The unfortunate closure of the McHenry County Animal Adoption and Control Center was recently revealed. This is in addition to the limited staff and hours of operation at CASE, the Pet Specialty and Emergency Hospital, also located in Crystal Lake.
Although it is reminded that this is only temporary due to staff shortages, it does not deserve a pause by pets in need who have been moved or transferred to other shelters and adoption agencies. , as recently demonstrated.
An integral part of McHenry County, the challenges faced by those who choose to protect animals go far beyond providing temporary housing or ethical theory. These arriving animals often come from southern Illinois or collar states that have been abandoned along the roads, abandoned after failed adoptions, abused, or victims of neglect. Often they arrive injured, unvaccinated, or afflicted with the life-threatening effects of parvo or heartworm that require expensive veterinary care.
It is estimated that more than 7 million pets enter shelters each year, while on average only 1 in 10 will find their forever home. Of those arriving, only 10% of animals received by shelters have been neutered or neutered, ultimately contributing to the overcrowding and possible neglect they may still suffer. Of those who may never find housing, more than 2 million will be euthanized, most otherwise healthy but with no placement options.
These few reasons alone justify the need for care and compassion for these sentient creatures we welcome into our homes and how the responsibility of McHenry County Animal Control goes far beyond just providing shelter. temporary.
Through the American Rescue Plan Act and McHenry County’s Advanced Mission, McHenry County received $59.7 million to be used to invest in resilient public services and support community projects to provide inclusive, innovative and long-term benefits across the county. To date, millions remain available pending application and eventual approval from McHenry County Council.
The advertised pay scale for caring for these animals is equivalent to an individual working in fast food; however, this fails to acknowledge the disparity when it comes to caring for another sentient life. In addition to a respectable salary that would keep staff going, as a catalyst, the county might consider a much-needed neutering and neutering program, and affordable medical assistance for families who might be eligible. Families who otherwise cannot afford veterinary care therefore leave the animal to suffer or choose untimely euthanasia as the only option.
For those skeptics who proclaim that the county does not need another program and/or tax at the request of its residents, an effective spaying and sterilization program has been shown to thwart unintended pregnancies. desired and reduces overcrowding while reducing the financial burden on residents. It also helps extend pets’ lives, improve their behavior, prevent disease, and reduce the high cost of millions of pets that need to be euthanized.
Plus, it’s no secret that cities like Los Angeles are now imposing fines for failing to spay or neuter a pet. This effort has greatly reduced overcrowding and the eventual tax burden it leaves in its wake. It should also be noted that the American Rescue Plan Act funds made available to McHenry County have already been allocated, meaning there is no additional tax burden.
Moral intuition suggests this is a small price for the unconditional love and comfort our fellow friends provide to each of us and to the approximately 75% of homes across America who choose to prefer the kindness to suffering.
• Paul Barthel is the founder of Animal Humane Advocacy and an author who writes about the fair and ethical treatment of animals.