naive to think that only private citizens are broke. The government, from Washington on down is pretty much completely broke. The federal government now has $11 trillion in debt. State and local governments get their tax dollars from an already strapped citizen base. Look at California, which has between two and three weeks of operating capital before they are out of money and you will see the shape of many of the states in the nation. No Western country has been spared some financial hardship and we have to be realistic about what is happening all around us. It's unfortunate, but the dogs are suffering for the lack of human foresight.
 

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It's unfortunate, but the dogs are suffering for the lack of human foresight.
So are a lot of other humans. It's true that it's hard to help others when we ourselves are in trouble.

I've heard some news that the economy may slowly be coming back finally, though we won't know for sure for another year or two.
 

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Canteloupe, I think it's naive to think that only private citizens are broke. The government, from Washington on down is pretty much completely broke.
Yes, but the lack of funding problem predates the financial crisis. I mean, at our very richest, we as a society have been incredibly stingy (spelling?) with animals. And the government isn't broke; they just have more expenses than revenue. But they still have revenue, and they still make choices about where to allocate it. Personally, there are a lot of things on the budget that I think are less important than animal control and shelters, but that receive far, far more money.
 

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Personally, there are a lot of things on the budget that I think are less important than animal control and shelters, but that receive far, far more money.
They won't ever feel the need to change that unless enough public opinion rises up asking for it. I think that's why it's so important to not accept things as 'just the way it is' without at least trying to improve things. The pet-owning demographic is growing every year -- we'd have a lot of voting power if we could organize coherently to use it.
 
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