Are you familiar with the song entitled, “Another One Bites the Dust?” If so, the numbers released by the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission, or MADACC, may have you replaying Queen’s 1980 worldwide hit in your mind…for all the wrong reasons.
One reason MADACC’s numbers may make you think of the tune mentioned above is because the number of animals Milwaukee County’s own animal control facility killed in October, 2012, was only released after the organization received an Open Records Request. In fact, MADACC only released kill numbers relevant to this year’s first three quarters after a similar request was filed. This, of course, begs the following question:
If MADACC is truly doing everything it can to help this area’s homeless, adoptable companion animals, but is unable to avoid killing some of them, why is MADACC so reluctant to share its operating numbers, including the number of animals the facility euthanizes in a given period of time?
After all, even shelters that are considered No Kill facilities have no choice but to humanely end the suffering of animals whose behavior or health makes rehabilitation impossible for them. Even No Kill facilities report that some animals are “put down” within their walls while they continue to do everything possible to save as many animals as they can, in other words.
So the difference between a No Kill shelter and MADACC is not the incidence of death, it’s that the former operates with transparency while the latter does not. Again, the public only knows how many animals MADACC has killed in recent months because the organization had no choice but to release its numbers after it received at least two Open Records Requests for different sets of statistics.
Another reason why MADACC’s numbers for October may make you think of Queen’s song is because they show how busy this area’s taxpayer-funded animal control facility was during the month of October in the context of killing animals. By the time Milwaukee County residents wrapped up their Halloween festivities on the 31st, MADACC had already euthanized 517 animals in October.
This means that since January 1st of this year, MADACC had killed a total of 4,655 animals by the end of last month, not including the ones who died in their kennels, those who expired before entering MADACC, or the animals whose owners asked MADACC to euthanize their pets. More specifically, MADACC euthanized eight birds, 3,078 cats, 1,519 dogs, and 52 other animals year-to-date through the end of October, 2012.
While the number of animals MADACC has euthanized to date this year is down compared to last year’s number for the same time period, it should be pointed out that the number of animals entering the facility is also down…which indicates that MADACC is not necessarily doing a better job of saving the lives of the animals it exists to protect and preserve than it has in the past.
If you are interested in seeing MADACC improve its operations, please contact the alderman who represents your area. Each of MADACC’s directors is appointed by our respective elected officials. And it is MADACC’s board of directors that determines how the facility is operated.