East Ridge Animal Services Is No Kill - And Response (3)

Friday, August 9, 2013


A No Kill shelter is a shelter that saves 90 percent or more of healthy and treatable animals. East Ridge Animal Services saves over 97 percent. They have a less than 3 percent rate of euthanized animals. That 3 percent includes injured and sick animals. (They have been at this rate for at least seven months).

Councilman Gravitt should do his research on No Kill shelters and the No Kill movement before he makes comments like the one he did at the City Council meeting. The shelter director, shelter staff and numerous volunteers have worked hard to make this shelter No Kill.
They should be applauded for their hard work instead of discounted by an inaccurate statement. 

Plus, according to the minutes from the City Council meeting in May 2013, the vote was unanimous to pass the Ordinance NO. 941 (deleting Title 10, Animal Control, in its entirety and replacing it wiht a new Title 10 Animal Services).  That means Gravitt voted for it. If you read Chapter 5 section 10-502 of the ordinance (Animal Euthanasia-East Ridge Animal Services and Animal Shelter) you will see that by definition, healthy and treatable animals cannot be euthanized. 

I was at the City Council meeting on May 23 when the ordinance was discussed. It was very clear at the meeting that East Ridge Animal Shelter is a No Kill shelter.  I even remember when it was being discussed; Councilman Bethune said "I'm glad we are No Kill."

Jennifer Ross
East Ridge 

* * * 

An article was published today in Chattanoogan.com in which an East Ridge city councilperson reportedly stated at a recent East Ridge City Council meeting that the East Ridge animal shelter is “not no kill.”  This is a misunderstanding of the no kill definition as defined by the no kill animal shelter movement.  

As stated in the No Kill Advocacy Center’s publication entitled “A Primer on No Kill Animal Control Sheltering for Public Officials”, “… a No Kill community is one where no savable animals are killed.  Unfortunately, there are some animals who are hopelessly ill or injured, irremediably suffering, or in the case of dogs, vicious with a poor prognosis for rehabilitation….”   

Generally speaking, a “no kill” shelter is one with less than a 10 percent euthanasia rate and in which no adoptable or healthy animals are euthanized. East Ridge Animal Services, with a less than 3 percent euthanasia rate, meets the “no kill” shelter definition.  In fact, East Ridge Animal Services is the first Tennessee municipal no kill shelter. 

The director, staff, and volunteers at East Ridge Animal Services worked very hard to achieve its no kill status and continue to do so.  East Ridge Animal Services includes the programs as defined on the No Kill Advocacy Center website necessary to achieve a no kill status including rescue partnerships, volunteers, foster care, comprehensive adoption program, and a “hard-working, compassionate shelter director.”   

East Ridge has a lot to be proud of with its humane treatment of companion animals and East Ridge Animal Services should be applauded for their achievements.  

Joan McNew Flores

* * *

I am 65 years old and cannot remember a time when I didn’t have a dog.  Now with two in my life, a great deal of my time, energy and attention goes to their care. One of furry family members was adopted from the East Ridge Animal Shelter.  So before anyone wants to label me as anti-animal that is the furthest thing from truth.  I will be glad to show my vet bills, medicine bills, dog food and treat bills, numerous other purchases to make my fur children happy and comfortable. You can even check the dog hairs on my furniture and clothes, since the dogs basically rule my house. 

As much as I love my dogs, I also love responsible government. Councilman Marc Gravitt is spending a lot of time and energy to provide the citizens of East Ridge with that. I think it is a shame that Councilman Gravitt is being harshly attacked for trying to do his job as an elected official with honesty, integrity and accuracy.   I can only wish that some other elected officials from local all the way to Washington took their jobs as elected officials as seriously as Marc Gravitt does. 

To those uninformed citizens who do not attend council meetings to witness first-hand what happens and who says and does what.  Let me tell you, Councilman Marc Gravitt does his research and homework. 

Those who have gotten so upset about what they read, obviously do not understand what Mr. Gravitt was addressing.  Mr. Gravitt questioned the accuracy of some “facts” in the previous council meeting minutes that were being voted on. One of those statements was; “Established first municipal no kill shelter in the State of Tennessee.”  Being a man of integrity and ethics, Mr. Gravitt did not want to put his stamp of approval on official minutes without knowing the accuracy of the statements.  He had a printout from website listings no kill shelters in Tennessee and East Ridge was not listed.  I just did a search for no kill shelters in Tennessee and Marc Gravitt is correct.  See if you find East Ridge on this list  http://www.nokillnetwork.org/d/Tennessee/ or here http://www.adoptapet-directory.com/directory/US/TN/NAME/2&nokill 

I was at the May 23 Council Meeting that was mentioned in previous opinion and this is an excerpt from the official minutes of that meeting.   “Mr. Cooper (Animal Service Supervisor) stated that the final chapter (update Animal Ordinance) speaks to euthanasia. (FYI, under some circumstances animals are euthanized). No kill is actually a benchmark; anything under 10%.  We are operating under the no kill premise, at 2.5 percent, plus we were the first in Tennessee to reach the benchmark of less than 10 percent.” 

As I read this “we are operating under the no kill premise” that is different from “Established first municipal no kill shelter in the State of Tennessee.”  I certainly applaud our city for saving as many animals as possible and I believe Mr. Gravitt does also.  I was there, heard first-hand what he said and I in no way thought that he was being negative about the East Ridge Animal Shelter.  He was simply questioning the accuracy of a statement, compared to information he found in research and statements made at previous meetings. 

Now that you have the facts, I hope you can see that Councilman Gravitt is working hard for the city of East Ridge and its citizens. Please, do your research and know the facts before you take a stand against someone who has only the best for our city as his goal.

Frances Pope

* * * 

I attended this meeting.  Numerous citizens stood up and complimented Jonathan Cooper and the staff at East Ridge Animal Services on the fantastic job they have done in becoming No Kill.  This facility is in fact a No Kill facility.  Jonathan Cooper has stated that countless times and the council members also congratulated East Ridge Animal Services in becoming a No Kill facility.   

I know that Councilman Gravitt was at the meeting, was he not paying attention at all?  There is no way that you could have been at that meeting and not understand that East Ridge is a No Kill facility.  He voted for it, how could he say now that East Ridge isn't No Kill?   

Frances Pope, you might want to recheck those links that you posted because East Ridge is listed on the link you provided.   It's the 10th shelter listed on that link actually.  http://www.nokillnetwork.org/d/Tennessee/ 

Congratulations to East Ridge Animal Services for working so hard for the animals despite the obstacles that have been in your way.  Jonathan and the staff at East Ridge Animal services are compassionate and hardworking, the city of East Ridge is lucky to have them.   

Brittany Payne Still


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