Friends of Mpls Animal Control petitioning new policy that could lead to more euthanizations

fMACCFB.jpg
The city recently made it much more difficult for moderators of the fMACC Facebook page to do their jobs.
For some time now, when dogs or cats have been taken into custody by Minneapolis Animal Care and Control, agency volunteers have passed along information about some of the animals to moderators of an independent Facebook page called "Friends of Minneapolis Animal Care & Control."

The moderators would then use that information, including photos and descriptions of behavioral characteristics, to put together posts about the animals. The hope is that people will save the animals from euthanization by adopting them. If nobody steps forward to adopt the animals and they're put down, the posts are updated with an "RIP" tag in the Facebook page's "Rainbow Bridge" section.

SEE ALSO: Minneapolis may allow residents to adopt stray pit bulls

But according to fMACC, the MACC-affiliated folks who supplied the information used for the Facebook posts were recently ordered to cease doing so or risk losing their jobs. The reason? The city has created its own in-house website that is intended to pass along the same information people have come to expect from fMACC.

The city's new policy prompted fMACC officials to create a change.org petition, entitled "Minneapolis Animal Care & Control: Stop the effective banning of the Friends of MACC Facebook page."

From the petition, which as of this morning had been signed by more than 2,000 people:
Since its inception, the Friends of MACC facebook page has proven invaluable to the animals at MACC when it comes to networking and providing visibility that ultimately helps these animals live.

The page is run by a dedicated group of former MACC volunteers who have slowly been forced out, and recently the volunteers at MACC were completely prohibited from contributing information or photos to this public site or risk being fired.

MACC has implemented a shelter-management software system that interfaces with their city website that has no social media presence to speak of and limits the information on their animals to that site alone. They feel this is a better option than the Facebook page that is already in place and has a following of over 10,000 people. Only one photo is allowed, and limited details are available as to the personality of the animals.

We are pleased that MACC has a way to provide real time information on the animals in their possession, but there is no reason to not allow the fMACC page to continue as well as a compliment to their page.
In a conversation with KARE 11, city spokesperson Matt Lindstrom explained the new policy thusly: "This new system just provides a level of oversight on the content to ensure that it is current and accurate, something the previous system did not allow."

But fMACC officials believe the city's new stance is really about avoiding negative PR.

"The one thing [the city] never really enjoyed about the Facebook page is some of the notoriety it brings them when animals are euthanized," Cheryl Anderson, a former volunteer at Minneapolis Animal Care and Control who now runs the fMACC Facebook page, told KARE, adding that the "RIP" posts about animals who have been put down causes "a lot of stir."

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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15 comments
animallover
animallover

Can't you just post animals available for adoption/rescue and those that were saved and no longer post rainbow bridge album? If that would keep MACC happy and allow volunteers to provide fmacc with information, then why not do it?

edgeazoo
edgeazoo

A quality report, thank you!

animal_lover
animal_lover

If it is their public image the MACC is so worried about, they sure aren't doing a great job at it. With this story going public, the MACC just shot themselves in the foot. Definitely not a well thought out plan.

Shannon Moore
Shannon Moore

MACC is only concerned with their public image, and is showing complete disregard for these animals. Getting in the way of an organization that is helping to find homes for hundreds of dogs is idiotic. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Kim Maciej
Kim Maciej

Their new "in house website" looks like a geocities site from 1997. What a joke. Facebook is so much more effective in spreading the word about the animals in need!

Adam Wogen
Adam Wogen

The people running the Facebook page could just post the info from the new website, couldn't they?

Aimée Finley
Aimée Finley

"The one thing [the city] never really enjoyed about the Facebook page is some of the notoriety it brings them when animals are euthanized," Cheryl Anderson, a former volunteer of Minneapolis Animal Care and Control who now runs the fMACC Facebook page, told KARE, adding that the "RIP" posts about animals who have already been put down causes "a lot of stir." Because heaven forbid anyone should mourn the death of some poor animal who has been let down by every human it has ever encountered until it was finally put to an untimely death.

angelaboone
angelaboone

@animallover Yes we could do that, but we honestly feel these animals deserve to be remembered.  The volunteers get to know these dogs and care about them, and to simply let them disappear (like MACC's website does) with no trace just doesn't seem right.  I realize it is what is best for MACC so they don't have to answer any questions or have any transparency to the public, but it is not right.  The fMACC page is about the animals, not about politics or anything else.  It is just about the animals.  And that includes remembering those who didn't make it out.  

angelaboone
angelaboone

@Adam Wogen Yes, that is what we are doing for now, but it was the multiple photos showing the animals' personalities and the notes from volunteers about them ("love fetch", "great on a leash", "very calm", "loves stuffy toys") that create the attachment with the public that helps these animals get adopted.  As it was, we lost about 10%+ of the animals that MACC deemed adoptable, now that number will skyrocket without this extra marketing tool.  We will continue doing what we can with what we have, but MACC has taken away a huge chance for these animals to live.  :(

stoneridge5
stoneridge5

@angelaboone @animallover   Maybe for now you could compromise and post only those dogs that need to be saved.  It is all about the dogs getting out of there ~ perhaps at a later date,or in a different venue you could remember those that lost their lives and work on MACC's transparency to the public.  Right now it is about the dogs that are alive and need help, no disrespect meant to those who were killed.   I guess it is a matter of priority to save dogs and realize sometimes we can't have everything we would like. Sometimes we have to take matters in steps and keep working to include all of the issues as we move forward.  The bottom line is saving dogs and in order to do that, you may have to put aside YOUR agenda to expose MACC's mismanagement and remember the main purpose of the fMACC page is saving animals.

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