Last month at the June Board of Supervisors meeting, Lisa O’Neill of Angels of Assisi came to talk about how many Botetourt animals are ending up at her shelter instead of the Roanoke Regional Pound. She urged the Board members to follow the trail of money.
The trail of money is easy to find on the Botetourt end. Today Finance Director Tony Zerrilla confirmed that Botetourt County pays $158,000 per year as the county share of the regional pound.
If an animal is sick at the pound, the SPCA charges $25 for their vet to see the animal. If it needs care, the county pays for the further vet bill. All of this is in addition to the $158,000. One reason Angels of Assisi is used, is because they do not charge, but raise donations for their expenses.
Yesterday, Botetourt removed all of its cats from the Regional Pound, this confirmed by Joel Branscom, Botetourt’s Commonwealth Attorney. (The Roanoke Times has more on that here.)
Branscom said, “It is my understanding the Regional Pound is part of a contracted organization called ACS that runs both the Pound and the SPCA.” They are separated by a breezeway. Bill Watson is that organization’s executive director overseeing both organizations.
The most telling feature however is displayed in the Roanoke Regional Pound statistics from The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer services. It is the overwhelming euthanasia rate verses the puny adoption rate that catches the eye. 2011, 2010 and 2009.
Click on the three years for the entire cat and dog statistics, but here are snippets from 2011:
Cats euthanized in 2011: 2561 out of 3679. Adopted : 4 Transferred to another agency: 887
2010: 3432 out of 4338 Adopted: 30 Transferred to another agency: 666
2009: 3543 out of 4114 Adopted: 30 Transferred to another agency: 477