Recent shelter article states “to boldly go where their discomfort level for change has never gone before”

This link was sent to me about the new procedures taking place at Greenville County Animal Care in Upstate South Carolina. Please read over the information before continuing here. “To boldly go where their discomfort level for change has never gone before” definitely has those who follow this kill shelter experiencing a lot of “discomfort.”

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

One paragraph read

“Prior to 2016, Greenville County Animal Care was taking in 8,000 – 10,000 cats and kittens annually and euthanizing at least 50 percent of them (about 4,000-5,000 each year). We euthanized daily at our shelter because otherwise we’d have no room to house all of the new cats and kittens coming in.”

In 2016, Greenville County Council passed and supported Target Zero, a TNR/Community Cat resolution that allowed outdoor cats to continue living outdoors when they were spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and ear-tipped. The Petco Foundation gave the Greenville shelter a grant for any outdoor cat to be spayed/neutered and returned to the area where it was found.

Some numbers that happened in 2016 are:

Useful links
Anxiety - reduce it
FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
Children and cats - important
  • 2,097 fewer cats entered Animal Care in 2016
  • 1,917 fewer cats were euthanized in 2016
  • 1,574 community cat (TNR) spay-neuter surgeries were performed in 2016 at our clinic
  • 52-80 percent decrease in number of cats picked up by participating animal control agencies
  • 19 percent decrease in enforcement calls responded to by Greenville County Animal Control

Now let’s throw the monkey wrench into the machinery and look at a few issues that are upsetting a lot of people. For one, some of the top pledge raisers have been blocked from the Greenville County Pet Rescue page when they asked questions. One concern is last year at this time the shelter had well over 100 cats available for adoption.

The Greenville shelter is spaying pregnant females rather than allowing them to give birth. That’s another controversial subject. Some agree with their decision and some are outraged.

Then we have the ‘gag order.’ This was first brought up a few years ago when volunteers were forced to sign stating they wouldn’t say anything bad about the shelter. From what I’ve been told, the staff and management are also under the order and as of last month so are the rescues who ‘pull’ from this shelter. In other words, if you see something you don’t like, you can’t tell anyone.

One of the most respected rescues who save cats from the Greenville shelter was actually turned away from rescuing a mother cat and her kittens because the rescue refused to sign the newest paperwork. Those who have had attorneys look over said paperwork have been told NOT to sign it. In other words, there will be fewer rescues than ever to save the cats.

Not that there will be many cats available for rescue. Because it looks like the cats are mostly being “fixed” and returned to where they were picked up from. I’ve even heard two-pound kittens have been TNR’d, but it’s not confirmed. Does anyone know whether this is true or not?

It would be interesting to learn how 52-80 percent fewer cats were picked up by participating animal control agencies when there are fewer than 20 available in the cat’s album the shelter promotes on Facebook.

What is REALLY going on with all of the cats? Does anyone know? Are the cats getting out alive and to a safe place? I can promise you that comments won’t be removed from this article, so feel free to express your opinion. I really hope Greenville is doing what’s right for the cats at their facility, but with everything being so hush-hush, who knows?

This situation is extremely distressing. For one thing, no one at the shelter, whether on staff or as a volunteer, could give an honest answer if anything bad IS going on because they’re under orders to only speak well about the shelter. Don’t get me wrong. This shelter has done a lot of good things for the community. But to turn away a well-respected rescue who had agreed to take a mother cat and her kittens is very disturbing. It makes everyone wonder what else is going on that we don’t know about.

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Related articles 1 and 2

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Elisa Black-Taylor

Elisa is an experienced cat caretaker and rescuer. She lives in the US. As well as being a professional photographer, Elisa has been a regular contributor to PoC for nine years. See her Facebook page.

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18 Responses

  1. Louise Burns says:

    PLEASE if you are someone who lives near that AC..complain..make noise..whatever it takes!!

    • Elisa Black-Taylor says:

      People who live near the shelter and complain are banned. They’re called troublemakers for being concerned about the animals. One friend of mine had to jump through hoops when her lost cat ended up there and there was a problem with the microchip. Anyone who tries to speak up is quickly silenced, one way or another.

      • Jcook says:

        Yup….I “stood guard” over R’s cat until she got to the shelter that day and then she had to wait for a while before she could get him out!

  2. Elisa Black-Taylor says:

    What angers me the most is those poor little kittens being spayed and released instead of being put up for adoption. Young ferals can be tamed. All the shelter is doing by releasing them is making them coyote snacks or the poor kittens will be hit by a car or starve to death. How can anyone think this is a good idea?

    • Jcook says:

      I totally agree….this is heartless! What’s wrong with these people. Greenville County…yes…animal care…NO!

  3. Lesley Chappell says:

    I was banned a few years ago for asking questions about dogs that were tagged for rescue and even pull fees paid being put down repeatedly. They would let it go as far as we go to pick up a van load for rescue transport and they would say ” oops.. they were accidentally pts”.. I hope someone can get this place fixed, I have tried taking it to the city council only to be turned away. People I know who worked there have been fired for having concerns as well. I know years ago they were in the black , meaning money wise they were profitting!!!! They get paid for every animal that enters that place from Spartanburg, no matter if they’re killed or not. It’s a crying shame !!!!

  4. Janice says:

    All rescues I know of, DO push for s/n. And often times will help a person get their animal altered at a low cost.

  5. Dana Mayer says:

    We took 3 kittens into our organization that were TNRed by GCAS at 2 lbs or under and they were left on a country road in the middle of nowhere. Thanks to a kind soul we were able to take them and adopt them out to indoor homes as they were very tame. A good TNR program depends on caretakers and folks knowing cats are being placed back so they can be cared for. Our TNR program adopts out the tame kittens. Had the Good Samaritan not come along, they would have been prey. I did let them know what happened and what I thought of this.

    • JCook says:

      Does GCAC get $ for every TNR? That would explain it.

      • Michael Broad says:

        Thanks JCook. Interesting thought.

      • Elisa Black-Taylor says:

        They get money for every animal brought in from Spartanburg County. What if they take domestic cats that come from there, call them feral, TNR them and then release them back. That way they would get the money and the cat is only there short term. Not saying this is what’s happening. Just thinking aloud…

  6. Diana Hanson says:

    There is a lot of secrets. That will not be talk about. I had to quite volunteering and fostering. Sad, that cats and dogs have to be killed for their advantage. I couldn’t take it any more. Known it will never change. I do wish the truth would come out about there.

  7. M E King says:

    New Mexico recently went after the veterinarian in one of the more rural clinics. The NDA almost seems to prohibit employees or anyone else from reporting animal abuse. If someone pulls a cat from this shelter that they feel has been abused under the supervision of the staff veterinarian I don’t think anything could prevent them from filing a complaint through the SVB.
    BTW it sickens me to think someone would think spaying a 2 lb kitten and then dumping then on the street is acceptable.

    • Elisa Black-Taylor says:

      It’s a numbers game. That 2-pound kitten counts as a live release. The aborted kittens don’t count at all.

      • M E King says:

        My vet had issues spaying my 2 kits this year and they were 5 months and nearly 8lbs. A 2 pound kitten is incapable of caring for itself we aren’t even at the 12 week mark. I don’t see how this doesn’t constitute animal abuse.
        Once again if shelters were dumping 8 week old puppies on dirt roads there would be an internet meltdown.

  8. Louise says:

    My understanding is that they are killing all the treatable cats and releasing babies to fend for themselves!!!!
    Among other awful things!

  9. Marlene Smith says:

    You know I was banned from volunteering illegally 2 years ago because I spoke out about things I saw there. I am also blocked from commenting on their threads. But I still help the animals there as much as I can. There are great strides being made to become no kill, and I’m sure many practices have started that people would object to if they knew about them. One thing I have noticed is less animals are being brought INTO GCAC from Spartanburg County this year. Did Spartanburg build a shelter? Or are Animal Control just not rounding up cats to take there? Spartanburg County now has TNR so maybe they are fixing them there and releasing them back with tipped ears. Finally, anytime there is no transparency in any government agency, something is terribly wrong. Gestapo tactics like the non disclosure agreement should not be tolerated in an agency that tax payers support and fund.

    • Elisa Black-Taylor says:

      Maybe someone from Spartanburg can answer that. I’ve kept up Pinterest boards on the GCACS animals since 2014. The cats are definitely down to almost nothing. The shelter may think it’s a good thing not to have many cats for adoption but that can backfire and people won’t come to the shelter to adopt their next cat. They’ll get a freebie, which will eventually end up at the shelter if they don’t get it fixed.

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