More Bad News from Birmingham Shelter
Updated: Jun 7, 2019
It has been a while since we first wrote about the killing of animals at the Greater Birmingham Humane Society (GBHS), and how the shelter misrepresented the killing and then threatened advocates who complained. Since then, there is both good and bad news about that shelter. The bad news: Killing continues unchecked.
The February, 2018 outcome reports for GBHS show a total of 431 animals were killed, euthanized or died that month, compared with 675 live outcomes. That computes to a Live Release Rate (LRR) of just 61% for the month of February, a month which typically has one of the highest rates for live outcomes for the year.
The good news is that advocates there have not been silenced by the shelter's threats and have created a new Facebook page called Eyes on GBHS, where we found the February report posted. Eyes on GBHS also called attention to some unusual language at the bottom of the report, which reads, "All information contained in this report is true and correct to the best of GBHS' knowledge. GBHS is not responsible for errors caused or created through Shelter Buddy's system or software."
We find this language odd for several reasons, including the following:
It is the shelter management's job to ensure their shelter management software is working and reporting correctly. Auditing the shelter software system is a critical part of their jobs.
We are unaware of any data or reporting problems being reported about Shelter Buddy software.
Reporting issues in most shelter management systems are nearly always related to data entry/user mistakes. Identifying those to ensure they are corrected is a key part of management's job.
Given these things, we find the inclusion of this language at the bottom of the report disturbing. It sounds almost as though they are expecting people to find problems with the report and are trying to cast blame on the shelter software system in the event that they do. That is what it looks like and sounds like when leaders at animal shelters don't take responsibility for auditing their systems.