VIDEO: Can Humane Society Reach 90 Percent Save Rate?

A resident spoke during public comment at Tuesday's county council meeting.

Erika Ponsiek, a Carney resident, challenged the Humane Society of Harford County at to a 90 percent save rate of animals. Is this a realistic goal?

Follow Bel Air Patch on Facebook and Twitter.

Local Voices columnist  wonders whether the county government should have .

Board President said the , thank you.

What do you think about the Humane Society's operations?

Karl Schuub October 23, 2011 at 01:31 PM
Michelle again your response to my question is simply evasive. You said how will the shelter know which is a feral or a housecat and I said chip or collar and you went on about a breakaway collar. Any pet, dog or cat NEEDS to be identified as having had a rabies shot. If you can't bother to do that and your cat is impounded and eventually euthanized it's on you.
Michelle Ingrodi October 23, 2011 at 01:37 PM
Yes, I definitely didn't bring up valid points. Thanks for being the "Kill-Them-All-Karl" that we know. Glad your county has a little bit of sense to ignore you, which is what I'm about to do.
Karl Schuub October 23, 2011 at 01:52 PM
You're giving yourself away here Joan...thought this was all about collies?
HarfordLassie October 23, 2011 at 01:53 PM
so Karl, if I understand you correctly, the actions of irresponsible people should be paid for by the death of innocent animals?
Karl Schuub October 23, 2011 at 02:09 PM
I had my dog put down earlier this year...my husband stayed with him; I had to leave because I couldn't bear to witness it. Ask any veterinarian and they'll assure you it's painless for the animal; certainly not a form of "suffering". Euthanasia is a loss of life; not doubt, but you can't be a responsible citizen and suggest that a wild cat's life trumps that of a healthy ecosystem because you think it's unfair to the cat. In an earlier email; at the start of all these very enlightening comments Peter chose to use words like murder and rape in the context of feral cats. It became very apparent to me the sorts of people involved in this TNR movement and it borders on irrational. Nobody wants animals to suffer and everybody wants improvements where they are possible to the facility, to the populations of animals; to programs to ensure more animals can be adopted...but the idea that it's responsible to release feral, unadoptable predatory animals into potentially sensitive habitats is beyond ludicrous.
Sonja Hunn October 23, 2011 at 02:28 PM
I've said this before. We need to ignore KIll-em-Karl. Let him talk to himself. He can't tell us a single community in which his kill-em-all method has worked to rid that community of a feral cat colony, yet he doesn't have enough sense to realize that there are none because the method doesn't work. A method practiced for years and years and years has not solved the problem, but that's what Kill-em-Karl wants to have done. He is an illogical person with no conscience. Euthanization of a healthy animal is killing, Karl. Sorry you don't agree. But for the rest of us, let's let Kill-em-Karl wallow in his own delusions - he obviously enjoys them. He is just taking our time and attention away from our mission, which is a lot more than TNR.
Christine October 23, 2011 at 02:33 PM
I thought it was about whether or not the HSHC should be held accountable. It was about improving the rate of healthy, adoptable animals finding a home. Karl, I am sorry for the loss of your dog. If you had stayed in the room with your husband you would have witnessed that euthansia can be a peaceful process if performed correctly by a trained veterinarian. Please ask the shelter to spend a day in their tech room and report back to us.
Brad Gerick October 23, 2011 at 02:36 PM
Here are the highlighted pets up for adoption this week at the Humane Society. http://ow.ly/764Gw
Karl Schuub October 23, 2011 at 04:21 PM
Christine: Our family vet is wonderful and our dog contracted a very serious illness so when we knew it was no longer fair to him we took him to our vet; it had already been discussed and it was time. They wouldn't have assured me it was painless and peaceful for the animal if that were not true; my husband held him. Both of us love animals both the ones in the house and the ones outside. We came to the shelter to adopt another dog shortly thereafter - the shelter was none of the horrible things described here. I couldn't agree with you more; the shelter's role should be about improving the rate of healthy, animals finding homes. We seem to be arguing about the fates of the most unfortunate animals found too damaged to be eligible for homes - it is our fault as humans that this happens but as bad as that might be two wrongs cannot make a right - you can't just cut animals loose because mistakes have so obviously been made. Feral means feral - no amount of attention will change thier nature.
Peter Masloch October 23, 2011 at 04:50 PM
While I feel sorry about the loss of your dog, the naivety you are displaying here regarding euthanization is very scary. The euthanization at your Vet office is different than then one performed at a high kill Shelter. And that is what you want to create in your County, a high kill Shelter. A 7-week-old kitten weighs about a pound; its veins are the size of vermicelli. So if you’re administering a lethal dose of sodium pentobarbital, an anesthetic agent blue as a summer sky, you’ll probably inject directly into its round, spotted belly. If you have five cages of kittens to kill this morning, you don’t have time to go looking for slippery little veins. A kitten with a hand gripping the scruff of its neck and a needle in its belly will squeal in terror, but once you’ve pulled out the needle and placed it back into a cage with its siblings, it will shake its head and start to get on with its kittenish business. Then it starts to look woozy, and begins to stumble around. It licks its lips, tasting the chemical absorbed into its system. Soon, it becomes too sedated to stand. The animal collapses, and when its lungs become too sedated to inflate, it stops breathing. On adult cats the preferred method is the heart stick. It is extremely painful for the animal, special if an unskilled person does the procedure and has to stick the needle in to the heart several times or when not enough sodium pentobarbital was used. the procedure has to be repeated.
Karl Schuub October 23, 2011 at 06:15 PM
Peter...you and I both know that a 7 week old kitten will normally and most often be put up for adoption as they have no as yet become feral. I'm talking about feral cats and you want to talk at cute little kittens. I might add - I wonder how a chipmunk feels having it's head ripped off by a cat or a baby bird first batted around for awhile and left to die of it's injuries only because the cat got bored.
Karl Schuub October 23, 2011 at 06:35 PM
Quoted from this article: "Nearly 80 percent of the birds were killed by predators, and cats were responsible for 47 percent of those deaths, according to the researchers, from the Smithsonian Institution and Towson University in Maryland. Death rates were particularly high in neighborhoods with large cat populations. Predation was so serious in some areas that the catbirds could not replace their numbers for the next generation, according to the researchers, who affixed tiny radio transmitters to the birds to follow them. It is the first scientific study to calculate what fraction of bird deaths during the vulnerable fledgling stage can be attributed to cats. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/21/science/21birds.html?_r=1
Karl Schuub October 23, 2011 at 07:03 PM
In the interest of acuracy; can we fix the heading on this thread from "a resident" which is not description as everyone is a resident. It ought to read "a resident of Baltimore County" as that is more honest and informative.
Jen October 23, 2011 at 07:54 PM
There are many articles out there that say cats are the main predator to birds, but there are just as many that disprove this myth. This particular article is about a Smithsonian Researcher who was doing research on cats and birds, http://www.examiner.com/cats-in-new-york/smithsonian-researcher-accused-of-poisoning-feral-cats. She is accused of poisoning feral cats and being charged with animal cruelty. I would venture to say her research is very biased and she is a very disturbed individual. I know it is a total waste of my breath, but if you want the true facts about cats, once again all you have to do is go visit the Alley Cat Allies website. That being said, there is a lot more to change at the shelter, not just implementing a TNR Program. I personally want to see HSHC be held accountable to the public and make all their records transparent. I want to see what actual external audits have been done, including but not limited to animal records, accuracy and reporting compliance of the euthanasia drugs, safety records, temperament and medical procedures on what dictates an animal being killed and so on. The HSHC is using our tax dollars and donations from individuals that believe their money is being used to only save animals. It is time for the HSHC to start practicing what their name says, HUMANE treatment of ALL the animals. Let us see, not hear the TRUTH HSHC.
Peter Masloch October 23, 2011 at 08:00 PM
I would like to encourage you to show us only one single community in the United States that has lowered the numbers of feral cats with "trap and kill". Your own County is the best example that it doesn't work. YOUR County killed 36,000 cats in the last 20 years. What is the result of it? There is no result. But, I can make you a list with hundreds of communities in the United States that have successfully lowered the numbers of feral cats with TNR. Make sure you include that in your letter to your County officials.
Peter Masloch October 23, 2011 at 08:03 PM
So, it is all about revenge, isn't it? Of course they will kill the kittens too. What makes you think they wouldn't? With your actions you will be overloading YOUR shelter with cats and you don't leave them with another choice. YOUR County and YOUR shelter will be making national news: "The cat Slaughterhouse of the east coast". I bet your County officials will thank you for that.
Nick October 23, 2011 at 08:18 PM
I already showed you such an article Peter. You chose to ignore it.
Karl Schuub October 23, 2011 at 08:32 PM
Jen: As long as ANY public monies are given to the shelter I will have a right to see what monies are being spent and where. I'm venturing to guess the large majority of donors to the shelter really haven't been fully educated in terms of feral cats or they'd want to specifically request those monies be spent in some other less controverial area.
Peter Masloch October 23, 2011 at 08:35 PM
That is true, you showed me an article. That's it. Just an article. Where is the community in the US that has lowered the number of feral cats with trap and kill? Where? It sure didn't work in YOUR county in the last 50 years.
Karl Schuub October 23, 2011 at 08:48 PM
In my mind a disturbed person ignores public concerns and native animals because feral cats trump all. That is truly sick.
Michelle Ingrodi October 23, 2011 at 08:55 PM
Was that you that stopped by my booth yesterday with the awesome collie in a costume? I had all the jewelry for sale!
Karl Schuub October 23, 2011 at 08:57 PM
The myth that cats predate birds. Are you freakin' kidding?
HarfordLassie October 24, 2011 at 05:27 AM
Karl, it's about all the animals that are being killed instead of finding homes, rescues, fosters or other alternatives.
HarfordLassie October 24, 2011 at 05:31 AM
Nature is not soft and warm Karl. Every day animals give up their lives to be a food source for another animal. While I don't want to see any animal wind up as breakfast, it's the way nature works. I get that you are a songbird lover and I guess that's why I'm not understanding why you are against TNR when it reduces the number of cats killing them. When you round them up and kill them you never get all of them and they just breed a new colony. When you fix them, they slowly get smaller in numbers instead of slowly becoming overwhelming.
Nick October 24, 2011 at 12:28 PM
You're right Joan. That is how nature works. How nature doesn't work is taking one species and subsidizing it with daily feedings.
Christine October 24, 2011 at 01:58 PM
I subsidize birds in my backyard with daily feedings. So far I have not attracted any killer cats.
HarfordLassie October 24, 2011 at 09:51 PM
I feed the squirrels nuts and I feed the birds seed and fruits, usually during the winter months when it's hard for them to find food buried under snow. I have rabbits, possum, raccoon, deer, fox, birds and other wildlife behind my house in the woods and I see chipmunks, squirrels and snakes around the outside of the house. Usually the dogs spot them before I ever see them and wild animals usually will flee when seen. Unfortunately the biggest threat to all of these is man.
Karl Schuub October 24, 2011 at 11:32 PM
You folks refer to Nutter pretty extensively because it's just about the only seemingly decent study you believe supports your cause...but "one of the ways you can really find out the truth, what an author really saw, is to go to the authors and talk to them. If you talk to Dr. Nutter or her primary mentor Dr. Stosskopf, they will tell you that what they observed was a very mixed bag. Only smaller colonies, those with no more than 15-25 to start with, with high spay rates and very few drop offs (essentially closed), and those colonies where care takers were willing to put in years and years of policing the situation, experienced decline. And what were there, 8 colonies ? Funny small sample size doesn’t bother you here….. You might also ask them how many cats were taken from colonies and moved elsewhere. Julie Levy’s famous “TNR success” in Florida was only able to keep the population near stable by removing and transplanting cats. How does moving a problem elsewhere qualify as successful population control ? The one small colony of Nutters that declined 89% did so because a pack of dogs came through and killed nearly all of them. I can’t see that as either humane or effective population control, so maybe you can forgive Michael for generalizing by saying TNR didn’t work." Fact is you folks really don't want to reduce cat populations; you just want to play with cats, to feel important and you don't care what damage is done through your actions.
Karl Schuub October 26, 2011 at 09:16 AM
Lauren: Then you are chosing wild cats over protecting birds and that's why I know you are completely making that bird story up.
HarfordLassie October 27, 2011 at 03:58 PM
Follow up- http://belair.patch.com/blog_posts/animal-house-follow-up-on-harford-humane-society Sorry about the formatting of the outline. It didn't seem to convert correctly.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something