Calling All Pet Shelters: Before You Cry ‘Thief’ Check The Computers First

You know how reporters like to write about mysterious criminal events? So too, in this story about a dog shelter missing some pets, the writer latched onto the possibility of a sinister criminal syndicate at work. In fact, the answer might be much more benign:

‘Eight animals were confirmed stolen in the fiscal year that ended June 30, and some of the 171 animals listed as missing also could have been stolen, shelter manager Jon Gary said.

Some of the animals on the missing list could be there because of computer coding errors, but not all of them. And sometimes witnesses or evidence can show that an animal was actually stolen.

“Unless we know for sure they were stolen, we don’t list them as that,” Gary said.’

Excuse me? 171 animals listed as ‘missing’? Well, they could have been stolen. Or fell through the cracks of an outdated computer system. Or flew out the window. But before we start calling ‘thief’ how about fixing the computer system first. Surely the money is short at any animal shelter but I am sure a local IT shop would give the shelter a good deal on their IT update for a bit of good local publicity!

In the meantime I don’t know how the shelter manager Jon Gary can say these words without wanting to disappear through sheer embarrassment.

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About Dr Vadim Chelom

Dr Vadim Chelom is a Registered Veterinarian, a writer and an educator

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