Can Sue Cosby Turn PSPCA Around?

A "no-kill" expert tries to save the city's animal control contractor from its own worst mistakes.

By Tara Murtha
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 5 | Posted Jun. 18, 2009

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I’m not a big fan of publishing percentages and I have talked about this to the city. They have some disagreements--they probably would like to continue to see us publishing percentages, but I actually like to publish actual numbers. If people want to figure out their percentages, people can do that. Now the city might want to require us to publish something different—that hasn’t been decided yet—but in my opinion, everyone can write their own definition to a certain extent of save rate and live release rate, but what really matters most is how many animals have come in the door, how many animals have died, and how many are left alive. And in that number that’s left alive, are your adopters and rescue partners happy with what has happened in the transaction? Those are the numbers I care about.
I’m a big fan of raw data and you’ll probably not necessarily hear me talking too much in percentages in the future and a little bit more with raw numbers.

There’s been talk of a citizen board for quite some time. Do you anticipate that being a priority in the new contract?

They actually already created it prior to my getting there—

I heard that, yet it’s impossible to find any information on it—

Well I went to a meeting of theirs, which wasn’t their first meeting but it was my first meeting on the first day I was there, and I was completely exhausted so I don’t know if I made any sense to them. But one of the things they did talk about was right now, they’re working very closely with thePSPCA board of directors, which I thought was great for them—just to get started. But I told them I’d really like to see them move to be more of an independent community type of board. But I literally have not had any time to work on that right now.

But yes, I perceive them as being a little bit more community-based. I see them as being independent, as opposed to being a part of thePSPCA . And that will be kind of their ball to run once I help them with maybe changing their mission a little bit. Right now I think there are many concerned individuals who have been worried about things and how they were going who are on that board, and I really hope that as we’re able to make changes that their concerns over the day-to-day stuff is gong to be able to drop back and, you know, they’re not going to be the ones planning adoption events, that’s up to thePSPCA to take the lead on that. And then the community board can talk about broader issues within the community.

If there is a problem, it would be the watchdog group that would see that, but I really see that some of these issues are going to be cleared up.

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1. CatSitter said... on Jun 19, 2009 at 06:19AM

“What a no-nonsense well-spoken person. I am a volunteer at the PSPCA and have already seen some great changes (like making space for more adoptable cats, staff accountability, etc). There are so many good staff persons doing their best and all they need is leadership. I think Ms. Cosby will do a great job!!!!”

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2. Beth Treisner said... on Jun 20, 2009 at 10:05PM

“As I said in an comment to an earlier article, I don't believe that most rescues will hold a grudge with the SPCA. It is about the animals. When the PSPCA is finally back on track and there are less severely ill animals coming out of the shelter - if they reach out to the rescues - most, if not all will likely begin working with them. Reading the interview with Ms. Cosby certainly has helped to put my mind at ease. I certainly hope, and am inclined to believe, that she is a very good person for the position, and I wouldn't be suprised if from this point on things will keep getting better.”

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3. Anonymous said... on Jun 24, 2009 at 09:35AM

“Where is Tammy Kerr? I miss her ridiculous and incoherent ramblings on these animal blogs. Maybe Ms. Cosby will hire Tammy back because of her lengthy experience as an animal cruelty agent. What was it? Two weeks of training and three months on the job?”

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4. Anonymous said... on Jul 4, 2009 at 03:10PM

“to anyone who is already starting to fall in love with cosby just you wait until she starts pushing off all her no-kill b.s. and see how long you love her for after animals are being sent out the door with god knowes who”

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5. Amanda St. John said... on Aug 7, 2009 at 03:17PM

“To Anonymous...
(who doesn't have the courage of her convictions to post her real name.)

I and the No-Kill community stand behind every no kill effort Sue Cosby proposes. An animal "pushed out the door with god knowes(sic) who" is an animal saved. I seriously doubt that she won't find out if the person is capable of owning and caring for a dog or cat before she lets him go. But do you honestly think that animals in kill shelters, little cages of filth and loneliness are better off there than 99.9% of the homes on offer? Perhaps you are of the conviction that they are better off dead than in a home that is not "perfect" according to some unrealistic ultruistic standards? .
Read Nathan Winograd's book Redemption. Get your facts straight and start working WITH us for animals. I know for one as a rescue group, that I and others will do everything we can to help no kill shelters.

Amanda St. John
Founder,
MuttShack Animal Rescue

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