Recently, there has been some inaccurate information passed around on social media regarding CARES. We'd like to take this opportunity to address these concerns.
Here are our numbers for 2016:
368 dogs have come in from January-July 31, 2016.
18 have been euthanized, and only five of those were due to aggression. The remainder were due to severe medical disease or injury, for which our veterinarians recommended euthanasia.
Dogs are euthanized due to uncontrollable aggression only after a detailed assessment and consultation with a veterinarian and if necessary, with an experienced dog trainer.
During 2015, beginning with our assumption of responsibility for the shelter in April 2015, we took in 286 dogs.
According to projections, our 2016 numbers could see close to 700 dogs.
Rumor: Cares does not accept any pit bulls at the shelter.
Truth: We accept every dog that comes to us from Animal Control, and we attempt to accept all others brought to us from the public unless space prevents it. There is a $25 intake fee that helps offset a small portion of our costs for care of a dog. The size and breed do not matter to us and we take them all as space allows.
Rumor: Cares does not adopt pit bulls out in Clarksdale.
Truth: Because of Clarksdale ordinances specific to pit bulls, we must be very careful adopting pit bulls out as to stay within the laws and ensure our dogs go to safe and appropriate homes. The ordinance is found here.
Rumor: Cares does not have any transports set up for Pit Bulls.
Truth: We have been fortunate to be a part of a transport program that accepts bully breeds when they can and finds them suitable homes in other parts of the country. Though these transports are not as common as our others, they still happen. In fact, 7 bully breeds left on a transport last Monday (July 25th.) One of these Pit Bull mixes, Jude, waited at the shelter for over a year.
Rumor: CARES euthanizes pit bulls immediately upon entrance to the shelter.
Truth: This is absolutely false. An animal of ANY BREED is euthanized only if it is:
1. Medically too far gone; (Advanced heart worms or severe injury - car injury, etc) or
2. Extremely aggressive toward humans.
Euthanasia is taken very seriously. Each of the dogs that we put down had a name, a story, and a conversation before any decision was made. Our VOLUNTEER board takes the advice from our vets and discusses each case individually. It's no easy task.
Rumor: CARES does not pick up animals when I call to report them.
Truth: We absolutely do not. CARES contracts with the city to take care of the dogs and cats that are brought to us. We are a shelter, not a rescue group. We spend all of our energy taking care of the animals that are currently housed at our shelter. To report stray, neglected, or abused animals, you should call the Clarksdale Police Department. The animal control officer is part of the city municipality.
Rumor: CARES was supposed to be moving, but they haven't! What's up with that?
Truth: Our move will cost upwards of $350,000, and while fundraising is going well, we need the citizens of Clarksdale to step up and help us reach our goal. Our capital campaign, Raise the Woof, is underway, and we are a third of the way there. Read all about our goals and donate directly to our cause on our website, found here:
How many dogs have been transported out?
Through the Petsmart Charities Rescue Waggin' program, 248 dogs have been transported out this year alone. That's A LOT! And it should be noted that to go on a transport, adult dogs must go through a rigorous physical and temperament assessment. This is why we are constantly looking for volunteers and asking for fosters. It makes the difference! Just because we want a certain dog to go out on a transport does not mean that it will be accepted by the destination shelter. Each one is picked on a case by case basis. These shelters are located across the Northeast and are screened according to state laws. Each one that we ship to is AWESOME!
We've had 86 dogs adopted out locally this year already, and we are constantly working to increase media so that we can adopt out many more. 12 are presently in currently in foster care! If you see us pushing adoptable animals, share them. Let's use social media for good! :)
Why doesn't CARES get involved with local schools?
We took part in Read Across America Day. We've had different schools use us a rewards program, with the prize being a trip to the shelter for winning classes. We've worked with Griot and Spring Initiative. Several classes raised goods and supplies for us.
We look forward to our new building so that field trips become a normality. Our vision is not just for dogs and cats, it’s for relating them to the community.
Maybe one day we can have real conversations about the significance of spay/neuter and heavy chains as they relate to our current animal issues in Clarksdale. Community education about these issues is something we want to devote more time to as we move into our new shelter, with ample room for education. Our goal is to cut down on the number of stray and unwanted dogs in Clarksdale! Please support us in our mission.
Finally, please do not share or post information or rumors that you have not verified. Please contact the shelter or one of our Board members if you have any questions or concerns. We have limited resources to keep abreast of every social media post about CARES, and we want the information out there to be accurate.