Based upon prioritising resources, the chief of police at Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, James Hambrick, has decided that the Mt. Juliet Animal Shelter will no longer accept most cats. The only cats that they will accept, he says, will be injured or kittens which have been dumped. Obviously dogs will continue to be accepted at the shelter without restrictions. Does this sound like the usual unfairness dished out to cats in comparison to dogs?
The police force in the area runs the Mt. Juliet Animal Shelter. I find the decision hard to fathom, to be honest. The only insight that we have as to why the police chief made this decision is a statement that he made to News2 when he said that cats take twice as much work to clean up after (in comparison to dogs I presume). He says that his decision will allow the animal control officers to respond more quickly to calls and be able to patrol more often.
What he’s saying is that cats demand more work to be cared for at an animal shelter than dogs do. That is something I also find very difficult to understand and believe. I would love the opinion of others in comments below as to what they think about this decision and as to whether dogs are easier to look after them cats at an animal shelter.
As a result of his decision the police chief somewhat justifies it by saying that the shelter will be open three days a week whereas previously a person had to make an appointment to adopt an animal at the shelter. But there won’t be many cats there anymore! Fine if you are looking for a dog. You’ll have to go looking on the streets for a rescue cat.
A protest took place outside the animal shelter (see photograph) over this provocative and mystifying decision. The police chief also said:
“We listened to citizens’ concerns and we also prioritise our resources… I know it is not popular, but as the chief of police I can’t make what’s going to be a popular decision, I need to make the right decision.”
One protester, Alison Dunne, made the obvious point when she said:
“This is going to be a travesty and a much bigger issue than they anticipate because someone has to pick up the slack with these cats.”
Another protester said that the feral cat population will explode.
The police chief went on to explain that the police force is dealing with some very serious issues such as men and women being killed on the streets and he has to make tough decisions and prioritise resources which in this instance means de-prioritise the welfare of lost and unwanted domestic cats.
They intend to mitigate the problem by continuing to implement the TNR program currently in place to help control the feral cat population. Do you understand this? It is the first time I have heard of such a decision. Should the police be in charge of the animal shelter?