Home > Animal Rescue, Pet Adoption, Pet News > Minneapolis Care and Control decides to protect image vs. saving dogs

Minneapolis Care and Control decides to protect image vs. saving dogs


Romeo - featured on the Friends of MACC Facebook page

Romeo – featured on the Friends of MACC Facebook page

Politicians and local city governments often have two things in common – an inability to live in truth and a thin skin.

Okay, maybe I’m making a sweeping generalization by saying that but sometimes I have to wonder. Who are they protecting? And, who do they think they are fooling?

For over a year, I have watched as dogs in the care of Minneapolis Care and Control (MACC) were posted on the Friends of Minneapolis Care and Control (Friends of MACC)page. These dogs, many on death row because they were labeled a pit bull or bully breed of some sort, were shared in attempt to find them a home or so a rescue could take them in until they could be adopted. Many dogs were saved because of this page especially the pit bulls and bully breeds (since MACC doesn’t allow them to be adopted out directly from their facility). I watched as people networked to save animals on this page. I cheered when a rescue stepped up to save one of the death row dogs, who was not facing death for behavioral issues, but simply because it “looked” like a pit bull.

But now it seems that MACC has decided that the Friends of Minneapolis Care and Control Facebook page just wasn’t cutting it. They needed a better avenue to showcase their dogs – their very own website.

Hmmm.. let’s take a look at their website, shall we?

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The website pictures are of a wonderful quality aren’t they? The information so helpful. It’s amazing that the Facebook page succeeded when a such a wonderful website could do so much more.

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Yes. I can SEE how much better the website is when compared with the Friends of MACC Facebook page.

MACC also has a much better option for social media sharing (rather than the one created by Friends of MACC). Oh yes, it’s the city’s own general Facebook page.

Hmmmm….. Yes. I can see how dogs and cats in your care will be so much better off being promoted on the city’s FB page.
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They aren’t likely to get lost in all the other city business being posted on that page are they? So much better than the  Friends of MACC page. Don’t you think?

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C’mon. Who do they think they are fooling?

Let’s be honest, neither the website nor using the city’s Facebook page are great options for the dogs and cats at MACC. Neither does a great job at promoting the animals in their care or in making their animals look more appealing to a potential adopter.

Most shelters and rescues know that it’s how a pet is promoted and featured that helps them get adopted. Good pictures and a little history on the dog or cat can make a huge difference in finding them a new home.

“Each year, millions of pets die for the simple reason that they do not have a home,” says Jennifer Whaley of Fetch Portraits. “Good pictures go a long way to help save the lives of these pets and move them out of high kill shelters or out of no kill shelters, which opens up space for more pets. Good technology, photos and networking will go a long way to change the statistics.”

MACC’s new policy doesn’t do any of these things.

The Friends of MACC Facebook page not only promoted the animals that needed saving in a way that made people want to help and take action, but they also acknowledged the passing of those who didn’t make it. And, they did so honorably.

MACC’s decision to stop the postings on the Friends of MACC Facebook page is really more about saving face, protecting their image, and hiding the fact that yes, they do in fact kill animals. Period. It’s not about the animals, it’s about them. It’s not about saving lives, it’s about saving their image. 

I’m just not sure that’s even possible now.

There are two sayings that I love because I think they pack a powerful message. The first comes from radio host, Ian Punett:

“Hypocrisy waits silently for us all.”

The second is one I have heard said in a variety of ways, but essentially it boils down to this:

Live in your truth, whatever that may be.

Here is my message to MACC:

 If you are killing dogs and don’t like that people are upset, then stop doing it. If your policy is to kill dogs and you don’t plan to stop or change that policy, then own it. It is your truth, whether you like it or not.

If you REALLY cared for the dogs and cats you take in, you would allow them to be shared on the Friends of MACC Facebook page because (as anyone in rescue can tell you) it works. Their pictures and more detailed information gets dogs into foster homes and eventually, into their forever homes.

To claim that your website can do a better job or that posting them on the city’s main Facebook page will be a better option for these pets is a lie. Don’t punish the dogs by removing them from Facebook and…

Live in your truth or change it.

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  1. November 7, 2013 at 5:18 AM

    First thing that jumps out at me is how many of the pups are named “Rescue Only”…Yes, shame on MACC for trying to save face at the expense of the dogs…I’m hoping your post is shared in the community and MACC will allow the Friends to keep posting and sharing

  2. November 7, 2013 at 8:13 AM

    Wow, more government stupidity, even on a local level. They should at the very least allow the other facebook page to continue. Can they really stop the friends of MACC facebook from posting? Free speech and all that.

  3. November 7, 2013 at 8:44 AM

    I feel for large city shelters. They’re facing amazing odds and challenges. But you’re right. MACC isn’t owning it’s truth. And until they do, they’ll never move in the direction of no-kill.

    Until they set a goal of moving toward no-kill, there’s no reason for them to collaborate with “outsiders.”

    Unfortunately, it’s the dogs who pay the price. And the shelter workers on the ground doing horrible work when I’m sure most of them would love to see every dog go to a rescue or forever home.

  4. November 7, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    Just awful. Good pictures, good / detailed descriptions, social sharing … make all the difference. I hate seeing old-school shelters still using worst practices.

  5. Victoria Carter
    November 7, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    Ugh! Seriously? Ridiculous, if it wasn’t for Facebook, PetFinder, and email, I don’t think I could have helped our neighbor Jake (9year old Staffie) get put in a Rescue. He would have been taken by the county shelter where he would have had 3 days if he were younger but because of age would have been put down that day.

  6. November 7, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    Thanks for this well-written and straight to the point post, Mel. I think it’s amazing how much work the Friends group was putting in. It strikes me as odd that the city would want to spend the money and time doing it themselves when they already had such a great – free – option. Unless you are right and it’s all about saving face…

    When I worked at the Nova Scotia SPCA we had a lot of really supportive FB groups like this one. Even though we were a no-kill organization so euthanization was never a threat, we were grateful when groups started up to promote out animals. The more the word gets out the better! Why can’t the city and the volunteer group work in concert? It’s just too bad.

  7. November 7, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    Why not have the website and the fb page, that sounds like an option they could do.

  8. November 7, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    Great post Mel and so sad that they are choosing this route. It seems silly they are using manpower paid for by the city to run their ‘website’ when they have a rescue/volunteers who are doing a far better job. Is there a way to stir up some civic action to perpetuate change?

  9. November 8, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    What a sad story.

  10. November 8, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    As one of the admins of this page we are devastated and doing everything we can to restore our page to what it was. In the meantime, it is only the animals that suffer. Thank you for covering our story. We are happy they have a real-time site for strays, etc. but feel our page was very valuable for networking the animals. We hope change will come, but in the meantime will just keep doing what we can…

  11. November 9, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    The reason they want to shut this page down is because they want control over all information, both about the fate of animals and about their organization. If they were doing this to ensure that information is accurate and up-to-date, they really should just give more accurate, up-to-date information to their volunteers.

    Honestly, we understand that there’s no feasible way to save EVERY animal. We understand that MACC simply don’t have the funding to operate without euthanizing animals. We don’t condemn them for that necessity, rather, for lying about it. As the author said, own up to your actions. Work with rescues and volunteers to get animals out of there.

    If MACC doesn’t want to be seen as an unethical animal slaughter facility, maybe they should consider cooperating with the broad network of volunteers and rescues who are trying hard to save those animals, instead of contributing to that negative image by letting their animals get put down unnoticed.

    • November 9, 2013 at 9:03 PM

      Amen Whitney. We understand the challenges of a public impound, but this move is just an attempt to shroud the truth from a very large public base that passionately cares about these animals. One step forward, ten steps back.

  12. November 14, 2013 at 5:06 AM

    Very well said! Poor doggies, it’s heartbraking 😦

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