Shelter Pet Abuse and Cowards In Taos County, NM

In New Mexico, the city of Taos as well as the county of Taos pay a group called Stray Hearts more than $230,000 a year to perform animal control duties. Stray Hearts hired veterinarian Eugene Aversa to work at the facility in November 2013, providing medical care to the animals. He resigned last month, after a complaint made by shelter volunteers and staff led to a hearing before the New Mexico Board of Veterinary Medicine, the findings of which were damning:

Eugene Aversa was found to have violated state codes in his treatment of or failure to treat 18 animals.
[...]
In its order, the seven-member board suggested Aversa was not qualified to work as a veterinarian at Stray Hearts. The order said Aversa “did not exercise the same degree of care, skill and diligence that reasonably prudent New Mexico veterinarians would have employed” in several cases. The doctor’s care for some animals was found to have constituted “gross negligence,” including in the case of a dog with a fractured paw which eventually fell off, a dog with cancer and a cat with a fractured paw as well as exposed bone.

Details of individual animals forced to suffer under Aversa’s “care” are disturbing to read.

A cat named Taffy was being given fluids by Aversa when the needle slipped out from under Taffy’s skin and the fluids spray Aversa in the face. The state report indicates Aversa threw Taffy to the floor in response. A worker found Taffy dead in her cage the next day, “with blood everywhere.”

A dog named Petey came to the pound in March 2014 with a fractured paw and Aversa left him to suffer until late July when he finally performed surgery on the dog. The state report says Aversa subsequently refused to change Petey’s bandages regularly and his paw eventually “fell off.”

Felicia Valencia, who assisted Aversa during procedures, says it took 90 minutes for a kitten to die after being “euthanized” by Aversa, and that the kitten’s suffering was only ended when Aversa finally jabbed a needle in the pet’s heart.

Ms. Valencia says when she spoke up about the abuse she witnessed, the shelter administration fired her.  Several Stray Hearts board members have resigned this year and the director recently quit.  Aversa’s malpractice and the shelter administration’s failure to take action to stop it has obviously taken a toll.  Still, the administrators appear to be trying to sweep the whole thing under the rug:

 Asked whether Aversa had been qualified to work at the shelter, the nonprofit’s chair said Tuesday she was “not qualified to comment on the veterinarian’s qualifications.”

Yeah, that’s not the only thing the administrators for Stray Hearts aren’t qualified to comment on.

The state veterinary board suspended Aversa’s license for 30 days and ordered him to shadow a shelter vet for 64 hours without pay. Once the required hours have been put in, Aversa will again be allowed to practice, and will be on a probationary status with the board. Which will surely bring comfort to any animals he hurls to the floor or leaves to suffer in pain until their fucking feet fall off.

If you live in Taos County, contact county manager Stephen Archuleta and tell him you don’t want one more penny of your tax money paid to Stray Hearts unless the entire board steps down.  Let the vols and staffers who filed the complaint run the place while things get sorted out.  Or find another group to contract for animal control.  Maintaining the status quo is unacceptable.  If Stray Hearts won’t do right by the lost and homeless animals in Taos Co, it’s up to the public to demand immediate changes be made.  At minimum, the shelter animals in Taos Co deserve a vet who won’t hurt them but will instead do his job to help them and shelter administrators who recognize that hurting pets is intolerable and will take action to protect the animals, not the abuser.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Arkansas Pound Employee Fired After Dog Found Starving

Lucy, as pictured on the KATV website, after being starved in the Brinkley pound.

Lucy, as pictured on the KATV website, after being starved in the Brinkley pound.

The city of Brinkley, Arkansas has fired its sole employee who was paid to work at the pound after a dog was found starving in the facility. The German shepherd dog called Lucy had been in the pound since June and was taken by a rescuer last week. A vet determined she was 30 pounds underweight and sick. Brinkley mayor Billy Hankins was shown pictures of Lucy and swiftly fired the pound employee:

“In no circumstance would I ever do this to an animal, no way. If I had of known about the condition of this dog before the 16th of October, there would have been immediate action,” Hankins said.

The Brinkley city attorney said the city will investigate itself in the matter. But the rescuer is not satisfied and has retained an attorney:

According to the dog rescuer’s attorney, Clint Lancaster, the investigation is not good enough for her.

“My client has given me a recording which I am not authorized to release which tends to indicate that the mayor knew this was going on for [quite some time],” Lancaster said.

Hmm. The two people who volunteer at the pound say they have been locked out for the past month. But now the mayor says he’s meeting with the volunteers about how to improve conditions at the facility and it’s conceivable that the city might go so far as to maybe even paint the place, possibly:

“We’re looking at even painting it, trying to brighten it up, anything that is necessary to make this where we feel like the dogs are safe ,” Hankins said.

You know what would brighten up the Brinkley pound for Lucy? Groceries. Someone doing his job. Unlocking the damn place so volunteers can get in.

But the mayor says not to criticize because actually, they could be worse:

“Once we pick a dog up and impound him, after 5 days if the dog has not been claimed by the owner then we take charge in a humane matter. As far as disposing of the dog, that would be euthanized,” Hankins said.” I might say there has been 50 dogs, at least the report I’m getting, we have saved their lives by not sticking with this ordinance.”

Maybe 50 dogs (somebody said, I think) we let people save, even though we could have killed them under the ordinance we made, but we let the public take them out alive because we’re awesome like that. True, we paid one guy to run the pound while we provided no oversight whatsoever and he wasn’t even managing to throw food down regularly for the animals but hey, we could be even more killy so shut up.

In the meantime, the irresponsible public has removed all the dogs from the Brinkley pound while the city investigates itself and the mayor browses paint color palettes online. The city isn’t taking in more dogs until the current crisis is resolved. Or at least painted over, I guess.

(Thank you Arlene for the link.)

ACLU Stands Up for First Amendment Rights of Animal Advocates in Baltimore County

Dog ID #04167 at the Baltimore Co pound, as pictured on Petfinder.

Dog ID #04167 at the Baltimore Co pound, as pictured on Petfinder.

The troubled Baltimore Co pound in MD has banned the public from photographing pets in the facility and the ACLU has written to county officials condemning the ban:

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland says Baltimore County officials violated free-speech rights by banning photography at the county-run animal shelter, a move the ACLU describes as an effort to stifle critics.

The letter describes the photo ban as showing “a government agency endeavoring to limit its exposure to criticism and public accountability, and to stifle any perceived criticism that does arise, even where the agency’s purpose of serving the animals of Baltimore County is undermined as a result.”

County spokeswoman Ellen Kobler says the complaint is baseless and stems from a small group of pesky do-gooders:

“This is a story manufactured by a handful of advocates who were disrupting shelter employees from doing their jobs,” Kobler said.

Don Mohler, chief of staff for the County Executive, also has excuses:

“[The animal advocates] wanted to manufacture a crisis, and they would wait around until a dog soiled the cage and immediately take a picture and post it — inferring that the dog had been living in those conditions for a period of time, and that’s not true,” Mohler said.

Such dedication.  Waiting around for a dog to pee in his cage so they could snap a photo.  But in case you don’t buy that, he’s got another good one:

“This is not about photography,” Mohler said. “This is about the fact that there is a group of advocates who really want Baltimore County to release wild cats into the community.”

The county apparently has a kill policy for cats it determines to be feral.  And pesky do-gooders, along with the overwhelming majority of the general public, think that’s wrong.

Not to be outdone, Kobler also offered a back-up excuse for the photo ban to the newspaper:

“For some animals, the shutter click and the flash can frighten animals that are already nervous in a shelter environment. So sometimes, the staff members might ask people not to take an animal’s picture,” she said.

Both Kohler and Mobler said that the public is generally allowed to take pictures of the animals.  Except when they’re not.  But that’s because reasons.

So to recap, it’s not that Baltimore Co is trying to silence critics and violate their Constitutional rights, it’s assorted other things:

  • Volunteers photographing shelter pets are disruptors who prevent the staff from doing their job of killing more than 60% of the animals in their care.
  • They wait around all day for a dog to lift his leg in the cage just to capture the puddle on the floor.
  • They actually don’t care about photographing animals, they just want the county to stop killing feral cats and start doing TNR like other progressive shelters.
  • The flash from the camera scares animals and the county officials just aren’t going to stand by and let shelter pets be frightened.  After all, there’s killing to be done – lots of it.  Calm, friendly killing – not like the flash of a camera.

If for some insane reason you are still not feeling reassured, I got you:

County Councilman John Olszewski Sr., a Dundalk Democrat, said the shelter has made strides in overcoming past issues. He trusts it’s being run well.

“Every time there’s a policy, there’s a reason,” he said.

So there you go.  There’s some reason for the photo ban.  This guy apparently doesn’t know what that reason may be but strides have been made and everything is fine, probably.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

Fort Worth Police Officer Charged with Animal Cruelty Only After Resident Forces Police to Do Their Jobs

In Fort Worth, TX, two dogs went for a romp around the neighborhood after a gate in their yard was accidentally left unlatched on September 29.  Bentley, a 2 year old German shepherd and BB, a 9 year old pitbull, were spotted by a Good Samaritan who stopped her car to see if she could coax the dogs to her.  Just then, some nutter pulls up in his SUV, gets out and starts waving a gun around, telling the woman he’s going to shoot the shepherd for killing his cat.

The frightened woman tried to talk the guy down, sympathizing with him for his loss while explaining that the dogs aren’t attacking anyone now, that they are trying to get away, to go home.  The man called her a stupid bitch at which point she turned back toward the pitbull, whom she was able to get into her car.  She heard 4 or 5 gunshots and saw the SUV speed away.  She called 911, gave a description of the man with the gun and the SUV, then talked with a local resident who had witnessed the shooting.  The witness said she heard the shepherd cry out after the shots and then saw him run away.

Three Ft Worth officers and a Tarrant County sheriff’s deputy responded to the 911 call and interviewed both women.

The deputy returned a few minutes later to tell the women that Fort Worth police would be handling the case because they had jurisdiction, she said.

“He said the officers has made contact with the man. He works for Fort Worth PD … He said the dog killed his cat and he did nothing wrong,” the woman said. “I said, ‘He fired shots, sir. This is the city limits. He was not on his property.’ ”

The Good Sam waited until 9pm to hear from the Ft Worth police department but they never called.  So she called 911 again to follow up and was told the officers had never filed a report.

“I said, ‘Sir, shots were fired by this man,’ ” the woman said.

She spoke with a supervisor.  A few hours later someone from the Ft Worth PD finally called her regarding the shooting.  Investigators came to her house the next morning and had her pick the shooter out of a photo line-up.

The Good Sam learned that Bentley had been found dead and that AC had picked up his remains.  She kept BB at her home and put up flyers in the neighborhood, advertising him as found.  His owner, who had already been to six pounds looking for his lost pets, saw the flyer and called the woman.  She was happy to reunite BB with his owner but also had to tell the man that Bentley had been killed.

The shooter, deputy chief Kenneth Flynn, has been charged with animal cruelty and placed on desk duty while the police department investigates itself.  Police officials refused to say whether the three responding officers are being investigated for their failure to file a report nor would they identify any of them.  But they’re prolly doing the right thing – they’re the police!

The Good Sam, who had the guts to round up a strange pitbull on the street and get him into her car while a freak with a gun was cussing her out, is too afraid of police retaliation to give her name to the local paper.  Without her perseverance, this crime obviously would have been covered up by dirty cops.  Thank you, Good Sam.  I love that irresponsible public.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

Lake Co Pound Director Kills 147 animals in 9 Days, Gets Fired

Last year, Jacquelyn Johnston was a clinic supervisor at the Miami Dade pound.  She killed animals for convenience in spite of the fact that the county commission had unanimously passed a no kill resolution after voters overwhelmingly demanded it.  In an e-mail to rescuers last summer, Johnston described some of the pets she was going to kill unless rescuers saved them with just a few hours notice:

“Sweet big boy, now has URI’’ — upper respiratory infection.

“Nervous and shy, but warms up if you spend time with her.’’

“Older pet but would make a great senior retiree…’’

“Adopter never showed up, super sweet, already spayed, 35-40 lbs.’’

“This is the one who came in from a caring homeless man, conformed pittie’’ — pit bull terrier, illegal in Miami-Dade

“Has ticks that we are treating. Needs out by tomorrow, no more time.’’

“Just a puppy and been here too long.’’

On October 1, the troubled Lake Co pound in FL hired Johnston as director. The sheriff’s office that runs the pound reportedly clearly explained to Johnston that getting animals out alive was her number one priority and that killing animals was only to be done as a last resort.

Johnston apparently thought she was in keeping with this directive when she immediately embarked on a massive killing spree. In nine days, Johnston had killed 147 animals. Someone alerted the sheriff’s office and Johnston was fired on the spot. Too late for 147 animals, including “some dogs that could have made good pets for people” according to Lt. John Herell with the sheriff’s office.  But let’s face it, the death toll could have climbed even higher had she not been shown the door.

While I do not claim to know what Johnston was thinking while she was on her killfest at Lake Co, it seems to me the situation is symptomatic of our broken shelter system.  Instead of sheltering animals, they kill them.  Instead of calling it killing (which is what it is), they call it euthanasia – a kindness.  Instead of doing their jobs to protect and rehome animals, they violate their most basic right – the right to live.  When we criticize them for killing, they tell us they are doing the best they can, we all want the same thing and that we shouldn’t judge unless we are willing to go down there and kill animals ourselves.

Everything is ass backwards and tragically, this is the norm, not the exception in our broken shelter system.  When you explain to someone who would kill “just a puppy” for convenience that killing is a last resort at your facility and her job is to get animals out alive, she likely recognized the same old song and dance.  Riiiight, nobody wants to kill animals, nudge nudge, wink wink.

And then she started in doing what she apparently perceived to be her job:  Say one thing publicly, do the opposite behind closed doors.  Call it pet overpopulation, kill animals.  Blame the irresponsible public, kill animals.  Say you’re doing your best to get pets into homes, kill animals.  This is what these people do.  They are monsters.  I don’t know if they were always monsters or if working a job where they kill friendly dogs and cats for a paycheck made them that way, nor do I care.  What I care about is saving shelter pets.

If Lake Co cared about protecting the lives of the animals in their care, they wouldn’t have given this new hire a few talking points, a box of Fatal Plus and sent her on her way.  Lake Co should have built protections for the animals into the system.  No animal killing without veterinary authorization, for example.  No animal killing without approval from the sheriff’s office.  No animal killing without a minimum 2 business days notice posted online listing all animals to be killed along with their photos.  But apparently all Lake Co gave Johnston was the key to the drug cupboard and a nudge nudge wink wink directive that killing is a last resort.

Johnston is not an anomaly.  She is typical of the type of long term employee who seeks out work in pet killing facilities.  She knew the routine.  She listened to the Lake Co sheriff’s office talk about saving animals and got the message:  kill.  This is why shelter reform is so desperately needed in this country.  Not only are shelters killing animals, they are employing monsters.  In Lake Co, Johnston was stopped and the animals she hadn’t yet managed to kill got lucky.

Are the animals housed in your local pet killing facility lucky?  Or is the director there still killing at will, probably with the support of your elected officials who don’t care to know the truth?  And are you being marginalized for your animal advocacy, being told you don’t understand what a hard job it is and that nobody wants to kill animals?

To the person or persons who spoke up for the animals being needlessly killed in Lake County – thank you.  Keep going.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

#SalvemosaExcalibur

Ebola is a type of hemorrhagic fever.  It’s not supposed to cause uninfected politicians to lose their minds and yet dot dot dot

Politics inevitably inserts itself into anything insertable and ebola hysteria is no exception.  Here in SC, one of our own pols is calling for the immediate execution of patients infected with ebola.  Not because science tells us this is indicated, but because – well, I’m not 100% clear on the reasoning there.

Last night, news from Spain emerged that the country’s sole patient infected with ebola – a nurse who is receiving treatment at a hospital and whose husband has been quarantined for observation – owns a dog named Excalibur.  And authorities want to kill Excalibur because he lived with someone who tested positive for the virus.

The NY Times reports:

The husband has also led calls for the Madrid health authorities not to euthanize the couple’s dog, Excalibur, who was left at their home. The authorities said in a statement on Tuesday that they had ordered that the dog be put down as a precautionary measure, but there has been no confirmation that the order was carried out. A social media campaign has sprung up to spare Excalibur until it can be proved he has Ebola. One of the top hashtags on Twitter worldwide on Wednesday morning was #SalvemosaExcalibur.

excalibur

Excalibur, as pictured on Facebook.

As far as I know, there is no available science on the subject of whether a dog who has lived with a person infected with ebola can cause anyone else to get sick with the virus.  Given that, there appears to be no scientific basis for killing Excalibur “as a precautionary measure”.  In fact the opposite is true:  Quarantining and testing Excalibur’s blood and saliva could help to answer a question where scientists currently have penciled in a question mark – Can dogs spread ebola to humans?

Quarantining dogs is commonplace and relatively easy to do in developed countries such as Spain.  The quarantine would serve as the precautionary measure authorities say they desire.  The subsequent testing would provide vital information for health care professionals and authorities concerned with managing ebola outbreaks.

All of this is in addition to the fact that Excalibur is a sentient being with a right to live.  Full stop.

In addition to the Twitter campaign to save Excalibur, an online petition has garnered 300,000 signatures in 24 hours and dozens of protesters have gathered outside Excalibur’s home, in an effort to protect his right to live.

The message is clear:  Even in the face of ebola hysteria, the so-called irresponsible public, whom shelter directors blame for the systematic killing they do, does not want pets needlessly killed.  The public believes that dogs have a right to live and considers them family.  And they will make their voices heard.  Shelter directors killing pets for convenience and blaming the public for your failure to do your jobs, take heed.  Politicians providing cover for the killing, ditto.  Your power to act in defiance of the will of the people is diminishing every day.

NJ Township Bans Feeding Outdoor Cats

The West Orange Township Council in NJ passed an ordinance at a meeting this month prohibiting residents from feeding all wildlife, including friendly outdoor cats who of course are not wildlife but shut up:

The matter was brought before the council at the behest of Theresa De Nova, the township’s health officer, whose office has been inundated with complaints regarding the number of feral and stray cats roaming through neighborhoods. Though both feral and stray cats are homeless felines, there is a significant difference between the two: Stray cats are socialized to people while feral cats are not. Under the new ordinance, residents are not allowed to feed either kind.

Ms. DeNova can now threaten cat feeders with court and fines, which she seems very excited about.  Most residents do not share her enthusiasm:

But the majority of people in attendance were opposed to the ordinance, at times calling out their opinions from the benches and loudly applauding like-minded speakers. Their opinion was clear: They love the town’s stray cats and to stop feeding them would be cruel.

“My interpretation of this amendment is that the council is hopeful of two things,” resident Sherry Ross said. “One is that the cats will weaken, sicken, starve and die as a result of not being fed. Or else they will leave and they will be somebody else’s problem. Neither of those is an efficient or humane solution.”

Many in attendance at the meeting mentioned TNR as a humane method to reduce the feral cat population over time.  But Ms. DeNova says she needed the power to make criminals out of cat feeders this very minute, if not sooner:

De Nova acknowledged that she would be willing to pursue methods like TNR in the future, but she stressed that she needed a measure on record immediately to use as a tool to fight the problem before it gets worse.

There does appear to be a problem in West Orange Township.  And it does seem to be getting worse.  But it doesn’t have anything to do with feeding cats.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

Fulton Co Protests Pound’s Killing Policy for Pitbulls

More than 80 animal advocates turned up at a peaceful protest at the Fulton Co Dog Pound in Ohio last weekend designed to raise community awareness regarding the pound’s regressive pitbull policy. Fulton Co kills any dog or puppy who is not reclaimed by an owner and whose body shape resembles that of a pitbull or pitbull mix in the opinion of the dog warden or his assistant. This cruel policy not only defies logic, it defies legal recommendations on the local and state level:

The commissioners unanimously passed Resolution 2012-47 in May, 2012, just after and in spite of the Ohio Legislature’s removal of breed-specific language from state code and against the recommendation of their legal counsel, Fulton County prosecutor Scott Haselman, to remain breed neutral. The policy states that no dog identified by the dog warden or assistant dog warden as a “pit bull” or “pit-bull” mix will be adopted out or transferred to a rescue group from the pound.
[...]
Dog Warden Brian Banister, who according to county records recommended and initially drafted the policy, said he agrees with the county’s decision about “pit bulls.”

Area animal advocates have been trying to present a case for judging each dog and puppy as an individual, based on behavior, instead of having a blanket policy of death for all unclaimed dogs and puppies based on body shape. But the county already knows everything:

The two leaders of Fulton County No Kill, Carol Dopp of Chesterfield Township and Tasha Grieser of Archbold, Ohio, said dogs should be judged by their behavior, not their physical appearance. The pair met with County Administrator Vond Hall in mid-August to discuss the matter with the intent of placing it on a county commissioners’ meeting agenda. They were rebuffed.

Mr. Hall said he approached the commissioners, who refused to open a discussion about the policy and have not met with representatives of either group.

“The board members fully understand the position the No-Kill group has, and they also fully understand their own position,” he said. “They do not see the need to discuss what they feel they already understand.”

It’s got to be a good feeling, knowing everything and not needing to listen to your constituents, your county attorney or your state’s legal recommendations. They probably sleep like babies. And act like them:

[A] Fulton County resident and dog trainer who is certified in a behavior-evaluation protocol developed by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals offered to evaluate the county’s dogs at no charge. That offer was refused.

*stomps feet*
We. Already. Know. Everything.
Why isn’t anyone listening to us?

“We are not a shelter,” Mr. Hall said.

Problem number one, in what appears to be a lengthy list in Fulton Co.  By the way, it’s not necessary to call yourself a “shelter” in order to stop killing stray dogs and puppies whom people are willing to save.  You can just call yourself a human to do that.

Mr. Hall said [...] those people protesting the policy appear to be “expressing concern about the animal, not the public.”

Wait – I thought the people protesting were the public. But heaven forfend anyone be concerned about an animal, especially one with fat head and a waggy tail.

(Thank you Arlene for the link.)

You Can’t Find the Pet You Want at Your Shelter Because the Director Killed Him

Infographic from the Shelter Pet Project.  (click to enlarge)

Infographic from the Shelter Pet Project. (click to enlarge)

 

Reliable data tells us that, of the people who will add a pet to the family within the next year, approximately 17 million of them have not yet decided on a source for that pet.  We have approximately 3 million friendly, healthy pets – or pets with treatable conditions such as colds – being killed every year in U.S. shelters.  So we have 3 million shelter pets to market to 17 million people each year.  This is an achievable goal.  It also completely disproves the notion that there aren’t enough homes for shelter pets.  And it’s not just Maddie’s Fund and the No Kill Advocacy Center saying so – the Humane Society of the Unites States now publicly agrees.  Pet overpopulation is a myth.

Not only are there enough homes for all the shelter pets being killed in America – there are way too many homes.  In other words, if we were to convince through marketing even half of this group of 17 million to adopt from shelters, we’d run into a serious shortage.  Because the fact is we don’t have nearly enough shelter pets for everyone who wants to add a pet to the family this year.  But right now, that’s not the problem.

The problem is that many people who would potentially be interested in saving a pet from the pound do not feel inclined to actually go there and adopt.  There are numerous reasons for this – and they are all readily fixable:

1.  The shelter is depressing.  Who wants to visit a place that functions primarily as a pet killing facility?

Solution:  Make lifesaving the primary function of the shelter.  Reach out to the community and engage them in your lifesaving mission.  Make the shelter environment warm and inviting, reflective of your focus to find homes for every healthy/treatable pet under your roof.

2.  The shelter is closed during the hours most people can visit.  Too many facilities are closed on evenings and weekends.

Solution:  Stay open on evenings and weekends.  Make sure the community knows you are open.  Run promotions during those hours.

3.  The shelter doesn’t have the specific type of pet the adopter wants – e.g. a calico cat or a dog weighing less than 15 pounds or a pet they feel a connection with when they meet.

Solution:  Stop killing animals.  The reason shelters often don’t have the type of pet people are looking for is because the staff is killing them.

Shelter directors and their staff are needlessly killing an estimated 3 million healthy/treatable pets every year. These are the animals who would have been adopted by some of the 17 million people looking to add a pet to the family this year and open to the idea of shelter adoption. Sometimes shelter directors make themselves feel better by labeling these animals “unadoptable” which is, at best, delusional and at worst, an outright lie created for the purpose of fulfilling pet killers’ desire to inflict violence upon shelter pets.

The math speaks for itself.  The proven solutions to common problems faced by all shelters are available.  So why are so many shelters still killing animals?

There are more than enough homes.  The animals are wanted.  People are out there every day of the week looking for the very pets being killed and thrown into the dumpster by regressive shelter directors.  How much longer will we as a society allow this to continue?  There ought to be a law.

The Companion Animal Protection Act (CAPA) is model legislation which takes away the discretion of shelter directors to kill randomly and in secret.  We can’t wait any longer for shelter directors to stop killing because it makes sense and it’s the right thing to do.  Like so many social injustices in our society, this one too will only be remedied by legislation:

The goal was never mere promises that we would strive to do better as a society. The focus was always on changing the law to eliminate the ability to do otherwise. The suffrage movement did not seek discretionary permission from election officials to vote, an ability that could be taken away. Its goal was winning the right to vote, a right guaranteed in law. The civil rights movement did not seek the discretionary ability to sit at the front of the bus or to eat at the same lunch counters. Its goal was winning the right to do so, a right guaranteed in law. Without legal rights, one’s fate is contingent on who the election official is, who the restaurant owner is, who the mayor is and in the case of animals entering shelters, who the director is.

“We’re doing the best we can” isn’t good enough. Blaming the public does not save lives.  We are a humane society and we don’t want pets needlessly killed in our shelters.  We want our shelter directors to do the work we pay them for – to shelter animals during their time of need.  Waiting for them to feel like doing their jobs is not going to cut it.  Legislation is needed.

If you want to be able to find the pet you feel a special bond with when you meet him at your local shelter, the director needs to stop killing animals and start doing his job.  CAPA can help you find your next pet.

TX Pound Gets Huffy When Local Advocates Ask Them to Stop Hiding and Killing Pets

The Humane Society of the New Braunfels Area in Texas hides many of the animals impounded by the facility. When a citizen contacted the organization in July expressing concern over this practice, Amanda Craig, president of the HS of the New Braunfels Area, responded with an explanation. This is a portion of that response:

I have to assume, due to the content of your email, that your knowledge and opinion of our shelter have been influenced by the No Kill New Braunfels group. I would like to take this opportunity to clarify a few things and invite you to be a part of our future success.

The only animals that are not photographed are the stray animals that are still on hold, animals who enter the shelter in such poor medical condition that they cannot be treated, animals that enter the shelter that are too aggressive for adoption and feral cats. I will elaborate on the “stray hold” policy. When strays enter our shelter they are “held” for 3 business days minimum. During that time they may not be put up for adoption or presented to the public via photographs/internet. The reason for this is that, in the past, there have been issues with people “shopping” our stray area. The reason that people do this is to look for a pure bred and/or intact dog to breed or fight in order to make a profit. You see, if an “owner” claims a dog the fee is typically much less than the adoption fee so it is financially beneficial for these corrupt individuals to claim a stray as their own rather than buy or adopt if they can manage to get away with it. However, during that hold time, if an owner comes in who has legitimately lost a dog, we will happily show them every single kennel in our stray hold area in hopes that we can reunite them with their dog. Based on the level of detail that a person can give about the dog they claim to have lost, we are able to determine if they are truly missing a companion animal or if they are simply “shopping”.

Shorter: No Kill New Braunfels sucks and here’s a bunch of baloney we made up so we don’t have to do our jobs.

For the month of July, when that e-mail was written, the HS of the New Braunfels Area took in 359 dogs and cats, hid an unknown number of them and killed 243 – a kill rate of approximately 68%. But of course, better off dead than living with PET SHOPPERS. Because you know all the evil people in the world are posing as lost pet owners and looking to adopt an animal off death row in the New Braunfels pound. That’s common knowledge.

But alas, No Kill New Braunfels keeps the ball rolling and stays focused on lifesaving with this recent newspaper ad:

Newspaper ad from No Kill New Braunfels in TX (click to enlarge).

Newspaper ad from No Kill New Braunfels in TX (click to enlarge).

How ya like me now, bitchez?

(Thanks Linda for info on this story.)

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