The purpose of these statements is to describe the beliefs of the Humane Society of Clarksville-Montgomery County. These policy statements also provide guidelines for volunteers and others representing the Humane Society in public forums. Agreed-upon policy statements demonstrate a resolve to accomplish the mission of the organization as well as to ensure consistency in the delivery of the Humane Society’s message.
The Humane Society of Clarksville-Montgomery County recognizes that there are more dogs, cats, puppies and kittens in Montgomery County than there are responsible and loving homes. The Humane Society also recognizes that reducing euthanasia of healthy adoptable pets in animal shelters will only come about through the two-prong strategy of aggressive spay and neuter programs and effective adoption practices, referred to as “reducing intake and improving outcomes.” Furthermore, the Humane Society believes that terms such as “kill shelters” and “doggy death row” are non-productive and divisive terms that perpetuate negative attitudes about shelters that are required to euthanize healthy adoptable pets because of irresponsible pet owners. Shelters, governmental or private, should be judged on their adherence to accepted sheltering standards put forth by National Animal Control Association, the Humane Society of the United States and the American Humane Association. The Humane Society of Clarksville-Montgomery is committed to “reducing intake and improving outcomes” for the community of Montgomery County .
The Humane Society of Clarksville-Montgomery County recognizes that leaving a dog or puppy tethered, or tied out, indefinitely on a chain, rope or cable is neither humane to the animal nor safe for the community. Because dogs are social animals, being chained in one place for hours, days, months and years, is inhumane. Tethers commonly become tangled and endanger the dog’s life. Dogs subjected to continuous tethering can suffer severe boredom and frustration resulting in incessant barking and antisocial behavior. Tethering is a factor in increasing the risk of a dog biting, thereby creating a hazard to the community. The Humane Society recommends that dogs be kept indoors at night, taken on regular walks and be provided with adequate attention, food, water and veterinary care; and that any tethering be limited to eight (8) hours within a 24-hour period.
The Humane Society of Clarksville-Montgomery County recognizes that for the sake of public health and safety, and the quality of life in a community, it is imperative that the City and County governments provide animal control services. The program for the City of Clarksville and Montgomery County should include:
- Local government support, political and financial
- Comprehensive animal control ordinance and enforcement capability
- Access to affordable sterilization services
- Adequate facilities and equipment
- Staff of professionally trained animal caretakers to quickly and humanely handle animals at minimum risk to themselves
- Working relationship with one or more veterinarians
- Effective public education program
Source: 1993 MIS Report, Local Animal Control Management
Spaying and Neutering
The Humane Society of Clarksville-Montgomery County recognizes that spaying or neutering of all companion cats and dogs is one of the most effective means of reducing pet overpopulation in this community. Sterilizing cats and dogs not only reduces the number of homeless animals, but also provides community benefits by reducing the incidence of dog bites, and the costs of animal control. Sterilization also provides health benefits to animals by reducing or eliminating the risks of certain cancers. All animals adopted from the Humane Society will be spayed or neutered.
Pets as Gifts
The Humane Society of Clarksville-Montgomery County believes that a commitment to responsible pet ownership is a decision no one can make for another person; therefore, no animals will be adopted as gifts. However, an animal may be adopted for another member of the family provided that member of the family is included in the selection and screening process. Also, giving pets as gifts during holidays such as Christmas is not advised given the busy nature of the season. Bringing a dog, cat, kitten or puppy into the home in competition with holiday gatherings and goings on can be very stressful for the new animal. Holidays also harbor hazards to pets such as poisonous plants, breakable ornaments, tinsel, too much food as treats, and so forth. The Humane Society advises waiting for a quieter time of year so that the new family member can get used to his/her new surroundings and learn the rules of the new home without so many distractions and potential hazards.
Pets as Prizes or for Commercial Promotion
The Humane Society of Clarksville-Montgomery County opposes the giving away of animals by raffle, lottery, and other means of chance, or promoting sales by attracting customers in this manner. The Humane Society believes that such “giveaways” cheapen regard for animal life and creates a situation in which there is no knowledge or control of the persons who will receive the animals, the conditions in which the animals will live, or the use to which the animals will be put.
Endorsement of Commercial Products or Services
The Humane Society of Clarksville-Montgomery County does not endorse any commercial product, facility or service or permit its being advertised or promoted as having the approval of this Humane Society. The Society will attempt to avoid favoritism or partiality in its relationship with pet food, shelter supply and animal product manufacturers and/or distributors. This does not exclude Humane Society staff, members or volunteers from expressing a preference for a particular product or service, which has proven, through experience, to be superior to others of a similar kind.
Pets in Housing
The Humane Society of Clarksville-Montgomery County believes that many surrenders and denied adoptions could be avoided if more landlords understood that most “no pets’ rules are based on misconceptions about pet ownership in rental housing. The HSCMC will assist tenants and landlords in bridging this gap through the development of a program to assist people in becoming responsible pet owners and tenants; and to assist landlords in identifying responsible pet owners and implementing policies and procedures to ensure a positive pet-owning tenant-landlord relationship.
Easter Chicks, Rabbits and Other Baby Animals
The Humane Society of Clarksville-Montgomery County opposes the sale of baby rabbits, chicks, ducklings, and goslings sold or offered for sale as pets and toys during the Easter season. Large numbers of these animals suffer neglect and death because of ignorance of their specialized feeding and care requirements. Others are abandoned or surrendered to animal shelters after the novelty of ownership has worn off. Every purchase of an animal for a pet must be carefully considered and planned for.
Responsible Pet Ownership
The Humane Society of Clarksville-Montgomery County supports responsible pet ownership through the screening of potential adopters, counseling of pet owners, the presentation of humane education programs and materials, and through the development and support of adequate laws and ordinances. Responsible pet ownership includes providing adequate veterinary care and required vaccinations, adequate food, water and shelter; and sufficient emotional care through attention, exercise and affection. Responsible pet ownership also includes keeping animals safely at home or under humane control at other times, providing obedience training, and required grooming.
The Humane Society of Clarksville-Montgomery County recognizes that a thorough and well-thought out program of animal temperament evaluation and adoption screening increases the likelihood of placing an animal in a permanent, caring and responsible home.
- All animals will be adopted as household pets
- All animals adopted will be spayed or neutered
- Only healthy pets who are not known to have exhibited serious behavior disorders or vicious tendencies will be released for adoption
- The HSCMC reserves the right to refuse adoption to any person unable or unwilling to comply with adoption guidelines outlined in the HSCMC Operations Manual
- Animals adopted from HSCMC cannot be sold or given away; they must be returned to the HSCMC if the adopter can no longer keep the animal or care for it humanely