St. Louis Follows Kansas City by Moving Forward on Privatizing Animal Shelter
The Suburban Journals has an updated piece on where the city of St. Louis stands with its animal shelter. According to the story, the city has learned from Kansas City that privatization can work in this area:
“The nonprofit groups appear to have worked well in other cities of our size, and this was kind of the route that they wanted to explore first,” Hane said.
Kansas City is among the cities where an outside group has taken control, Hane said.
The city deserves credit for its willingness to go with privatization here, but I don’t understand the favoring of a nonprofit over a for-profit model:
A veterinarian with extensive experience with animal welfare groups has proposed an alternative. He wants to run a for-profit operation at the Gasconade shelter – a proposal that runs counter to the city’s wishes.
I am not saying the for-profit idea should trump the nonprofit, just that the choice should be made according to who can best provide the necessary services, rather than whether the operation hopes to earn a profit. (The fact that the vet who wants to run a for-profit shelter was a little late in submitting his proposal should not be a big deal.) After all, the privatized shelter in Kansas City is run by a veterinarian, and is nominally a for-profit enterprise — although I think it operates in more of a gray area. I really doubt the vets who run the shelter are making a large profit doing their amazing work in caring for lost, abused, and neglected animals.
As a dog lover with great memories of Harvey, Casey, Marleigh, and other dogs my family and I have had, I love seeing the city realize that there options exist outside of the government for providing this necessary service. It is also great to see one big Missouri city learning from another.