Thursday, April 8, 2010

Agricultural zoning? WTF?

This interesting little story arrived in my e-mail earlier today, forwarded by a blog reader.

Some background first: There is a Web site called that publishes a collection of news sites based in major cities. Rebecca Poling - a member of the Animal Shelter Commission - is editor of the Dallas Examiner's Animal Rescue section. I don't know if this is something she's paid for, but I took a look and she seems to post quite a bit.

She recently published an article about no-kill shelters, and ended it by erroneously claiming that Dallas only had two.

"Dog & Kitty City and Operation Kindness are the only "No-Kill" shelters in Dallas."

If you scroll down, there are a few comments. One commenter pointed out that there were more than two no-kill shelters in the DFW area, and mentioned a few of them, including Texas Pawprints. (New readers unfamiliar with Pawprints may want to check out my March postings.)

Seems Rebecca knows - or thinks she knows - all about the shelter. This is her reply, copied and pasted from the Comments section:

Regarding your comment about the Texas Pawprints shelter: I did not mention Texas Pawprints because I saw an article online earlier this week that says the City "effectively closed the shelter building maintained by Texas Pawprints". It explains the "Pawprints shelter building is zoned commercial." Animal shelters are only allowed in areas zoned AA (Agricultural) without a special permit which requires Residential Adjacency Review.

Goodness! If you click on the entry posted here on March 1st, you'll see that the online article she's referring to is ... the March 1st posting of this blog.

It gets better.

Since I deal with zoning now and again at work - although not nearly as much as I used to - I decided to look up the DFW Humane Society of Irving shelter at, which is the Dallas Central Appraisal District Web site . Guess what - the shelter is zoned Commercial. I then searched for Dallas Animal Services and it's zoned Commercial as well. Furthermore, you won't find anything about Agricultural zoning at

To top it all off, keep in mind that Dallas Animal Services found the Pawprints shelter irresistible - that is, when they could remember where it was. They dropped by at least seven times in two years, but it never once occurred to them to raise any zoning issues.

Only when they failed to manage to issue a single cruelty citation did they pass the buck to Code Compliance, who finally dropped by to scream "Zoned Residential! Off with their heads!"

And they couldn't even get that right.

I wonder who put Code Compliance up to this? I really can't see anyone in that department coming into work and thinking "Hey, let's go hassle a shelter that we've never received a legitimate complaint about." They have more fun hassling builders, anyway. It pays better.


Cindy said...

Isn't Operation Kindness in Carrolton? and not Dallas?

Feline Provocateur said...

Actually you're right. And Carrollton is in Collin County, not Dallas County.

I did a bit of research regarding and their "editors". They are paid, on average, less than $2.00 an article. Not much incentive to be accurate.

Cindy said...

Poling does it for exposure, heightens her "knowledge" she thinks and for sure those who are in power will give her more power due to that fact, not good especially since she doesn't seem to know where Dallas stops and the next suburb starts and she is involved in multiple places with people who should be able to tell her!

Feline Provocateur said...

Makes sense - I just don't understand the "more power" mindset. I would think that sitting around and making rules for others would be boring. And the flaws in the 2008 pet legislation have become obvious.

But it also explains why the Examiner articles only mention the same shelters/rescuers. Most of them are also involved with, or appointed to, the Animal Shelter Commission. Small world, isn't it?

Cindy said...

Their little circle is very close and I will confess that I have never understood anyone who wanted to close their mind instead of using it in a real manner to solve a problem and wanted to control everyone else.

Feline Provocateur said...

It all reminds me of those little cliques in junior high. You'd think these people would be old enough to think like adults.

I just don't understand their obsession with controlling others - if they really gave a shit about lowering euthanasia rates, they'd check out shelters who have done so and ask for their assistance. But by the looks of the Commission minutes for 2008 and 2009, most of them have strange little personal agendas and are pursuing them for all they're worth. (At the taxpayer's expense most of the time)

PJBoosinger said...

FP, Remember that boys generally go into "team" activities in high school while the Mean Girls are allowed to teach cliquish behavior. There were some improvements for a while but not many/much and it seems to be deteriorating again. We've got to do a better job of teaching very young girls (and boys) critical thinking skills and team behavior and it's pretty tough when we spend more and more time camped behind our laptops.

cindy said...

No one (with a grain of sense and fair play) understands ther power play to control everything and every one with animals...just know, its a fact! or do you not see that? I had thought you had.