Of the 58 counties in California, one of them has to have the highest euthanasia rates in their public animal shelters. That dubious honor goes to Lake County. Lake County is also one of the few counties in California that has a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance.
Here’s some comparisons (dogs+cats euthanized in 2007 in public animal shelters per 100,000 population)
- Lake County, CA: 4560
- USA national average: 1000-1300
- California average: 1066
- Nevada County, CA: 163
- Calgary, Canada: 44
Lake County’s kill stats are more than 4 times higher than the California state average. Most jurisdictions in California do not have mandatory spay/neuter.
Lake County’s kill stats are 28 times higher than in Nevada County. Nevada County has made tremendous strides in reducing their shelter kill rates. Nevada County does NOT have mandatory spay/neuter.
Lake County’s kill stats are 104 times higher than Calgary’s, the best animal control program in North America. Calgary does NOT have mandatory spay/neuter, BSL, an extreme differential license fee for intact animals, or pet limit laws.
One might think that animal lovers and policy makers would take note of Lake County’s dismal track record.
Yet in late 2007, the City of Los Angeles was considering an MSN ordinance. The Los Angeles Times reported:
Smith, the veterinarian [and president of the California Veterinary Medical Association], said he supports mandatory spay/neuter legislation. “It’s worked in our county,” he said, referring to Lake County in Northern California.
“It’s worked” for whom, the purveyors of Euthasol euthanasia solution? Up is down, and right is wrong, if Lake County’s MSN ordinance “worked”.
Los Angeles followed Lake County’s terrible lead, and passed MSN in late 2007. The result? Reversing many years of steady progress, in 2008 dog deaths increased 24%, while cat deaths increased 35% in LAAS shelters. The deteriorating economy no doubt played a role. But the economy deteriorated just as much in tourism-dependent Washoe County (Reno) NV, and their public animal shelter save rates actually improved in 2008.