Future looks bleak for Baltimore’s animals
What is the city of Baltimore doing in light of an animal abuse task force study that showed animal welfare and animal control agencies were underequipped, understaffed and underfunded?
Underfunding them a little more.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has proposed a preliminary 2011 budget that would reduce both the grant the city gives to Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter and funding to the city’s Bureau of Animal Control.
Despite the lip service the mayor’s predecessor, who created the task force, paid to stamping out animal abuse, the new mayor, faced with difficult choices and huge deficits, has proposed a budget that ensures few of the task force’s recommendations — at least those involving expenditures — will be met anytime soon.
So don’t be surprised to hear more stories like that of Phoenix (top), the pit bull who was doused with gasoline and set on fire a year ago, or Gabrielle, the 8-month-old cat set on fire twice by two boys last summer, or Christy, the pit bull pelted with bricks and rocks by a group of youths on Easter Sunday.
Don’t be surprised if the success BARCS has achieved in reducing the euthanasia rate since the former city shelter became a non-profit agency, starts regressing as well.
Under the proposed budget, BARCS would see its annual grant from the city cut by $120,000. The Bureau of Animal Control, already woefully understaffed, would lose two positions.
“I don’t see how in God’s name they can cut Animal Control any more,” Bob Anderson, who retired as director of the bureau late last year, told the City Paper . “How can they say ‘You’re woefully understaffed’ and then say ‘OK, we’ll cut you back.’”
As for BARCS, it is already “extremely understaffed,” according to Jennifer Mead-Brause, executive director. The shelter, which turned non-profit five years ago, has reduced its euthanasia rate by almost 60 percent since then.
About 40 percent of the 33 animals it takes in each day end up being euthanized, compared to as many as 98 percent in recent years. But, Mead-Brause noted, the budget cuts could mean the percentages will rise again.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 7th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adoptions, animal abuse, animal control, animal cruelty, animals, baltimore, baltimore animal rescue & care shelter, barcs, budget, cats, christy, city, cuts, dogs, euthanasia, gabrielle, mayor, news, ohmdog!, pets, phoenix, rescue, shelter, stephanie rawlings-blake, task force, torture