Recently, multiple news articles are highlighting claims from animal shelters and pet rescues that adopters, who turned out in masses amid the 2020 lockdown to adopt, are now returning their no longer wanted Covid pets, as life gets back to normal. Shelters and rescues plead for donations, sometimes highlighting a story of a dog, returned through no fault of his own, just another victim of Covid-19. But national animal shelter data shows that media outlets making these claims are not only misleading, they are; fake news.
Pethealth Software services shows PetPoint software which is utilized by animal shelters throughout the country confirms FAR FEWER owner surrendered dogs coming into shelters in 2021, compared to 2019, almost 20 thousand LESS dogs in a single month. This data is clear evidence that despite the record number of adoptions that emptied many shelters in 2020 during the Covid pandemic, those pets are staying in their homes.
Owner surrendered dogs to shelters in April of 2019 – 81,794
Owner surrendered dogs to shelters in April of 2021 – 62,218
In addition, shelter adoption returns, representing dogs adopted from a single shelter and returned to the same shelter show no increase at all from Covid adoptions during the year long lockdowns. The adoption fail rate remained exactly the same, at 6%.
Shelter cat data showed the same trends as dogs.
There is also a growing trend for many shelters around the country, increasing shortages of adoptable pets available to adopt.
So why would shelters and rescues make false claims that media outlets then publish as reliable news articles? The short answer may simply be that animal shelters and rescues are BIG business. Shelters and rescues rake in huge piles of non-taxable cash through donations, grants, and endowments, and public perception is what keeps the donation dollars coming in.
Located in Central Florida, the Pet Alliance, a private non-profit animal shelter financial records dated June of 2020 and available on its own website shows it received more than 2 million dollars just in donations and grants. In addition, it received over 700 thousand dollars in adoption fees and more than 3 million dollars in revenue from the veterinary clinic it operates, in just one year. This single private shelter holds net assets worth over 6 million dollars, with almost 2 million dollars of it in cash.
Pet Alliance has no shortage of pets for adoption though, because it began importing dogs from other areas in order to stay in business as shown in data compiled by the National Animal Interest Alliance.
By filling empty cages, Pet Alliance can continue to ask for donations. And Internal Revenue 990 forms for 2019 show more disturbing details. A bulk of the income from donations, grants and other programs are not spent on the shelter dogs and cats. Out of almost 6 million dollars that came into Pet Alliance in a single year ending in June of 2019, over 3 MILLION dollars or 51% of all revenue it received, was spent on salaries, wages, and executive compensation. The Executive Director alone took home a whopping $141,681.
|Total Functional Expenses||$6,925,002|
|Notable sources of revenue||Percent of total revenue|
|Rental property income||$0|
|Sales of assets||$0|
|Net inventory sales||$55,973||0.8%|
|Notable expenses||Percent of total expenses|
|Professional fundraising fees||$0|
|Other salaries and wages||$3,210,424||46.4%|
|Key Employees and Officers||Compensation|
|STEPHEN BARDY (EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR)||$141,681|
|DR SOON KIM (VETERINARIAN)||$106,476|
|DR JULIE ANDERSON (VETERINARIAN)||$101,871|
This multimillion-dollar company has more than $3 million reasons in ensuring that the shelter doesn’t run out of adoptable pets to offer so that donations can continue to come in, to support their fat salaries and it is just a drop in the bucket in a vast ocean of not for profit companies that are raking in tax free dollars from the unsuspecting public.
Just recently, Orange County commissioners were asked by animal rights groups to ban the retail sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits, in favor of an adoption only model. During a public meeting, members of some local shelter and rescue groups spoke up about their support for such a ban. Should rescues and shelters that would directly benefit financially from banning consumers from obtaining a purpose bred puppy, kitten, or rabbit, have the ability to ban their competition when the direct result of such a ban would line their pockets with millions of dollars each year, resulting in removing consumer choice?