Jackie Torres is a San Mateo County resident who recently lost her home and was forced to turn her two pets into Peninsula Humane Society, also the county dog pound.
One dog, the pit bull, failed the PHS temperament test and was immediately put down. The other dog, a hound/beagle mix named Jersey, is on borrowed time and not offered for adoption at this facility.
Peninsula Humane Society is affluent, to say the least. In one of the wealthiest regions of the United States, the private non-profit contracts with the state to double as the county’s animal care and control. According to the group’s 2009 990, donations tipped out at almost 10 million with end of year assets at almost 25 million.
Director, Ken White makes an estimated $450,000 dollars per year according to San Mateo Daily News reports. According to San Mateo’s Daily Journal, “In addition, White gets to live in a PHS-purchased house rent free.” $450,000 is a lot of dogs!
Jackie Torres no longer has a home. She believed this beautiful mecca for animals with blogs and a huge behavior staff, almost 2,000 volunteers and a nice chunk of real estate would help her beloved dogs. She was wrong.
One dog is dead and the other one is running out of time while being evaluated by the vast PHS SPCA behavior department. From the PHS website, “For various reasons, human caregivers sometimes have to give up their animals. When someone has exhausted every option for keeping an animal or finding a loving, suitable home on their own, we encourage them to bring their animal to PHS/SPCA. We evaluate each animal and take into consideration the animal's age, temperament, behavior and health - as well as spacing concerns at the shelter - in order to determine which animals will be made available for adoption.”
An average citizen such as Ms. Torres believing the PHS SPCA website and assuming his pets, healthy and non-aggressive enough to live for years in polite society, will be re-homed with help of this lofty organization. To discover her beloved dog whom she could no longer afford to care for was put down by strangers, or kindly euthanized as the fancy website professes, is devastating and a black mark on our society.
A request for information about these two dogs was refused by PHS SPCA for this article.
Conveniently, Peninsula Humane Society in San Mateo, California has lots of programs to help pet owners deal with pet loss, but what about the kind of loss felt by Jackie Torres? Is there a funded program for the kind of loss when a person loses their home and is forced to turn their companions over to the county pound?
The time has come to do some serious evaluating and not the kind Jackie Torres’ dogs received. With animals dying by the millions in the countries' shelters due to the economy, it’s time to reconsider bloated salaries and programs that are failing American families and their beloved pets.
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Author - Pit Bull Nation
Pit Bull Nation is a tell all book about rescuing pit bulls from death row for over twelve years.