Palm Beach County calls for end to importing dogs, cats

Palm Beach County’s unwanted dogs and cats are more likely to die, if animal rescue groups keep importing animals from other counties and states, local officials warned Tuesday.  The county’s animal shelter near West Palm Beach gets 15,000 dogs and cats a year that are at risk of being euthanized if they aren’t adopted.  According to county officials, finding homes for local shelter animals is made harder by well-meaning rescue groups continuing to have unwanted dogs and cats trucked and flown into Palm Beach County for adoption events.  On Tuesday, county mayor Shelley Vana held a press conference calling for all rescue groups to stop shipping in outside animals, at least temporarily.  In a prepared statement, Mayor Vana stated, Countdown to Zero” was adopted through unanimous approval by the Board of County Commissioners in March 2014.  It’s a 10 year goal is to end needless euthanize of dogs and cats in Palm Beach County.  But what happens when those well-meaning rescue groups or private shelters in our own community choose instead to import dogs and puppies to Palm Beach County?  What message is being said to would-be adopters?  What happens when those at risk at animal care and control are bypassed for animals that are flown in?  The truth is often uncomfortable.  Importing puppies and dogs into Palm Beach County while dogs in our own shelter die, means that some groups are simply stocking their shelves with those dogs that are easily adoptable at a high fee.   And while these importations generate ots of publicity and revenue for local shelters or resources or rescue, how does it benefit those dogs are going to die here?  I’m challenging each rescue group that has signed on to “countdown to zero” to stop bringing in animals from other regions – at least until we reach a 90% save rate right here in Palm Beach County”.

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