July 14, 2009
Update: OK, I've figured out what is bothering me so freaking much about this. The MassHealth program has a FY2010 budget of $10.318 billion. The cost of shutting down the zoos is $9 million over three years, the cost of keeping the zoos open is $13 million a year (from state funds - I'm certain they're receiving some sort of private donations). Now I'm not usually a person to argue that an animal's life is worth more than a humans, but I'd be willing to bet that at least one half of one percent of the people sucking up MassHealth dollars are perfectly capable of getting up off their lazy asses and getting a job and finding healthcare on their own, but choose to rely on the state to do it for them instead. That one half of one percent would pay for five years of life for animals who did nothing to humans other than stand around and get captured.
The Franklin Park Zoo, a Boston institution that has drawn generations of city and suburban families, might be forced to close its doors and possibly euthanize some of its animals as a result of the deep budget cuts imposed by Governor Deval Patrick, zoo officials said Friday.
Without more state funding, those zoo officials said, they will run out of money by October and have to close both the Franklin Park Zoo and its smaller counterpart, the Stone Zoo in Stoneham. They would lay off most of their 165 employees and attempt to find new homes for more than 1,000 animals, the officials said.
The zoo officials, in a written statement that echoed a letter sent earlier to legislative leaders, said they would be unlikely to find homes for at least 20 percent of the animals, “requiring either destroying them, or the care of the animals in perpetuity.”
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