Observations from a volunteer at the St. Clair County Animal Control Services Adoption Center in Belleville:
I was perplexed to see, at most, six dogs and a dozen cats at the Adoption Center given all the animals picked up or owner turn-ins. Sadly I learned only some of these animals (under age 5) make it over to be adopted (one can surmise what happens to the rest). However, this presents a good ratio given the three employees on staff for the total of 18 pets in-house.
As a volunteer, I'm thinking I should be spending my time elsewhere as these animals should be totally well cared for given this one employee to six animals ratio -- significantly better than the worker/animal ratio found at private shelters.
Unfortunately, I found this not to be the case. The animals were confined to their cages 24/7 and not even let out in the yard unless there was a volunteer there to walk or play with them.
Given the small number of animals and lack of workload, I was dismayed to see the workers squander their time chit-chatting and eating Cheetos at their desk. Is this really the best use of our tax dollars for these animals?
After researching the St. Clair County 2014 Budget Appropriations, I discovered more than $365,000 is allocated for Animal Control payroll alone. This amount does not include their health insurance and other benefits.
As a taxpayer I am outraged by the amount spent on such an inefficient system and overall negligence for the animals.