No Kill Columbia calls for Humane Society policy reform

Thursday, October 27, 2011 | 10:46 p.m. CDT; updated 10:56 p.m. CST, Thursday, November 17, 2011

*CORRECTION: In an earlier version of this story Alan Allert's name was misspelled.

COLUMBIA — A usual board meeting of the Central Missouri Humane Society drew an unusually large crowd Thursday night. 

Columbia’s most recently formed animal advocacy group, No Kill Columbia, joined the meeting at Columbia College's Delany Hall to champion the movement to reduce the number of animals euthanized in mid-Missouri.

Representatives of the group made the case that the Central Missouri Humane Society should hire an executive director who supports the no-kill policy for pets without homes.

The Humane Society has not hired an executive director since Alan Allert* resigned earlier this month.

"We implore the board to choose a new executive director with a strong commitment to the no-kill model of animal sheltering," Michelle Bird said, reading from a statement to the board.

She said the director should have "a proven ability to affect change in the lives of companion animals and the drive to make the City of Columbia the newest success in the no-kill movement."

About 10 members of the growing group were at the meeting. They urged the board to consider the No-Kill 11 step process.

After the meeting, members elaborated on their ideas for animal shelters. Some included expanding hours to make it easier for people to visit and adopt, updating record systems so people could more easily learn about pets and improving communication between shelters and new pet owners to increase retention rates.

Humane Society Board President John Shrum said the board welcomed ideas.

"We are certainly open to any suggestions that lead to us becoming a no-kill community," Shrum said. "There is not a board member past or present who enjoys that animals are killed. Our passion and our vision is that we can become a no-kill community." 

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Mike Martin November 17, 2011 | 7:38 p.m.

These 11 steps look like a great idea, but they require funding from public sources -- city and county -- that neither cares to provide nor has ever cared to provide.

Instead, Columbia and Boone County farm out all responsibility for animal adoption and sheltering to the private sector, which simply cannot raise the necessary funds nor devote the necessary resources to this important mission.

Here, for instance, is what Jeff City is doing:

Instead, we are left with a private non-profit that perennially limps along, and whacky ordinances like that crazy cat catch care law -- or whatever it's called -- that transfer the burden of stray animal care onto private citizens.

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