For those who haven't yet heard, the Metroplex Animal Coalition recently raised $25,000 to have the HSUS visit DAS (aka Dallas Animal Serves, aka the city animal shelter) and tell them how to improve things. This is tentatively scheduled for April 2010.
However, a fairly large percentage of local rescue volunteers are opposed to this for some valid reasons:
1. The HSUS does not manage or own a SINGLE dog/cat shelter. Even worse, a very small percentage of public donations goes to shelters (see my previous posting). This is why Wayne Pacelle's televised begging for donations - complete with disturbing videos of abused animals - enrages me as much as it does. It's incredibly dishonest.
2. The HSUS can only claim four high-profile sanctuaries for horses and wild animals. These are very different from dog/cat shelters - for example, there are no adoption programs in place at these sanctuaries.
3. The HSUS does not support no-kill shelters; instead, the HSUS describes them as run by "glorified collectors"*. I can't help but think that MAC did not mention this when doing their local fund-raising for the HSUS' rather exorbitant fee.
4. The HSUS has already visited DAS with recommendations - I understand this happened about eight years ago, nobody wants to talk about it - with no real improvements seen for homeless animals in Dallas. So MAC is throwing a lot of good money after bad.
A better solution would be to bring in someone who has a lot of hands-on experience with this sort of thing. His name is Nathan Winograd. He'w written a book about going no-kill called Redemption.
Several yeas ago, Mr. Winograd offered his services free of charge to Houston's animal control services, which are probably worse than DAS, but his offer was turned down. So I would think that Mr. Winograd would help out DAS for considerably less than $25,000.
Unless Kent Robertson was forced to sign his documentation in blood, it's not too late to send the HSUS packing. But does he - or MAC - have the spine to do so? Considering that MAC continues to insist they support no-kill (or at least their Web site does), I think they owe it to their supporters to hire an organization who believes in - and has genuine experience - in converting kill shelters to no-kill shelters.
* The source for this comment is available within "The Open Door/Animal Hoarding Myths". It is available in the Articles section of this Web site: www.nathanwinograd.com.